Harbor Freight 101. Tips. ( FREE ADVICE)
  • Harbor Freight 101. Tips. ( FREE ADVICE)

    No purchase necessary FREE ADVICE.
    The famous or infamous HARBOR FREIGHT 20 40 110.
    The biggest issues with a small pot blaster are the following..
    1. Clogs. At the tip or at the manifold.
    2. Loss of air power. Dropping PSI.
    3. Inconsistent or erratic discharge inconsistent media ( Heavy) large coarse inconsistent air pressure lack of cfm pump cant keep up.
    4. Low power or ineffective performance. Inconsistent air pressure.
    5. Spuddering coughing. low CFM or to high pressure, to coarse media to small nozzle orifice.
    6. Excessive waste of media. Improper adjustment of media and or air pressure.
    7. No media discharge only air. Clog improper air adjusting and or faulty ball valve. 
    
    The biggest issue and the number one problem experienced by operators is clogs. Understanding that clogs are almost ALWAYS caused by Moisture and or Humidity wil give you a little hope. First things first...
    Where is the clog????
    This can help you right off the bat, a clog in the nozzle is caused by an obstruction. Large debris, a pebble or a compacted non uniform media, media stored for extended periods of time inside the pot can cause clogs. Clog at the blast hose or manifold???? YOU MUST DRAIN system, this is caused almost always by damp moist media. Consider your area, humidity will always be an issue extended periods of time will also produce condensation inside your lines, hoses, metal pipes and inside your pot.
    Hammer time???? No!
    We have all been there, tapping or shaking the pot is NOT what you want to do.
    1. Clean dry sifted media
    Always sift your media. Invest in a moisture removing system or upgraded water trap. Extended blast times create moisture issues, moisture in the tank equals clogs. Once moisture enters your pot YOU MUST DRAIN AND DRY YOUR MEDIA.
    
    ****NEVER RUN YOUR POT TO EMPTY or LOW.*****
    
    Running your pot to EMPTY or to LOW will increase pressure to your lower discharge components causing damage and excessive wear.
    A pot blaster operates at two pressures.
    1. High pressure at the throttle.
    2. Low pressure at the lower bottom manifold.
    If you run your pot to low or to ALMOST empty you then have two high pressure points.
    See this demo high and low demo.
    https://www.facebook.com/196433007499402/posts/1019959548480073/
    
    
    Sift your media.
    https://www.facebook.com/196433007499402/posts/997290454080316/
    
    CFM
    The most important part of blasting. Cfm will dictate the real performance of substrate removal. True horse power equals CFM. The pump and its horsepower rating is where its at.  Shopping for a compressor?Consider your budget. You pay for quality and performance. Look for the following. Higher end compressors deliver reliability and performance. Higher horsepower ratings deliver higher true CFM ratings. Spend a little more getting better results. Cfm = your nozzle size.  Recovery Time.
    Recovery time demo video.
    https://www.facebook.com/ameriblaster2017/videos/662048124644949/
    
    Rookie mistake?   
    Nozzle orifice size must match media size. A small nozzle orifice will clog if you use coarse media, this is true if moisture is present. The importance of proper nozzle to media matching is sometimes overlooked. A 3.75 inch ceramic nozzle in 1/8 is our smallest nozzle it is suited for extra fine to media. You can even get away with coarse media but its performance will be lower. its small orifice will work with CFM at around a true 12 cfm, there may be a  slight recovery time but this depends on the compressor one uses. Remember, a compressors CFM ratings are advertised at optimal conditions, wear, altitude, environmental conditions play a huge role. It's all in the pump, the air tank only holds air under pressure the pump is what matters.
    
    Be realistic.
    CFM is important cfm dictates nozzle size and nozzle size dictates speed of coating removal.
    
    Media selection.
    Media selection is based in several factors. Cost, availability, desired finish and coating removal. The MOHS scale is one of the most important tools to use for understanding how media works. This scale is used by media blasters to help them become knowledgeable in what works faster and is cost effective. When the MOHS scale is used with the correct shape of media then removing stubborn coatings becomes easier. Shape matters... rounded, Sub angular and angular media will give different results.
    Don't use Silica Sand. All Media should be considered DIRTY or contaminated wear safety gear designed and approved for media blasting.
    Media size made easy.
    1. Fine= 80 to 100 grit.
    2. Medium= 40 to 80 grit.
    3. Coarse = 20 to 40 grit
    
    Adjusting the mix.
    Getting the most of your small blaster? The rookie mistake is thinking that your blaster is an easy tool to use, it takes a little adjusting to make it work correctly.
    Never open both bottom or top air throttle all the way.
    
    1. Set up your pot blaster once assembled choose your nozzle size for YOUR existing compressor.
    2. Load your CLEAN MEDIA. Use media that is suited for your BLAST needs.
    3. Do not over fill a good amount to load your pot blaster is AT or a little over the Weld line. This is to get YOUR feet wet.
    4. Make sure you properly tighten the top filler cap.
    5. CLOSE OFF ALL ball valves back throttle, lower media ball valve and the air intake ball valve.
    6. Make sure you provide CONSTANT PSI. You can use an inline air regulator, or regulate at the compressor.
    7. A sensible start off PRESSURE should be 70psi, this can ease you into blasting and give you an idea of what setting you can use.
    8. Open up you air feed ball valve, Pressurize your pot. Allow it to get to 70 psi.
    9. Once pressurized go to the deadman or ball valve main blast control. Open the control by opening the blast control ball valve or depressing the deadman handle.
    No media should flow, keeping the control open pointing it towards a safe place, open the bottom media control ball valve a 1/4 turn, This is low pressure side, notice the stream exiting the nozzle tip as a visible slow stream, now reach to the back of the blaster and open the air throttle slowly until the low stream becomes a fast blast stream.
    The ideal mix uses more air then media its a learned skill but once learned its pretty impressive, if you notice the tip of the nozzle you will be able to see a blurred flame appearing stream of almost invisible media exiting the nozzle.
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