Sand blast question

I am building a trailer mounted bbq smoker. I need to sand blast the trailer and the smoker body as well as a couple large grills.
I cannot find large quanities of sand blast media. I can get 25# buckets at Tractor supply at $1/pound but I have to blast outside and will not be able to recover the media. Therefore I need something that will be inexpensive enough to let fly.
All of the places that sell sand blasters around me (just outside of Dallas) don't sell the media in large quanities. Everyone tells me to use Playsand from Home Depot. I bought a bag to try and it just plugs up in the hose and is not consistent in size. I did not expect it to work but tried to be sure, it doesn't.
Can anyone recommend a bulk source for me? If there is anyone in the Dallas area that can recommend a place to take it for blasting, I might be able to swing that but would really like to do it myself.
Thanks for any help.
Bob
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Don't use any media that contains appreciable amounts of free silica, which rules out sand. Black Beauty, which is a coal slag formulation, is aggressive and cheap, and contains less than 1% silica. It also contains some other nasty stuff in trace quantities, so I'm not suggesting it's innocuous. Use appropriate respiratory protection, such as supplied air.
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Try a sand and gravel company. Ask if they have black blasting sand. Or call a sandblasting company and ask them where to buy blasting sand. Buying it in bags at Home Depot is like buying it in little envelopes from a jeweler. Sand often comes in 100# sacks.
Hope you have a trailer-mounted compressor that can generate at least 75 CFM.
Grant
Bob wrote:

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Don't use Playsand. It doesn't work for anyone. Look in the Yellow Pages for Masonry suppliers. That's where I buy sand at. And ask for sandblasting sand, not masonry sand. Also, I see that McCoys Lumberyards carry sandblast sand now. A little higher than the masonry place, but it might be less trouble to find.
-- Gary Brady Austin, TX www.powdercoatoven.4t.com

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The cheap media are regional products typically derived from mining waste. Likely to have different names from every supplier. Around Seattle a 100 lb sack of 80 grit "copper slag" used to cost $2 from the local rental shop, now the last time I looked it was closer to $8. Still much better than $100!
If you spread out a cheap 20'x20' tarp and hang another tarp behind your work you will catch most of the grit. You need to screen it before reuse to get out particles too big for the tip. A window screen is actually about the right size. Ceramic suppliers like Seattle Pottery sell graded sifting screens. Can also buy a square foot piece from MSC or McMaster.
There's also a place here that sells crushed glass for blasting. It turns to dust quicker than rock but it's cheap, and environmentally cleaner than mining waste with arsenic, copper etc.
I find it hard to believe that every place around Dallas that rents commercial compressors and sandblasters doesn't have pallets of cheap media to go with it. Kind of hard to have a rental market without the media.
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<snip>
Wouldn't anything that's gone through the tip be OK to go through again? Or am I confused.
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The used medium will go through but paint chips and debris *can* be too large.
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Ah right, makes sense.
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I bought 500# of sandblasing sand for $30 at an 84 lumber.
Plan on trying it out later today.
Bob
On 22 Aug 2004 14:44:17 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@dogpatch.com (Bob Powell) wrote:

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I have purchased the silica sand from HD and liked the way that it worked, but not enough to keep paying that much for it. So I bought a few bags of the Playsand that they sell. I thought that I was getting a good deal on the 50 lb. bags because it musta weighed about 100. Guessed that they must have not wanted to deal with somebody bitching about not filling the bag up and suing them. Threw it in the shopping cart and went on my way. Happened to look over my shoulder and see the trail of water that the bags of sand were leaking. What did I expect, a pallet of sand, outside in the Seattle winter? At least they are good plastic bags. Moral of the story: Don't expect sand to be dry when you buy it, unless you are buying a graded, higher quality sand. For me, I spread it on the floor of the garage and rake it occasionally until it is dry enough, then put it in 5 gallon buckets. Obviously, this is a little bigger issue if you are using a lot of sand. Works fine for me.
Everyone tells me to

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Bob wrote:

Up here in OKIELAND-just north of the Red river, we have a product left over from the dust-bowl days called--Blow-sand--It piled up pretty deep in the fence rows--It's very fine, sharp as the devil, You wouldn't think it would cut very good , but it does--- and very much Silica--(wear a dust mask & Hood)---I jes go out w/ sacks, or pickup, and drive down some old unpaved section-lines-(roads laid out on 1-mile spacing, and shovel it up.I do screen it through rwgular window screening, to get out the roots, rabbit turds, etc.
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I use play sand but its gotta be dry...
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wrote:

Snip
Don't use silica sand! Before retirement, the outfit I worked for didn't even like to use the term "sand blast."
Around here, lumber yards sell Black Diamond abrasive grit. It's crushed copper smelter slag and does not contain appreciable amounts of silica.
There are folks who will argue and say that sand is just fine. Just remember, it is YOUR lungs, and not theirs that are at risk. If you suffer from silicosis of the lungs, they won't give a rat's damn; but, but you will.
Orrin
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Silica sand is just fine. As long as you treat it pretty much as toxic. Full masks, supplied air, change clothes while wearing supplied air, do any operation that might raise the dust (after it's settled) either masked, or with the sand damped down.
All-in-all, it's probably a lot simpler to not bother, and use something else.
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Absolutely. Why anyone would want to be exposed to clouds of silica dust as part of a hobby is beyond me. Inhaling some of the dust from "safe" abrasives is bad enough, IMO.
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Hi,
I use Garnet Sand. It has less than half the silicates, and it won't clog sandblast nozzles as much as regular sand because it's real heavy.
It's a little pricey, so you might want to consider "draping off" your project so you can collect the sand and re-use it - You can use garnet sand maybe three or four times before it turns to dust.
If you use a good quality respirator in a non-enclosed area, you shouldn't be too worried about silicosis, especially if you don't sand-blast that often.
K.C
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