Make a Small DIY Sandblasting Cabinet

Perfect for the Air Eraser

If you have a mini sandblasting tool to etch glass, also known as an air eraser, you know the importance of protecting yourself from the aluminum oxide compound. Even though the use of the air eraser is done outside, I still don’t want to breathe in the compound or have to change my clothes every time I use it. This small DIY sandblasting cabinet is all over the internet (so I can’t take credit for the design) but I can tell you how to make your own! I searched everywhere for instructions and did not find them, so I created a tutorial…

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  • 66 quart plastic tub with lid
  • 1 sheet of 18″ x 24″ Non-Glare Plexiglas (<– affiliate link!)
  • 2 toilet flanges
  • 1 rubber grommet – the center diameter should be a little larger than the diameter of the hose on the air eraser
  • 12 – 1/2″ machine screws with nuts and washers
  • 16 – 3/4″ machine screws with nuts and washers
  • 1 set of rubber gloves (like the type for dishwashing)
  • Clear silicone

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Start by cutting out the center of the lid. Leave enough of a margin to install the shorter machine screws. My plastic tub had a nifty curved design in the top so when I cut the top out, I followed this line. I used a Dremel Trio (which promptly died when I was finished – ugh!) with a straight bit to cut out the center – a jigsaw or a handsaw can also be used. The plastic is really easy to cut through!

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Measure the opening and cut the Plexiglas larger than the opening by at least 3/4″ on each side. Use a straightedge and a knife to score the Plexiglas, then snap it along the line.

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Make marks along the border of the Plexiglas to drill holes for the screws.

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Clamp the Plexiglas to the lid (with the Plexiglas on the underside of the lid), then mark the position of the holes and drill through the lid. I inserted a screw into each hole as I drilled it to keep the Plexiglas lined up with the lid. Clear silicone would be a great idea to help secure the Plexiglass to the lid as well.

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Secure the Plexiglas to the lid using the 1/2″ machine screws, each with a washer and a nut.

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Mark the position to cut the hole for the flanges. I’ve seen some of the tubs with both holes on one longer side, and some like I did it – one hole on a shorter side, and one hole on a longer side (I think this adds a greater degree of movement inside the tub). Measure the center of the flanges – this will be the size to cut the holes. Clamp a scrap piece of lumber on the inside of the tub and cut out the holes with a hole saw. The scrap board will help make a cleaner hole during drilling. A jigsaw can also be used to cut the holes. Make the circle for the cut by tracing the outside of the pipe part of the flange.

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Apply the clear silicone to the flanges, then fit the cuffs of the gloves over the flanges.

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Insert the flanges in the holes drilled into the tub. Make sure the thumbs of the gloves face up, as if you are shaking hands. Mark the position of the smaller holes, then drill them out. Secure the flanges in place with the 3/4″ machine screws, washers, and nuts.

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On the opposite side of the tub, drill a hole toward the top for the air eraser hose. The hole will be a little larger than the hose. Install the rubber grommet in the hole.

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Thread the line for the air eraser through the hole with the rubber grommet, and connect the air eraser.

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The blasting cabinet is now ready for use! I love using it but the only problem I have with mine is that the gloves fit a little too snug and I have a hard time getting my hands out. It will have to suffice until these gloves wear out! Also, non-glare Plexiglas would’ve been really nice, ha ha!  Have any questions about the small DIY sandblasting cabinet? Contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!

Originally posted 2014-05-29 08:00:34.


  • […] used my air eraser and nifty blast cabinet to etch each of the glass […]

  • Stephanie Perkins says:

    My question is this..well first of all, you did a GREAT job, but I want to know, why cut the plastic to see, then cover it back up with pexi-glass? can’t you just leave the top as it is and just look thru the plastic top, because pexi-glass is really hard plastic, Thanks

    • Hi, Stephanie! Thank you for the kind words – I really appreciate it! The plastic boxes are not exactly clear – they are opaque and there is no way you’d be able to see your work through the top with the lid on. The Plexiglas becomes a sort of “window” on the box making it easier to see the work! Thanks for stopping by!

  • great job with this

  • JoseSan Le says:

    Very nice and simple but useful design. Thks a lot.

  • JC007 says:

    Cool project, I will definitely make one at some point
    I have just one question
    How long can you work before it becomes difficult to see what you are working with?

    • Hi, JC007! I clean the inside of the lid (the plexiglas) before I use it. I can work as long as I want without visibility being an issue. The only drawback I have with mine is that I should have used non-glare plexi… Hope this helps!

  • VStrong says:

    Is it possible to connect a shop vac to the cabinet ad well with a filter bag and reuse the aluminum oxide?

  • Lucien A. Moolenaar says:

    Thank you. Great presentation!

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