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Old 07-05-2013, 10:52 AM
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HF pressure sandblaster modification

I finally got around to modding my HF 90lb pressure sandblaster. I got tired of blasting for 2 minutes then spending 30 minutes unclogging everything! I wound up replacing the feed assembly and modding the nozzle too. A few $$ in hardware store parts and a Saturday afternoon later and this thing is right up there with some of the $400 blasters!

Here's the beast in question. I don't think HF even sells the 90lb unit anymore. Couldn't find it on their website.



First I removed the original feed assembly underneath the tank then hit the local Home Depot plumbing department for everything I needed and put it all together. Below is the list of parts.

A - 1/2" MIP x 3/8" MIP
B - 1/2" ball valve
C - 1/2" x close nipple
D - 1/2" MIP x 1/2" barbed fitting
E - 1/2" galvanized Tee
F - 1/2" galvanized 45*
G - 1/2" MIP x 3/8" MIP
H - 3/8" brass coupling

The red and black hoses are original equipment.



So, I basically upgraded from 3/8" to 1/2" but there's really more to it than that. Here's a pic of the old feed assembly next to the new one. In the 2nd pic, note the size of the hole the media flows through! That's the choke point where all the clogging tended to be! With the 1/2" plumbing fittings, the hole is 3 times that size! No more clogging!!





Be aware the 'made in china' POS has metric threads at the bottom of the tank but the MIP brass fittings are soft so wrap them with teflon tape and they'll screw nice and tightly into the steel metric boss.

Because the new feed assembly sits lower than the original, I had to extend the legs to raise the unit up about 3". I still need to throw some paint on 'em.





Holding the deadman handle down while blasting is a real PIA! Simple fix. Drive the rollpin out and remove the deadman handle. Back down to HD for a 3/8" x close nipple and a 3/8" ball valve. It makes it soooo much easier to handle now!



Here it is in all it's splendored glory!



One thing I've learned...........forget about using sand! Not only will it kill ya but it just doesn't do a very good job. I used to buy the $4 - 50lb bags at HD. Now I drive up the road and pick up 50 lb bags of Black Diamond blasting media at Tractor Supply Co. They cost twice as much but do 3 times a better job than sand! 1 bag of Black Diamond will do the same job as 3 bags of sand! So really, you're saving money and it works much faster! Win, win!

I've found it best to crack the media feed ball valve handle about 1/4 of the way open. Open the air handles all the way. I use an I/R 5hp compressor with a water trap 5' downstream. I also fabbed this setup to help keep the air dry. I screw this to the side of my toolshed when I'm blasting outside. Combine that with the water trap that comes with the blaster and I have clean dry air!



Today I blasted 4 wheels, a complete rearend housing and various suspension components. Took me about an hour and the blaster didn't clog once!! Mission accomplished!

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Old 07-05-2013, 03:25 PM
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What a spectacular how-to! VERY impressive, and very helpful! I am doing a little blasting at home now and am mulling over having some things blasted and there is no reason I can't do it at home, other than I don't have a good blaster. Your mods make buying one from HF worth it. I have a syphon blaster that has never worked well, I am going to pull it out and take a look and see if any of these mods make any sense on it. But the advice on the Black Diamond too, great straight forward no BS information, very good! I need to look for where I can get it around here. We had a Grangers right down the street but it closed darn it. But I do have one in a town near by and I think I can get it there.

Thanks so much for this great post!

Brian
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:59 PM
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Thanks for the acolades, Brian! When I figure out something that works I like to post it so others can copy it if they like. Not sure what part of the SF Bay Area you're in but here's a listing of TSC outlets within 100 miles. Nothing close to SF though. Graingers may have it. A word of caution though. Don't get the Black Diamond medium grit. It tends to clog at the nozzle. Get the fine or extra fine. All my local TSC had was extra fine which is about 80 grit. It flows well and works great!

Tractor Supply stores near SF Bay Area
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:02 PM
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OK, I just found that I can get some Black Diamond, but no where near my home! CRAP but I am right now 150 miles from home at my daughters house and there are a number of tractor supply stores between here and home and they have it. What grit are you using? They have 40-80 which is super fine and then I think it was 30-60 which was fine. They also had a medium, which one are you using? I am thinking of getting some med for what I am doing which is the floor and fire wall and stuff on my cab. The closest store to me right now only has the super fine. He said guys buy it for striping cars but I really can use something more aggressive for the floor and structure stuff.

What are you using?

Brian
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:03 PM
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I was typing my post on this damn little lap top at my daughters and took too long as you answered my question for me.

Brian
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:04 PM
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I ran down to the nearby town and bought a couple of bags of Black Diamond extra fine (40-80), can't wait to try it out tomorrow.

Thanks for the tips!

Brian
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:19 PM
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You're very welcome! Good luck with your blasting!
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evintho View Post
You're very welcome! Good luck with your blasting!
Brian, let us know how the black diamond does in your siphon feed.

Evontho, do you think the same mods would work on my HF 40 lb pressure blaster?
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:05 PM
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I don't see why not. You just need to make a bigger hole for the material to go through. Pull your feed assembly and look it over. From what I've seen it looks pretty much just like the 90 lb blaster assembly.
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:55 PM
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I'm telling you, first thing tomorrow morning I am going out there and digging out my sand blaster. I have been using a little hand held one that needs to be filled every few minutes. I would love to have something that works better. As far as the grit, I really think I would like something coarser but I will give it a try and see.

Brian
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evintho View Post
I don't see why not. You just need to make a bigger hole for the material to go through. Pull your feed assembly and look it over. From what I've seen it looks pretty much just like the 90 lb blaster assembly.
Will do and thank you for posting the information.

John
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:50 PM
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Heck yes this Black diamond works better than sand, BIG TIME! I am thrilled with it's performance. I really want to get the bigger one and give it a try, the bag was only $7.88, I think I pay more for sand at my local hardware store. I hope I can find a place near by to get it. I will keep looking, but if all else fails I'll get it where I did yesterday when I go to visit my kids in the Sacramento area.

I have heard it mentioned before but it never quite sounded as you put it and I am so damn glad I read this while I was at my daughters yesterday.

Brian
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:30 PM
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John,
You're welcome!

Brian,
The medium Black Diamond tends to plug up at the nozzle tip. It's too big to go through. I use the extra fine. The fine may work but the medium won't. If you get up to the north bay we have a TSC in north Santa Rosa. The next one is in Ukiah. Going south, I believe there's one in San Jose.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:30 PM
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The closest south I found was in Gilroy, thats quite a bit below San Jose. I am wondering if my blaster would be different though, it's a siphon feed and the hose is half inch or so the whole way to the nozzle. I can give it a try, like I said it's a pretty cheap experiment.

Brian
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:32 PM
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Good info on the blaster, can you elaborate a bit on the picture of the in line filter you have pictured. I use two oil-water seperators in my line and am looking for something a little better on removing the moisture when sand blasting or even running an air tool for extended lengths of time as they even start spewing water out their exhaust.
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