Abrasive Blasting Cabinets, Dust Collectors, Vacuums & HVLP Paint Spray Systems
HOW TO INSTALL CORRECT METAL PIPING IN YOUR SHOP
When we first moved into our Canfield, Ohio plant, we installed all of our air lines with metal piping, being sure that the pipe size was correct for our needs, and correctly designed so that moisture in the air lines could be easily removed with water separators and drain valves. This is a necessity when operating any type of abrasive blasting equipment, plasma burning equipment or simple air tools. To see a very detailed piping diagram and other information on airline accessories, parts and fittings, please see:
One of our customers (Mr. EZ of Ringgold, Georgia) used the above piping diagram and airline accessories to install a neat airline piping system in his shop. Shown below are three pictures of his shop. Take a careful look of how the piping was installed with "risers" to keep the moisture within the metal pipes until it can be removed with our water separators and drain valves. EZ even has a neon "Open Sign" to welcome visitors.
Center picture shows the best way to install such piping. The main air line from your compressor runs horizontially across the walls of your shop. At each airline hookup station, the pipe drops down towards the floor with a drain valve to blow water out of the piping as shown. You can place a bucket under this pipe to catch the water when valve is opened. Just above this drain valve is a short length of pipe stubbing out horizontially and then an elbow facing up and another elbow facing to left. This section of piping is called the "riser" and is very important, as we are using gravity to keep the moisture within the piping below this area, so that most moisture can be removed when opening the drain valve (suggest daily).
Air is then directed into a moisture separator and then to an airline regulator, whch is used to regulate the air pressure from your main line to whatever pressure is to be used for your particular application. For most abrasive blasting in a Skat Blast Cabinet, we recommend 80 to 85 psi, as higher pressures will pulverize the abrasive on impact, eventually turning the abrasive into a powder form, which will not blast effectively, and will also create much dust within the cabinet, resulting in poor visibility. Looking at the above setup, see that EZ installed two moisture separators. Not a bad idea, although we would recommend that the second separator be a Coalescing Filter, which is the best choice for a final airline filter.
*Note: There are exceptions to the above suggestion as to pressure. If using "First Choice" or other lower cost abrasives and are blasting very rusty objects such as wheels or some heavy steel automotive components, you may want to increase your pressure above the recommended 85 psi. It will cut faster, but the abrasive will break down quickly, resulting in the necessity of changing your abrasive more frequently. Blasting with worn out abrasive is never satisfactory, as results and visibility will be poor.
Abrasives should be change on a regular basis and we offer many choices for various projects that you might need. See other section of this web site by clicking "Abrasives" at Home Page.
WARNING: Do not use Silica Sand for abrasive blasting, even within a closed cabinet. Sand is a severe health hazard, as operator is always exposed to dust when loading and unloading cabinet. Also sand breaks down quickly on impact & turns to dust quickly, so visibility is poor.
WARNING: Do not install any airline piping with PVC or plastic piping. Even though it may be rated at high pressure, it is unsafe and is banned in many states. Reason: should the PVC piping get damaged on impact for any reason, it will shatter and "explode", sending pieces of plastic in the form of shrapnel in all directions, with a strong possibility of personal injury. As an example, if you bump the PVC piping with a cart or any object, it will break. This is even more likely in colder climate areas. We have also heard reports of PVC piping systems failing after a few years, due to a deterioration of the inside surface of the piping from the oils that are commonly within air lines that come from your air compressor. There is a new type of plastic piping now being sold by TP Tools that has metal reinforcement built into the inside of the plastic to minimize danger of breakge under impact. Call TP Tools for more information on this new product.
Please feel free to call us for more information on this subject, or for help with designing a proper airline piping system in your shop. We offer a Free Tech Line for our customer either before or after the sale and we answer our phones live! Best time to call is from 10 AM to 6 PM weekdays Eastern Time. Toll Free: 800-321-9260
"BUILD YOUR OWN CABINET KITS" are available.
These are described in TP Tools Catalog in detail at www.tptools.com
See below for a really professionally built cabinet that was made by one of our customers (Ken D, Westminster, MD). Using Skat Blast Plans and components and ordinary plywood and some metal legs, Ken was able to build a cabinet that will serve him well for many years. The nice thing about using Skat Blast componets is that they are always available at TP Tools in Canfield, Ohio for immediate UPS shipment. This means no down time.
