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HF Figured Out! EASY Modification for IMPROVED efficiency!!!

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HF Figured Out! EASY Modification for IMPROVED efficiency!!!

Postby WOBGnut » December 31st, 2014, 5:53 pm

It IS possible to get the HF SIPHON cabinets to blast smoothly! I've never seen this idea posted online, so am putting it out there. It does take some adjusting and modifications to the cabinet but not the major ones I've been reading about. I kept debating about putting a Pressure Pot on mine but kept resisting because I 1. Didn't really have the space and 2. Didn't really want to deal with all the compications of modifying a pressure pot on top of modifying the cabinet as well AND STILL probably having issues. I was getting closer to doing so until this last weekend when a Eureka moment struck.

My thought was wondering if I could hook up the siphon hose directly to the bottom of the hopper instead of having that stupid metal rod sticking into the media. I found it very aggravating to have that rod coming up out of the media, the media NOT sifting down the stupid chute to the rod, or the hose kinking as I was trying to aim the gun at the item. My cabinet is in the closet under the stairs in my basement for dust and noise control. I find it works VERY WELL in there. Remarkably I've had very little problem with claustrophobia because when I'm blasting I'm focused inside the cabinet anyway. Because of this I really didn't have room for the pressure pot or much room to mess around with refilling the dang thing. SO...

NOTES on Particulars first: HF large table cabinet with Siphon fed gun. Seams sealed by me. Originial gun was replaced with a Grainger medium gun (the black one, only black one I've seen on the market but can't remember model number). I just added a Carbide nozzle so interested in seeing how that does. HF 125psi, 2.5 HP 4.7CFM @ 80 compressor (large tank but low CFM but most I could afford and still also 120Volt). Shop Vac w Hepa filter for dust control. I don't currently have any moisture control on the lines and don't seem to have any problems with mositure. Maybe because I'm in a basement where the temp is kept consistent. I'm going to add a water filter just to be safe. But I've not even had water collecting in the bottom of the compressor. I'm using 120 (I think) grit AO. I removed the screen between the work area and media bin and use a piece of white rubberized shelving to rest the artwork on. This gives me more room in the cabinet and had made it easier to move the dang grit down the chute when I needed to.

My Eureka Idea that is so simple I'm wondering what I've missed that I don't see this online from others....
1st. I drilled a new hole in the front of the cabinet to feed the air pressure hose AND media hose in from the front instead of the back. I also raised the cabinet up on 2x4's to allow the hose to come out from underneath.
2. I fed the original siphon clear hose with fiber reinforcement into the stop cock fitting at the bottom. Just remove the cap on the inside. It fits very snuggly [PERFECT] but does fit. I pushed it about 1.5" into the base of the cabinet. I also borrowed an idea from AZGC's pot mod and cut the top part of the hose off (so it forms sort of a scoop in the bottom instead of just the round entrance to the hose.) Ok, incase it's not obvious, the idea I borrowed was adding the pipe with holes along it to the exit port of the pot to increase areas for the media to enter. I was originally going to drill holes in the tube and then realized cutting it was easier and probably more effective. ONWARD...
3. This was fed up and into the new hole and to my blast gun.
4. I'm going to try installing a piece of screen at the bottom of the bin, above the hose and exit point to act as a filter as well. But haven't done it yet, so don't know how well that idea will work.

The media flows SMOOTHLY and consistently thru the gun and even better, the media slides down the chute like it's supposed to! It's much easier using the gun as there is less hose in the way. The hoses coming in the front are easier to manipulate. No more burping, loss of pressure or lack of media! And note: this is with a relatively smallish compressor. I'm getting great media flow and the compressor doesn't run all the time.

I hope this wasn't too long and makes sense. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions they'd be welcome. I'll try to get some pics up soon if I'm allowed to and can figure it out.

My family is wanting me to get the Chinese food ordered so we can watch a New Year''s Eve movie while waiting to eat our ice cream in the hot tub at midnight. HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYONE!
Linda
Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine. -Attributed to A. Turing
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Re: HF Figured Out! EASY Modification for IMPROVED efficienc

