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Monday
Sep192016

Blast Cabinet

During lunch today I went by Harbor Freight and picked up a blast cabinet and some media to use on the tool restorations.

I could have really used one when I was stripping and restoring the motor, grinder and air compressor.

Anyway, it looks like the kind of fun.

Harbor Freight, the company we love to hate. They are the proof that a market exist. Can someone please step up and compete with a better quality line of products, yet still carry tools for someone other than the home owner or hobbiest.

I live in the suburbs of Washington D.C. … so there is no shortage of options when it comes to places to spend money. There are three Harbor Freight retail stores within 45 minutes of me (depending on traffic).

In the last month or so I have visited all three. I must say that the one in Sterling, VA (middle of the tech corridor) is hands down the best. It is clean, well stocked, and the staff was helpful. I won’t say the staff was difficult at the other two stores, but far from helpful and the stoers and merchandise looked like crap.

Before I detail the poor quality of the Blast Cabinet I purchased, I must preface this with the following …

I am a semi-satisfied Harbor Freight customer overall.

I couldn’t just run by Home Depot or Lowes and pick up a Blast Cabinet on my lunch hour. Lowes doesn’t even carry anything that cost less than a thousand dollars. Home Depot got close in price (and probably the same low quality) but no store actually stocks them.

I am also FULLY aware that when I by a Central Pmeumatic (Harbor Freight house brand) tool; ninety-nine percent (99%) of the time I am buying the cheapest productin cost possible for a barely adequate tool.

Harbor Freight retail stores stock two kinds of Blast Cabinets and it basically comes down to stand or no stand. The one with the stand is slightly bigger and comes with an internal light ($199 USD). The floor of the cabinet looks better as well (maybe). It is a bigger, but mostly in media capacity, the work area doesn’t seem much different between the two.

The smaller has no legs and a flat bottom. The media cone is under the work area and smaller. It has no worklight ($119 USD).

I went with the smaller. Not only is it nearly half the cost, it probably fits my expected usage pattern better.

When I use the cabinet, I’ll probably be using it alot. When I am not using the cabinet, it will just be sitting gathering dust. A smaller overall storage size seems like a good trade off for needing to pull out saw horses to use it.

This one has about a 10 pound media capacity and I think the bigger took a full 25 pund bag. Also I don’t think my 5 gal Home Depot bucket would have fit under the media outlet on the one with the stand. It will certainly fit under the saw horses.

So really, nearly $100 (USD) for a work light didn’t seem like a good buy :)

I also purchased a 25 pound box of Black Aluminum Oxide (70 grit) and a 25 pound box of Glass Bead (80 grit) to use on the bandsaw and Shopsmith. Somewhere around $60 (USD)

I also grabbed a magnetic on a stick for finding the Forstner bit I lost in the yard and a set of air tool quick disconnects to replace the ones I stole off my older air tools for the new Freeman nail guns.

So we are trying to squeeze the Blast Cabinet into my truck and I see that one corner of the cabinet has been all smashed to hell. Of course, it is either this one, the floor unit (no thanks) or go to another store. I got 10% off. So, the cabinet was just a hair over $100 (USD).

Half what I would have had to pay Home Depot to ship a unit that probably would have been just as poor a build. Oh … the poor build quality … I haven’t gotten to that yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 —- ISSUES —-

 Smashed Corner

 

 

 

Hinge Mounted Approx 1/4 inch off between Top and Bottom

 

 

 

Bent Door Frame on Interior (probably from closing the poorly mounted door the first time)

 

Warped and Bent Frame Around Glass - Leaving HUGE Gap

 

Check out the video of Heather playing with the new toy.

She literally came running down the stairs when she heard the air compressor start so she could see it working.

         - PinderNET

 

 

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