Side view of Ken's Cabinet. Notice that he used two door latches, which is always a good idea to keep the dust created in blasting where it belongs. Floodlight was installed in the upper left hand corner - out of the way, but aiming at the work area in front of the gloves. Switch and duplex receptacle is on top left of cabinet and turns on the floodlight, and a vacuum can be plugged into the outlet. Ken opted for a foot pedal operation and added a very useful accessory - a blow gun inside the cabinet to blow dust of the surface of small parts. This is evidenced by the two air hoses entering the cabinet on right front (one to power gun and one to the blow gun).
Other then the legs, the entire cabinet was made of plywood. The lens, lens trim and glove and glove flanges were purchased from TP Tools at moderate cost. Joints were neatly aligned and sanded to where they cannot be seen and the cabinet was painted with light gray enamel, close to the standard color used by Skat Blast. If you look closely, you can see the inner lens protector, which is attached to the inside of the tempered glass lens. This protector is made of durable Mylar and can be changed as it gets scratched from blasting. These are sold in convenient packages of three and are always in stock at TP Tools in Canfield, Ohio
Front View, showing Power Gun and Blow Gun. Metal framework attaches to the wooden cabinet with either wood screws or bolts and nuts. Notice electrical outlet with switch at top left, which can be used to turn on the vacuum and light. A very professional job and with Skat Blast plans and components, you can make this very same cabinet, using regular carpenter shop tools. Not shown in this picture is a trap door at bottom of funnel, which is used for dumping used abrasive. This is available at TP Tools and is spring-loaded to keep it closed. Always remember to change abrasive on a regular basis, as blasting with worn out abrasive is one of the main reasons for poor visibility inside a cabinet, as well as not being cost effective, due to slow results. Most any abrasive can be used in this cabinet. See other section of this web site for a description and pictures of available abrasives that are in stock.
Side View - If we didn't know better, we would think this was one of our Skat Blast Cabinets! It is identical in appearance to our cabinets, including Gloves, Lens, Floodlight and Work Area Sscreen. As you blast, rust and paint are instantly removed and drop to the bottom of the funnel, along with abrasive. When foot pedal control is pressed, air passes through the power gun at about 80 PSI and pulls the abrasive from the bottom of the funnel and injects it into the air stream. This powerful blast removes paint, rust and scale quickly and efficiently. For small parts, we recommend the use of a hand-held "Bolt Basket" that holds the parts so that they do not become lost. This is not shown in this picture and if Ken doesn't have one of these, you can be sure that we will send one to him quickly. As you blast, the abrasive mix can be used over and over again until it turns to dust. At that time it should be replaced.
Congratulations Ken on building one of the nicest cabinets that we have seen, although there are undoubtedly many other similar cabinets, as we have sold thousands of "Build Your Own Kits". These kits are available in several types:
a) Trigger Operated Kit includes Trigger Gun, Pickup Tube, Siphon Hose and Air Inlet Hose, along with a clearly illustrated set of Instructions and Plans. Extra Nozzles are included.
b) A Foot Pedal Operated Kit includes all of the above, except that a Foot Pedal Control is included, and gun does not have trigger. This type of setup eliminates operator fatigue when pulling trigger for extended periods of time. Extra Nozzles are included and long-wearing Ceramic or Tungsten Carbide Nozzles are available at extra cost.
c) Trim Kits are available in several sizes and include Gloves, Glove Flanges and Gaskets, Tempered Glass Lens, Inner and Outer Lens Protector, Lens Frame with Gaskets and Screws. A Floodlight Assembly is included which includes a Duplex Outlet and Power Cord.
d) Cabinet Plans are included with all of the above kits, but are available separately at moderate cost and can be shipped via 1st class mail to U.S. and Canada.
See our Free Catalog for more details, or see www.tptools.com and in the block at upper left-hand side of Home Page, enter Build Cabinets.
Skat Blast - Made in U.S.A in Canfield, Ohio.
Call for Free TP Tools Catalog (Sent 1st Class Mail USA & Canada only)
Toll Free 1-800-321-9260 or 330-533-3384 or www.tptools.com
* Note: Click on links on left side of this page to visit other sections of this site.
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
Abrasive Cabinet Questions and Answers
Q. How does a Skat Blast Cabinet work?
A. A Skat Blast Cabinet is an enclosed system for cleaning parts. Parts are placed on a work screen. Using built-in gauntlet- type gloves, you hold the part with one hand while the other directs the Power Gun. Abrasive "blast" from the gun quickly removes all rust, paint, and scale, leaving a satin finish ready for paint or further prep. Add your choice of abrasive by pouring it through the side door. Keep funnel about 1/3 full of abrasive and do not overfill, as abrasive will compact and not flow properly. A. Glass Bead is a type of abrasive made primarily from soda-lime glass. It looks like salt or sugar and is a favorite abrasive for use in cabinet blasting, giving a satin finish to metal.
As you blast, abrasive drops to bottom of funnel and is continually recycled each time foot pedal or trigger gun is pressed. Abrasive is picked up automatically and used over and over again, leaving a beautiful satin finish on your parts. Eventually the abrasive wears out, turning to a consistency of powder and must be changed. It is not practical to blast with worn out abrasive. Once the abrasive breaks down, in addition to poor results, visibility is greatly reduced. So for best results, change abrasive on a regular basis and keep the window clean at all times. A "peel off" inner lens protector is included with our cabinets and replacements are available at modest extra cost.
Every Skat Blast Cabinet comes with a detailed set of Instructions, which will guide you through the initial setup and get you going quickly. Instructions are well-illustrated and lead you through the process - from hookup to your air supply, to operation of the unit. Instructions have photographs and diagrams to show you how to complete installation of the Power Gun and Vacuum or Dust Collector hook-up. If you need technical help or assistance in getting started, call TP Tools Tech Line at 800-321-9260. A knowledgeable technician will guide you step-by-step in minutes. When you call TP Tools, you will talk to a live person in Canfield, Ohio, not a recording. Best time to call our Tech Line is from 9:30 AM to 6 PM weekdays.
Do I need an Air Compressor?
All Skat Blast Cabinets require a supply of compressed air. Our normal (Medium Nozzle) setup requires from 15-20 cfm air at 80-100 psi. Normally a good 5 HP 2-stage Air Compressor will handle most of our cabinets (check the cfm rating of your air compressor). If you are low on air, on special request, we can include a "low air supply nozzle/air jet setup" at no charge with purchase of a Skat Blast Cabinet, enabling you to blast, but at a slower pace.
Air from your compressor is routed to a convenient location in your shop, and we highly recommend an air filter, moisture separator and pressure regulator, so that air to the cabinet is clean and dry and set to the correct operating pressure for your particular application. We furnish a short hose (with 1/4" male pipe threads) to lead from the Power Gun (inside the cabinet) through an opening in the front of the cabinet and to either a Foot Pedal Control or to your air hose.
A. Keep your Skat Blast Cabinet connected to your air supply, so it is always ready for use. Cabinet uses no air or abrasive except when actually in use. When you want to clean a part, cabinet is ready whenever you are.
Q. What are Glass Beads?
A. Glass Bead is a type of abrasive made primarily from soda-lime glass. It looks like salt or sugar and is a favorite abrasive for use in cabinet blasting, giving a satin finish to metal.
Q. Can other Abrasives be used?
A. See "Abrasive and Parts" section of this site for description of many abrasives that are suitable for use in cabinet blasting. Glass Beads and Skat Magic are preferred for most automotive components: fuel pumps, carburetors, valve covers, nuts and bolts, but any abrasive can be used. You can easily change the abrasive through the spring-loaded trap door at the bottom of the cabinet funnel. You can also use 1st Choice, Speed Bead, or most any other abrasive. Skat Blast has now developed a new Soda Blast Attachment that can be fitted to most of their cabinets. For information on Soda Blasting, ask for a Free Catalog from TP Tools by calling 1-800-321-9260, or checking the TP Tools web site at www.tptools.com
Q. How do I add Abrasives to the Cabinet?
A. Simply pour in through side door. We suggest pouring abrasive through a Sifter Screen to remove impurities. Normally the funnel should be filled to about the 1/3 full mark, as adding too much abrasive can result in compaction of the abrasive and poor flow.
