Crescent Hammers, Phillips Head Punches, and Other Cautionary Tales

I don’t want to sound “preachy,” but I’m a stickler for using the right tool for the job. Case in point: just the other day, I noticed (OK; my wife told me about) a loose drawer handle. I went to my toolbox in the garage to get a flat-head screwdriver, even though the drawer in question had a selection of butter knives, any one of which could have been used to tighten that screw.

I can trace this, without doubt or hesitation, to my service in the US Navy, under the direction of Senior Chief Cooper.  Proper tool selection & use was VERY important to him.  He stressed the issues of safety, quality, and performance, but if that didn’t work, he’d make his point with an offer to demonstrate the use of a specific tool (a ball peen hammer) on a sensitive part of your anatomy (it’s exactly the part you’re thinking of.)  At that point, it would have been unwise (and unsafe) to question whether that was a proper use of the tool or not.

Only one of these is a hammer………………..….only one of these is a punch………………..…..only one of these is a chisel.
Choose wisely.

Likewise, there are safety, quality, and performance issues associated with compressed air blow offs.  At EXAIR, we’re ALL sticklers about this, and we get calls all the time to discuss ways to get more out of compressed air systems by using the right products.  Here’s a “textbook” example:

A hose manufacturer contacted me to find out more about our Air Wipes, and how they might be a better fit for their various cleaning & drying applications (spoiler alert: they are.)  The blow offs they were using were made of modular hose, designed (and very successfully used) for coolant spraying in machine tools.

Only one of these is a compressed air blow off. Again…choose wisely.

The selection process was two-fold: they purchased one Model 2401 1″ Super Air Wipe to verify performance, and they sent in some of their modular hose assemblies for Efficiency Lab testing.  The first part was just as important as the second because, no matter how much air they were going to save (another spoiler alert: it was significant,) it wouldn’t matter if it didn’t get the job done.  At the station shown above, the Super Air Wipe resulted in superior performance, and a compressed air cost savings of over $400.00 annually.  For that one station.  Based on that, they outfitted TWENTY FIVE stations with engineered product sized for their different hoses, using our Model 2400 (1/2″), 2401 (1″), 2402 (2″) and 2403 (3″) Super Air Wipes.

If you’d like to find out how using the right product for the job can help your operation, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Happy Veterans Day

To the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard veterans and current personnel:

Thank you to all of you who have served in our armed forces to keep our freedom intact. You have our respect and support.


The reason we celebrate Veterans Day on November 11 is because this is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. In 1938, a Congressional Act was signed into place to recognize Armistice Day,  a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace. It was changed to Veteran’s Day in 1954. This is a day we should celebrate all the current soldiers and civilians who served in the forces at anytime, during peace or war.

From everyone at EXAIR – Thank you.


Image courtesy of U.S. Army Materiel Command. Creative Commons license. 

Memorial Day 2014 – Thank You

Marine Memorial

In a conversation with one of my sisters recently, I was informed how elated she is that Memorial Day is approaching so she can soon wear white. There is, or maybe there was at some point, a fashion rule dictating that white only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day. As I understand, this was done by the opulent to set themselves aside from the working class, who often wore dark clothes for work.

When she told me this, I of course asked if she knew Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. “Accessoriiiiize!”, she said, as if her brain was assembling the ensemble she MUST wear as soon as possible.

This sister is a stark contrast to my other sister who is married to a retired Marine and veteran of the war in Afghanistan. For their family, Memorial Day takes on a much more somber, appreciative tone, as it does with me.
We are fortunate to live as we do, and regardless of a person’s political beliefs, we ALL appreciate the dedication and sacrifice of those in our armed forces.

I was recently told by a foreign national that they admire the culture of America. How we as a people do not fight for land territory, but for ideals and principles of fair living.
Let’s remember that, and remember those who have fallen in defense of our ideals.

Many of our EXAIR Families will watch their Boy Scouts walk in a parade or help decorate veteran’s gravestones with their 4H club, or remember their family members who have died serving the US military. EXAIR supports all of these activities and has the utmost respect and gratitude for those who have died serving our country so we may have opportunity and freedom. Please take a moment to think of our fallen, brave U.S. military people today.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

Small World

My world has always been surprisingly small. I know; a lot of people say that, but I don’t think many match mine for compactness. I submit for your approval:

I grew up in a small rural community on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio, and joined the Navy right out of school, to see the world and never come back. I ended up on a Trident submarine and got to travel around the Atlantic Ocean quite a bit, but the only ports-of-call that I saw were Groton, CT; King’s Bay, GA; and an occasional liberty stop in Port Canaveral, FL.

During one of those PCAN port calls, we took on a new crew member, and put to sea for seventy-two days of strategic deterrent patrol (aka hiding missiles from the Russians). One night, on the midwatch, we found out The Newbie was from Cincinnati, too. Turns out, he and I had both lived in the same little one-horse town, where his stepmother was a teacher. I gazed at the name sewn above the pocket of his coveralls, and remembered that my fifth grade teacher had later married a man with that same last name.  As we realized that his father’s wife was my all-time favorite grade school teacher, Machinery 2 grew deathly quiet – sailors love a good omen, and chance meetings like this are real harbingers.  She was a wonderful and effective teacher – I credit her with my love for math.  That’s why I get totally juiced when someone wants to know how fast we can cool something down with a Vortex Tube – or a Super Air Knife – or which one’s better for their application.  Or when questions arise about ventilating a space with an Air Amplifier.  And it wasn’t just math – she just flat-out made learning fun.  I suppose that’s the mark of a quality educator, and it seems that some just have it, and some just don’t. 

Fast forward twenty years: I left the Navy in 1991 and, despite some valiant efforts to keep my vow to never return, I had ended up living in Cincinnati, married to the girl I took to my senior prom, settled comfortably in the ‘burbs with our two young sons.  My boys and I were out one crisp fall day in 2009, participating in that great Boy Scout tradition, the door-to-door Popcorn Sale.  As we canvassed the neighborhood, we came to a particular house in a cul-de-sac, where we found out the owner was a recently retired school teacher.  It had been over thirty years since I’d seen her, but some people you just don’t forget.  After meeting her stepson 400 feet deep in the middle of the Atlantic, she’s now my neighbor!  Small world indeed.

Maybe it’s coincidence.  Maybe it’s fate.  Perhaps it’s a little of both.  But I consider it a unique blessing that someone who meant so much to me in my youth is back in my circle.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax