O-Rings, Seals, Gaskets, Maintenace, Filtration – They All Matter

I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again. You can’t teach experience. This was told to me by a mentor at a previous job and of course, younger me thought, “Yeah, yeah I know all I need to know.”  Well, younger me was an idiot and learned many things through experience. Sometimes I am still a slow learner and eventually, I remember those experiences and make decisions based on them. So what does this have to do with o-rings, seals, and gaskets?

I’m in the midst of a light construction project in my house and have reached a stage where some tools that I do not have would come in handy and make the job faster. Younger me would have justified purchasing a new one, experienced me understands a budget and reached out to my network of friends and a good friend said they had the tool I needed. This was a compressed air powered framing nail gun. Straight through nailing, no-problem, toe-nailing, no-problem, this thing won’t break a sweat and your arms will be stronger by the time you are done using it while your thumbs are screaming thank you for not smashing me a hundred times.

The Framing Nail Gun in question

This loan did come with two conditions, one was, he didn’t have any nails to give with it. This was not a problem as I wouldn’t expect a friend to give me free fasteners with a tool loan. The second is the one that concerned me, he said, it does leak a little air but it should still shoot just fine. After working in the compressed air industry for over a decade I have experienced this many times. At that point I knew if you could hear it, chances were it was a bad leak. Upon further inspection, there was a cylinder gasket and rubber spring that were in pieces.

Old Spring Bumper and Main Cylinder Gasket
Gasket pieces and dirty air can result in catastrophic failures.

Nothing that a trip to a local business couldn’t take care of.  A few new parts and discussion with their knowledgeable staff and I had the information needed to rebuild this nail gun to functioning status.

New vs. Old

Oddly enough, my experience and expertise with how the EXAIR products like the No-Drip Air Atomizing Liquid Spray Nozzles operate and how to rebuild them, provided a good foundation about how this tool worked. This repair ended up being very similar to the rebuild on a No-Drip Spray Nozzle.

This story is two-fold, filtration could have prevented a lot of the damage to this gun. This gun uses a good amount of air volume at an expedient pace so keeping it clean and clear of debris helps extend the lifetime of internal parts.  See my video on what happens without filtration below.

The second part is that maintaining and understanding processes to clean/rebuild are crucial to sustainable function of a machine. The cleaning process for this gun was fairly straightforward and using the correct lubricant for reassembly was another critical role. This culminated in a framing nail gun that can now be used to further my project and will more than likely live another decade before needing a rebuild again. That is if filtration and proper lubrication are followed.

Had I not obtained experiences throughout my career that helped me to understand how this tool functioned, the worth of a reliable network of vendors, and the necessity to complete tasks that take me out of my comfort zone I wouldn’t be in the place I am today. Because I have the experience and the network to ask for help it enables me to keep machines running that could have cost valuable production hours had this been a production environment.

EXAIR stocks rebuild kits, gaskets, shims, and parts for all of our product lines which may require a repair. For products which need to be cleaned in order to return back to new performance, we have the instructions or can do it for you here. From time to time they may need a repair or refurb in order to keep functioning at peak performance. If you want to build your trusted network or learn more about how to rebuild or clean EXAIR products, contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

The Soft Grip Super Air Scraper Easily Cleans Floors

Scrape off, and blow away, stubborn debris with the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.

Have you ever tried to remove a sticky substance with a putty knife? You scrape and scrape, then stop to remove the loose material. Then start scraping again that same area which has material remaining. It can be very time-consuming. And, if the material is on the floor, it can ergonomically hurt your back and knees.

A subcontractor that worked for an automotive company contacted EXAIR for a solution. They needed a faster, better, and easier way to remove tape from the floor. Personally, I have been through many automotive plants, and they have everything marked with tape. They use different sorts of tape to mark pedestrian walkways, machine locations, and fork truck lanes. So, when a work area gets new equipment or altered for better workflow, the tape has to be removed. And since downtime affects productivity, the work has to be done quickly. Their current mode of operation was for the staff members to work on the floor with hand scrapers to remove the tape.

The answer to the subcontractor’s problem was the EXAIR Soft Grip Super Air Scraper. This product uses a nozzle that combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle. It uses the mechanical force of a blade with the force of compressed air to remove stubborn sticky materials. The corrosion-resistant steel scraper is robust and durable, and they can be easily sharpened or replaced when worn. To add flexibility to the Super Air Scraper, a shim set can be used to increase the blowing force. This combination of the nozzle and the scraper is an effective and powerful way to remove material with compressed air.

Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

To get pressurized air to this patent-pending nozzle, EXAIR attached the Super Air Scraper to our Soft Grip Air Gun. The Soft Grip Air Gun has an ergonomic soft handle and a full-grip trigger for hours of use without fatigue.   We include different extensions for hard-to-reach applications ranging from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length. With extensions that are 36” (914mm) and longer, EXAIR installs an additional foam grip sleeve. This gives more leverage for scraping material at a distance like at the floor level. Chip Shields can also be added to prevent blow-back onto the users.

For the subcontractor above, this was the perfect tool for their next assignment. I recommended the model 1244-36 Soft Grip Super Air Scraper which had a great length to reach the floor and a foam grip to force the blade under the tape. With the compressed air, it helped to keep the area clean during scraping and aided with the tape that was really stuck. They ordered six pieces, one for each staff member, to work the entire area to remove tape. The subcontractor was able to cut his scraping time by 75% as compared to the putty knife method above. And the staff members appreciated the need to not get on the floor.

To give some other areas for the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper, they can be used for removing gasket material, caulk, adhesives, paint, labels, and much more. If you have a “sticky” situation at your facility, an Application Engineer at EXAIR will be happy to discuss it with you.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

EXAIR Video Blog: Replacing Industrial Vacuum Drum Lid Gasket

Today’s video blog shows the replacement of a drum lid gasket on an EXAIR Industrial Vacuum.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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