Q. How long does the Abrasive last? When should it be replaced?
A. All Skat Blast Cabinets recycle automatically, so abrasive can be used again and again (exception Soda Blasting, which is a one-time process). Eventually, the abrasive will break down and turn to "dust". At this time, it must be replaced. Worn abrasive does not cut well and creates poor visibility. It is not economical or practical to attempt to blast with worn out abrasive.
Q. How does the Abrasive recycle automatically?
A. When you press the foot pedal or pull trigger of power gun, abrasive is pulled up through the pickup tube, through the siphon hose and to the power gun where it hits the rusty object. Abrasive then drops through screen and into the funnel for recycling on a continual basis until abrasive finally breaks down and must be replaced.
Q. What is the Pickup Tube?
A. The Pickup Tube is one of the most important components in a cabinet. Skat Blast has developed a high velocity, dual pickup tube with controlled openings to provide more power and eliminate "surging" during operation. You get a smooth, even flow of abrasive to the Power Gun at all times. Pickup tubes should be replaced occasionally as they will wear the same as the nozzle itself. We suggest annual pickup tube replacement for average shops.
Q. What is the Power Gun?
A. The Power Gun holds the nozzle and provides the abrasive blast. Skat Blast Power Guns have large, direct air passages, resulting in better suction and blast ... true high velocity. This Power Gun has a mixing chamber that mixes he air with the abrasive. Air is forced through a small orifice air jet, which intensifies as it passes through the mixing chamber of the Power Gun. Abrasive is pulled into the Power Gun from the funnel of the cabinet through a clear siphon hose from the Pickup Tube, mixed with the incoming air, and exits the Power Gun through the nozzle, removing rust, paint and scale efficiently. The abrasive spray is confined to the inside of the cabinet and after hitting the object being blasted, drops into the funnel where it can be used over and over again. Eventually this abrasive breaks down into dust and must be replaced.
In addition to a "full-hand" design, our inner nozzle holder has a case-hardened steel insert for long life. This is important, since the nozzle holder is exposed to the abrasive stream and softer metals wear quickly. Power Guns in Skat Blast Cabinets are Made in USA and are built to last for many years, although nozzles and air jets must be changed on a regular basis. For high-volume users, we supply extended-life nozzles made of tungsten carbide. Steel or Ceramic Nozzles are suitable for light-duty work, with the Ceramic Nozzles lasting considerably longer than steel. (Nozzles and all parts can be shipped UPS the same day from TP Tools).
Q. Why do some Skat Blast Cabinets have Foot Pedal Controls?
A. Trigger Guns are used in most smaller cabinets. Larger cabinets are usually equipped with a Foot Pedal Control. When you pull the trigger or press the foot pedal, the result is the same: abrasive is pulled up through the gun and "blasted" at the part, instantly removing rust, paint, and scale. The results are the same, but for more than occasional use, we recommend the use of a foot pedal control to minimize operator hand fatigue.
Q. What size Nozzle and how much air do I need?
A. The nozzle and air jet size determines the air requirements. The air jet fits inside the power gun and controls the amount of air leading to the nozzle. Nozzles and air jets can be changed, depending on your air compressor. If you have a 3 HP compressor (7 cfm), your best choice is probably the small nozzle. If you have a 5 HP compressor (15-20 cfm), use a medium nozzle. For a 10 HP or larger compressor, use a large size nozzle. Remember, nozzles and air jets must be changed in sets (small with small, etc.) and are available in steel, ceramic and carbide. Nozzles and Air Jets are always in stock at www.tptools.com
Q. What is the Vacuum System?
A. A vacuum is required to remove dust created in blasting and improve visibility. For smaller cabinets (850 and under), a shop vacuum can be used. However, these vacuums have a small filtering area, so visibility may be reduced. Also, abrasive can work into filter, causing motor damage or failure. For more than light work, we recommend our Vac-40 or Vac-45 Vacuum. For commercial or industrial use, we recommend several Dust Collector systems designed to remove dust while cabinet blasting. All of our Vacuums and Dust Collectors are also Made in USA and are very quiet in operation. At extra cost, any of our Vacuums or Dust Collectors can be equipped with a "Final Filter Outlet Kit" to prevent dust from escaping into the room in the event of a worn-out vacuum bag. These are described in a Free Catalog at www.tptools.com. Also see "Dust Collector & Vacs" Systems section on this site.
