How to Sandblast Sheet Metal

Normally we will be using sheet metal to create various types of do-it-yourself home projects, but if the sheet metal has been idle around your house for quite some time, it can be damaged by rust along with other caked-on dirt and debris. Once it has been affected by rust, it would be very difficult to deal with the sheet metal. However, one way of resolving the matter is by sandblasting your sheet metal which is a process where you clean the hard surface. Before you can start doing any sandblasting on the sheet metal, you need to have some knowledge of sandblasting because this technical tool has the ability to assist you in creating reproducible effects that other people think is impossible to create.

To sandblast sheet metal, you need:

  • Sandblaster
  • Silica sand (fine-grained to start)
  • Goggles
  • Long pants
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Gloves
  • Paper mask
  • Tarp
  • Old sheets

Sandblasting Sheet Metal

How to Sandblast Sheet Metal

  • Whenever you decide to sandblast sheet metal, make sure that
    • You always protect yourself with goggles, face mask and also wearing appropriate clothing which include a hand gloves.
    • Breathing rust or sand particles from the sandblasting process could be harmful to your skin, eyes and nose.

When you are doing sandblasting work, make sure that you cover the nearby surfaces with protective covers as to not damage any of the surfaces. You can also lay your sheet metal on an old sheet or tarp before starting to do the sandblasting task. Once you have finished, make sure that you collect the sheet or tarp and throw it into your garbage bag to be disposed off.

  • The first thing that you need to do is to always set the sandblaster into an appropriate psi or pounds per square inch.
    • If you need to use the exterior sheet metal in your project, it is recommended that you use not more than the 80 psi level.
    • But as for interior sheet metal, it would be able to handle using a higher setting.
  • Next step is for you to close all the valves on the sandblaster and also the sand valve as well which is low on the machine.
    • Fill the sand valve using silica sand.
    • For a standard sandblaster, it could handle at least 40 lbs. of sand.
  • Then, you need to completely open the air valve and the nozzle valve before you can plug the tank into a 20-volt circuit breaker for you to charge it.
    • By doing this, you will pressurizes it so that the sand will be forced out.
  • The next step is for you to open the sand air valve once the tank has been fully pressurized (the air gauge will read “full”).
    • Make sure to aim the nozzle at your sheet metal from at least 12 inches from the rust and moving closer when the need arise.
    • After that, you need to slowly open the sand valve before starting to spray the sand back and forth across the sheet metal until you notice that all the rust is not there anymore.

Sheet metal is sandblasted in order to remove any rust and sharp edges or even a method to enhance adhesion of coatings and adhesives.

  • Make sure to focus your sandblasting on areas of the sheet metal that needs to be cleaned or the one that are damaged by rust. In order to prevent stretching of the metal, you have to ignore other areas.
  • You must also carefully look over your work whether you can still able to see any dirt or rust on the sheet metal. If there is still dirt or rust, you need to sandblast the affected area one more time or even two times in order to remove it.

    Always remember that whenever you want to sandblast sheet metal

    • You can either rent sandblasters from your local hardware or home improvement center because sandblasters are quite expensive. For those of you who can afford it, you can simply purchase them from your local hardware or home improvement center.
    • Ensure that you use large and sweeping motions when it comes to big pieces of metal while for smaller areas you only need to use short bursts.

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