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(Fwd) Re:sandblasting


Forwarded Message FollowsDate: Tue, 05 Nov 1996 22:58:53 -1000
From: John Flynn
Organization: John Flynn Metalsmith
Subject: Re: #019 Orchid D - I - G - E - S - T

oilless compressor with a 1 1/2 h.p. motor rated at 116 psi for
$170.  It's rated at 5.2 cfm at 40 psi and 4.6 cfm at 90 psi. 
It seems to me that a small tank should supply the pressure
needed for small jewelry jobs -- but I'm seeking input from
those who've worked with these systems day in and day out. 
Maybe a larger tank is needed for some reason, although I'd
think that most small jobs should go pretty quickly so that
pressure from a small tank should remain fairly constant.  I've
also located a 3/4 hp 100 psi tankless compressor for just $105.
 Why wouldn't it work?
 Any and all input appreciated.

Are we clear here whether we are talking about sand blasting vs.
bead blasting? I have been bead blasting niobium, sterling and
14K for about eight years and sandblasting stone for about four
years. These are two very different processes that are often
confused with each other. Bead blasting gives metal a bright
sparkly finish while sand blasting leaves a very dull and
somewhat dirty look. My experience with a 3/4 horse tankless (my
first compressor) was that it passed too much moisture into the
lines for my moisture trap and dessicant dryer to handle. Wet
grit is useless. I have gotten by with a 1.5 horse 3 gallon
compressor for years now bead blasting with a .060 tip at 125 psi
direct from the compressor in a table top cabinet and sand
blasting with a 1/8" tip at 30 to 60 psi secondary from my
pressure pot hopper in a free standing booth with a 300 cfm dust
collector. I’m about to pick up a 7.5 hp two stage 80 gallon 175
psi compressor because I’m sick of listening to my little unit
run almost 100% of the time. If you intend to just bead blast
metal for texture you can easily get away with one of the small
table top units from Rio or Reactive and you do not need a dust
collector. Glass beads don’t generate dust. Also, if you intend
to get a nice clean finish on metal the glass beads must be
clean, so you would have to at least keep two sets of beads (one
for rust removal, one for texturing) and wash down the cabinet
after working the rusty metal. You can get some great effects
with bead blasting using tape, silicone, stickers, doilies, photo
resists, your fingernails, etc. to mask off areas you want to
stay shiny. Bead blasting also has the unique effect of
stretching one side of thin sheet and not the other. This cuases
doming which can be controled with practice. With 30 ga. dead
soft sterling you can even do a kind of faux anticlastic sinking.
Hope this helps.