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Harbor Freight Gravity Feed Abrasive Blaster Gun with 20 oz. Hopper (Product Review)

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Jim, May 3, 2021 at 4:13 PM.

  1. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Twenty bucks for a made in China sandblaster. What's not to like huh? :rolleyes: Have a look here.

    A little background.... I have a blasting cabinet.... works great. What it won't do is swallow something like a bike frame. I've used a local sandblaster in the past who's reasonable on his prices. Apparently he's no longer in business. I called a few places local and they all beat around the bush on pricing, saying a frame would most likely be about $200, but none of them would let me pin 'em down to a specific number. Yeah... not gettin' a warm fuzzy there. So, plan B.

    I don't want a sandblaster that cost's a fortune, and it's an item I'll seldom use since I have the cabinet. I decided to give the little gun Harbor Freight has with the hopper on top a go.... Twenty bucks. I should mention that Harbor Freight is a mere 3 minute drive from my house. Yeah, no temptation there. :cautious:

    Unboxed it and yes, it's as cheaply made as the price suggests.


    PXL_20210503_192128094.jpg


    The only assembly required was to fit an air hose QD.


    PXL_20210503_191434425.jpg


    It's a pretty straight forward affair. There's a cap to fill the hopper, a lever just below the hopper to regulate the media flow and a trigger to set the whole works in motion.
    The instructions state "Do Not Use Sand." But... raise your hand if you always follow directions.:rolleyes:
    The reviewers online said they used playground sand and it works just fine. The only downside I see is the nozzle isn't ceramic, it's steel. So using sand is definitely gonna affect longevity. Hmmm... how do you define longevity on a 20 dollar tool... :doh:

    So, right now I don't have any sand, and being the cheap bastard I am, I ain't gonna buy some 'till I know this thing works. What I do have is a coffee can of wore out glass beads from my old blast cabinet. Set up in the back yard and gave it a shot. Face shield, dust mask and gloves on.... filled the hopper and pulled the trigger... sumbich... it works. And better than I expected at that. Here's the before:


    z.jpg


    And here's the after:


    z1.jpg


    That little area used up the hopper and took about 30sec to do so, but keep in mind those were worn out glass beads that were more powder than beads so yeah.... I think it'll do nicely.

    I don't plan on sandblasting the entire frame. What I'm doing is using coarse 3" roloc disks on all the accessible tubing. The blasting will just be for those areas the die grinder can't reach. I've no illusions about this being quick... no doubt I'll burn up some serious man-hrs on the frame, but time I have. Money for something seldom used, or paying out the ass for someone else to do it, not so much.

    Tomorrow I'll head to Home Depot for a bag or two of sand and git to blastin'. I'll add a comment on how the sand works then, but right now I'm callin' it twenty bucks well spent. :smoke:


    z2.jpg
     
  2. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Nice! I like it! Are you gonna make any effort to somehow contain the sand for reuse? Like , I don’t know, spread out some old sheets or tarps?
     
    Greyandridin and Jim like this.
  3. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yeah. I'm gonna spread a tarp out. That'll catch some of the sand. I'm hoping that will let me get by with one bag. We'll see.
     
    Mailman likes this.
  4. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    I've had one of those for quite some time now and it works great. I'm even cheaper than you, I went to the lakeshore for free sand, lol. And like you, I only use it on inaccessible areas wire wheels or Roloc discs won't get in to.
     
    Jim and Mailman like this.
  5. JustBill

    JustBill XS650 New Member

    Nice write up. I have the feeling my wallet might be $20 lighter the next time I drove by HF.
     
    Jim likes this.
  6. Signal

    Signal XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    I have one and found it ok. If you plan on recycling the sand sieve it carefully. I didnt and waisted a lot of time unblocking the nozzel.
    Its also dirty work, I wore an old welding helmet with the dark filter up to try and avoid the back spray blasting my face off. I have used beach sand and it works well not as aggressive as garnet. Just wash and dry it first to get the salt out.
     
