I have the 110lb harbor freight air tank hooked up to my 5 hp 60 gallon air compressor. The compressor is set for 120lb. The red HF tank does not go above 75lbs. Still, only wisps of air comes out of the HF hose. I disconnected most fittings and blew air thru them. All is clear. Still, no air comes out.
I had play sand in first. Removed all I could then put in glass. Could that be the reason? I thought the sand clogged it, but not so sure now.
I am ready to thro away the $120 HB tank and buy what? The 40lb tank?
All I want to do is clean the rust off the frame or any outside the blasting cabinet work.
Any suggestions??? Thank you in advance for your help.
Sincerely, Frustrated Model T restorer.
I had the same problem.
Threw it in the junk and won't buy any more Chinese Communist junk.
They make it look like what you want but just try to use it!
You should be using dry Silica sand in an outside blaster. I use 70 grit. Is yours a pressure tank or just a gravity feed?
I refuse to buy anything from Harbor Freight so I'm not familiar with their products, but it sounds to me like either the bottom feed tube is plugged or it is hooked up wrong.
I understand Bob, but when we choose strategically, I believe most items from HB are worthy. I just bought an air tool to shoot nails in a hard wood floor I am putting down. $99 VS about $170 at big box stores. Works great.
Anyway, thanks for your response. I hope I helped you too by giving you the opportunity to vent! lol, lol, lol
You're missing something Bob. That is some things clogged that possibly can't be taken apart. the hose or the trigger valve come to mind. Blow backwards through the components until you find the blockage.
When I blew backwards, the air flow was good. But you are right, Charlie I am missing something. Maybe it is the sand that is clogging an inner component? I am considering buying another one and only putting Silica in it as Stand suggested.
It is a pressure tank, Stand. But the pressure gauge on the tank reads 75lb. The pressure gauge on the air compressor and hose line read 160 lbs.
My best guess is you don't have 160 lbs at the compressor. You probably have far less than that. If you put a different gauge on it I'll bet you are only running closer to 75 - 100 lbs. Most compressors are set to run from about 70 low to 90 high.
I am new to air compressors so you might very well be correct.
There is some blockage in the fittings on the bottom of the tank. I have a blaster like the one you have. (Guessing its a pressure tank)
I found I have to strain the sand and when that's done all works well. Humidity is also a factor which can cause problems.
It also could be a regulator problem or just simply hooked up wrong.
Did you try using it without any sand or media and see if it blows air?
You might try hooking the regulator directly to the air line from the compressor to see if it 'regulates' correctly.
Murphy,s law, If you point it at your eye it will work great!
My sandblaster won't let me use play sand that can be purchased a Lowe's. I have a lot of sugar sand out in the backyard I use. When living in Indiana, they sold silica sand. Can't find the right size here
The nozzle on the end of the hose might have to be changed to match your abrasive media
If I had to bet based on guessing, my money would be on a sand clog. Sometimes, in high humidity, that comes from condensation. More often, it's just a little pebble. Even if the bag of sand is labeled "FINE", that doesn't guarantee that all of it is. I've found that it takes less time to screen the sand before I use it than to have a chunk get stuck and have to stop and unclog.
My guess is the wet 'fine' play sand I put in it on its very first use clogged something. Just can't figure out where.
I'll either disconnect everything, empty container and start over OR I will buy another and start from scratch.
I will also check the gauge separatly.
What should I put in it once it is all empty and cleaned up? Aluminum oxide? Remember the goal is to clean metal, such as the frame or large parts.
The instructions on the blaster I bought warn not to use playsand, as it will cause clogs.
Use media graded for blasting. Play Sand ain't one of them unless you screen it first. The play sand down here can range from grains to gravel in the same bag. And never use wet or damp media. You should have a filter/drier in front of the blasting tank. Wet sand won't go anywhere.
Aha! If you put wet sand in it, that's your answer. Unfortunately, it will stay wet in there forever. You have to get it out. I'd turn the tank upside down on a large tarp and run water in from the bottom end to wash out all the sand. Then open all valves and leave the funnel end (top) of the tank open to air out. You can use a shop vac to blow air through it to help dry it out. Spread all the sand out on the tarp in the sun until it's thoroughly dry. Then run it through a screen before you use it. Some people don't reuse their sand because they think it's cheaper than their time. At $5.25 a bag plus tax, I'm willing to spend ten minutes screening it into a five gallon pail.
