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Old 05-29-2010, 03:13 PM   #1
evintho
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Cool Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Yeah.....I know. If I had an extra $450 I'd love to have the Texas Blaster! But that ain't happenin'. So.......90 lb. HarborFreight made in China turd. Clean, filtered, dry air coming from an IR 5hp 18cfm unit. Water trap 5' downstream followed by a second WT 25' ds followed by a MotorGuard 'toiletpaper' filter followed by another WT at the blaster. Playsand is dry and strained.

Problem is the blast hose clogs up after 30 seconds of blasting. I've got 90 psi at the end of my airhose run. When I connect the hose end to the blaster, the gauge on the blaster reads 80 psi. As soon as I depress the deadman nozzle I can watch the gauge drop to 40 psi! That's probably the issue! Blaster has 3/8" ball valves, hose and fittings.

I've got a frame, body, suspension and a ton of parts that need to be blasted! This cheap blaster's holding up the whole show!
Any ideas? Any and all help is much appreciated!
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Quote:
Problem is the blast hose clogs up after 30 seconds of blasting. I've got 90 psi at the end of my airhose run. When I connect the hose end to the blaster, the gauge on the blaster reads 80 psi. As soon as I depress the deadman nozzle I can watch the gauge drop to 40 psi! That's probably the issue!
I never had the blast hose plug up. It is common to plug the nozzle, but it will shut off completely.

That pressure drop to 40, how much time to drop that low? If fairly quick, I would guess restricted air supply to the blaster.
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:23 PM   #3
JAKE'S-Pumpkinella54
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

x2 or faulty control (dial)
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:25 PM   #4
Andy
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Do you screen you sand? You need to make a wire screen holder that will go over a large trash can. Always pour the sand thru the screen before using and always after too. The sand does not come sepereated enough to use in the small sandblasters
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

rethinking; Most pressure blasters have air pressure "on top of the sand" as well as an adjustable air vavle at the mixer. If you do have that adjuster valve, and if it is shutting off too much air to the mixer, then pure sand will try to come out the sand hose....with very! little air.

To set it up on a fairly dry day, I leave the air valve to the mixer full ON, and sand shut off. Then open the nozzle while strating to open the sand valve. On my brand, I don't need to mess with the air valve going to the mixer UNLESS it's humid, and then it is needed to keep the sand flowing into the mixer.


On what Andy said about screening (as a cause)...If my blaster gets a small piece of unscreened object mixed in the 80 grit pre-screened sand I use, that object will plug the nozzle completely, and real quick...not the hose.


on more question, what size nozzle hole?

EDIT: is this an open hopper siphon unit? or a pressure tank blaster???
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

If your tank has a valve to turn off the sand, try shutting the sand flow down some. I run mine about half open, if I open it all the way it plugs like yours. Mine isnt a HF, but it's along the same lines.
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

I should have answered faster, or slower...but F&J answered better. heh heh
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

does this unit have a metering valve on the bottom of the tank, for controlling volume of sand? also does it allow for controlling the air/sand mixture, with a valve that bypasses the tank pressure and gives full air to the deadman? if the answer to these questions is yes, then shut the sand off and open the airflow valve completely, then open deadman. if pressure stays in operating range slowly start to allow sand in to the mix. if the answer is no to these questions post a pic of unit. i use this rig with a 500 lb. schmidt sand pot. good luck.
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

dang i type slow. good job guys.
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

I also have a HF blaster,,,I personally run much higher air pressure into it..more like 150-200. The valve on the bottom of resivor controlls the amount of sand coming down..do not run it wide open..DRY sand is a MUST..
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:32 PM   #11
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Cool Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Wow, quick responses! I'll try to answer all questions.

Psi at the blaster drops to 40 in about 10 seconds!
Yes, I screen the sand.
It seems like there is too much sand and not enough air coming through the hose.
I've got the 3/32" nozzle which is opened to about twice that size now!

I open the blue air handle all the way. The red handle, adjacent to the blue is fully open also. I keep the red handle, on the bottom of the unit closed until I have full airflow then crack it just enough to start introducing sand to the stream. 30 seconds later the sand stops but the air keeps flowing.......at 40 psi!





