The Elvis Legacy

Is my Air Eraser working properly?

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With in the last few days I have gotten very interested in glass etching. I went to HF and at the suggestion of the manager, I purchased the Air Eraser and an airbrush compressor. I made a mistake and purchased 70 grit AO and had to take it back and get the 220 grit. I finally got it all to work this evening...but the "etching line" from the Air Eraser is so small and narrow that it took forever to get the area I was etching filled in. Am I doing something wrong? Should I be looking at returning this and getting some other equipment that goes a little faster? Any suggestions on other equipment?

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You are not doing anything wrong, when the AE is new it has a VERY fine spray pattern. Once you have used it a little while the pattern will widen. I have several that have different patterns due to the age of them. I keep them all around so I have options as far as the patterns they spray. Just my 2c.

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The small spray size is the main reason I upgraded to a larger blaster. I went with a $20 blaster from Tractor Supply Company and a 50# bucket of 80-90 grit aluminum oxide abrasive. It covers a much larger area, much faster. It also does a more thorough job etching the glass (cutting deeper). I still use the air eraser occassionally, for very small work (after all, I've still got a few lbs of 220 AO to use up!), but 95%+ of my sand etching is done with the larger blaster.

A drinking glass that would take longer than 5 minutes to etch with the air eraser can be done in 30 seconds with the larger blaster - it also holds about 1000x as much abrasive material so you don't have to stop to reload every few minutes - I also haven't experienced any jamming with the larger blaster like I did with the air eraser.

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OWJ...that is exactly what I was thinking...Im just trying to figure out what size compressor I need to get right now to handle the job. Thanks though...30 secs sounds a lot better than 5 mins...

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If you go by the numbers on the sand blasters, you'll end up with a bigger compressor than you will actually need. They all want a high CFM (cubic feet per minute) but they base that on you holding the trigger down for 60 seconds. If you work in shorter, more controlled blasts, then you'll get by with fewer CFM.

I have a large compressor, the kind that is the size of a 30 gallon trash can, but I bought it several years ago to operate multiple air tools and it's definitely overkill for sandblasting beer mugs and mirrors. I wouldn't suggest skimping and buying the cheapest one you can find (I base this on the fact that every time I try and go that route it ends up costing me more money in the long run because I eventually have to upgrade to the one I should have bought in the first place...). The Walmart near me has had a nice, medium sized compressor on sale for the last few months that is extremely quiet (at least compared to a standard compressor).

I have my compressor inside a wooden shed in my yard and run it inside of there, which helps keep the noise contained - with a 50' air hose, I can operate the blaster inside of my garage and keep a majority of the noise a safe distance away. Otherwise you might want to consider hearing protection as well as eye and breathing protection - especially if you're blasting glass as you don't want to inhale glass dust and end up with Silicosis of the lungs.

Also, and again I speak from having learned the hard way, take off your watch and any other jewelry and put your cell phone inside your pants pocket. First time I used my blaster I ended up with a teaspoon or so of abrasive powder in my shirt pocket and it left dozens of scratches in the screen of my smartphone, plus the fine AO dust rubbed the black IP coating off of several sections of my watch band when I was working at a table and removing the vinyl stencil and wiping away the grit. A large patch the size of a dime on the clasp of my watch band is now silver instead of black... :-[

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OJones can we see some picture of your work area :huh: thanks

My workshop is a total pig sty at the moment and I'm going to be out of town all weekend - I'll work on getting it cleaned up on Tuesday and post some pictures then.

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Just wanted to come back and post that I bought the small table top sand blasting cabinet..and an 8 gal compressor from Harbor Freight. THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT!!!! Etching is quick and there is no mess. I was using Aluminum Oxide at like $25 bucks for 20lbs. I was told through the grapevine that a local glass company uses it playground sand. I bought a 50lb bag at Home depot for less than $5. I tried the sand on a larger piece of glass that is being used for a large shadow frame and it worked really well also. Again though...for cups and mugs and smaller pieces, you cant go wrong with the sandblasting cabinet.

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I looked at Tractor Supply for a sand blaster for 20 bucks, they have several and the reviews are all over the place.... what type did you get that you like so much? I don't want to buy the wrong one and be unhappy.

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The cheapest you will probably find is the Air Eraser from Harbor Freight for around $30.00. There are mixed reviews on this particular Air Eraser.

I came across this one on eBay, and did a little research and from what I have read so far, people who have used it are very happy with it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Paasche-AEC-K-Air-Eraser-Kit-/110868838527?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19d04c387f

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I already have the air erasure but am interested in trying this one from TSC as well. The link you posted shows an air erasure for 70 bucks. I got mine from Harbor Freight for 25 bucks.

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I already have the air erasure but am interested in trying this one from TSC as well. The link you posted shows an air erasure for 70 bucks. I got mine from Harbor Freight for 25 bucks.

I am aware of the price of the Air Eraser Kit on eBay. I would be willing to bet the quality is much, much better than the HF and TSC Air Erasers, they are probably actually one in the same

anyway.

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