Keep it Running in Tip-top Shape

Maintenance of your coldworking eqiupment is an important step towards keeping your shop running efficiently and effectively. Oftentimes in the day-to-day running of our shops we neglect some basic maintenance on our equipment that can end up saving us thousands of dollars in the long run in lost time and equipment re-purchase.

Foredom now has an easy equipment tune-up kit available for their SR motors and TX motor. The kits come with everything you need to maintain your motor and handpieces to keep them running like new year after year. This is a great, inexpensive way to make sure your flex shaft is still performing great and preventing any downtime from equipment failures.

Many of our coldworking machines simply require regular cleaning to prevent ground glass from clogging the drain lines in the flat lap grinders or belt sanders. Air tools require the use of oil to keep them running smoothly and prevent lock ups on the grinder. Electric right angle grinders need carbon brush sets replaced from time to time to keep them running smoothly. Covington grinders with a center water feed need to have the water feed running any time the grinder is running (using either the center water feed for your water or using the solid center plug to keep water flowing through the water collet) and yearly greasing of the collet to keep the bearings running smoothly.

All these simple maintenance routines will keep your equipment running long term.

Just a Bunch of Air

Several of the tools and equipment that we offer are pneumatic in that they required compressed air to operate correctly. Most of these tools require quite a large volume of air as well and that can be daunting and confusing when trying to figure out if you can, or should, purchase these pieces.

Our sandblast cabinets come standard with a 14CFM nozzle which means that they require a minimum of 14 Cubic Feet per Minute of air through the hose to operate correctly. Now, we can alter the sandblast cabinets either before they are ordered or after you receive them to change the 14CFM nozzle for a 5CFM nozzle that will greatly reduce the air requirement for them to operate. They will blast slower and be less efficient in sandblasting, but it does make for a lower required air movement from a compressor.

The right angle tools on the other hand will range in requirement from 10CFM of air all the way up to 23CFM requirement and everything in between. There is really no way to lower the requirments of the right angle tools so these CFM requirements are the minimums required and should be adhered to when choosing a compressor.

We will often have customers ask us for compressor recommendations and we have always been hesitant to offer recommendations as there are so many variables involved including space considerations and budget.

To make setup in your coldshop faster, easier, and more economical we are now offering two different compressors to pair with your sandblaster or right angle grinder purchase.

Our first compressor is a Rolair single stage compressor that is more for use with light duty operations where you only use your sandblaster or right angle grinder a few times a month and for shorter periods of time. This 60 gallon tank outputs around 16CFM so it’s perfectly suited to run your sandblaster or right angle grinder for an hour or three wihtout any issue at all. The single stage compressor will cycle more often under use so it’s not the best option for heavy duty sandblasting or grinding use.

Our second compressor is a 2 stage 80 gallon tank compressor that provides roughly 19.8CFM of air for your tools so it will handle heavy and long term use without constant cycling and can even handle multiple tools running at one time.

Both these compressors are 5HP models that will require a 220V/60Hz single phase electrical line (which shouldn’t be a problem if you already have 220V running for your kilns).

Did You Know…

That our electroplated diamond disks and resin bonded diamond smoothing pads are all manufactured here in Asheville, North Carolina?

We will often get the question on whether our diamond disks are made in China or not and we’re constantly surprised that this question continues to make the rounds.

We’re very proud of the fact that our diamond disks have been manufactured by the same plating company here in Asheville for the last 25 years. From our very first disk made for our own use while making dichroic inclusion sculptures back in 1992 to today, our disks have always been made in the US from the highest quality materials and processes. We use our disks ourselves for our own glass so we want the best possible tools we can make.

Our resin diamond pads have been made in house since 2000 and follow the same stringent quality guidelines as our electroplated disks.

Our resin disks are coated onto optically flat Rodel SUBA X synthetic felt material which is one of the highest quality optical felts in the industry. This allows for a high quality coating of the diamond resin and the ability to maintain optical flatness for your glass surfaces which makes grinding and polishing your glass more efficient and saves you both time and money.

Our diamond disks are plated onto a fiberboard substrate material with a copper laminate top. The fiberboard gives the disk a slight flexibility which allows it to conform to the flatness of your wheel head to maintain that optically flat surface while grinding. Many customers ask why we don’t plate onto heavier substrate like steel. This has two downsides; your shiping costs would rise dramatically due to the higher weight shipment and the disks would be more prone to slipping on the grinder due to the higher weight ratio while spinning.

Most disks plated onto steel substrates are poorly plated. They use the stiffer steel to hide the fact that the plating is not up to par. In the plating process, materials tend to warp back and forth like a sine wave. Poorly trained and lazy electroplaters do not know how to control the plating curvature during the process, so instead rely on a stiffer substrate to stay flat while plating. This can often lead to disks that will have a slight warpage to them even with the heavier substrate and will not have the flexibility to lie flat on your grinder.

We stand by the quality, longevity, and performance that our disks provide along with the technical support from machinery setup to disk usage and care.

We are here for you, our customer and want you to have the best quality tools you can.