gt4

Sandblaster/air compressor

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Been thinking about getting a sandblaster for for some wheelhorse parts. What would you say would be the minimum size air compressor i could get away with,or would anyone want to show  there sandblaster/ air compressor set up

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From my experience with my 6HP - 12 cfm single stage, 60 gallon tank compressor.  That size is marginal for sand blasting.  It will do the job, but runs a lot more than I like.  I've used both portable units and my Scat 40 cabinet off my compressor.  For my occasion use, I'm happy with it.  Make sure you have a water/oil separator in the line.  Check out TP Tools, they have a lot of information on the subject.  They recommend a minimum 5HP set up.  Also they sell a "low CFM" kit for their guns that will let you get by with less, but with less productivity. 

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ID: 3   Posted (edited)

I have a Skat Blast cabinet and a Campbell Hausfield Two Stage 5 hp compressor.  I really like the cabinet.  Several years ago I had a smaller cabinet from Harbor Friegth it was terrible the taper on the bottom was too shallow and the sand wouldn't flow back down to the intake.  Cabinet cannot handle frame fenders or hoods.  Have a pressure tank i can use out side but it is not used much.

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Edited by pfrederi
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3 hours ago, Kurt-NEPA said:

6HP - 12 cfm single stage, 60 gallon tank compressor

That's what I have and it is marginal - two stage is best if you can afford it...  That being said, I have used mine for years with a stand alone 20 pound hopper and gun - got my money's worth out of it....:twocents-02cents:

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In thinking on sand blasting and size of compressor your thoughts should be on CFM (cubic feet per minute) not so much PSI (pounds per square inch) Most any of the compressors will give 100psi, but you have to get into the big boys to start getting some decent CFM and to get some decent air flow youre gonna have to go two stage. I would think that to get a good steady flow rate youre gonna have to get up around 15cfm and higher. Mind you, you can blast with one of the small compressors -- for a few minutes! then youll have to stop and let it catch up, can get frustrating!

 

I have a 5hp 2 stage putting out 16cfm at 90psi sitting on an 80 gal tank. and if Im steady holding the trigger it will run constantly but will maintain a good steady flow of 80-90psi air. I have HF's large cabinet and I find it to be a very nice set-up with a HF dust recovery vacuum attached and Ive added a foot pedal. (A vacuum system is an absolute necessity) For large pieces I go outside and use one of the cheapo suction guns picking up media out of a 5 gal bucket. For media I use "Black Diamond" from TSC at $8 for 50 lbs.

 

I dearly love my blasting setup and use it for all sorts of things other than horsey parts!

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A REAL 5hp is quite usable but this is a case where more is better.  Buy CFMs, not just horsepower. 

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Keep an eye open for old industrial air compressors that aren't totally worn out . I found a freebie 5hp 28cfm Speed Air years ago and still abuse it today with no issues other than having to change out the sight glass . It's basically a Champion 2 stage unit since they are nearly identical in design and will even use the Champion's rebuild kits easily . Champion is one of the best and highly sought - their company is right in my hometown in Princeton Illinois and now owned by Gardner-Denver/Ingersoll . Mom worked for them in accounting for nearly 30yrs so I'm pretty familiar with their products - all good stuff . It's not uncommon to see their 20-30 series pumps still running fine after 50yrs of use if they are taken care of with at least yearly oil changes - they are that tough . I run the Speed Air against some pretty large blast equipment and get it hot enough the oil vapor stinks , but it keeps pumping out the same cfm regardless and I change oil as often as it's needed . My blast cabinet runs 3/16" orifice , outside blast pot runs 3/16-1/4" size nozzles to do larger projects like decks and such , no problems other than using up a lot of sand/grit . I mostly stick with glass beads in the cabinet since I do a lot of tig welding projects and repairs here for others , especially old aluminum castings which are a pain in the butt at best .

 

Dry air and line size are king - the blasters run no less than 1/2" line and the system is plumbed with 3/4" pipe with plenty of drain legs to trap water . Just picked up another nice 3/4" filter/separator/regulator so I can turn the system down some - 150psi line pressure is starting to damage equipment and honestly anything over 90-100psi is a waste and hard on your pump . I also run a 60 gallon tank outside on the old welding trailer to help give the blast pot some extra volume when running the large tip for heavily painted or rusted metal jobs that require Black Beauty coal slag . Always wear a good quality 3M respirator regardless of what you are blasting - silicosis is not a fun thing to watch someone die from - we lost 4 of our members in my Local from it in the last 10yrs , that's no way to retire .

 

Air compressors are like welders - figure out what you need and double that size , you'll still come up short most times . I'd never buy a single stage or any pump unit less than 23cfm in size capability , ever .

 

Sarge

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Thanks for all the valuable info on this guy's. I'm glad i asked you all about this,as i think i may have cheaped out and minimal sized everthing. This gives me lots to think about and i'm sure i can make a proper decision now. Thanks again.     Paul

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I don't yet have the amps in my shop to run the compressor I'd like, but I do have several Wheel Horses & Sears with accessible side PTOs...  I wonder... 