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Old 05-29-2010, 04:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

ARE ALL THOSE FILTERS AND DRYERS CUTTING DOWN THE FLOW??
ops
maybee need a reserve tank after them

used my HF BLASTER THE OTHER DAY AND IT WORKED PERFECT

what grit you using?? sometimes a worn out tip is better than a new one, more flow and less pressure to build heat and warp

sorry on the screams was acciedntal

I run the bottom valve on 1/2 way always
is your sand damp? dump out the sand in tank and check it if is funky
boy those HF units get cheeper looking every year had 2 now one long ago, atleast you can sell them easily
I got a big TIP unit too but like the HF for quick and dirty little jobs
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Last edited by eugene vik; 05-29-2010 at 04:38 PM. Reason: mo info
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

I dont have the deadman valve but have got paper etc in hose and have had to remove the nozzel and blow the crap out , make sure all lines are clear of cardboard from sand and all lines are clear
whats your humidity, if you need dryers??
we are low humidity at present and just used line air

I have a total of 140 gals in tanks on a 5 hp AND WILL GET THE PUMP HOT AFTER BLASTING FOR SEVERAL MINUTES , you may need more capacity on the tank
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Last edited by eugene vik; 05-29-2010 at 05:38 PM. Reason: mo info
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Just a thought, but when I have that trouble with my HF blaster that has done five cars, it is the sand. It's either wet or not filtered to a small enough size. Go buy a bag of blasting sand, crack the bottom valve about 1/2 or a little less open, put 110 PSI on it and blast the heck out of whatever you want to.

Bob
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

it helps a bunch to use 1/2 inch airline with big fittings.. most japan crap hoses that are labeled 3/8 inch are 1/4inch in reality.. I paint for a living and trust me flow matters..
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:01 PM   #16
Andy
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

I would try closing down the red handle a bit. You are bypassing most of the air. If I understand it right, the sand clogs at the bottom of the hopper and the delivery line stays passing air? That right? Come down on the red handle.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Woooow Nelly...did you say you had a compressor putting out 18 CFM??????
Unfortunately, there are so many different ones, say 5 HP, that put out anywhere from 90 or more CFm to much, much less. What size holding tank do you have? What's the true CFM of air, say at 90 PSI? Some comps list CFM at low PSI's so they look more powerful than they are.
If your pressure drop is that fast, I'd say you didn't have enough reserve air volume, and your compressor doesn't have enough power to keep up with the volume requirements! I have a cheapo blaster, and replaced the valves to better ones, and it works fine. You have to use clean, dry filtered sand for it to work, as well as dry filtered air...and enough pressure AND volume to flow the air.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:58 PM   #18
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Pressure dropping that fast means inadequate air flow. I'd remove ALL of the filter/traps and see what happens. I bet it will do just fine. Then add filters, one at a time to see which one is the culprit.

Just curious, what is the Motor Guard filter? Is it one of the oil filters that used toilet paper? Why do you need filtered air for a sand blaster? My money says that thing is the problem. Filter the air on the intake side, that way it protects your compressor. I have an automotive filter on my compressor intake.

Bill
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:02 PM   #19
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

I ve had no luck with playsand .Always clogs up for me .Try the real stuff.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:12 PM   #20
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Any moisture at all in playsand will cause it to "pack" and not flow. Its really not meant for blasting, and especially with a small hobbiest type blaster. As mentioned, try the real stuff.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:22 PM   #21
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

mine 15 + years old, use the good stuff, it cheap, about 12 dollars/100 lbs - one tp filter, screen it, reuse it 3-4 times
ps medium or fine my will not shot the heavy
it will make a mess
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:24 PM   #22
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Cool Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chopolds View Post
Woooow Nelly...did you say you had a compressor putting out 18 CFM??????
Unfortunately, there are so many different ones, say 5 HP, that put out anywhere from 90 or more CFm to much, much less. What size holding tank do you have? What's the true CFM of air, say at 90 PSI? Some comps list CFM at low PSI's so they look more powerful than they are.
If your pressure drop is that fast, I'd say you didn't have enough reserve air volume, and your compressor doesn't have enough power to keep up with the volume requirements! I have a cheapo blaster, and replaced the valves to better ones, and it works fine. You have to use clean, dry filtered sand for it to work, as well as dry filtered air...and enough pressure AND volume to flow the air.