Most successful sand blasters use moisture traps to dry the air. The weight of the sand clogs it to a solid inside of the hose. Use an air nozzle to blow back into the tip while you pull both triggers or step on the floor switch and trigger the air into the nozzle to clear the hose. Even with a dryer I have to clear the hose every five minute when blowing steel shot or glass beads. I never use sand. As Robert Poane says, it could be moisture. Warm summer air contains a lot of moisture and when you compress it you get a lot of moisture.
Bob, take a look at this.
One thing has changed since the video was made. I did away with the clothespins and stapled a short chunk of wood to the back of the hood. The weight of it keeps the hood on.
Note that I'm screening both used and new sand to prevent clogs. You can hear the wind blowing away the dust as I do the screening. If there was no wind, I'd use the hood to avoid breathing the dust.
This redneck setup works OK for me.
Steve Jelf, I saw your video once if not twice befor. It gave the info to put tarp down this time to reuse the media.
All, your has has been great. You are all correct on some level.
I believe the problem is all of the above and a bad nozzle. I took it all apart. Emptied the tank, reassemble, and poor air flow. Took the nozzle off and it works. Off to home depot now (closer than harbor) and buy a nozzle.
Assuming you assembled it correctly, are the Throttle Valve and the Abrasive Valve open? If no air is coming through it sounds like the Throttle Valve is closed.
Glass beads and Aluminum oxide are meant to be used in enclosed "Bead Blast" or "Media Blast" cabinets where the media is constantly recycled. Silica sand is about the only choice for outdoor / open air sandblasting. Here, the air is very dry most of the time. However, if you run a small compressor without a dryer on the line coming out of the tank you will condense a lot of water in the air hose. The air coming out of the tank is hot and will hold moisture. If you have a 25 foot air hose going from the compressor to the sand blast tank the air will cool as it goes through the hose and will have droplets of water in it. That moisture will plug the tank. I have a setup on my tank to blow it back occasionally but even so I get occasional plugs and have to clean it out. I have a TIP setup similar to the one shown, they have an additional air line going in to the tank to put pressure on the media. I also have a bigger pressure setup but can't think of the brand name.
Use some kind of supplied air for breathing. This is dangerous stuff.
If you can't afford a regular supplied air system but a new cheap little vacuum cleaner. Run a big long hose from the outlet up under your hood. It will keep you cool and give you clean air to breathe.
Sandblasters Are at Special Risk
Often abrasive blasting with sands containing crystalline silica can cause serious or fatal respiratory disease.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health studied 99 cases of silicosis from exposure to crystalline silica during sandblasting during the late 1990's. Of the 99 workers reported, 14 have died from the disease, and at the time of the study the remaining 85 were at risk of death from silicosis and its complications.
Description and Uses of Abrasive Blasting
Abrasive blasting involves forcefully projecting a stream of abrasive particles onto a surface, usually with compressed air or steam. Because silica sand is commonly used in this process, workers who perform abrasive blasting are often known as sandblasters. Tasks performed by sandblasters include the following:
Cleaning sand and irregularities from foundry castings
Cleaning and removing paint from ship hulls, stone buildings, metal bridges, and other metal surfaces finishing tombstones, etching or frosting glass, and performing certain artistic endeavors
When workers inhale the crystalline silica used in abrasive blasting, the lung tissue reacts by developing fibrotic nodules and scarring around the trapped silica particles. This fibrotic condition of the lung is called silicosis. If the nodules grow too large, breathing becomes difficult and death may result. Silicosis victims are also at high risk of developing active tuberculosis. More on the disease >>
The Silica sand used in abrasive blasting typically fractures into fine particles and becomes airborne. Inhalation of such silica appears to produce a more severe lung reaction than silica that is not freshly fractured. This factor may contribute to the development of acute and accelerated forms of silicosis among sandblasters.
I guess I've been lucky, I've had good luck with Harbor Freight stuff, I bought a parts washer, a hydraulic press, and a blasting cabinet from them about 15 years ago, all still going strong.
Moisture and blasting don't mix, I use aluminum oxide in my blasting cabinet, it would clog occasionally until I put a good water trap in the air hose.
Got a nozzle like Steve J has and it seems to work geat with pushing only air.
Can I be fined for using aluminum oxide outside on my driveway should a neighbor call the police?
I plan on doing it under a home made tarp tent to contain it while wearing respirator, but it is still outside.
