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Old 09-28-2008, 11:34 AM
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Media Blasting: Can my compressor do the job?

I've always used a wirewheel to clean off paint and rust in the past, but I want to try out media blasting. I haven't looked into which media to try first because I don't even know if my compressor is up to the job.

The specs on the label read:
30 gallon
1.5hp
125-150psi
4cfm@90cfi
6cfm@40psi

I'm in no position to buy a bigger/better compressor and would appreciate the painful truth about this one. Will it handle all of the media types out there, a select few (if so, which ones), or none at all?

Dave

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Old 09-28-2008, 12:38 PM
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I'd like to know how it works if you try it. I almost bought a blast gun kit from Eastwood to do my engine compartment and frame, but decided to use elbow grease instead due to the mess it would have made. (2-car attached garage)

I suspect, since yours is about the same size as mine (Craftsman 25), it will work for a few minutes or so, then become ineffective and have to be given time to build pressure back up. I haven't tried to blast, but using an air grinder or spray painting lasts only 5 or 10 minutes before I have to stop and wait. I guess it depends on which blaster is used, though.

Good luck!
Steve

Last edited by blownS10blazer; 09-28-2008 at 12:44 PM. Reason: content
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:51 PM
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My first impulse is to simply say no way don't even try it BUT if you use a pressure type blaster and a small tip (3/32") AND do very small areas/parts at a time then yes you can do some media blasting, just not very much at once. Don't try to use it for a blast cabinet or with a suction type blaster as these simply require too much air volume. When looking at pressure blasters remember it is the size of the tip that determines how much air is required and a 3/32 is about the only thing you would be able to use with a compressor that small.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:08 PM
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I was planning to work on small areas/items at a time instead of going for large areas at once.
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:53 PM
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What kind of media are you planing on using? When trying to use a small compressor to blast with sand is about the most effective media but if you plan to use sand then BE CAREFUL! Remember that breathing silica dust from sand can be deadly so make sure you use a good respirator (a dust mask is NOT good enough, not even close!) and mind where the dust settles. Also if you sandblast flat panels on a car such as doors, hood, deck lid, roof, etc these can be destroyed by warping them beyond repair by the peening action of the sand striking the surface.
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:11 PM
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media blasting

before I bought my 60 gallon compressor I took a water heater tank and used it for mor volume and blasted helped alot and you can usually find them for free!!!
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:33 PM
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blasting

I boughta 100lb pressure blaster from northern. I use 1/8 tips. the tips wear fast and up to 1/4 quick. I have a 60 gallon 5 hp compersor. What you have to look for is the cfm my comp is 12.5 cfm I use play sand from home depot. Use a good filter mask and hood and you will be fine. The main thing is keep the sand dry. Use a good water filter and dry sand. Also filter teh sand as you pour it in the tank. I bought a plastic tub about 2x3 and a window screen. This is the slow part.with this tub and screen setup you can pour a 50 lb bag on it and shift it .This whole set up was about 2 $230 and works great. I just did the body on a 41 chevy 4 door. It takes about 6 hours mainly because you have to stop and screen the sand and reload. that takes about 30 min. It did a great job right down to the metal . no warping. It will make a mess so do it outside in a place where alot of sand is no problem.
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael cook
before I bought my 60 gallon compressor I took a water heater tank and used it for mor volume and blasted helped alot and you can usually find them for free!!!

NEVER, NEVER, EVER use a water heater for an air tank!!!

People HAVE BEEN KILLED doing that! A water tank is nowhere near safe enough for air pressure even when new and to use an old discarded one is just plain ludicrous! Compressed air is nothing to experiment with, do have any idea how much damage a vessel the size of a water tank could do with a hundred pounds or so of pressure in it? Besides adding an extra tank gains you nothing anyway, any extra run time you gain between cycles will be lost to the extra recharge time. A bigger tank DOES NOT gain running time for a tool (or a sandblaster), that is not it's purpose, and in fact you will actually lose running time because of the reduced efficiency of the air being overheated due to lack of cooling time. Sure it may SEEM like you gained something until the compressor kicks on and then anything you think you gained is lost to the extra recharge time. This has been covered many times, the tank only determines the rate at which the pump cycles on/off and a bigger tank will not nor can not add to a tool's running time. Adding an extra tank for more volume than the pump/motor is set-up for is a losing proposition, the tank can not put out more air than the pump puts in!
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael cook
before I bought my 60 gallon compressor I took a water heater tank and used it for mor volume and blasted helped alot and you can usually find them for free!!!

Please tell me you are talking about more Media volume?
P P P P P P Please please please!

Any water products are not rated for more than 100PSI.

If you are not ,I would stop playing the lotto.



Rob
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:59 PM
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I just did some blasting with basically that set up. I used both a little $30 Cambell Hausfield suction blaster I bought at Amazon and a small pressure blaster from Harbor Freight.

If you want to do very small areas using a 3/32 tip, you should be fine. Starting with a full compressor, you'll probably get somewhere around 2 minutes of blasting before you have to stop and let your tank refill.

A few things to consider:

1: You're going to be riding that compressor way harder than was intended if you try to blast much. Mine now resides in the dump for this reason.

2: A 3/32 tip wears down to 1/8 pretty fast. And at an 1/8 you're going to struggle to maintain pressure.

3: You need dry air, which is pretty hard to come by when you're running your compressor that hard.

Good luck!
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:12 PM
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media blasting

no not for air !!!! I used the tank to hold more sand just saved me from so much refill time messing with sand it was still slow but you had less sand to mess with as often .I just cut the top off and used the parts off my small blaster to make a bigger one!!! repeat not to hold air come on I'm not that stupid !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael cook
no not for air !!!! I used the tank to hold more sand just saved me from so much refill time messing with sand it was still slow but you had less sand to mess with as often .I just cut the top off and used the parts off my small blaster to make a bigger one!!! repeat not to hold air come on I'm not that stupid !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I assume then you are talking about a suction blaster because making a pressure blaster out of a water tank would be worse than using it for an extra compressor tank, it would still be pressurized to the same level. That little compressor he was talking about would not be at all suitable for any kind of suction blasting except maybe for VERY small parts. Even with a pressure blaster he would be limited to the 3/32" tip which requires about 7 CFM, which BTW should be about right even for any the common 3 to 4 HP 60 gal compressors in the 10 to 12 CFM range since they will become 1/8" real fast!


Loctite, 5 HP 60 gal starting with a 1/8" tip?

1/8" requires 15 CFM so you will start out exceeding your compressor's 12.5 CFM rating and at 3/16" you would need 40 CFM! Now by the time that thing gets to that 1/4" you mention you will be using air at the rate of 80 CFM! You would be far better off with a 3/32" tip, your compressor will thank you for it.
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:23 PM
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blasting

well here is the truth about blasting.i tried some of the small things and the small compressors have a hard time keeping up.i started my own soda blasting business and of course i have all the bigger stuff but the small units do take awhile, there are some units that will work with the very small tips.i run a 1" tip on mine but i also have a 185 jd diesel pushing it. you can use your compressor but find the smallest tip you can 1/8 or so.i use the same size for my sand soda and crushed glass.but i have a larger industrial unit.it will take awhile but you can do it.
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 54deadsled
find the smallest tip you can 1/8 or so.


Even a 1/8" is too big for a compressor of the size being discussed here so a 3/32" with fine media is about his only real choice, the 1/8" might work but it requires more than twice his compressor's CFM capability.
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