    Jim likes this.
  7. rsor

    rsor Wanna do this again!

    I use this one, got it second hand for $30, works pretty good.
    [​IMG]
     
    Jim likes this.
  8. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    @Signal ... @5twins ... either one of you guys ever try soda in yours? Might do a right fancy job on the carbs.
     
    Mailman likes this.
  9. Signal

    Signal XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    No not in the gravity feed gun. I have used soda in a blast cabinet and it works very well. Used it to clean the carbs for the RD 700 they came up great and looked borderline to being thrown out.
     
    Jim likes this.
  10. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Household baking soda....


    soda.jpg


    Before.....


    soda2.jpg


    After.....


    soda3.jpg


    I think it shows some promise as a handheld soda blaster.
     
    OHRider likes this.
  11. Signal

    Signal XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    I used industrial baking soda from a farm supplies store. It is coarser than food grade and a lot cheaper.
    I also found winding the pressure back helped improve the finish.
     
    OHRider and Jim like this.
  12. Beags64

    Beags64 XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

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    Jim likes this.
  13. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    Yes, in fact soda blasting carbs is what I used this thing for initially. You can reclaim a bit of the soda if you hold the carb down in a big plastic tub while blasting. Soda can't be re-used much though, it breaks down fast.
     
    Jim likes this.
  14. DogBunny

    DogBunny Motorcychologist Top Contributor

    I've had one for a several years now. I think I got the idea to buy one from a 5twins review.
    I bought it specifically for carb cleaning. Using HF blasting soda. The gun is cheap. The cost is in the soda.
    It work's okay, but nothing to get too excited about. The big problem is the 30 second blasting time before the hopper goes empty.
    I do not want to contaminate my blast cabinet with corrosive salt, so I only use it in the open back yard. It will kill the grass, so I lay down a plastic tarp and work on my hands and knees. The tarp is not to reclaim the soda, but to collect it so it doesn't kill the grass. I try not to use it on a windy day. There will still be a lot of un-collected used soda and grass-killing.
    It is very messy. I use it with a respirator, thick rubber gloves, and eye protection. Otherwise only wearing a Speedo (swim suit), no kidding. So I only use it in when it's warm. As soon as I finish I take a shower.
    So the whole thing is kind of a PITA. Works okay for carbs, but I only use it once or twice a year because it isn't a whole lot of fun to use.
     
    Jim likes this.
  15. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Who is going to be the first to modify the hopper to hold more? Thinking an inverted two liter soda bottle with a hose into the hopper. You could hang it like a remote fuel reservoir from a tree branch.... hmmmmm.... :umm:
     
    Jim likes this.
  16. DogBunny

    DogBunny Motorcychologist Top Contributor

    That's a good idea if using sand. Soda clumps, and I don't think will work with a hose. But a smaller pop bottle jammed directly into the hopper lid opening ought to work with blasting soda.
     
    Jim likes this.
  17. WideAWAKE

    WideAWAKE Single Fins and Twin Cylinders

    I have one of the blue tank soda blasters from HF and it works pretty good on the small stuff.

    here are some carb bodies I did a while back.

    F8C1643E-0932-4001-902D-995CC02FB413.jpeg 0964B0C3-1A48-4476-BBBF-8A05EC01E4C6.jpeg
     
    Jim likes this.
  18. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Better yet buy a cheap paintball hopper for like $5 and graft it onto the gun and double your capacity. I would imaging that might start getting a little top-heavy if filling it all with sand though.
     
    Jim likes this.
  19. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I agree with how messy it is. I’ve never used soba before, usually use aluminum oxide which is very abrasive and will damage soft surfaces and will even pit steel. For me that wasn’t a problem because I usually used it for heavy rust removal and paint / bodywork prep. I got tired of getting the media out of my hair do I bought a cheap sand blast hood. Also need goggles but keeps flying bits off of my face.
     
    Jim likes this.
  20. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

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