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Archive for June, 2016

SMITH July 4 hours

Monday, June 27th, 2016

SMITH July 4 Hours

july 4On July 4, 2016, SMITH Manufacturing is closed in observance of the Independence Day holiday. We will reopen during normal business hours on Tuesday, July 5.

As always, we will be monitoring phones and email during the holiday weekend to ensure your surface-preparation needs are met during the holiday, and every day of the year.

In addition, our servers will be down for maintenance on Friday, July 1, 2016 from 8am-12pm. Please call in with your orders prior to or immediately following that time for maximum efficiency and processing of your order.


Get a FREE deluxe upgrade package for every SPS10, FS200, or LNX8 purchased by July 8, 2016*

* Some restrictions may apply, contact your SMITH representative for complete details.

Thanks, and have a safe and happy July 4th weekend!


Removing Airport Markings: Turning Doubters Into Believers

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Removing Airport Markings: Turning Doubters Into Believers

When it comes to removing airport markings, the SMITH X3 Rotary Eraser continues to impress the critics. At the Boston Airfield Symposium held at Boston Logan International Airport, the SMITH team once again demonstrated the value and efficiency of dry rotary erasing – this time on a very challenging surface.

removing airport markings

Marking: 900 SF 150-180 mil beaded waterborne paint taxiway stop bar
Surface: heavily damaged asphalt with large cracks and much of the binder missing

Many of the symposium attendees doubted the SMITH X3 was up to the task. However, it didn’t take long for the SMITH X3 Extreme Removal Team to change their minds. Not only did the X3 efficiently remove the marking, but it left the surface in better condition, actually improving the surface profile.


The evening before the demonstration, an airport official said, “if it doesn’t use water, it’s a grinder, and the grinders I’ve seen damage surfaces.” The next day, the official apologized. ” Wow, this is not what I expected!”

Another official remarked after the demonstration, “after 35 years of being an airport foreman, I have never seen airfield markings removed so cleanly without any scarring!”


Airfield experts who have been critics of any type of grinding are now seeing the difference, and are specifying a SMITH Dry Rotary Eraser for their airfield marking removal. Rotary erasing is not the same as the damaging drum-style grinding (scarifiers). When markings are removed with a SMITH X-Series Eraser, the surfaces not only look better, they last longer.

For more information, please contact your SMITH representative.


7 Prep Essentials That Belong in Every Striper’s Toolbox

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

7 Prep Essentials That Belong in Every Striper’s Toolbox

It’s not always easy to figure out what type of prep-equipment tools to own. Even for a striper with a strong business model, putting together the right mix of prep-before-stripe and marking removal equipment takes thought, time, and inevitably, money.

You want to make sure the investment you’re making in your prep tools is a good one, especially if you are aiming for quality products where costs can quickly add up.

Various Examples of Removal Techniques

But regardless of what mix you eventually arrive at, there are some standards, like drum-style scarifiers, rotary erasers, HEPA vacuums, blowers, power sweepers and pressure washers that every striper should have in his toolbox. These are the building blocks upon which you can actually get your striping to perform better, and erase the mistakes you make permanently without a trace.

Whether you’re a striping newbie just growing your business, or a striping veteran ready to ditch your inefficient tools that just don’t get the job done, take a quick look and see what’s currently missing from your arsenal:

1. Basic Push Broom

Why you need it:

A simple low-tech standard. You will need a few basic push brooms just to move the loose dirt from under your stripe. Without them, you’ll never get your stripe to stick to sandy roads. A high-tech luxury option is a sweeper broom truck that will sweep, vacuum, and collect dirt and debris in a single action.

How to use it:

Come on, you know how to work a broom! If you haven’t pushed a broom, you’re in the wrong business. Use as a backup to your blower – which may be too loud for the work environment, or inoperable prior to striping.

The affordable one: The luxury option:
Street Push Broom Rotary Sweeper Truck
b1124abroom_sm 1








2. Air Blower

Why you need it:

Blowers are a reliable surface-cleaning tools. A quality hand-held, backpack, or push-style blower serves as a utilitarian essential. Great blowers are low maintenance, and are one of the most important tools to quickly clear loose dirt and debris.

How to use it: 

You know how to blow; just aim that big nozzle under your feet until the dirt flies away.

The affordable one: The luxury option:
Honda Backpack Blower Billygoat Blower
honda-backpack-blower Billy-Goat-Blower

3. Power Washer or Blaster (water/sand/shot)

Why you need it:

After sweeping or blowing away the loose dirt, you still may need to get deeper into the surface pores and cracks on older pavements. You also may need to remove stubborn stains, oils, and grease. Newer style waterblasters that apply more pressure with less water volume allows for less dry time on hot days. However, you’ll need to check the stability of the surface – especially the fines and binder when ultra-high pressure water blasters are used. These expensive rotary jet discs quickly cause asphalt pavement rutting and micro-cracking on portland-cement concrete. Many stripers own a variety of these blasters that can mix with sand, soda, or beads, depending on the working surface and the materials to remove.

How to use it:

The use of low-pressure water systems is not rocket science, although working with ultra-high pressure systems may require a post-graduate degree in physics to get the surface just right.

The affordable one: The luxury option:
Simpson Power Washer Waterblaster
simpson-washer waterblaster

4. Drum-style Scarifier


Why you need it:

You’ve seen these machines used to grind down trip hazards on sidewalks, or scratch up the surface when removing paint, planing off old asphalt, or diamond shaving or grinding down concrete surfaces. If you ever followed the wrong stripe out of your lane in a work-zone, you fell victim to a stripe removed by a drum-style scarifier, planer, or groover.

Since stripers normally own just one style of marking remover, it’s typically the drum-style scarifier. Commonly called a “grinder,” it removes the stripe by destructively cutting a sharp-edged groove deep into the surface until the marking is gone, but the surface has an embossed stripe pattern that appears as a former stripe or “ghost line” in wet conditions.

How to use it:

The drum-style scarifiers, planers, groovers and shavers are best used for prep-before-stripe applications. When scarifiers are used to eradicate surface contaminants with a scratching method, it leaves the perfect profiling pattern to mechanically lock the new pavement marking material to the surface. In snow country, a drum-style diamond shaver is the preferred tool to prepare a controlled slot groove prior to embedding liquid or tapes below the snowplow blade. It’s a debate we don’t have time to fully settle here, but know that if it’s called a scarifier, its going to scar the surface.

The affordable one: The luxury option:
FS209 or SPS10 FS351 or FS391
SPS10-FS209 FS351-FS391

5. Rotary-style eraser

Why you need it:

Not every stripe-removal job calls for permanent stripe removal. Some may allow for cover-up paint, or any scarring device to take off thermoplastics, epoxies, or tape that will be soon resurfaced with new asphalt. But if stripes will be removed and replaced in a new location, then it would be inappropriate to leave a deep scar or mark behind with a scarifier when there are far better tools – like no-scar rotary erasing.

How to use it: 

The best part of owning a rotary eraser is knowing it will only remove as deeply as you set it, and the removal pattern will be bevel-edged since the stripe will be pushed aside and not into the surface. The rotary eraser abrades and scrapes markings off the surface like a polisher, and when you properly use one, you’ll meet all DOT non-scarring requirements.

 The affordable one:  The luxury option:
 LNX8  X3 or X1
LNX8-with-actuator-angled X3-X1

6. HEPA Vacuum

Why you need it:

Any removal method can create harmful silica dust. A HEPA vacuum is the best possible tool for extracting dust and debris from the job site.

How to use it:

Simply attach the vacuum hose to the scarifiers, planers, groovers, shavers, or erasers for dust-free removal. Pro tip: own a separate vacuum broom truck on large removal or prep projects that will follow behind the operation. Your future self will thank us during your next striping project.

The affordable one: The luxury option:
MV1000s MV5500
 MV-1000S  Mv-5500-with-MV-SB

7. Inspection tools, ASTM, SP 1-10 Pads

Why you need it:

Surface conditions can be crazy, and staying objective without work stoppage can be difficult when there are many eyeballs inspecting every detail of the job. The use of a visual inspection guide – like the SP 1-10 surface profile pad or SP chart where a reference number – helps all parties agree on achieving the actual surface profile conditions before and after the surface preparation work.

How to use it:

Before the road is striped, use the SP inspection Tool to determine the current surface conditions for the new coating, sealer, or marking to be installed or removed. Then select the best representative pad or profile number for the required prep profile finish. During application, your prior agreement with the inspector will be one of the best assets you have before commencing your prep-before-stripe work.

 The affordable one:  The luxury option:
 SP Chart  Profile Pads
Profile-Inspection-Tool profile-pads

Disclosure: This is brought to you by the Smith University Xtreme Removal team. We aim to highlight products and services that you may find of value. Have something you think we should know about?We welcome your feedback!

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