Q. Why do Skat Cabinets include a Floodlight, not Fluorescent?
A. A fluorescent light provides dim lighting inside the cabinet. A floodlight is better, in that an intense beam of light is directed at the part. This is similar to fog lights in a car, which penetrate through the fog. All Skat Cabinets use a floodlight for improved visibility. These floodlight bulbs can be purchased at any local hardware or lighting store, saving you a lot of time when it comes time to replace the bulb.
Q. What makes Skat Blast Cabinets better?
A. Superior operation is determined by the type of pickup tube, power gun, vacuum system, funnel angle, door seal, method of holding lens and gloves, etc. (Skat Blast Cabinets are fully assembled, feature molded holders for both lens and gloves, and do not leak.) While not always visible, these features make a better product. We have thousands of satisfied customers all over the world. Almost 30 years of building a successful product is your assurance that a Skat Blast Cabinet will provide the help that you need on a steady basis.
Q. I see other cabinets are now sold in "Kit" form. What is a Kit?
Beware of the word, "Kit" or "K.D." in cabinet ads. Usually, you receive a "knock down" unit: steel panels, hundreds of rivets, bolts, nuts, hinges, caulking, etc. These kits can cost as much as a fully assembled cabinet, and you have to build the unit yourself, which can take hours (sometimes days) to assemble. Compare specifications and price. You'll find a fully assembled cabinet from Skat Blast is a better investment -- Years of experience in building a trouble-free abrasive cabinet have been proven to satisfied users all over the world.
Q. Are Skat Blast Cabinets Made in USA?
A. Without exception, all Skat Blast Cabinets are made in Canfield, Ohio, using USA steel and components. This means that an owner of a Skat Blast Cabinet can be assured of parts and service for many years, unlike many imported products that do not furnish support or replacement parts. Skat Blast started the manufacture of their line of Abrasive Blasting Cabinets in 1978 and parts for their first units are still in stock. This means that you will always have an endless supply of components, repair or maintenace parts to keep your cabinet running indefinitely. If you are looking at competitor's units, be sure to ask if their cabinets and accessories are Made in USA, as there are very few remaining U.S. manufacturers of this type of equipment. We are able to compete with imported cabinets due to our low overhead in Canfield, Ohio and our automated production methods. Everything is IN STOCK for immediate shipment.
Skat Blast has been manufacturing a full line of Abrasive Blasting Cabinets since 1978. If you purchased our very first Skat Blast Cabinet back in 1978 and needed replacement nozzles or parts, we have everything in stock for immediate UPS shipment. (Try that with imported tools and equipment). Our primary market is for antique car restoration. Antique vehicles are quite rusty and require plenty of work to bring every component back to new condition, so if our equipment is good enough for antique car restorers, it will be more than adequate for other purposes. Our cabinets are simple to operate and easy to service and maintain - In addition to being America's Favorite, our pricing is almost always lower than imported or light-duty equipiment sold by others. We invite comparison in quality and price!
Contact Us - Have a question? Call 1-800-321-9260 from 8 AM to 6 PM weekdays and 8:30 to 3:30 on Saturdays, or contact TP Tools by email at firstname.lastname@example.org We'll be happy to answer it for you. * Note: We answer our phones LIVE from Canfield, Ohio - no buttons to push. Or for more information, pictures and prices, see www.tptools.com
* Warning: Cabinets, Vacuums, and Dust Collectors require inspection and replacement of inner components, such as: Vacuum & Dust Collector Bags, Gaskets, Motors, Lenses, Gloves, etc., as well as Abrasives on a regular basis. Material removed in the blasting process can be hazardous. It is imperative that you employ appropriate safeguards (e.g. containment, ventilation, and filtration), as well as provide workers with training and proper respiratory protection and protective gear.