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Made in USA in Canfield, Ohio

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Skat Blast 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.


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 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 5 PM weekdays.


Q. Do I need an Air Compressor?

A. All Skat Blast Cabinets require a supply of compressed air.  Our normal (Medium Nozzle) setup requires from 10-15 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, we can supply a "low air supply nozzle/air jet setup" extra cost, 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 whip 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.


Q. Best Method?

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, at a moments notice.


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" 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 or topload 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 the 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 (10-15 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-50 HEPA Vacuum. For commercial or industrial use, we recommend our 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.


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.  Over 35 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?

A. 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. Yes. Skat Blast Cabinets are proudly made in Canfield, Ohio, for over 35 years - family owned and operated, employing US workers. 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. No imports here! Everything is IN STOCK for immediate shipment within 24-48 hours.


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 info@tptools.com  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 pricing, 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.