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Air tools


#1

Hello all, happy new year. We bought an air compressor this year
for house painting, and I’m wondering if there are uses for this in
my small production jewelry business. I know there are air hammers,
and other tools, but I don’t know what they do. If someone could
direct me to info on this, I would appreciate it. Thanks, Anne Hanson


#2

Hi Anne,

We bought an air compressor this year for house painting, and I'm
wondering if there are uses for this in my small production jewelry
business. 

There are a number of uses for compressed air in almost any shop.

One of the uses you’ve already mentioned, air hammers/engravers.
Check out the GRS line of tools in most jewelers tool catalogs (Rio
Grande has a very good description). The air hammers can be used for
engraving, stone setting & texturing with the appropriate tips
installed.

Another use is to power a sand/bead blaster. There are a number of
these devices listed in the same tool catalog. You can probably get a
better price on sand blasting cabinets from places like Harbor
Freight though.

Air powered turbine handpieces are another possibility.

A couple of other applications you might not think of aRe: powered
paste solder application (again see the tool catalog) & use as a high
pressure cleaner in place of a steamer. I rigged up an input tube
from a liquid cleaner to a blow gun. (Works real well.)

One caution about the cleaner: use adequate ventilation as the
cleaner is atomized in this process. The paste solder application is
really only viable if you have lots of joints to solder (like in
chain making).

Some of these applications work better with dry air, you may have to
put a drier between the air supply & the tools. Depending on the
humidity where you live, you should drain the water that collects in
the air tank on at least a weekly basis. Whether the tools being used
require an in line lubricator will be spelled out by the users
manual for the tools. Some tools require a special dry lubricant
instead of oil.

There are almost as many air powered tools as electrically powered.
What you do with air power is only limited by your imagination & tool
budget.

Dave


#3

Anne, I use a compressor for both my GRS System Three hammer system
for stone setting, and my sand blasting tool for adding finishes,
however I would think that first you would have the need for these
tools, and then you would acquire the compressor to run them, not
the other way around. Both are somewhat expensive and normally a
craftsperson would not purchase them without having the need first.
Years ago I also used compressed air to dry jewelry coming out of
the cleaner or after steaming, but found that more useful for
high-production applications rather than lower volume manufacturing
and repair.

Good luck,
JMF


#4
    A couple of other applications you might not think of are:
powered paste solder application (again see the tool catalog) & use
as a high pressure cleaner in place of a steamer. I rigged up an
input tube from a liquid cleaner to a blow gun. (Works real well.)
One caution about the cleaner: use adequate ventilation as the
cleaner is atomized in this process. 

I recently looked at purchasing a steam cleaner, and decided the
cost wasn’t worth it to me. I am intrigued by your idea. What
cleaning solution are you using? When I think “air powered blow gun"
what comes to mind is the hand held power sprayer (like the coin-op
car wash wand, only about 6” long). Is that what you are referring
to? I suppose an air brush wouldn’t have enough pressure to do any
good, but what about the $10 sand-blaster from Harbour Freight
(about the same size as an air-brush)?

Epaul Fischer
Gryphon Song Creations
http://GryphonSong.com
Phoenix, AZ USA


#5

Hey Hanson What about the air eraser from Harbour Freight, You can
use it for sand blast with your new compressor and it’s only 10
dls.and it comes with the sand included. Marco


#6

In our shop we had a $300 Sears air compressor. It was hooked up to:

A. Vacuum Pump for Castings
B. Sandblaster
C. Air Blow hose for drying items.
D. Wax Injector

Don’t see how most shops could do without them

David Geller


#7

Hi Epaul,

I am intrigued by your idea. What cleaning solution are you using?
When I think "air powered blow gun" what comes to mind is the hand
held power sprayer (like the coin-op car wash wand, only about 6"
long). Is that what you are referring to? 

It really depends on what I’m trying to clean. I’ve used alcohol,
acetone, alcohol-water-soap & water-soap mixtures. They’ve all worked
well.

Actually the 1st sprayer I made was from a regular air blow gun, the
type usually seen in garages & gas stations. They’re basically a push
button valve with a short length of 1/4" copper tube attached. I
drilled a small hole in the 1/4" tube & inserted a 1/16" tube with
the open end pointing down stream. The other end of the 1/16" tube
was attached to a plastic hose that’s put in the liquid to be
sprayed. When the button is pushed, the air rushing by the 1/16" tube
causes a venturi effect & draws the liquid from supply. This same
principle is used in all siphon feed spray guns, perfume atomizers &
garden hose attachments for spraying fertilizers & insecticides.

I suppose an air brush wouldn't have enough pressure to do any
good, but what about the $10 sand-blaster from Harbour Freight
(about the same size as an air-brush)?

It all depends on what you’re trying to do with it. how large the
orifice is & how much air pressure you apply. I think most steamers
operate around 70 psi. With an air compressor & regulator, you can
adjust the pressure to anything between a few psi & the max the
compressor is capable of, usually around 125 psi.

Dave