If you use pneumatic tools a lot, you probably know to take care of them. But if you only use ’em a little, you might let the maintenance slide — not worrying about water in the line, not using a good filter, not lubricating your tools — like some Toolmongers I know. If you haven’t treated your air tools right, and they don’t seem to work quite like they used to, don’t give up hope. Blaster Chemical makes an air tool conditioner spray that one retailer claims is “SO POWERFUL IT BRINGS “DEAD” AIR TOOLS BACK TO LIFE!”
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Removing siezed bolts is a common shop task — one that we engage in all too often, it seems. Last week we were trying to remove a well-used mower deck, and just yesterday we were trying to remove a set of obstinate motorcycle pipes. Neither of these situations was easy on the arms, but a good liquid penetrant can significantly reduce the amount of elbow grease required.
Lately we’ve been using Blaster Chemical’s PB Penetrating Catalyst. It does a better job than WD40 in this particular task, and it seems to evaporate less than most spray-type penetrants we’ve used, which makes it easier to work down into the seized fastener. One concern: the PB penetrates does contain around 0.5% silicone, which can be a problem if you’re using it in an area you might later paint. Blaster says it cleans up fine with the proper solvent, but be warned.
Whether you use PB, WD40, Liquid Wrench, or any of the other myriad of penetrants out there, you’ll definitely save your body some wear and tear over just pulling harder. You can find PB (and others) at your local auto parts or home supply shop for around $4 a can.