It's not my source air. Ingersol/Rand 5 hp single stage, 80gal tank delivering 18.5 cfm @ 90 psi. I plugged in a pressure gauge to the female coupling on the end of my air hose. There's a constant 90 psi. As soon as I couple the air hose to the blaster, the gauge on the blaster reads 80 psi. As soon as I open the deadman, that gauge drops to 40 in 10 seconds. I bought the playsand from Lowes specifically because they store it inside. I sift all my sand. I truly don't believe it's damp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by B Blue View Post
Pressure dropping that fast means inadequate air flow. I'd remove ALL of the filter/traps and see what happens. I bet it will do just fine. Then add filters, one at a time to see which one is the culprit.

Just curious, what is the Motor Guard filter? Is it one of the oil filters that used toilet paper? Why do you need filtered air for a sand blaster? My money says that thing is the problem. Filter the air on the intake side, that way it protects your compressor. I have an automotive filter on my compressor intake.

Bill
Constant 90 at the end of the airhose run, after 2 traps and filter. I use the MotorGuard filter to capture any last vestiges of moisture before the blaster.
Here's my 'point of use' filter arrangement. Got a water trap 5' off the compressor then 25'-30' of airhose then this (that I secure to the fence), then 4' of airhose then it connects to the blaster.



The problem is I drop 50 pounds of pressure once the air enters the blaster. I think maybe I'll upgrade to some 1/2" hose and fittings as suggested. I've already drilled out the manifold on the bottom of the unit 3 or 4 drill sizes, to no avail.

Also, where would I get real blasting sand? What grit? What brand, etc.?
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:35 PM   #23
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Any paint store, Tractor supply, most auto stores. I think it's less than 40 mesh but just get blasting sand.

Opening up the fittings and other changes are beyond your compressor's ability to handle. As I said, get some good blasting sand, crack the bottom valve a little less than 1/2 way and blast.That thing ain't rocket science.

Bob
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:38 PM   #24
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Quote:
Constant 90 at the end of the airhose run, after 2 traps and filter. I use the MotorGuard filter to capture any last vestiges of moisture before the blaster.
Here's my 'point of use' filter arrangement. Got a water trap 5' off the compressor then 25'-30' of airhose then this (that I secure to the fence), then 4' of airhose then it connects to the blaster.
I don't know if I am reading it correctly. I am sure the guys who suspect air "flow" restrictions want you to test the actual CFM flow at the end of the lines.

Easiest way is having the sand valve shut off so just air is coming out the nozzle. Then run it open with no sand and see if the blast tank gauge drops to 40 again.

Other way to test without using the blaster is to put a gauge on a T right after the last filter, then use an open nipple from the quick coupler on the end of your 4 foot hose....then see if the last gauge drops real quick with an open air fitting.

I get sand at Ace-True Value hardware OR look in yellow pages under sandblasting/supplies
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:06 PM   #25
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

If you have 90 psi at the end of the hose while the blaster is running at 40 psi, something in the blaster plumbing is plugged. Maybe the quick acting valve has an incompletely drilled orifice. Anyway, take the blaster back to HF. Let them deal with it. If taking it back is out of the question, disassemble and inspect everything that handles air.

Half inch fittings will not solve anything unless one of your old fittings is partially plugged. A 3/8" hose will move as much air as your nozzle.

Bill
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:38 PM   #26
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

As with my bead blaster, too much media in the hopper will screw up the feed and flow.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:14 PM   #27
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

I have to agree with those advising the compressor is not keeping up with air volume demand (CFM). Kinda like you got a big air leak. That's the only reason I can see for pressure dropping when the blaster is activated. Don't know what the blaster actually needs for outlet pressure to suck the sand but 40 seems pretty low.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:23 PM   #28
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

i have a $400 blaster, i use proper blast media, i still get clogs, most times i just give the tank a good kick and the media starts flowing again, when the media starts getting low i have to shake the tank to get the media to fall down off the sides of the tank, at the bottm of my tank, below the ball valve that governs the media flow i have an X fitting, this allows me to do a purge out the bottom, comes in handy, i just remove the bottm bung and turn the air on till she blows clear, if it really gets packed in tight i can use a bent welding rod to kinda rod it out, i always turn the air on first and then the media. i use nothing to remove water from the air, you want all the air flow you can get.
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:33 PM   #29
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

