How to Determine How Long it will Take to Sandblast a Surface
If your new to sandblasting or considering a project with a surface you haven’t blasted before and wondering how long it will take to be able to sandblast the surface, then you may wonder how to figure out how long your sandblasting work will take. This guide will cover three ways to determine how long it will take to sandblast a surface.
Option 1 for Determining How Long to Sandblast a Surface – Industry Estimate Charts
This method will be quick to complete but will typically not be as exact in estimation because it is based on a variety of factors that may or may not be exact to your particular project. For example, the blast media you use, the blast nozzle size, and more will all contribute to your sandblast production and these charts will provide estimates but will never be exact. However, it can serve as a great starting point and quick estimate. Industry estimate charts for sandblasting time will provide estimates of how many square feet you can typically expect to accomplish based on the underlying condition of the steel you are sandblasting and the desired SSPC / NACE profile you want to obtain. The chart below is an example of an industry estimate chart. You can find additional reference information in resources like the 2018 National Paint Cost Estimator.
Option 2 for Determining How Long to Sandblast a Surface – Test Blast the Area
Test blasting will provide the most accurate and thorough estimate of how long it will take you to blast a given surface. Test blasting an area will also help you decided on the best pressure settings to use on your sandblast pot and a general method of how you will achieve the blast profile you need. To perform a test blast of a surface you would typically mark out a 1 to 2 square feet area or more if you want and use your blast equipment to prepare the surface to the desired standard. Then you can use the time that it took to blast the surface and expand the time across the project, ensuring you add a bit of time for blast pot refills, moving of equipment, and similar tasks that will take away from time spent sandblasting.
Option 3 for Determining How Long to Sandblast a Surface – Keep a Reference Document
This option is both a practice to consider and a potential way to determine blasting time. Over time you will probably find you will be blasting similar type of work day in and day out. Keeping a log of how long a project took, the blast media you used, the blast nozzle size, and pressure settings can serve as a personal reference guide for your future projects. While many seasoned blasters have this knowledge off the top of their heads, a notebook can allow for greater accuracy in remembering how long tasks have historically taken.
Ultimately having a sound process to estimate how long it will take to blast a surface to a given profile is critical because it will allow you to ensure you bid projects properly. By considering keeping a notebook, performing a sample blast test, and/or using industry reference materials you can be better prepared to ensure you profitably bid on your sandblasting projects.