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  1. #1
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    Default Air setup, layout and skimmer.

    Hey guys,

    This is a 3 question post. I'm building little shop here and doing different layouts.

    1) In a goal to keep water out of the lines (3/4" pipe blue halo on top of the walls), I'm thinking about putting a air/water separator at each outlet just as extra per-caution. Is this over kill? I know the machines have their own water separator but it's a last resort type thing. The dyer is right after the pump of course, just outside the room where I've built it's own room.


    2) Shop layout I'm leaning toward picture 1 or 3. Picture 1 allows me to use a modified engine hoist to install the 4th axis in the side window or through the front. Shop size is 30x18. Red boxes are tool boxes. Still need to put my desk, rack for material (whats about to be used), and work bench.


    3) For a machine such as VF2SSYT, is there a real point in using a skimmer with a grease lube type machine? Looking at the Nexjen, for the most part only oil getting in to the system is from the spindle lube or MQL, right?

    1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg

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    The main air supply line should be sloped slightly, with a vertical down line at the end with a drain valve. TEE fittings in the supply line should come out of the top before going downward to the outlet. I like an automatic drain on the compressor tank, too.

    I'm not an expert in air systems, but there are a number of websites and booklets that will show you how to design a good, safe system. Don't use PVC pipe!

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    The main air supply line should be sloped slightly, with a vertical down line at the end with a drain valve. TEE fittings in the supply line should come out of the top before going downward to the outlet. I like an automatic drain on the compressor tank, too.

    I'm not an expert in air systems, but there are a number of websites and booklets that will show you how to design a good, safe system. Don't use PVC pipe!
    Big +1 for that.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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    Ive set up temporary systems for users with black nylon truck brake hose,still there years later .....the smooth bore has very little resistance to flow....I prefer an actual drain cock at the low point...auto drain valves regularly fail to work,and a gutful of solid water isnt good for any tool.

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    Since the room is relatively small, I was going to use a Rapid air system, 3/4" line. Going up from the tee and back down might not work/ be a pain to do with that kit. We have this system for our rebar fabrication area and it has worked for us very well.

    Other than a hydrualic hose, what would be some cost effective ways to have a flex hose form the compressor to dryer. Stay in 3/4" size.

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    Run your main line to a high point out of the receiver tank, then slope down and AWAY from the tank from there.
    Let the flow of air thru the lines carry moisture away from the tank to a low point and drain. Works good, contrary to most system diagrams of air piping you see.

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    If you're using air tools you need to fit lubricators in the lines.


    Regards Tyrone.

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    Plumbed my shop with some 250 feet of 3/4" Rapidair (with a couple of 1/2" drops that I knew were going to see little more than blowgun use.)

    Vertical-tank compressor, large bore line connects to two cheap garage-grade filter/separators, the second of the two also being a pressure regulator which drops the total system pressure down to 90 PSI.

    Line runs across the ceiling of the machine room, and has a total of three drops, all 1/2" just for blowgun use. (No machine needs air, yet.)

    Line goes through the wall to the garage bays, where there's a total of four more drops, two of which have dual outlets where I most use air tools.

    All Rapidair parts. I get a bit of water out of the tank, a small amount out of the first separator, and less out of the second. Never gotten so much as vapor out of any of the other drains. Youed with the idea of putting in an actual dryer, the kind with dessicant pellets. Figured it was a waste of time- the air might not be dry enough to paint a car, but I'm certain it's dry enough for toolchangers and drawbars and the like.

    Now, it's also worth noting I don't use as much air as a real production shop, and for the most part my climate is relatively dry. A super-humid midwest or oceanside location would obviously pick up a lot more.

    Doc.

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    I hear alot to not use pvc, but we have pvc air lines here, and the other place I worked part time. I think this shop has been here for about 4-5 years and no "blowouts" that I know of....

    I think not using pvc is a little thing, use whatever IMO. But yes, put a drop for a water trap/catch or whatever they call it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
    Plumbed my shop with some 250 feet of 3/4" Rapidair (with a couple of 1/2" drops that I knew were going to see little more than blowgun use.)