I just read your response Stan after I wrote mine just above. That was very helpful. I just bought aluminum oxide for outdoors. Now I know not to do that. Gratefully, Bob
I always use a spray paint respirator.
I have two in line air dryers.
I use 70 grit silica sand outside.
I run 110 psi. With all the valves open on the blaster.
I have to replace the tips and the clear plastic in the hood periodically.
I am not a great fan of Harbor Freight either but sometimes you have to stoop to lower levels to get the job done.
I have used it a lot and had no problems.
A sandblaster is a tank with pipes and a few valves, and a hose with a nozzle on it. We're not talking high tech precision equipment here. I haven't seen the Harbor Freight unit, but I expect it's perfectly adequate if operated properly.
I have a HB sand blaster and it worked great for me.
S/B Harbor Freight H/F not H/B
Our ACE Hardware in Gloucester va. carries 50lb bags of blasting sand. $9.00 a bag. Regular,Fine,and Extra Fine. I blast at 40psi.
I also use sand out of a creek,let it dry and sift it.
Play sand works,you have to sift it first.
One of the BEST small shop blasters I have EVER USED is the one from the Tractor's Supply. You all should have one around near all of you guys. Get the gun with the pink nozzels. It is a gravity feed unit. It is actually the old SEARS tank made in the 70's and 80's. The only problem with the old sears unit was the gun. It was black with metal tips that had a fine thd. When changing those tips they would cross thd and the unit was useless. The China gun (shown on E Bay with a plastic small tank, $38.00) works great! I use mine ( the tank from the Tractor's Supply $99.00 with that same gun) here for a fast job rather than suiting up in my Clemco headgear or the Bullard 600 unit, suit, and breathing air line attached to my belt from the Binks air oiless unit. That is a lot of work before blasting! It's like putting on the Space suit to go out of the Space Station if you get my point. You guys are onto the correct methodes though!
1. NEVER use any sand from a plastic bag without spreading it out and drying it first. Concrete driveway works best.
2. Sive ALL sand prior to blasting. Use 5 gallon old paint or drywall buckets to keep it in. Store in a DRY area not capped tightly.
3. Keep a large fan pointing away from you to blow the dust particles away from you. It can kill you.
4. At LEAST use a dental dust mask inside your hood. That is ONE item I do buy from HF. Use the brown and white hood with the frontal plastic hood with the SS screen to block scratches. Cut your own thin plastic replacement lenses over the hard plastic lense inside. ($39.00 for the hood)
5. You will need a water separator on your air line!!! Also you will need at LEAST 35' of pipe or hose. Run it up hill the last 20' before connecting you flex hose to it for your pot. Install a downpipe and Use a ball-cock to bleed off the water ever 20-30 minutes or so. It helps to have a water drain on your compressor's pressure tank lower drain. NOT HF's junk here. They make one that plugs into 110 v AC and drains every 5 minutes or so. Trust me you NEED this on your compressor when blasting or painting.
I know some of you probably think I'm silly here but I can assure you I am NOT. This method here took me years to learn and perfect.
At my Restoration Shop I have an indoor facility to blast in (also an outside fenced in ares open to the elements). I am fortunate to have progressed thru time to an Ingersol screw compressor and professional equipment. But I just like many of you started out even making a lot of my equipment. Including copying a blast gun and making a pot out of a plastic bucket. But that gets old if you are doing any amount of work. Good luck and I enjoy reading (listening to you all help each other out.
You can ALWAYS PM me too if needed. I am not the smartest guy on the block otherwise I would NOT be doing this stuff!!!!!
Hope any of this helps. And I am sure after I post it I will see something I missed. That Always happens in my life. I need the chalk board that I used in class for many years to help straighten everything out. LOL
Sheet metal use 40 PSI at the gun @ 30 degree angle!
DO NOT point it straight at the metal. Soda and crushed glass with water mist is ok but NOT dry blasting! You'll warp the metal by the shot peening effect! You will NOT like trying to straighten out the surface with a filler!!!
Blasting frames axles, and heavy metal use 60-70Pounds if it is necessary only!
I use a DeVilbiss Respirator inside an ancient sand blasting hood when I sandblast with my $20 siphon sand blaster. I think Steve Jelf used exhaust from a shop vac to pressurize a sand blasting hood with fresh air which might be a better approach. What you don't want to is to use nothing and contract silicosis. It's debilitating and permanent.