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Cheap sandblasting method


Was: Best way to acheive a satin finish

Terri requested a cheap sandblasting method in the “Best way to
acheive a satin finish” topic.

A stream of coarse sand falling 1 to 2 metres by gravity will
achieve a sandblasted finish on an item held in the stream. The
limitation of this method is that coarse sand will not get into
crevices, so it is more suitable for broad smooth surfaces.

Equipment comprises a plastic household bucket, a large plastic
funnel with a rim about the same size as the base of the bucket, a
rubbish bin, and coarse sand that has been winnowed to remove any
fine dust. A plastic cap that fits tightly over the funnel opening
will be the tap or on-off switch.

Cut the bottom off the bucket and attach the funnel to the bottom of
the bucket using duct tape. Put the cap on the funnel opening. Hang
this from the ceiling and place the rubbish bin on the foor directly
underneath. Fill the bucket with the sand, remove cap to release a
stream of sand that falls into the rubbish bin. Hold the item to be
sandblasted in the stream of sand within the rubbish bin so that all
the sand that splashes remains inside the bin.

Different effects can be obtained by warying the height that the
sand falls and by using coarser or finer sand, but basically the sand
grains need to be coarse or heavy and to fall a good distance to have
enough energy to make marks on the item. Sharp grains tend to leave a
dirty finish, ie on impact they make angular holes and leave bits of
sand imbedded it the metal. Rounded grains will give a cleaner

Cheers, Alastair