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  • Air Tools in shop

    Hello
    I have a question to ask. I want to install air tool lines in my shop,was wondering if there is any help on how to go about it. My compressor is just a small 2 hp with 180 psi total. I hear mixed answers on this subject. I want to use 1/2 PVC conduit schd 40 and transition to Black pipe,where it penetrates walls for better support.do I need to install the system with water traps? and have the pipe run downhill a little to trap water. Would I then have to add a place to drain this water? I want to install 4 lines for ease of use rather then to stretch lines all over. Any Advise???

    Thanks
    TNTK9
    Run Fast, we bite hard......
    Thanks
    GB Enterprises
    Doing it right the first time!!

  • #2
    PVC pipe is not allowed for use in compressed air handling. There may be some who say they do it, all the manufacturers (and OSHA) say don't because it is dangerous.

    Here's a yahoo search on the topic: http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=pvc+compressed+air . You don't even have to open many of the pages, the little summaries say enough.

    Dave

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    • #3
      now this is something I can help with.
      if it were my shop, no I wouldn't have traps, it would only collect the water for it to come out in a greater quantity. I would use pex pipe, slope it to a valve to drain it, something like a hose tap. Yea steel is probably best outside the walls for a couple of reasons, it's much stronger, and firm to connect to. another pipe alternative should be copper, a bit more ridgid in and out of the walls, again, something I would slope slightly to one end or another and drain.

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      • #4
        I agree never use PVC for compressed air. It is an accident waiting to happen.

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        • #5
          There was an excellent article about this subject in a recent, uh, Fine Woodworking, maybe? Can't remember for sure, but I'll look when I get home and post the correct magazine. The gist of the article was, use black iron pipe, which you can have threaded at HD / Lowe's, and put a valve/drain at the bottom of each vertical run. Looked simple enough, and cheap, too.

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          • #6
            It was the last Shop & Tools annual issue from Fine Woodworking. Use ball valves to drain the lines. Copper or iron pipe - no PVC because it shatters. Make sure you plan in filter on the lines you need clean air.

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            • #7
              the steel should be used where ever it's exposed, or copper, but in the wall, or if it's outta the way, (ie ceiling) then pex would be easier to run and probably cheaper.

              Comment


              • #8
                I work at a Caterpiller dealership. In the shop all the air lines are copper. I guess with all the moisture after a while steel would tend to rust. Our lines have a combination water trap-oiler at every quick-connect. Of course, there's someone whose job it is to drain the water and fill the oilers, so it's never a problem.
                Take a look at any car dealership or tire store and see how they do it and what they use.
                Rob Johnson
                Just tilt your head a little and it will look straight!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I used galvanized pipe for mine. It's ment for water use, where black pipe is more for gas use.

                  You'll want what they call a drop at each flexible hose connection and a water trap and regulator. Put in a T, run at least of foot of pipe down and put a ball valve on it. Run a short horizintal line to the water trap, then to the regulator.

                  Water is heavier than air, so the moister is forced into the drop where it is drained off before getting to the water trap. The trap helps preserve the regulator and removes water when heavy air flow is consistant.

                  I would not use PVC, even if presure never exceeded 50 psi. Copper is just too expensive.

                  If you do not plan on using the the air line to spray finish, an oiler will keep a continous lubricant running to your tools. But also oily immisions from the exhaust will get onto your work. I simply use a few drops air tool oil prior to each use of the tools and free run them about 30 seconds to lubricate the internals and get the excess oil out so it doesn't get on my work.

                  For cleaning in the shop it is not recommended to use compressed air. It simply blows the dust around to settle somewheres else. Blowing into the electric motor will only force the dust deeper into the motor. Instead, it is recommended to use a vacuum. On occasion, I do open up the doors and give the shop a good blowing down, followed by a good vacuuming as well. If you feel compelled to use compressed air on your electric motors, lower the regulator to no more than 20 psi.
                  John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hmmmmmmmmmm wow I didn't know I would get feedback so fast and educating. So now I will dump the pvc idea,( I am a electrical contractor I can use it on jobs). What I will do then is install the Black pipe system, it will take a little longer......but It will be worth it, after all my motto is "Doing it right the first time!" As this is my first real shop away from my house it is a 30 x 40 building with its own electric meter and a 150 Amp panel. I will take input from all of the replies and therefore it should be a excelent system. Just for info sakes the compressor is electric so no fumes.Most times my air would be used for small tools,and no paint spraying.(yet) I am sure all you Veterans said the same thing when you first bought your first shop saw. I"ll just keep it simple and a small shop.Now look at you. Thanks for all the help....... I will stick around on this fourum it seems decent. If anyone needs electrical advise feel free to ask. Now I need to figure how much electrical not to put in,as I will probally over do it.I did happen to go to the fourm about the PVC The first person to reply to my question was kindly enough to give me links,like I said thanks.

                    Thanks
                    Ben
                    Run Fast We bite hard.....
                    Thanks
                    GB Enterprises
                    Doing it right the first time!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Daave, thanks for the web link. I will be replacing my CPVC in a VERY short timeas some of the "pages" just make REAL GOOD SAFETY. Thanks again, Doc.... For you that have not read some of these PLEASE DO !!!!!!!

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                      • #12
                        TNTK9,

                        Electrical Contractor aye? Where were you when I was doing my electrical? Man, what a head ache that was since I didn't know squat about electrial (back then).

                        I put every machine on it's own circuit, and every receptacle box on it's own circuit. Everything is on it's own circuit. Is that over doing it? (200 amp service) Hardest part was getting the conduit to bend the right way!

                        I'd go galvanized instead of black. It's not that much more, and the outside won't need painting so it don't rust. I planned and measured mine all out and HD cut and threaded everything, fit like a puzzle. btw, they used a Ridgid machine to cut/thread with.
                        John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just finished looking at your web site very impressive [img]smile.gif[/img] I will use Galv pipe we have a threader on our job site so guess who will be bugging the Plumbers. They owe me any way.
                          What I did in my shop as far as the electric was run all of it in MC Cable it is faster that conduit and just as good, we use it in a lot of our larger jobs.I put all my big tools on their own circuit... well just 1 of them a rigid TS the rest will come when the shop gets done.My wife doesn't understand that you need tools to build a tool shop so you can work with tools am I correct Guys? My next big purchase will be a planer and I will ask before I buy,I did just buy the rigid HD Vacume you say they have a problems with the Brushes? the way they are mounted. I thought that Rigid has a lifetime warranty on this Vac so I guess it would be covered.

                          Thanks
                          Ben
                          Thanks
                          GB Enterprises
                          Doing it right the first time!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ben,
                            You may want to look at your dust collection system as part of your plan with electrical & compressed air systems. Here is Bill's cyclone site which is a good place to start (http://cnets.net/~eclectic/woodworki...one/Index.html). Just an FYI, the only place I've found the short flex hoses to connect to your air system was at Sears. Probably other places, but tough to find a 5 foot air hose.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks Curly for that info. I am now just building this new shop and it has walls that I put up 10' high and want to make sure I do it right while the drywall is not on. I have been researching some dust collection systems and find there are a lot of differnt ways. I did check out that site and added to my Favorite places.I was wondering about the rigid dust collection system they sell a HD is it any good for a beginer who will use his shop as a Hobby?
                              Thanks Ben

                              Run Fast we bite Hard
                              Thanks
                              GB Enterprises
                              Doing it right the first time!!

                              Comment

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