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Old 05-30-2008, 09:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: charlotte nc
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Talking HF sandblaster

I have a sandblaster from HF . Its the stand up type you often see. Problem is it worked ok the first couple of times but now every time I use it the hose becomes clogged. Ive tried differant size media and done evrything but completly take it apart. Its getting plenty of air pressure. Has anyone else had this sorta problem and how did you fix it ? thanks
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: HF sandblaster

Check the air supply from your compressor. Any moisture will instantly clog the blaster. If you don't have one on your compressor, get a moisture trap. Also empty the air tank and remove all moisture
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: HF sandblaster

yea that sounds like moisture..
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: HF sandblaster

Moisture is definalty a problem but I think all the HF blasters come with a mater trap. I posted the info below in another thread but I will post it here again.

Here is a writeup someone had online that I found when I was having troubles with my HF blaster. The only parts I don't agree with 100% is the quick disconnect as a nozzle and the use of playground sand as it has silica in it, I use black blast.

"Next, I bought Harbor Freight’s $100 pressurized sand blaster. I should have known better, having bought dozens of their tools that I later found to be absolute junk. The threaded connections were so sloppy I needed two rolls of teflon tape to minimize the air leaks. The manual wasn’t too clear on assembly, so I used the photo on the box also as a guide. After hooking it up, filling it ¾ full with screened, dry sand, I squeezed the trigger… And got nothing. Fiddling with the valves for 10 minutes provided about 2 minutes of good sandblasting, and this cycle kept repeating itself. I finally got this pile of junk working decently, but the hours of aggravation it caused me has earned it a trip to the rifle range as soon as I’m done with it.

I would suggest you stay away from this unit, but if you do buy one, here’s a few hints…

1. Replace the bottom valve with a quality water valve and Tee fitting from Home Depot. 50% of my problems were related to this valve.
2. Replace the cheap hose clamps with ones from your auto parts store. It’s no fun when HF’s break loose and you get blasted.
3. Remove the trigger/nozzle assembly and throw it down a 100ft well. The inner diameter of the large and small nozzles were too narrow to get twice-screened play sand through without clogging. My field mod was to place a 6-inch piece of steel pipe on the end of the hose and screw a 1/4inch-NPT quick-disconnect air hose fitting onto the pipe. The inner diameter of the fitting is about 3/16, and it works much better than HF’s nozzles. The steel nozzle will wear out after about 10-12 hours of use, however, I have plenty of HF’s air fittings that were machined wrong and can’t be used on air tools. The pipe seems to help smooth the airflow and give a tighter pattern than not using it. HF’s trigger assembly requires an EXTREME amount of clamping force, that will tire the strongest grip in a hurry, and it created numerous clogs inside the assembly. I no longer have an on/off lever at the nozzle, just use the air shut-off valve at the hopper.
4. Also throw that crappy sandblast hood down the well. Mine had so much distortion in the clear plastic visor, it was similar to the funky house of mirrors at the local state fair. I did buy HF’s $20 sandblast hood, another piece of garbage. The clear plastic shield kept falling out, so I taped it in place. After about 10 hours of blasting, it was so scratched and pitted it was impossible to see what I was blasting, in broad daylight. The hood/visor hangs down from a plastic helmet and the visor rarely stayed in front of my eyes, requiring constant adjustment. My current protection is a police issue gas mask that has a full-face visor. The tear-gas filters work fine and can be reused by gently blowing them out with compressed air. I tape a piece of clear plastic over the visor, and when that gets pitted, replace it with a new piece, cut from heavy-weight sheet protectors, available at any office supply store. These masks and filters are readily available on Ebay, from $2 for military issue masks, to $20 for full-visor police/fireman/minors masks. Filters run $2-$5 a set. I put on a painter’s hood before the mask. This gear is also used for painting, except when using isocyanate paints.

I use Home Depot’s play sand because it’s cheap, at $2.50 for a 50 lb bag. I pour this through a homemade screener, using regular steel window screen as the filter, and this has eliminated all clogging using my setup. I spread a plastic tarp under my work area, to catch the sand for reuse. There are three water traps in the air line, and even with 50-80% humidity (it’s New Mexico’s rainy season), I haven’t had a problem, just frequently drain out the trapped water. "
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: HF sandblaster

I've got a HF blast cabinet and it's been working fine for several years. I just had to seal it good. Sounds like you have a moisture problem. I have an air dryer and don't have any problems with water in my air lines.
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: HF sandblaster

Mine works fine. *shrug* Just remove their el-cheapo water separator. It blows the bowl off and shoots you in the foot.

I use tube sand (take it out of my truck after winter every year), but I also wear a respirator rated for silica.
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: HF sandblaster

+1 for moisture. May have to run a dryer
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: HF sandblaster

Thank you . Even though my compressor has a water colector I bet its not enough to keep all of the water out and that would explain the problem. thanks again
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