Sep 14, 2014
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In the Shop

RSS By: Dan Anderson, Farm Journal

As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.

Save Your Breath

Jun 14, 2009
 With spraying season running full-bore it's very useful to have a can of compressed air in your toolbox to help clean plugged spray nozzles. We know it's a bad idea to put a spray tip to our lips to blow out obstructions...but we've all done it. It's better to spend a few bucks for a can of compressed air--like computer geeks use to clean keyboards and circuitry in computers--and use it to blow clean plugged nozzles. Cans of compressed air come with extension nozzles so you can get them into tight spots, so they're also good for any situation that needs a brief blast of compressed air. I've used them to clear dust from computer boards and switches on combines, clean hay chaff from the knotters on balers, and in dozens of other situations where I needed a brief blast of compressed air. In some cases, even though I have access to a high-pressure air supply, I still use the can of bottled air because it's more precise and less apt to blow dust and debris all over me and nearby equipment than the high-pressure air supply.

Cans of compressed air don't have high pressure--maybe only 10 to 30 psi. But that's better than using your mouth and lungs to blow clean spray nozzles or clear dust and chaff from knotters and other dusty components. The only complaint I have about buying canned, compressed air is with the idea that I'm paying for "air." Somehow that doesn't feel right...
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COMMENTS (3 Comments)

Dan Anderson
Re: the calibration tube. Check with Sprayer Specialties (800-351-1587) or Redball Spraying Systems (877-332-2551). They may not have those calibration tubes, but should know who handles them.
6:12 PM Jul 6th
Just for the record, it isn't "air" you're paying for, but propellant in a can without an additional product. Which is why the can freezes in your hand, and consequently can also be used to freeze small diameter liquid lines when turned upside down.
11:20 PM Jun 21st

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