Cutting Tubing for NEMES Whistles

PAblaster Project

13 November 2006

View a plain background version HERE

In the past I have made the copper tube parts for the NEMES whistles by cutting the 1/2" copper tubing with a tubing cutter.  The pieces were cut long and then trimmed back to correct length and deburred.   This year I decided to try something different.  I made up a jig that would hold the tubing while the horizontal mill did the cutting.  The first picture shows a piece of the jig that was excess to needs.  A 5/8" hole was drilled and reamed in the 1x1" stock and then the stock split on the horizontal mill.

P1010059.JPG (40529 bytes)

The next photo shows the short pieces of tubing being cut.  The mill cuts the ends nicely square and the is a minimum of burr to be trimmed.  All in all it works pretty well.  After all the short pieces were cut I moved the table in a specific amount and started cutting the longer pieces.

P1010057.JPG (42722 bytes)  If you would like to make your own whistle the plan is here:  down at the bottom of the page.  I'll bet that when Steve Lovely designed this whistle he never expected more than 1000 of the darn things to be made. 


The other item for this page is the completion of my PAblaster project.  The PAblaster is a sand blaster rig dreamed up by a fellow named Rob Cummings up in New Hampshire.  Rob sells plans for the blaster on the internet (  )and there is an active Yahoo group to support builders. It differs from a regular pressure pot type blaster in that low pressure air is fed into the top of the reservoir to assist the movement of blast media out of the pressure pot.  

After completing the project I added some media (Black Beauty) and turned on the air.  I was quite satisfied with the blasting action.  One of the prime reasons for building this project was to remove paint over spray from the bricks on the outside of our shop.  At the start of the school year last year I cautioned my students about getting paint on the outside walls. Less than two weeks later one of the dunderheads did this....

P1010056.JPG (118146 bytes)  I don't think it was deliberate but there it was.

P1010055.JPG (47712 bytes)  P1010054.JPG (73856 bytes)  (L) there was a small amount of black spray paint in this area which the blaster neatly removed.  The concrete pad show the effect of a few minutes under the blaster.

P1010049.JPG (75388 bytes)  So.  This is what my PAblaster looks like.  A Harbor Freight tank and a bunch of plumbing fittings make up the whole thing.

P1010050.JPG (37890 bytes)   P1010051.JPG (40499 bytes) The left hand blue hose goes to the bottom of the tank.  The right hand hose goes to the gun  The tank is pressurized to between 7 and 12 psi

P1010052.JPG (35517 bytes)  At the bottom of the tank low pressure air come into the tee from the left and help carry the blast media to the gun through the semi clear hose on the right.

P1010053.JPG (86777 bytes)  This view shows the overall appearance of the blaster.

28 November 2006 follow up:

P1010068.JPG (54920 bytes)  P1010069.JPG (39213 bytes)  The guy under the hood is Chevy Racine, spray painter and PABlaster wielder. Chevy was the culprit in the over spray incident but he is a pretty good kid who cleaned up his mess with no whining or complaining. 

P1010071.JPG (118219 bytes)  P1010072.JPG (48755 bytes)  Matt Wojonowski (better known as Wojo) took over to do the concrete pad.

P1010074.JPG (45360 bytes)  That's me under the hood.  With a profile like that being hidden under the hood is just as well.  I did that bit up near the window so if the window caught a blast of Black Beauty the kids wouldn't get in Dutch.

One thing that surprised me this morning was the amount of grit on the ground.  Well, duh, the grit goes in the tank, comes out the gun and hits the bricks.  Then it falls to the ground (our friend gravity at work) but for some strange reason I was surprised at the amount ON the ground! A couple of minutes with a broom and shovel had it cleaned up.  

Return to NEMES homepage