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Cantedvalve

Home Shop Air System upgrades - help

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It's time I start getting the shop air system order.  We have a compressor already, and its worked well for us.  16CFM @ 90PSI, 80 gallon tank, 5HP.  What I don't have a good grasp on is what I need to be able to shoot my own paint (HVLP I would assume).  We don't have much in the way of plumbing on this thing so far - some black pipe, a small water separator, and that is it.  Hoses are 3/8" stuff we picked up at a Ford dealer auction many many moons ago.  Not much has been spent on this system so far.  What I have in mind is:

  • running about 40 feet of 3/4" copper tubing in a zig zag pattern right next to the tank to "simulate" the long run of pipe needed to cool the air and condense the water to extract it
  • 2 stage oil/water separator coming off the copper monster
  • ..................

And that is all the farther I have gotten.  As far as hoses or fitting sizes I want to run a paint gun (or air tools), I havent the slightest idea what I want or need.  I know bigger is better, but when is better enough?  My gut says that for most of my tools, a quality 3/8" hose with high flow (1/4" flow size) fittings on each end is sufficient (don't have any problem running tools now).  However, this same system is going to be running paint guns in the near future (albeit with different hoses, and probably additional drying and filtering equipment).  Do I want or need 1/2" hose?  3/8" flow size fittings?  Should I get a secondary tank to put somewhere near where I am spraying?

So yeah... not sure where to go from here.

 

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1 hour ago, Cantedvalve said:

It's time I start getting the shop air system order.  We have a compressor already, and its worked well for us.  16CFM @ 90PSI, 80 gallon tank, 5HP.  What I don't have a good grasp on is what I need to be able to shoot my own paint (HVLP I would assume).  We don't have much in the way of plumbing on this thing so far - some black pipe, a small water separator, and that is it.  Hoses are 3/8" stuff we picked up at a Ford dealer auction many many moons ago.  Not much has been spent on this system so far.  What I have in mind is:

  • running about 40 feet of 3/4" copper tubing in a zig zag pattern right next to the tank to "simulate" the long run of pipe needed to cool the air and condense the water to extract it
  • 2 stage oil/water separator coming off the copper monster
  • ..................

And that is all the farther I have gotten.  As far as hoses or fitting sizes I want to run a paint gun (or air tools), I havent the slightest idea what I want or need.  I know bigger is better, but when is better enough?  My gut says that for most of my tools, a quality 3/8" hose with high flow (1/4" flow size) fittings on each end is sufficient (don't have any problem running tools now).  However, this same system is going to be running paint guns in the near future (albeit with different hoses, and probably additional drying and filtering equipment).  Do I want or need 1/2" hose?  3/8" flow size fittings?  Should I get a secondary tank to put somewhere near where I am spraying?

So yeah... not sure where to go from here.

 

I have seen where people have used the long run of copper pipe zig-zagged up and down vertically with a short ~10" length of pipe with a ball valve at the bottom of each "Loop" to drain the moisture that accumulates as the air cools down. The one person I talked with claimed that it worked pretty well...

This website offers a commercially available solution using aluminum pipe and compression fittings and claims to be good up to 232 PSI... and it's only $276.49    https://www.compressorpros.com/qlk32-air-cooling-piping-system-1-2/

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On the Mustang Steve site, Steve posted somewhere (maybeTech or Tips & Tricks) a neat way to cool the compressed air. Get a 5 gal plastic bucket with a roll of copper wire. Both ends come thru a drilled hole and connect to your air line. Add ice to the bucket. BAM!

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That's an old

1 hour ago, RPM said:

On the Mustang Steve site, Steve posted somewhere (maybeTech or Tips & Tricks) a neat way to cool the compressed air. Get a 5 gal plastic bucket with a roll of copper wire. Both ends come thru a drilled hole and connect to your air line. Add ice to the bucket. BAM!

That's an old home brewing trick - I would have never thought of it for air. We use them to rapidly cool the wort (unfermented beer) after boiling it. Called wort chillers...

 

wortchiller.jpg

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2 hours ago, mwye0627 said:

I have seen where people have used the long run of copper pipe zig-zagged up and down vertically with a short ~10" length of pipe with a ball valve at the bottom of each "Loop" to drain the moisture that accumulates as the air cools down. The one person I talked with claimed that it worked pretty well...

This website offers a commercially available solution using aluminum pipe and compression fittings and claims to be good up to 232 PSI... and it's only $276.49    https://www.compressorpros.com/qlk32-air-cooling-piping-system-1-2/

Here is my crude drawing... my plan was to zig zag horizontally, with a little slope on each leg so the water could move top to bottom...image.thumb.jpg.35977981cc3dff1a9db5ec64cf67ea71.jpg

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1 hour ago, RPM said:

On the Mustang Steve site, Steve posted somewhere (maybeTech or Tips & Tricks) a neat way to cool the compressed air. Get a 5 gal plastic bucket with a roll of copper wire. Both ends come thru a drilled hole and connect to your air line. Add ice to the bucket. BAM!

I’ve heard of that before too. Wouldn’t even need ice... water would do.  But ice would be better.  Pressure concerns me.  I tend to overengineer things so I never have to worry about a failure. .  I’ll look into the coiled copper... might be a cheaper solution than my zig zag of copper pipe.  I am pretty keen on ditching the black pipe though.

How do you get the water out of the coils?  No drain I assume...

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Okay, so I am reading about an aftercooler for the compressor. Basically, cooling and drying the air before it goes into the tank.   Not as an only solution, but an additional solution. Takes some fabrication, but might be worth it. Seen setups using AC condensers and ATF coolers.  I might look into it. 

What size NPT do I want to use for the hardware connections?  At least 1/2... what about 3/4?  Where do I see diminished returns?

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On Friday, January 11, 2019 at 5:23 AM, Cantedvalve said:

Okay, so I am reading about an aftercooler for the compressor. Basically, cooling and drying the air before it goes into the tank.   Not as an only solution, but an additional solution. Takes some fabrication, but might be worth it. Seen setups using AC condensers and ATF coolers.  I might look into it. 

What size NPT do I want to use for the hardware connections?  At least 1/2... what about 3/4?  Where do I see diminished returns?

This is what i am going to do for my compressor

 

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That's a lot of valves.  I may do something similar, but different... but not first.

FIRST, I am putting an aftercooler and an auto drain filter on it.  I plan to use a transmission cooler as the condenser... mount it on the fan cage in front of the compressor pulley, which is also the fan for the compressor.  That is step 1.  I have the parts ordered, they should be here Monday... or was it Tuesday.  No matter.

Also have to replace the drain valve on the compressor.  The wings came loose and now I cant open it.

 

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