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I could use some help in getting a new air abrasion setup. I ordered a MicronBlaster only to find out that they have closed. Their web page works nothing else does. I now have to jump thru hoops to get my money back.  I tried the HF etcher and had no luck getting it to work. Looking for something of better quality without going broke.

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what is the HF etcher?  ... a hydroflouric acid thing?  cuz that sounds frightening?  

 

Have you looked at Swam Blaster's EcoBlaster?  It is small no frills and not too expensive.  Other on here have built their own.  

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7 minutes ago, jpc said:

what is the HF etcher?  ... a hydroflouric acid thing?  cuz that sounds frightening?  

 

Have you looked at Swam Blaster's EcoBlaster?  It is small no frills and not too expensive.  Other on here have built their own.  

 

Most likely Harbor Freight. Their etchers are utter rubbish.

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11 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

 

Most likely Harbor Freight. Their etchers are utter rubbish.

 

Mine works fine for the trilobites I prep.  :( 

Many people have problems with them, But it works fine for me. 

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or build one yourself - not so difficult!

 

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I got a fairly affordable Paasche air eraser for under $200.

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4 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

 

Mine works fine for the trilobites I prep.  :( 

Many people have problems with them, But it works fine for me. 

 

That is because you are awesome. It has nothing to do with the equipment. :P

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Thanks everyone!  Its the Harbor Freight one that I tried with no success. @Kane  I see that Paasche has different models what one did get?  I find it strange that we have so few options build our own or patch something together. I am trying not to go the do it myself route due to issues with arthritis in my hands and arms.

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4 hours ago, ischua said:

@Kane  I see that Paasche has different models what one did get?  I find it strange that we have so few options build our own or patch something together. I am trying not to go the do it myself route due to issues with arthritis in my hands and arms.

I purchased the Paasche AECR from Amazon for $154.56 CDN. This one feeds from a canister rather than a cup on the top. The good thing is that there won't be any vibration issues to antagonize the arthritis, and you can probably use a relaxed grip as well since choking any of these tools with your hand over a long period tends to cause issues. 

 

The only DIY aspect you might want to consider is small dispensing needles (18 - 22 gauge) that you can hot glue to the end if you want to get into the cracks of the pleura better. That is one thing I haven't done yet. That, and good magnification while working, can really make a difference!

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13 hours ago, Ptychodus04 said:

 

That is because you are awesome. It has nothing to do with the equipment. :P

:rolleyes:    :P 

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So this topic has come up a few times and I think it is time that I purchase some type of unit.  There seems to be quite a few options out there as well as a few DIY units.  So what is recommended as a beginning unit that will not break the bank and do the job well for an amateur? A good discussion of plusses and minuses would be great.

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1 hour ago, oldtimer said:

So this topic has come up a few times and I think it is time that I purchase some type of unit.  There seems to be quite a few options out there as well as a few DIY units.  So what is recommended as a beginning unit that will not break the bank and do the job well for an amateur? A good discussion of plusses and minuses would be great.

 

The Paasche remote feed air eraser is probably the most reliable, inexpensive route to go.  See the post I linked up above: the review  of this by ZiggieCie. 

But that is just the Air eraser.  


Pros:  Relatively inexpensive. Compared to the self contained dental units, this is much cheaper at around $100.00 versus $400.00 + 

The remote feed canister holds more abrasive media than the top/cup fed model (which is about 1/2 the price.).

This means having to fill the canister less frequently. 

 

Cons:  Not self contained, like a Renfert , Vaniman, or other dental unit. (Need to buy or make a blast cabinet.) 

Doesn't hold as much media as dental abrasive units. 

Does not come with a foot pedal controller. 

May wear out quicker than other more expensive models, depending on how much prep you do. 

 

For cabinets, Harbor Freight has 2 models available for less than $200.00. I got the benchtop model for about $100.00 on sale. 

If you are handy, , you could make your own for about  $100.00 as well. Someone used a cardboard box for their cabinet. Wood, old coolers, Tupperware type storage containers have all been used by members here.

 

Some DIY posts:  LINK-1  LINK-2

Then you need a compressor, and dispensing needle tips for more concentrated blasting. 

in-line Air/water/oil filters, hoses, connections, blast media. (Type of which is determined by the hardness of the matrix being prepped.)


Hope this helps. :)

Regards

 

 

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Sagebrush Steve
6 hours ago, Kane said:

I purchased the Paasche AECR from Amazon for $154.56 CDN. This one feeds from a canister rather than a cup on the top. The good thing is that there won't be any vibration issues to antagonize the arthritis, and you can probably use a relaxed grip as well since choking any of these tools with your hand over a long period tends to cause issues. 

 

The only DIY aspect you might want to consider is small dispensing needles (18 - 22 gauge) that you can hot glue to the end if you want to get into the cracks of the pleura better. That is one thing I haven't done yet. That, and good magnification while working, can really make a difference!

 

Interesting.  I just read the Amazon reviews for it and they aren’t very encouraging. What psi do you use and what abrasive material?  Here is a link to the Amazon page:

https://www.amazon.com/Paasche-AECR-Remote-Eraser-Etching/dp/B001CJKTXG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1516812038&sr=8-4&keywords=Paasche+Air+eraser

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7 minutes ago, Sagebrush Steve said:

 

Interesting.  I just read the Amazon reviews for it and they aren’t very encouraging. What psi do you use and what abrasive material?  Here is a link to the Amazon page:

https://www.amazon.com/Paasche-AECR-Remote-Eraser-Etching/dp/B001CJKTXG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1516812038&sr=8-4&keywords=Paasche+Air+eraser

Dolomite an baking soda are the media usually used for this. 

I've also heard of people using Calcium Carbonate, Alumina Hydrate, something called "Iron Powder"  and sometimes the Aluminum Oxide,

although I fear AO is too harsh for most of the fossils we deal with.

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Sagebrush Steve
15 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

Dolomite an baking soda are the media usually used for this. 

I've also heard of people using Calcium Carbonate, Alumina Hydrate, something called "Iron Powder"  and sometimes the Aluminum Oxide,

although I fear AO is too harsh for most of the fossils we deal with.

Shows why you should read reviews with skepticism.  At least one implies you have to use aluminum oxide with the Paasche, others don't work.

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another con for the Paasche is that they recommend an upper limit of 50 psi.  Unless I am doing detail work, I regularly air-abrade at 80 psi.  

 

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This is perfect timing for this discussion for me. I have had the same questions and just have not had time to search the forum. 

My dad visited at Christmas and saw how I was prepping and ended up sending me a bit of money for the express purpose of fossil prep.

This distilla the info down into one place for the most part without having to search around. Thanks for posting your experiences and insight,

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I use a unit from Cyclone Manufacturing. It was under $200 and has a large pressurized abrasive canister. 

 

The tip tip is a bit large but I plan to use the dispensing needle tip in the future for detail work. Out of the box it is fine for larger work.

 

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On 24.01.2018 at 8:13 PM, Sagebrush Steve said:

Shows why you should read reviews with skepticism.  At least one implies you have to use aluminum oxide with the Paasche, others don't work.

I tried it with dolomite and iron powder. Both worked

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