Monday, July 19, 2010

Twenty-Six Joints; Lots of Sweat

Saturday I completed installing the copper pipes of my new compressed air system. Given the high temperatures Baltimore is enjoying, I’m surprised I even had to light up the torch to sweat the joints. But light I did, and when I pressurized the system, I only found one joint that hissed with leaking air. A simple re-sweat and all was quiet.

I filled the rope bucket with water and dropped in three blue ice packs to cool it down while I extracted my sandblast cabinet from storage. With it all set up and plugged in, I began to remove the paint and primer from the valance patches. I say “began” because all my efforts, while vastly drying the air, did not fix the sandblaster problem. Sand would be blown out the nozzle for a couple of seconds, then stop. If I jiggled the tank, the sand would blow for a couple seconds before stopping again. The air flow is continuous throughout all this. So, in order to keep the sand flowing, I had to become a contortionist. Right foot on the ground, both hands shoved inside the sandblasting cabinet, and my left foot resting on top of the tank rocking it back and forth. After blasting the perimeters of each part, I gave up this silly little one-man band business. I'll do more research and try different settings, but for now the sandblaster will stayed put away. The upside is that I do know the air coming out of the hose is nice and dry, so fisheyes while painting will not be a problem.

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