Well i got my little desktop blasting cabinet setup and working to my short term satisfaction.
What mine had was a filter on inside. kept on getting clogged. took it out and just hooked up small shop vac. works like a charm.
Using the glass beads, on mine there is a nifty pick up connector that mounts in the hole in the base. Keeps suction hose vertical and sucks from little holes 360 degrees around base.
No issues with drawing media up.
i dumped half a bag or more in the bottom and another thing i did was to remove that pesky pressed steel grid. Its more of a nuisance than benefit.
Cant wait to get the tractor done and experiment with masking and sandblasting some wood.
see images of two small parts attached. before and after pic. these are hood hinges.
have already primed them.
To give some idea of time it took 10 minutes to do both of these. The time on the pics was my measurement.