View Full Version : Blasted 5 Gallon Abrasive Blaster!
04-28-2006, 02:36 PM
:confused: I recently purchased a 5 gallon Abrasive blaster from Northern Tool. I am having quite a time trying to get Black Diamond (Steel Grit?) to flow. I am running the blaster at it's max 125 PSI. Even with adjusting the petcock at the bottom of the tank, the best I get is intermittent flow. I've even tried two different types of Black Diamond. Any ideas?
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04-28-2006, 02:53 PM
Without knowing precisely what grit you're using, I would recommend trying something very fine, like "white sand" as a basis for comparison (and is a fairly inexpensive product you can find at places like large lumber/harware supply houses for about $6 per 50 lb bag).
If you're media is too coarse for the nozzle orifice opening and setup you're using, no combination of air or media flow is going to yield acceptable results.
But, assuming you have a fine dry media to start w/, and a fresh 1/8" or so nozzle...consider several general rules.
Fill the hopper to 3/4 full or less, making sure everything is dry...both air supply and media. Overfilling near the brim, tends to reduce the effectiveness.
Open the air valve full throttle to allow maximum air INTO the tank.
Then, w/ your deadman (or equivalent valve) pulled wide open, slowly open the actual media control valve on the bottom of the hopper...just open a bit at a time, as it takes a moment to equalize. It doesn't need to be wide open, and in short time you find the ideal mix bewteen more air than media.
When media breaks down, it becomes more powdery, meaning less air space between particles, and thus greater likelihood to clump and foul up the flow.
Whether you opt for the more expensive Black Beauty (coal slag) which breaks down more slowly and has a "better" cutting edge, or use "white sand" which breaks down quicker in comparison (but is offset by it's cheap price)...be sure to protect your lungs either from the sand breaking up (silicosis) or just the junk in any paint surface for that matter.
I had the same unit and had nothing but problems with it.Send it back and buy a better blaster.I got mine from tp tools and it works great.Call them at 800-321-9260 and they will help you.they do not sell them any more because of some insurance problem but you can buy the same unit I did under a different company name and they are made in the USA.
I've sold a couple of these inexpensive 10 gallon Clarke blasters ($140) and they seem to be generating satisfactory results. Be sure you're using clean, DRY air with any blaster.
Clarke discribes this blaster as follows...
• Eight feet of hose with auto-closing valve.
• 6-25 CFM air consumption, 60-125 PSI working pressure.
• Replaceable ceramic tip in nozzle for prolonged service life.
• Heavy duty all steel construction.
If you want to purchase this blaster from me you'll need to call 1-888-485-5008 because they're not on the site.
04-29-2006, 11:17 AM
I am using a similar unit with #4 black beauty (20 gal). I only use about 55psi and only open the sand feed valve about half way. Sometimes if the pot is pressurized and the spout closed it will run differently for a couple minutes. Heavy on the sand and inconsistant discharge. After things clear out and equalize it does fine. Ron
05-05-2006, 09:10 AM
I used to have the same pressurized blaster in the 10 gallon variety (no name brand) and Ron is right, sometimes it takes some tweaking with the pressure and sand feed valves to get it to run smooth, but I could never get it to be consistant. I was using aluminum oxide and had similar troubles you are experiencing. After I finished blasting the big items that I needed to do, I sold it!
I have since purchased a hand held spot blaster that does a great job but like many others it is quite messy. It is intended for smaller jobs. The pic isn't the one I have but is similar. I was using silica sand in it with good success, but with all the silica sand dust hazzards, I'm still leary of using sand even with a respirator, face shield, and a good breeze at my back. :rolleyes:
Yesterday I received the Blast cabinet I ordered from Len and put it together last night and cant wait to try it out tonight! I have aluminum oxide, but the blaster cabinet manual says to use glass bead. The local supply store sells 80 grit glass bead in 50 lb drums.
I made a couple modifications to the cabinet last night; like a visor shield to keep the light out of my eyes and on the subject and a modified vaccum connector. I'm going to put it to the test tonight. :D
05-09-2006, 08:33 AM
I've found just about everything I can come up with in my shop that needed repainted or cleaned and I glass beaded it in the new blast cabinet. I wish I would have bought that cabinet sooner, it's awesome.
The only thing is, I have my shop vac hooked up to it to keep the dust down inside the cabinet, but I think the shop vac is sucking out my media prematurely. I haven't checked inside the vaccum canister yet, but I wish the vaccum had a lower speed setting. Any ideas? Do you think restricting the flow inlet would help?
Maybe slowing down the air flow or filtering it will stop the media from being vacuumed out. You could also try angling the intake so that it has less chance of pulling out the media.
05-09-2006, 11:55 AM
Maybe slowing down the air flow or filtering it....
Good idea! Maybe I can come up with something to hold a piece of old furnace filter in front of the vacuum hole.
05-20-2006, 10:23 AM
Len,, that's the same blaster that I have. The only 2 problems I've had with it so far were with the hose blowing out where it attaches at the bottom of the tank, and the weld breaking on the little nub that the front leg attaches to. For anyone considering buying one of these, I'd recommend purchasing a "brut" hose to replace the original one as soon as you have the extra money. The original hose lasted a couple years for me, but when that hose lets go, it makes one heck of a mess.
The weld on the front leg nub broke because I was shaking the blaster around trying to get that last bit of sand to come out when I was blasting. :rolleyes:
One last thing,,, if you find that the tank pressure starts dropping extremely fast when you're using the blaster, check the ceramic tip in the nozzle. It's probably worn out.
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