Bill Scott

Air Compressor for Blast Cabinet

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    I've finally bought a HF 40 blast cabinet and come to the realization that my existing compressor won't cut it (craftsman 15 gal, 3.5 cfm @90psi ) .  I'm not getting enough suction to pull the media from the bottom of the cabinet.  THe blast cabinet recommends 9.5 cfm @ 90 psi.  I see most 9.5 cfm compressors getting to the $1k + price.  I was really hoping to spend less than $500, but the best I can get from that price point is about 5-5.5cfm.  Will I get enough pressure/volume from a 5.3 cfm to do basic parts blasting?  

    Advise is always appreciated!

    thanks,

    Bill 

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    I ran into to that too. I bought an upright 60 or 80 Kobalt from Lowe's. Had to have 2 moisture traps, one right out of the compressor and a smaller one before the blast cabinet hook up. Also a drain valve on the bottom. Way more than I expected to spend at the time but happy with it by far now that it's all paid for. LOL

     

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    FWIW, I get 35CFM at 175psi from my compressor (twin 5HP pumps on a 120 gallon tank) and there are still times when certain media just won't flow well and it seems to take forever to get parts cleaned.  It seems the media tends to fill the hose and then the suction force can't lift it to the gun because there's no air flow for transport. 

    The best performance seems to come by using dry air (ideally through a refrigerated line drier), and low density media like medium or fine crushed glass.  Coal slag doesn't flow quite as well, but it's cheap and everyone sells it.  I've used a mineral (can't recall name) that is mined in Canada that is VERY dense and can be recycled dozens of times.  It's great, but again has a hard time getting to the gun.

    That said, if you really want to see some parts get cleaned quickly, use a pressure blaster or a water siphon blaster (no air required).  You can use Hold-tite 102 to run with the water to prevent flash rusting.  The problem with either is it's tough to recycle the media so you will most likely run through it.

     

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    I have a 50 gal ingersoll rand. Been a good compressor. I bought it used for about 50% of new cost. He was moving and needed to sell. Check craiglist anf FB marketplace. The more air the better!

    The air out of a high cfm compressor will be cooler and have less moisture in it because the compressor runs less and doesn't have to work as hard. I also have a large coil of copper line before the first water trap and regulator. This adds effective distance from the compressor, giving the air time to cool. The dryers will remove more water the cooler the air is.

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    Bill, your situation sounds just like mine 20 yrs ago and over the yrs I incrementally upped my equipment until I now have what you see in the pics.  I wish I had just bought this system 20 yrs ago, the compressor I picked up on craigslist for $500, the A/C condensor is from a mid 90's Honda new for $40. Just remember you can never have too many cfm's and the air must stay as cool and dry as possible, especially for sand blasting.

     

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    The condenser idea is really cool! You could put that in a tub and load it full of ice to really make the moisture come out

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    I also like the condenser idea . I still get a lot of moisture even with my compressor . 
    After years of inadequate compressors I finally put out the bucks . 2k if you want something to run a blaster and not be struggling . 5 year warranty parts and labor !

    That’s 80 gallon - 19cfm at 90 psi.

    And suction type blasters “suck” especially from HB.

    Watch some you tube videos on modifying them

    74E0A893-4000-46A4-BBAF-B5360941934E.jpeg

    Edited by madkaw

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    Time is money as they say.

    A friend completely sand blasted a Triumph TR6 he was restoring - frame, body panels, suspension, etc.  Used a Craftsman siphon blaster ($20 iirc) and a compressor similar to the one Bill is considering.  Laid out a very large tarp to catch the sand so he could recycle it.  It took forever, but he got it done.

    So, if you want your time back, you have to spend money and go with better and bigger equipment.  Deals can be as had.  I paid $650 for my compressor (one year old) with a line drier and supplied-air respirator pump, lines, and hoods.  Came from a bedliner company going out of business.  They were SO relieved someone wanted it!  I was happy to oblige. 😁

    The A/C condenser and furnace blower is a great idea for getting water out of the air.  A long time ago I ran 1" copper pipe all the way around my garage with one drop leg.  Drain valve at the bottom of the leg and the air take-off was 12" higher.  It worked pretty well, but as with all things, it becomes a matter of degree.  Anything is better than nothing, and more is better still.

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