Air Compressor Upgrade & Air Tools - Router Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Default Air Compressor Upgrade & Air Tools

Well, my $20 Craigslist Special C-H compressor has served me pretty well for the last year (except for the waiting for it to re-pressure and spitting water after it gets warm), so a new one followed me home on Friday.

I've recently been given a small ShopVac which I'll be plan to set up as a sander DC with a new pneumatic ROS sander (as well as my electric), once the rest of my parts (regulator, etc.) arrive. We'll see how well it all works. I'll keep you posted.

Here's a picture of the old and the new.

In the background you can see the 4C/#2 w/Ground SOOW "extension cord" I used to drop a temporary 100A subpanel into this home I'm leasing. It'd make Tim Allen proud!
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Last edited by BigJimAK; 07-19-2010 at 02:22 AM.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 10:15 AM
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Nice choice It will work great we have the same brand at our shop for many years with no problems,

Life: Is a runaway train you cant wait to get on.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 11:53 AM
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Now that's a SERIOUS compressor! Congrats! I love when tools follow me home.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 01:47 PM
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Nice pick, bigger is sometimes better in such cases as this.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Default Adding a aftercooler

OK.. It's been a couple of weeks, so time for me to catch up here. After getting the compressor wired up and a regulator hooked up, I decided to test it out. While today's use will be for sanding and drilling, I want to add a HVLP conversion gun some day and want to make sure I won't have water condensing in the system when I get the gun. To load down the system I ran my 6” pneumatic ROS for an hour straight, using a blowgun concurrently as needed to keep the compressor running continuously. After an hour of continuous operation the 60 gallon tank was noticeably hot and the line connecting the compressor discharge to the tank felt like an oven element. My blowgun nozzle had also started blowing some mist.
A visit to my local AC vendor told me what I’d suspected. The hot discharge air was carrying hot humid air through the line. When the air reached the room and dropped tp room temperature, moisture was dropping out. The solution was a compressor after cooler. This was available as part of a megadollar compressor upgrade when I bought the compressor (no way!) and they sold after market units running more megadollars. Still, no way. Back to the drawing board.
Let’s see.. a Craigslist squirrel-cage fan w/ a 1/12hp motor (400 cfm), 50’ of 5/8” tubing (coiled using a spring-type tubing bender with gallon-size peanut cans as a form) and some plywood and voila!!! I then ran a 2 hour test and the tank was within a couple of degrees of room temp and the air was dry as a bone.

My walk-away for others: If you decide to make your own, 50’ is probably a bit longer than necessary and you can probably use smaller tubing. I used 5/8” cuz my compressor delivers 14.7 cfm at 175psi and it used 1/2” tubing already and 50' cuz that was the length of the coil. Here’s some pictures of the making of the after cooler and finally with it installed. The hot air goes in the top and spirals down while the cool air blows upwards. The cooler is located above the tank and the line sloped so any condensation in the coils drains into the tank. I need to get a couple more tie-downs to get it sloped well.

My neighbors tell me I could pay fr the cooler by using it as a moonshine distillers coil in its spare time!
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Last edited by BigJimAK; 08-14-2010 at 02:29 AM.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckGal View Post
Now that's a SERIOUS compressor! Congrats! I love when tools follow me home.
It is very obvious that you are the lady side of the "follow me home" equation. I happen to be on the opposite end. "Followed me home" died as a valid statement some 40 years ago. Cremated, buried, scattered to the wind. Never to be resurrected. Nope, no hope.

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 07:04 AM
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Hi Jim:

The "air cooler" is quite ingenious. Nicely done.

Now, I'm setup differently but, like you, I'm at the mercy of every compressor vendor and their dizzying array of add-ons, each more expensive than the previous. So, I'm hoping you'll help relieve some of the confusion.

I have an air dryer. On the outfeed side. It removes moisture from the compressed air line. It is quite effective. How does your cooler compare to my dryer? Was there a specific reason you didn't go with an air dryer?



