pressurewasher sandblaster attachment

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Heath_h49008

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My boss just handed me an AR 4000psi 4gpm pump... (He considers it junk.)

I think I might be a 13 hp horizontal shaft engine away from trying this after all.

I would really love to see one of you guys run yours on video next time you use it.
 

Beerslayer

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My boss just handed me an AR 4000psi 4gpm pump... (He considers it junk.)

I think I might be a 13 hp horizontal shaft engine away from trying this after all.

I would really love to see one of you guys run yours on video next time you use it.
I bet a diesel generator motor would run it. Didn't I see a pile of those in the classifieds recently? Probably cheaper than the 13HP Hondas.
 

Heath_h49008

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I bet a diesel generator motor would run it. Didn't I see a pile of those in the classifieds recently? Probably cheaper than the 13HP Hondas.
Thanks for the tip.

It turns out no. I can get a 420cc Honda clone with electric start for $280 + uncle sugar. But those diesels sure do look nice for other projects.

I think I already have the pump "fixed"... they build a lot more pressure when the grub screw and locknut are not missing on the unloader/pressure adjustment valve so it doesn't just run in 100% bypass. [thumbzup]

I might check some local small engine shops for a generator with a good engine and a bad dynamo. Almost any 1" horizontal shaft 3k rpm governor engine will work. At worst I'll have $300-$500 in the whole set up. (If I find a used engine maybe a lot less.)
 

Heath_h49008

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Used Honda clone engine acquired, as well as a hose/gun. Total cost <$150.

I need to do some minor work on the engine and pump, as well as pick up the blaster head/media and a pressure gauge to monitor the operating parameters and set the pumps unloader.

I can either start a new thread, or put the build and experimental data/pics in this one.
 

Heath_h49008

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Just got off the horn with a supplier for media... Armex at least... for my 64 Fairlane. They have all the various types in the Armex line for $.45-$.58 per lb.

Now I just need a source I can trust for silica sand. I'm debating trying to source "masonry sand" in a 30-60 mesh in a dried/graded variety, vs just buying coal slag in the same mesh range. The sand can't be reused so I want to keep it as cheap as I can.

I'm also debating between the Northern Tool 2260, and this unit MTM Hydro Sandblasting Kit with Sand Probe 4050 PSI from PowerWash.com that has variable jet sizes and supposedly cheaper/more common components. They look almost identical to me.

There is also this one which appears to be the best of the bunch for $120... General Pump DWSDBTK - Professional 5500 PSI Sand Blast Kit
 

Heath_h49008

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I got the time to head out and put the pressure washer together for a functional test with mixed results.

The engine needed a valve adjustment, and a new recoil assembly. I needed some keystock, and some mounting bolts to get the pump together, followed by rounding up a gun, wand and hose.

Well, I got it running and she was shaking like heck. One of the check valves was sticky when it first started, but the pump was pushing well. I adjusted the unloader by feel just because my next parts order will be for a gauge and the sandblaster. I wanted to make sure the pump was functional first.

I got about a minute into the test and she smoothed out. The check valves loosened up and she was pushing nice even pressure. And a LOT of water. These 4gpm pumps are nice!

I was squeezing and releasing the gun as I adjusted the unloader, when all of a sudden the pressure dropped.

Upon postmortem inspection, the tip of the unloader had split in two. The crack had corrosion in half of it, so it was pre-existing. (Replacement will be $15 already located in Chicago)

So I would call the test a success. At this point I have $140 invested in the motor, pump, wand, hose, and gun.
 

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Heath_h49008

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Well... day off. First round of parts are in.

$50 for a complete unloader. (The split valve tip was $20 alone.)

Assembly and testing later today, unless something else melts down and requires immediate attention...:wink:

It looks like next week for the blaster attachment to get here, and Friday for the gauge to set the unloader and control pressure.

This unit is rated for 4GPM and up to 4000psi... but pressure washer companies love to push the ratings into the "very short lifespan" range. I will be running her at 2800-3500psi.

The sand blaster attachment I have selected is the PWMall-88.0238-# 4.5 Industrial Wet Sand Blast Kit

...4.5 at my flow and pressure should be about perfect. It should put me into the range of adjustment for flexibility (hopefully) of abrasives.

More to come as testing continues...
http://www.pwmall.com/p-132467-88_0238--45-industrial-wet-sand-blast-kit.aspx
 

Heath_h49008

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Not a lot to report. I installed the new unloader and put my engine/pump assembly on a cart I picked up for $10.

When she first starts one of the checkvalves is sticking and she pulses... but after a moment she evens out. Cut a 1x2 in half with a 15 degree tip and the unloader set very low (Still no gauge in the mail)... so all in all not bad.

I should be seeing the blaster and the gauge to set it with next week. (The deuce comes home on Thursday, so it's going to be a busy week indeed.)
 

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Heath_h49008

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Update!

Wow...

Just... plain... Wow...

Pressure washer sandblasting - YouTube


<iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/V_cl0hNSF6k?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I swear I'll figure out how to properly embed a vid on this site eventually...

Anyway, that was the initial test run using cheap "fine" grade masons/playsand from Home Depot. It was the only dry sand I could find on a Sunday afternoon.

Pump specs. 4gpm, roughly 2800 psi... but it varied down to 2000 and up to 3100 when I pulled and released the trigger. I need to get the pressure nailed down better because I believe I'm too light on the unloader. (low water pressure for the nozzle to run at optimal)

I used less than 20 lbs of sand and I got that wheel to bare metal. That "fine" sand I would guess at about 80 mesh.

More testing this week.
 
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Keith_J

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How does it work on thin, modern auto body sheet metal? I know regular sand blasting will distort, especially when using larger grit.
 

Heath_h49008

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Be careful. The distortion comes from two factors when you blast thin metal... heat (which isn't a problem with the water blaster) and "peening" from each bit of sand acting like a tiny hammer-blow stretching the metal.

I plan to use it on my 1964 Fairlane 500 this spring/summer, if that tells you how safe I think it will be.

I also tested it on a trashed decklid I had from my 2003 Taurus... it cut the paint and didn't seem to have any ill effects. Personally, I think it's safe.

YMMV
 

3dAngus

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Can you use soda in lieu of sand in something like that? My dentist does that with my teeth, and I understand soda blasting is a lot more forgiving on lighter metals, but not sure about this machine with a water mix.
 

Heath_h49008

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From what I have been told "Armex" is actually wonderful when used with a pressure washer. It was designed to be used that way.

http://www.armex.com/faqs.aspx#faq9

I haven't had enough time to test it myself and the only good source for the Armex is either Harbor Freight or a place about an hour away. Armex recommends their own blaster unit called WADU that costs a few grand. (of course) But I don't see why it would be any different than sand in my unit. I can control sand suck-rate and water pressure with my set-up.

I'm sorry I have not had time to test the system fully. Work and school have kept me busy and broke.
 
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