Postby JESS » December 31st, 2014, 7:57 pm

Linda-
You are correct, siphon guns can work wonderfully, as millions of machine shops can attest to. Also, if it works for you, don't let anyone tell you it's inferior, just do your thing. As you will find, if you read a LOT of the posts from the past here on the forum, most folk find their way to a pressure pot for a reason, and in a production environment, there are many valid reasons, most of which involve reduced air consumption, and more consistent results with flow, etc. I'm hesitant to reply on the moisture situation, since you are not having problems, but since I'm kind of a buttinsky, I'll open the subject. Your environment has a lot to do with WHEN you will encounter moisture problems. I live in the desert, where commonly, humidity is not a problem. The problem stems from the fact that you are compressing air, and along with it, any moisture and heat that is in it. Your environmental humidity may only be 10%, but when compressed, that 10% moisture is packed into the container, (your tank), and accumulates with the volume of air you compress, as does the heat. If you do not use that air right away, as the heat from compression dissipates, the moisture condenses, and falls to the bottom of your compressor tank. (Have you drained your tank recently?)
One of the major advantages to a pressure pot, is the reduced volume of air used, hence less heat, less moisture, less energy consumed to get a job done. If you have the luxury of allowing your air supply to cool before you use it, moisture will not likely become a problem, but when you begin to consume so much air that it is still hot when it enters your supply lines, the suspended moisture will condense outside your tank, in your supply lines, and will need some place to collect before it becomes so heavy as to make your grit into mud balls. In a pressure pot, a lot of that moisture will accumulate inside the pot, creating flow problems, which is why a separator is a must. With a siphon gun, that moisture will show at the end of your nozzle as a slightly muddy residue, then settle into your grit, and over time, lead to clogging, poor flow, and increased corrosion in your cabinet. The ventilated intake pipe you you speak of, has allowed your grit to flow well, probably despite a high moisture content, but eventually, you will return to problems, unless you find a way to remove that moisture. Trapping it before it is absorbed into your grit supply will save you many problems, and keep your grit flowing nicely.

I am not a scholar, but have learned much the hard way. We built this forum to help others, by sharing what we have learned. I hope this helps, in some small way.
Jess
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Re: HF Figured Out! EASY Modification for IMPROVED efficienc

Postby WOBGnut » December 31st, 2014, 10:35 pm

Hi Jess, yeah I've been trying to figure out why I've not been having moisture issues. I figured it must have been because I'm in the basement and it's very dry down there. I had never emptied my compressor tank :Crazy: till the other day. I fully expected a fair amount of water to come out. There was ONE very small drip! I've checked it since after each session and still no accumulation of water. I've also never had any of the moisture issues you mentioned; no accumulation around the nozzle, none dropping into the media bin, no rust in hopper, etc... :dunno: I got a filter just because of what everyone says and figure I'll be using my system more often now that I've got it running smoother that I might start running into moisture issues. I still don't think the issues I had before were moisture ones. Everytime I've had a drop off it was flow clogged by debris such as the stencil blast out, rubber from inside of hose that was breaking down, tape, Ect... Not moisture.

I'm still not up to wanting a pressure pot system. They just seem so complicated and I really don't have the room. We'll see as I continue to progress. Meanwhile I'm enjoying this better way of getting the siphon media to go from the bottom of the bin up into my nozzle.
Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine. -Attributed to A. Turing
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Re: HF Figured Out! EASY Modification for IMPROVED efficienc

Postby WOBGnut » January 1st, 2015, 7:34 am

SAFETY ISSUE with my idea! Ok, I'd mentioned above that I couldn't see any downsides to my idea. I've come across one on the forum here. I've been doing some browsing on the site and came across one comment on another thread that made me realize one possible safety issue with my idea. Someone mentioned to watch out for any sand hoses that are outside the cabinet as if they blow out, you would then have sand under pressure blowing freely and not under control in the cabinet. Apparently where there are curves are particularly vulnerable. My idea has one long curve running completely outside the cabinet. Their suggestion was to maybe put the sand hose inside another hose as a precaution. I think that's a good idea but make sure it's a clear hose so you can see if there is a developing issue.

I don't do industrial volumes of blasting by any means, so I'm sure I'm safe, but wanted to bring the point up for any who might convert their cabinets the way I have. If you plan on doing large amounts and consistent use of your cabinet, probably is best to go the pressure pot route. My idea is for the occasional user who just wants to at least get the siphon working easily.
Linda
Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine. -Attributed to A. Turing
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Re: HF Figured Out! EASY Modification for IMPROVED efficienc

Postby JESS » January 1st, 2015, 10:58 am

Linda-
Great point, not as risky in your situation, as your grit is not under pressure, it's being moved by vacuum. You would have a "sucking leak" instead of pressurised grit blowing all over the house. :)
Jess
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Re: HF Figured Out! EASY Modification for IMPROVED efficienc

Postby Dennis Davis » January 13th, 2015, 2:09 pm

I have a Harbor Freight pressure pot which is on a shelf next to my home made blast cabinet. I use quarter inch tubing between the pressure pot and the cabinet, the tubing is like surgical tubing, rubber and quite flexible. I installed some clear plastic hose, the kind with the reinforcing thread, over the rubber tubing and secured the ends with small radiator clamps. If (when) I have a blowout, the secondary tubing will contain it until I can shut things down.
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Re: HF Figured Out! EASY Modification for IMPROVED efficienc

Postby MRItravis » February 3rd, 2015, 7:57 am

Linda, Thank you for the ideas. I have been thinking about modding my cabinet similar to this.
Thanks
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