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That would be neat if that worked Dennis. Try it out and take a video. 👍

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9 hours ago, gt4 said:

That would be neat if that worked Dennis. Try it out and take a video. 👍

Already been done by others but not me.   Yet.  I've read enough to have some ideas but was fishing from those who really know.  

Hey, think about a C -160  with a big compressor hanging off the front!  Some serious CFMs for sandblasting! 

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Get the biggest compressor you can afford  and your electric service can handle. I too had a 6 HP single stage and a TP cabinet. Compressor ran a lot. I used synthetic compressor oil in it which helped but finally I gave up on blasting as it took so darn long.  A lot of old timers use 4 cly. industrial engines for compressing air. 2 cylinders burn gas and 2 just pump air. The  guy I take my stuff to uses one to blast the big stuff outside. :)

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I'd love to just get my hands on a rotary screw type like we use at work for blasting , along with the commercial 1200lb sand pot systems with remote air triggers - talk about doing fast work on an industrial scale ...

With all the major parts spread out , bet I could do a whole tractor in 30mins or less depending upon grit used and finish desired . Nothing beats a rotary screw except their price tag ...

I just watched a 4cyl V-type industrial compressor sell for $500 here locally , I was tempted to take off the electric 10hp motor and go with a small 4cyl gas engine to run it outside but I'm out of room and have too much crap sitting around as it is here .

 

Sarge

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Not to get too much off topic on the sandblasting, but has anyone used a pressure washer for sandblasting like this below?  (I can remove this post if you think it belongs elsewhere)

 

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200660204_200660204

 

I know rust is would be a concern immediately but it should only be minor surface rust that you could easily wipe off. Thoughts?

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I have that water sandblaster but it remains unused.   Bare metal should be metal prepped anyway so the water shouldn't be an issue.  I've seen impressive videos and looking forward to trying it.  

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If I were younger - I'd be investing in one of their setups and starting a biz....


Sarge

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I have a Scat #960 Patriot cabinet from TP Tools and a Quincy 7.5 HP, 23.8 CFM @ 100 PSI with an 80 gallon tank that works great. I can put a mower deck in it for cleaning. It's 42" wide so you guys with a 48" deck would have to get a larger cabinet! This compressor replaces a 5 HP Crapman with a 30 gallon tank that I had to keep stopping blasting to let the compressor catch up and then wait some more to let it cool down. Now I can blast as long as I want with no worries about the compressor burning up. Not to mention how much quieter it is. You can talk to someone when the compressor is running but you had to yell when the old compressor ran!

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ID: 18   Posted

Here is my blast cabinet.  It's a HF unit with a lot of upgrades.  The cabinet, despite it's size, works very well with the upgrades to a foot pedal and new blasting gun.  I cut the inside grate so it fits lower into the bottom of the cabinet and done away with the siphon style, pickup media gun to a gravity fed from the bottom of the cabinet.  I have a media regulation outfit on the bottom media feed to control the volume of media.  The cabinet with work and $$ can be made to perform very, very well but I doubt I would have any less money tied up into a commercial grade cabinet.  My compressor is an old Garner Denver unit and I'm unsure of the horsepower, cfm or psi.  I basically put everything together.  I'm guessing the tank to be 60 gallon based on visual size.  When I blast my compressor runs constantly and I hope to upgrade my compressor soon.  As stated above PSI means little when blasting as compared to CFM.  Air volume is king.  air pressure can be regulated by squeezing it down. 

I'm no expert by any means, but my experience is the compressors that produce high CFM rates mean more when blasting than anything else.  Also running larger lines to the blast cabinet is a major plus as well.  Volume, volume, volume.IMG_0272.thumb.JPG.c4ace41d1e1fd3199bbade776c2b768c.JPGIMG_0273.thumb.JPG.0cd9bd1b9366f9d7384f4b687eb90b1b.JPG

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ID: 19   Posted (edited)

I built a blast cabinet that I could put a frame or hood into. The blast gun is a siphon type into an inverted 5 gal water dispenser jug that will hold a 40 lb bag of media. I run 2 compressors, one is a 30 gallon 5cfm @90 psi the other is a 20 gal @ 11 cfm at  90 psi. I have both of them tied into a 6 gallon tank at the cabinet. The compressors are set to come on at about one minute apart. Not the fastest setup but it works well for me and allows me to change the media quickly if I want.

Edited by JPWH

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ID: 20   Posted (edited)

The other thing that's a must is a dust collector system.  I purchased a cyclone unit that's mounted on a 5 gallon drop collection bucket that's all connected to a shop vac.  It maintains a clear site window free of dust. clouds.

The unit is left of my home made welding table down by the grinders  IMG_0282.thumb.JPG.f341197fcf163407b08a91f3b620a53a.JPG

Edited by Dhodge
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