Thursday, September 02, 2010
Well, after a month of no sandblasting, our company's new compressor has arrived and we just finished setting it up today. This is going to be a technical blog post, at least somewhat, so if you're not interested in workshop equipment, this is a good place to tune out.
After a lot of looking and shopping, we settled on this beastie, a BelAire "Quiet Performance" 7.5HP, 80 gallon, 2 stage model with a lot of bells and whistles. The most obvious is the top cowling, which fully surrounds the motor and pump with sound insulating lining while including an extra air recirculating fan to keep everything inside cool and ensure good ventilation. This was an experiment for me, but I'm glad we chose it, since I've now run it with the cowling on and off, and the difference is noticeable - With the cowling in place, we can walk outside our garage and the compressor running at full tilt cannot be heard over the sound of the window AC unit. So, it should keep the neighbors happy. It's still loud in the garage, but at least now it shouldn't drown out my headphone audiobooks.
The bit that I already dearly love, however, is this:
I tried it out immediately, of course. Here's the first test piece, a junk block that I had set aside due to way too many flaws. The surface texture on here was achieved in about five minutes of blasting. I'm hoping this will seriously increase our output, and have the first Ligne Bretagne bulldog blast lined up for finishing tonight. With luck, I'll have it and maybe another couple ready to post in the next catalog update, which will be happening in a day or two.