One of the tools integral to a multidimensional shop is a sandblasting rig.   All it takes is an air compressor and hoses, a blasting gun, and some abrasive to feed through the gun.

Since I have been doing some tool and metal restoration and finishing lately it was time for me to dust off my vintage sandblasting gun, itself an artifact of unknown age from my late Dad’s workshop.  It still works like a charm for my needs.  One aspect of sandblasting that often discourages new users is that the medium (the particulate abrasive used to scour the surface) tends to go everywhere and the entire space gets gritty in a big hurry.  The typical solution to the problem is an enclosed blasting cabinet, and almost every commercial metals shop has one.  But I am not a commercial shop and did not want to dedicate the space and money to get one for my occasional uses.

After giving the problem a bit of thought I came up with a solution that suits my needs perfectly, and that solution was to create a cradle inside a trash can to use as my blasting platform.  With a piece of 1/2″ x 1/2″ hardware cloth from my scrap inventory I cut and bent it to fit down inside one of my trash containers such that the object being blasted was about nine inches below the top lip.  Working that far down, and always blasting in  a downward direction, meant that the gritty abrasive went to the bottom of the container.  This not only prevents widespread deposits of the grit everywhere, it also allows for me to simply pour it back into the abrasive bag to reuse the next time I fired up the system.  There is a bit of fine dust coming out of the chamber but I deal with that by simply taking the plastic trash can out into the driveway and let the air current waft it away.

As for the abrasive medium itself I just buy it from Tractor Supply.  I get two grit sizes but mostly rely on the fine grit.  The coarse grit is reserved for anything really encrusted with rust or other accretions.

For restoring the hand planes as gifts my air abrasive system gets an old plane stripped of rust and old chipped paint and ready for restoring in about 90 seconds.