In the picture above, you have quite an array of add-ons. Can you list each one and it's purpose please.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 11:45 AM
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Hi JIm

Nice job,,,,I have a question for you ,has your cheese slipped off your cracker ?
but I like your over the top air system setup

Amazon.com: Semi Professional 4 PSI 2 Stage HVLP Finishing System - 54 CFM: Home Improvement

I got one from HF for 55.oo bucks that works very well


=====


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJimAK View Post
OK.. It's been a couple of weeks, so time for me to catch up here. After getting the compressor wired up and a regulator hooked up, I decided to test it out. While today's use will be for sanding and drilling, I want to add a HVLP conversion gun some day and want to make sure I won't have water condensing in the system when I get the gun. To load down the system I ran my 6” pneumatic ROS for an hour straight, using a blowgun concurrently as needed to keep the compressor running continuously. After an hour of continuous operation the 60 gallon tank was noticeably hot and the line connecting the compressor discharge to the tank felt like an oven element. My blowgun nozzle had also started blowing some mist.
A visit to my local AC vendor told me what I’d suspected. The hot discharge air was carrying hot humid air through the line. When the air reached the room and dropped tp room temperature, moisture was dropping out. The solution was a compressor after cooler. This was available as part of a megadollar compressor upgrade when I bought the compressor (no way!) and they sold after market units running more megadollars. Still, no way. Back to the drawing board.
Let’s see.. a Craigslist squirrel-cage fan w/ a 1/12hp motor (400 cfm), 50’ of 5/8” tubing (coiled using a spring-type tubing bender with gallon-size peanut cans as a form) and some plywood and voila!!! I then ran a 2 hour test and the tank was within a couple of degrees of room temp and the air was dry as a bone.

My walk-away for others: If you decide to make your own, 50’ is probably a bit longer than necessary and you can probably use smaller tubing. I used 5/8” cuz my compressor delivers 14.7 cfm at 175psi and it used 1/2” tubing already and 50' cuz that was the length of the coil. Here’s some pictures of the making of the after cooler and finally with it installed. The hot air goes in the top and spirals down while the cool air blows upwards. The cooler is located above the tank and the line sloped so any condensation in the coils drains into the tank. I need to get a couple more tie-downs to get it sloped well.

My neighbors tell me I could pay fr the cooler by using it as a moonshine distillers coil in its spare time!



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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Huh??

Quote:
Originally Posted by allthunbs View Post
It is very obvious that you are the lady side of the "follow me home" equation. I happen to be on the opposite end. "Followed me home" died as a valid statement some 40 years ago. Cremated, buried, scattered to the wind. Never to be resurrected. Nope, no hope.

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bobj3 View Post
Hi JIm

Nice job,,,,I have a question for you ,has your cheese slipped off your cracker ?
but I like your over the top air system setup
=====
You only saw the cheese?? You missed the salami, pastrami and *especially* the bologna (baloney)!! :->

Thanks.

Yea, it's probably "over the top". The minor additional justifications for it are:

* I "get" to swap the summer to winter tires on the 2 cars for my parents, two for my wife's parents, our two cars twice a year and usually one of the parent's friends cars. Inevitably at least one of the cars had the tires last attached by some 16yo tire jockey whose idea of torquing lug nuts is to stretch the studs as far as their big rattle gun (impact wrench) will take them. I use a rattle gun to remove them but a torque wrench to re-apply. I've got a 4' "cheater bar" I often need to use on the end of my breaker bar to bust the nuts loose. When choosing this, I decided "never again"; I'll keep working up the air pressure until the nut comes off or the stud breaks.

* I wanted the capacity for a 6" pneumatic air sander

* I wanted the dry air for a HVLP gun.

* Many here know I'm an engineer but not so many know that I'm an electrical engineer whose focus is designing control and safety shutdown systems for petroleum production in remote (ultra-cold Arctic) Alaska. These systems are permutations of electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic systems whose instrument air must be water-free to -70F (-57C). I've used this personal "science project" to better understand my "book learning" on compressed air treatment.

* My 19yo son is studying EE in college and will be taking Thermodynamics this next year. Rather than have him approach it from a purely theoretical approach as most students do, I wanted him to have it tied to reality. Working with me on this he got to see the moisture issue, help build the air-to-air heat exchanger, saw the air line cooling and resulting condensation. I hope this will then let him see the real-world value of the class and ground his studies in reality.

Those are the minor justifications.. The major one is just because I wanted it.

Ever buy or build something just because you wanted to do it? <g>

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