Pencil blaster and compressor

Hi all, so nice to have the digest back, I really missed it, and all
your input! I’ve just order a carbide tip pencil bead (sand) blaster
and now am in the quest of a air compressor. My husband has a large
one I could use if I wanted to run down to his shop everytime I wanted
to use my bench blaster (aargh). I did find a 3/4 horsepower, 2
gallon, 2.7cfm@90psi compressor. Can anyone thing of a reason that
this particular one wouldn’t be efficient? My husband seems to thing
I’d want a bigger one for air tools in the future, however, if I
needed something really big (which I don’t forsee) I could use his.
Also has anyone used this bench blaster? I just ordered it from Frei
and Borel. Thanks in advance. Lisa

Note From Ganoksin Staff:
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Hi Lisa, At the hardware store you can buy some 1/4" plastic
(polyethlene) tubing usually under .10 a foot. Air can be plumbed at
great distance without much efficiency loss. By far, the cheapest and
quietest solution! J.A.

Dear Lisa, A quick comment. Most commercial compressors are VERY noisy
when recharging. If you buy one, turn it on and see if you could stand
the sound. It your husband is handy, have him go to a junk yard or old
refridgerator place and have them pull an old refridgerator compressor
out. They are VERY quiet and you can but them for next to nothing. An
air tank could be added for a slight amount, and there you go!

Best Regards,
TR the Teacher & Student

I have a small pencil blaster that I use only occasionally, so I
didn’t want to purchase a noisy compressor just for this one tool.
Instead, I borrowed a trick used by air-brush artists…I use a tank
of compressed nitrogen.

Since I’m only using the pencil-blaster, I don’t need a huge volumn
of air. Nitrogen is also very dry, so I don’t have problems with
moisture clogging the tiny oriface. You need to purchase a regulator
for the tank, but that’s it. Nitrogen is very inexpensive, and the
tank lasts me several months.

This will work for any air tool that doesn’t require a high volumn of
air: the gravermax, turbo handpiece, etc. Trying to run
air-powered grinders, wrenches, hammers, or a large sandblaster would
be out of the question. If that’s the direction you’re going, then
you will want to purchase the largest compressor that your budget (or
ear drums) can tolerate.

Another advantage to the compressed nitrogen is that it will also
give you very high pressure…something to consider if you are
planning to carve gems with your pencil blaster.

Doug Zaruba

My two cents, I can’t resist :slight_smile:

Gesswein and most other suppliers sell a truly QUIET air compressor.
It makes as much noise as a refrigerator when it is recharging. I am
serious - when it’s on, you hardly even know it, even when it is
right under your bench. All you hear is a nice little hum when it
turns on. And yup, you guessed it, they are expensive. BUT if you
are short on space and need to have an air compressor near your work
area, the cost of these quiet compressors is well worth it.

We don’t sell the regular noisy air compressors. Why? Cause you can
get those at Home Depot or dozens of similar places for very little
cost. They are awfully noisy tho. So put them as far away from you
as you can and run a long air hose. If you do that, be sure to put a
filter/dryer in the air line as close to the sand blaster/wax
injector/air handpiece/whatever tool you are using. Even if your
compressor has a filter on it, the compressed air will condense
downstream especially if you have a long air line. Moisture in your
sandblaster will clog it up (especially those pen types). Moisture
in your wax injector makes bubbles and in your air handpiece,
moisture can jam it up, rust it out and generally shorten it’s life

Putting a filter as close to the tool as possible will insure no
moisture or dirt in the air or in your tool. This means your air
tools run better and last longer.

Best Regards,

Elaine Corwin
VP Tech Services
Phone: 1-800-544-2043, ext. 287
in CT: 203-366-5400
Fax: 203-335-0300

Hi Lisa,

The important thing to consider when buying n air compressor is
capacity. Look at the air requirements of the tools you intend to use
with it. They usually have their air requirements listed someplace.
The requirements are listed in terms of pressure & volume required
(e.g. 2 cfm @ 60-120 psi.).

Compare the requirements of your the air tools you’ll be using to the
capacity of the compressor. If the are equal or almost, get a larger
compressor. If the 2 are almost equal, the compressor will have to run
almost continually to keep up with the air demands of your tool.
Always use the maximum requirements listed for tool. If you use the
minimum requirements, you may find there are some jobs that can’t be

In my experience, it’s always better to get a tool with at least
twice the capacity required for the initial job. I’ve always found new
ways to use the additional capacity. Usually the additional cost to go
to a larger, more powerful tool is a small percentage of the total
cost. Lots less than buy the smaller tool & then having to buy the
larger tool later.

When buying air compressors to power sand/bead blasters, air turbines
& other small high speed tools, be sure the air tank has a drain valve
to permit draining water that collects in it. These small tools don’t
like ‘wet air’. When air is compressed it can’t hold as much moisture
as when it’s at atmospheric pressure. The excess moisture collects in
the compressor reservoir & some can be discharged into the air line.
In moist climates weekly (or oftener) draining may be required. Some
tools may also require a ‘drier’ to be placed in the air line between
the compressor & tool.


And my 2 cents worth also 'cause I can’t resist either:

McKesson (sp?) makes dental compressors for chairside work. They are
QUIET! Ask your local dentist who he gets his equipment from and
get their number. I fortunately got one from an old friend who was
moving into a bigger office. It was older than dirt but I cleaned it
up and it has been running great for the last 12 years. It was the
best $50 I ever spent on equipment. (I hope I didn’t jinx it!) Dr.
Dule, maybe you can chime in here.


Skip Meister
Orchid Jewelry Listserve Member
N.R.A. Endowment
"No man’s life, liberty or fortune is safe…while our legislature is in session."
Benjamin Franklin

Check with the local dental society to see if someone is retiring
soon. Like Skip you might get a real deal from “old Dr. Chainsaw” (G)
when he retires. Dental compressors are very quiet and very expensive
when bought new


Some suppliers for this and other type of dental compressors are:
Sullivan-Schein Dental Supply Patterson
Dental Supply The have branch offices in all
major cities of 100,000+ populations.

Thanks everyone for all your input. Due to the expense of the quiet
compressor, and the fact that I live in the boonies (not many dentist
going out of biz), I ended up getting a Sears 2 horse 12 gallon
compressor. It is noisy so I’ve got it outside and run the line in
when I need to use it. Eventually I’ll hardline it in but that can
wait for a rainy day. I hooked it up yesterday and wow, what a neat
machine. I’m using 40 mesh glass beads and they create a beautiful
finish. Does anyone have suggestions for other media? Like what grit
sand, will anything take off fire scale?

Also I’d like to make my compressor work for me, any suggestion for
other tools that would be helpful in the jewelry trade??? Thanks for
all your help. Lisa –

Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for an air compressor for your jewelry projects? We recommend: