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Thread: New air

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955

    New air

    My compressor blew up for the second time this past Fall. So I have been looking and checking Craigslist for a few months.

    Last week I almost ordered a Quincy QT-54. Found one locally on Craigslist, nearly new, for $3-400 cheaper. It's sitting in the shop today. Need to run a new circuit and might just run all new air lines.

    So here is something I am looking into. I want dry air. So I am thinking about engineering my own system. I simply don't want to spend an extra $200-1000 on a commercial air dryer.

    I'm thinking about running the air from the compressor head into several vertical pipes 12 ft. high with drains in the bottom. Next I will run the air from the tank into particulate filters and then into a home made desiccant filter. I just can't see the value of buying desiccant filters at $50-100 each. Especially when I can buy 1.5 lb cans of desiccant from Walmart. Silica gel can be dried out in an oven or in a dehydrator for next to nothing.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,698


    Sounds like a fun project and congrats on the new toy!

    It would be interesting to know how much you got with just the cooling tower without the desiccant. I don't know how you'd measure that though..
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    I may skip the vertical pipes and weld up a Stainless 3" diameter pipe with stainless scrub pads stuffed inside. The added surface area of the pads will cause more water vapor to condense out and drain to the bottom. At least I can get by with a smaller system. I'm hoping to get 90% of the water out this way before it hits the desiccant. I already have the pipe for my business so it is no real expense. The question is how much length does it take to cool the compressed air.?? I might just make one and see how much cooling I get for that given length. Cooling = condensation. I got these ideas from Youtube video's and other articles.

    I haven't done much finish spraying yet. I am usually just a spray can and brush kind of guy. However, I now have to build a new kitchen and also have a grand piano in the shop that needs a new finish. Spraying is going to happen this Summer. I am looking at the Earlex HVLP but also have spray guns so I need dry air for the spray guns. I have had air tools freeze up in use because of all the water in the system. Not good for the tools and too cold to hang onto.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    5,167
    Watching this one. Especially when you get to the home made drier part with the desiccant. And how DID you figure the pipe lengths?
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,470
    paul contact TP tools for some help in the drier setup..and have a drain valve drop before any filter
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,698
    I might go with something less likely to corrode that stainless, marbles might work (I've used them in other vapor temperature management columns with some success).
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    Why would stainless steel corrode? Perhaps I should build the pipe with a threaded end so it could be cleaned out?

    Pipe lengths are not figured out yet. I can build the stainless steel/scrub pad section to whatever length I choose. I use 100's of the scrub pads in my business. I haven't seen them corrode yet. They usually just break down from physical use. After the air goes through the condenser tubes it is piped back to the compressor tank. I will see how much water goes to the bottom of the tank.

    I am going to look around for a suitable cartridge canister to fill with desiccant media. I just need one that is rated to 300 psi or better. (I like to overkill pressure requirements, I think the compressor kicks out at 175 psi.) If I have to make one I guess that is an option.
    I have an automatic water purge valve. (don't know if it still works, I may have to get a new one) I will add this in the system after the tank. Putting some drops with drains between each element might be a good idea. At least I can see how much water collects at each point. I also have an automatic oiler which I will put near my metal work bench.
    Before I just had air piped around the shop with the purge and oiler right at the compressor. BAD idea. Had water and oil at every quick disconnect. With the new system I am hoping to get most of the water condensed out before the desiccant filter.

    I am also planning on picking up a plasma arc cutter. These require dry air. It is nice that this stuff is needed for my business. I can write off the expense.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,698
    Oops I saw steel wool and missed the stainless. Never mind! Those should be fine I'd think. Glass beads might nominally have a higher thermal mass but if have to do math to prove it and that's not happening today.
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    Congrats! That's a great compressor.

    For air drying, this is an old post but this setup served me well:

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ir-Line-System

    I used to get quite a bit of water out of the drying rack, and the drain drop right before my desiccant filter never spit out more than a few drops of water.

    When I moved my shop I kept all the pipe (including the drying rack), so I intend to set it up back up in a similar manner when I get my shop set up.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,097
    Also don't forget that "treating the air" before it goes into the compressor goes a long way also. The desiccant stuff that you change out because it changes color can be dried in a microwave and reused. Good luck.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

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