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Old 01-26-2009, 06:55 PM
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Default Compressed air setup?

Hi everyone

I have a little pancake air compressor, use it mainly for nail guns, plus a little "dust moving" from time to time, and to fill the tires in the bikes and cars.

I'm sick of tripping over the hose so I was thinking about running some lines. I think black iron pipe is overkill for my needs, was just thinking about running some hose around the shop, cutting it in spots to put in drops near machines/benches.

I'm thinking of putting the compressor up in the attic, or at least building a shelf "up high" and enclosing it with sound absorbing material. But then I'll have trouble draining the tank. So, I was thinking of taking off the valve, and adding an additional leg down to where I can reach it, put a T fitting in the line so I get an additional air source, and then have a gate valve in the bottom to drain off any condensation. To make sure that I get all the moisture I was thinking of making some wedges so that the tank's drain opening was at the absolute bottom of the tank (I have to rock the tank back and forth to drain it now).

Any thoughts on this brainstorm?

Jay
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Compressed air setup?

Hi, Jay


I ran regular compressor hose for air lines in my shop. I have been using it for five years at least with no problems. I ran three seperate lines to three "drop" locations around the shop plus a forth to a hose reel. I really didn't need to place a lot of drop locations. I pretty much knew where I would be using the air. I don't know if it is easy to cut and fit compressed air hose or not. For me it was easier to just add a manifold at the compressor and run three seperate air hoses. The hose is cheap enough and with a little looking you can find 15', 20', 25', 35' 50' 75' and 100' with out much trouble. I attached it where need be to walls, studs, and ceiling runs with U shaped plastic pipe holders. Each main hose run leads to the back end of a 4" S/D PVC pipe where it connects to a coil hose stored inside.

I made up my manifold with T fittings. You can buy manifolds for this purpose but the T fittings were easy to get locally. I have also seen a three way splitter in stores.

Yup, I know, the pic quality is horrible. But they still show the set up.


Seth
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Last edited by SRSemenza; 01-26-2009 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Compressed air setup?

We've used 3/4" schedule 80 PVC, which I understand is not OSHA recommended, without any problems. The danger is if it bursts with explosive force or melts in a fire, feeding the flames. I know some guys that have used 1/2" copper, but that is more expensive. PolyEthylene can be used, but is hard to find locally. In our auto shop, we terminated the PVC runs to galvanized pipe with a quick coupler to attach hoses or reels, clamping the metal pipe section securely to the wall. Our working pressure is 90psi from a 5 hp 40 gallon compressor.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Compressed air setup?

Seth

Thanks for that, I was thinking along those lines then I found this stuff

I haven't done a direct comparison with buying pieces and hose like you did, but my first impression is that it is cost effective

Compressed Air Piping, Compressed Air Systems, Do It Yourself Air Tool System

I'm thinking about the RapidAir alternative

Jay
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Compressed air setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayKnoll View Post

... I'm thinking about the RapidAir alternative

Thanks, Jay, that's a good link. And timely for me, because I'm in the process of installing my compressed air system.

I put the compressor up on the second level to save floor space, and so far I have just one supply line in 3/4" galvanized pipe that drops straight down. I was planning to run some more pipe throughout the shop, but cutting and threading pipe is a lot of work. And the RapidAir system doesn't look like it costs much more to use, with definitely a lot less work involved.

During my years in the auto repair business I had the chance to set up a few shops from scratch and I learned a couple of important principles in setting up the air supply:

For increasing air supply it's often more efficient to increase the storage tank capacity than the compressor size. This can be done by by either starting with an oversized tank, or linking smaller tanks together.

When running the lines, put outlets close to anywhere you even think you might be using compressed air, too many is better than too few. This not only saves time, but also improves safety because there will be less chance of tripping over hoses running across the floor.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Compressed air setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayKnoll View Post
Seth

Thanks for that, I was thinking along those lines then I found this stuff

I haven't done a direct comparison with buying pieces and hose like you did, but my first impression is that it is cost effective

Compressed Air Piping, Compressed Air Systems, Do It Yourself Air Tool System

I'm thinking about the RapidAir alternative

Jay

Hi,

That looks like a nice system. Easy to add or change later also.

Seth
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Compressed air setup?

I like the rapid air. There is also a product that uses a hard air line (aluminum I think). Here is a link that sells the stuff Air Line System Pit Pal Products | Trailer Accessories, Trailer Cabinets, Garage Organization: Air Line System

I will do some more searching for a better site to describe it in detail.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Compressed air setup?

Rob

Thanks, but don't spend too much time on it, I suspect that the metal version is more expensive and I'm in the mood for cheap for my little hobby shop

But, you've used the RapidAir system? Pros and cons please

Jay
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Compressed air setup?

Well guys, answer the second part of the question!

Imagine I've got the pancake compressor high up on a shelf. I've replaced the drain pipe with a connection which runs down to a vertical piece of metal pipe (this is not regulated at this point). I put a gate valve on the bottom for a drain, and run a "t" with a regulator higher up in the drop, this gives me another air source, and an easy way to drain the tank (I think) Am I missing anything?
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Compressed air setup?

I posted this in my little shop thread, but I just built a cabinet for my compressor. I used all scrap wood. The doors are 2x4s that I cut down.
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