if the sand flow stops but you still get air coming out then pull the hose off the fitting at the bottom of your machine and see whats goin on in there. check for moist sand or maybe there is some other obstruction. i have a similar blaster and used to have a lot of trouble with it after just a few minutes. the fitting at the bottom of my machine was just a 4 way with a plug in the bottom hole. pulled that out after a few minutes and hey presto , a plug of wet sand. i have a water trap at the pressure pot. problem is compressing air creates heat. as the air cools it will make some condensation depending on humidity. as you are using a lot of air quickly it is still warm to some degree as it goes through the water trap creating some water after that point. only way to cure that is a dryer of some description. sharp changes of direction in the air lines and fittings in particular will help to make water as well. ever seen an f1 car race in humid conditions? you can clearly see the vortex of water vapour coming off the rear wing at the ends. a similar thing can occur in air fittings where there are sharp edges etc internally. a drier will be your best mate if you plan on blasting for any length of time. easily made out of copper pipe etc. see my reply to this previous post which explains that in a bit more detail.http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=426051 water may not be your problem at the moment but it possibly will be at some point.depends on the humidity in your part of the world on the day your using your gear of course. if you check out the pics i posted of my setup the cooler/ drier is a bit overkill. a mate made one out of and old stainless beer keg with the top cut off with a copper coil made out of three quarter copper line and it works a treat. a drop leg is a must have to catch the water it will make/collect. hope that helps ya out buddy i know what you are going through.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:14 AM   #30
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Quote:
Originally Posted by evintho View Post



The problem is I drop 50 pounds of pressure once the air enters the blaster. I think maybe I'll upgrade to some 1/2" hose and fittings as suggested. I've already drilled out the manifold on the bottom of the unit 3 or 4 drill sizes, to no avail.

Also, where would I get real blasting sand? What grit? What brand, etc.?
That bottom manifold should be a venturi to "suck" the sand out of the hopper. What part did you drill out, the sand passage or the air passage? You may have killed the suction by removing all the backpressure at the venturi. That could explain the pressure drop as well. Of course, that's just a thoery...
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:11 AM   #31
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

so heres the bottom valve on my blaster, you can see the clean out bung on the bottom, there is no venturi, the handle of the media flow control valve is just the right hight i can use my foot to turn it on and off, so i turn on my air first then with my foot turn on the media, i've used this blaster for many years now, once i forgot to take it in one night and it got rained on, i still managed to use the media, copper slag, by taking the lower bung out 10 times or more, another problem i had was a mouse skull pluged the hole in the bottom of the tank, that little sucker made me drain the media all out, i have never used a blaster of any type large or small that hasent pluged up once in awhile.
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:52 AM   #32
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

i have the same blaster and have used it in the middle of the summer outside inhumid south florida hot air and did my chassis with no problems. is the lid with the handle sealing properly? remove some of those dryers probably too much restriction. all i used was playsand from homo depot. it was wet so i spread it out real thin on a plastic sheet in the sun in a few hours it was dry as could be. worked fine for me
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:57 AM   #33
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

if its playsand spread that bad boy on the floor and dry out the moisture out. i done it, works well. i blasted 2 fenders,they came out nice.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:50 PM   #34
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

I use mine with a $5 filter and it works fine but I also use blasting sand from the masonry supply house. I read up a bunch on these and there were a couple of cases where the supply bung on the bottom had been either clogged by manufacturing debris or was way too small to begin with. One guy had your symptoms and drilled out the bung/nipple whatever you want to call it and the problems went away.
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:12 PM   #35
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Cool Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

UPDATE:
I GOT IT!!!!!

It was all valve manipulation! Simply a matter of cracking the red handled valve, near the gauge, to allow about 60 lbs of air as opposed to opening it fully. Basically, too much air flowing through the blast hose. When I crack it the gauge holds at around 60-65 psi instead of dropping to 40. That's enough to work rather well. I depress the deadman handle and once air is flowing and holding at 60, then I crack the sand valve just enough to introduce sand into the stream. I just finished blasting my wishbones in 10 minutes! I'm happy now! Thanks to all you HAMBer's for the advice and info ya'll provided! Very grateful! Now I can clean all this crap up and get ready for the build in September!
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:22 PM   #36
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Default Re: Need help with my cheap, piece of crap HF sandblaster!

Good to see you fixed it.

PS, after some time, you will get better at the sand valve setting as far as wasting sand. Too much sand really blasts FAST, but is wasteful $$....and too little sand makes the job go way too slow.
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