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 Making a SandBlasting Can and a Frisbee 

Sandblasting cabinets.  They are either too small or too expensive.  Most of them are just glorified metal boxes with a pane of glass and a couple of holes for arms.  I priced a few in the size I was looking for and they were all way too much money IMHO.  So I decided to make my own.

The GOAL:   Make a cabinet big enough to sandblast a dual snorkel 83-85 Mustang/Capri air cleaner (disassembled of course).

The PROBLEM:   Being round and rather large, the air cleaner for a carbed (or CFI) Mustang/Capri just doesn't fit into the standard $50-$100 cubed sandblasting cabinets.  There just isn't enough room (at least by my measurements).  "Enough Room" includes the ability to fit the part in the cabinet AND maneuver it.

The SOLUTION:  Simple!  Molest a perfectly good big ass GARBAGE CAN!



  • 44 Gallon Rubbermaid Trash Can:  $32.86 at Lowes
  • 1 Sheet of 18x24 Clear Lexan:  $11.93
  • 4 PVC Flanges: $9.60
  • Shelving Grate:  FREEBIE!
  • Small Pack of Velcro: $3.60
  • Shop Light:  FREEBIE!
  • Clear Packing Tape:  FREEBIE!
  • Other Assorted Hardware: $10.30
    • 2 Packs of 1/4" Wing nuts (8 total):  $1.66
    • 6 - 1/4"x1/2" Wing nut bolts:  $5.40
    • 12 - 1/4"x1.25" Washers: $.96
    • 12 - 1/4"x2" Bolts: $1.20
    • 12 - 1/4" Nuts: $.48
    • 12 - 1/4" Washers $.60

Total Cost:  $68.29 + Tax

The Project:

The first spot to tackle is the lid.  This is going to be the majority of the project.  Take a piece of cardboard and cut it the size of the Lexan (18"x24").  Then start trimming it to fit inside the center of the garbage can like so.  Don't trim it so it fits in the center TOO tightly.

Tools Used:  Scissors

Use this cardboard pattern to cut out your Lexan.

Tools Used:  Dremel with cutting wheel.  (Tried a jig saw and it sucked.  Dremels RULE!)
OK, now mark out your opening in the lid.  Screw a sheet metal screw in the center of the lid.  The lid will have a small dimple conveniently located in the center.  Tie a string to it and using one of the large 1.25" washers as a guide, mark out where the opening will be.

Tools Used:  Sheet Metal Screw, String, Pen/Pencil

Cut out the opening.  The lexan will be bolted to the lip that was left in the center area.

Tools Used:  Jig Saw

Place the lexan on the lid and drill 6 holes for the wing nut bolts.  I just more or less laid out 6 of the LARGE washers until they looked equidistant around the cover and then drilled my holes and bolted the wing nuts and wing nut bolts with the large washers on either side.  I would recommend REMOVING the protective film from the lexan.  It makes it easier to see if you are choosing a hole too close to the edge of the lid.

Tools Used:  Drill and I think 3/16" bit.
Mount the flanges.  Again I just eyeballed the placement of these.  You can get a good idea of the positioning based on the garbage can's handle in the pictures.  Drill and bolt up the flanges with the 2" bolts, washers on both sides and 1/4" nuts.

Tools Used:  Drill and 3/16" bit.
Cut the holes in the can for your arms.  Its really easy when the flanges are bolted up.  The can will flatten out a bit from having these bolted like this.  The flanges are flat and the can is not.  Its not a problem.  The top will fit just fine.

NOTE:  The flanges were also going to have some cloth or plastic sandwiched between them to restrict any blow back of media.  However I skipped that step and therefore technically the flanges are not really needed...they COULD be skipped....BUT they add ALOT of stability to the holes and you won't chafe or cut your arms on the thin wall of the garbage can.

Tools Used:  Sharp Knife
Cut the grate to fit.  I was careful and trimmed it only enough to go down about 1 foot or so before the bottom of the can.  It wedged in nicely.

Tools Used:  Hack Saw and SHARP Wire Cutters
VELCRO!  Find a good spot for the light and Velcro it on.  I put the soft stuff (loops) on the light.

Tools Used:  Scissors
 TAPE!  I took some clear packing tape and carefully covered the underside of the Plexiglas then rebolted it on the cover.   Sorry No Pic.  :-(
Now to test it!  I bought a crappy $20 siphon sandblast kit.  DO NOT FORGET A RESPIRATOR!


Things worked out really well.  The only complaints are that a little media gets out through the hand openings.  I had thought about that before I started and was going to try and sandwich in something between the flanges to make that
area tighter.  I will probably have my wife sew me something with an elastic band in it to stretch around my arms.

The positioning of the arm holes was actually surprisingly good.  Sometimes you have to shift side to side to give one arm or another a bit more length to grab something but I was expecting a lot worse.

Another plus is that the capacity of the garbage can was MORE than enough for an air cleaner body (see picture).  As you can see there is room for the air cleaner, the gun and enough room left over to maneuver.

The garbage can is VERY rugged as well.  Hitting it with the sandblaster doesn't harm it at all.

The Frisbee

Oh yeah, almost forgot.  You should have a home made Frisbee left over.  It flies well and looks cool if you leave the screw and the string in it!

2003-2005 Michael Negus All Rights Reserved.
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