getting to know the… Sandblaster!

Melissa lets us in to the crazy world that is her sandblast cabinet…

I’ve decided to do a series of “getting to know you” posts about some of my equipment. The idea came from some ruminations I’ve had of late, chiefly how I might leave instructions for another person to use my studio when I go away. I figured that photos documenting some of the less self-explanatory procedures might be interesting, and indeed useful for others should they ever have the need to work with similar equipment.

So, he goes episode 1. My sandblaster: can we get some air in here? Talking compressor volume…

My imposing Pan Abraisves Dalek... Er, I mean, sandblast cabinet

It’s attached to a Peerless P14 air compressor (below), which has a 55L holding tank and shoots out 275 litrrs of air (clear air delivery) a minute at 100 PSI. That’s barely enough for my greedy sandblaster, but we generally manage ok. (Aside from the couple times that I’ve overheated it and it has shut off til it cooled down properly.)

Air Compressor

Good compressor maintentance is all explained on a sticker on the  unit. Check oil daily, run direct from a power point – not off a board, don’t restrict air flow etc. I also drain the tank of air daily from the bottom of the unit, to get all the dirty/rusty water out of the bottom of the tank.

You can change the pressure of air coming out using a knob on the machine, which is attached to a meter so you can see what the pressure is. There is a second gauge to see what the pressure is in the tank. I look at that one pretty frequently to see if the motor is about to start up again, since it’s a little deafening to be standing next to, which I constantly am when I’m using it.  (Ideally the tank would be somewhere else, outside and far away from me being the most preferable location.) Using this unit I always wear ear protection. Even just to empty the tank. That hissing noise is pretty annoying!

Owing to the fact that the compressor cycles continuously when I have the sandblaster going, I also give it frequent breaks, so it can catch up with me. This stops the machine from getting angry (read; overheating) and in the long run, me from getting angry at the machine.

Coming soon: True grit! otherwise known as What goes in, must come out…