    Vertical-tank compressor, large bore line connects to two cheap garage-grade filter/separators, the second of the two also being a pressure regulator which drops the total system pressure down to 90 PSI.

    Line runs across the ceiling of the machine room, and has a total of three drops, all 1/2" just for blowgun use. (No machine needs air, yet.)

    Line goes through the wall to the garage bays, where there's a total of four more drops, two of which have dual outlets where I most use air tools.

    All Rapidair parts. I get a bit of water out of the tank, a small amount out of the first separator, and less out of the second. Never gotten so much as vapor out of any of the other drains. Youed with the idea of putting in an actual dryer, the kind with dessicant pellets. Figured it was a waste of time- the air might not be dry enough to paint a car, but I'm certain it's dry enough for toolchangers and drawbars and the like.

    Now, it's also worth noting I don't use as much air as a real production shop, and for the most part my climate is relatively dry. A super-humid midwest or oceanside location would obviously pick up a lot more.

    Doc.
    Meh, I don't know... I am about 10 miles from the gulf coast in FL... Current shop has a dryer, but part time place did not, seemed to be the same air quality/dryness. I did work a job in northern IN that had very wet air for some reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I hear alot to not use pvc, but we have pvc air lines here, and the other place I worked part time. I think this shop has been here for about 4-5 years and no "blowouts" that I know of....

    I think not using pvc is a little thing, use whatever IMO. But yes, put a drop for a water trap/catch or whatever they call it.
    Ever see something go wrong in a shop that sends parts flying across the shop? If that flying debris hits a pressurized PVC line, it can shatter as well.

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    OSHA will violate pvc airlines as will your insurance company. I understand they give no warning, work fine for a decade or longer then ,with no warning, shatter and throw shrapnel. Being in sunny Florida I would think that they will not last as long.
    Bill D

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    I have heard that the lines should slope up away from the compressor. Theory is this allows liquid water to flow back to the main pump area to be caught and drained by filters.
    Going the other way the water continues down the line and has to come out of whatever point is drawing air. This method would, in theory, allow all the piping to fill completely with water.
    Bill D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    OSHA will violate pvc airlines as will your insurance company. I understand they give no warning, work fine for a decade or longer then ,with no warning, shatter and throw shrapnel. Being in sunny Florida I would think that they will not last as long.
    Bill D
    +1 on this. It's not a matter of "if" but "when"

    as far as question #3, no. A skimmer on that machine would be a complete waste of time and money

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    I wouldn't use PVC as it's cheap-ass. But shrapnel? Shattering? I've been in lots of shops with 'temporary' PVC lines that were still there 15 years later. When they break, they seem awfully harmless. Plastic at low velocity does not make a great projectile. I guess if you are in the habit of taking naps in the shop with your eyes open and placed against the PVC lines, it could cause you some discomfort if your eye happened to be exactly where the PVC line broke.

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    PVC for airlines is comparable to riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Lots of folks do it, and It works fine until it doesn't. I've seen it shatter, without pressure and with pressure, I won't use it.

    If you build a dry system and dry the air before it's distributed, a separator at each outlet is sort of overkill, but not a bad idea anyway if you like the idea of belt and suspenders. The water forms where the warm air cools, like warm air out of the compressor and into the tank to cool, then is carried into the lines. The more a compressor runs the warmer the output will be and the more water you will get. A system that works fine with low air usage can suddenly get very wet when a certain threshold of air use is exceeded. I'd emphasize drying at the tank outlet, and the rest of the shop will stay dry, without any air collecting in the lines to be disgorged later.

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    Oil mist in compressed air reacts to PVC piping which weakens the pipe. I have seen the result of the shattered pipe and how sharp the pieces are.

    Do not use it.

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    The heavier-wall copper water pipe (type L or M, can't remember which), soldered using silver-bearing solder, is hard to beat for air lines in a small shop....

    Using copper, everything you need fitting and pipe-wise is available down at the local Home Depot or Lowes.

    Don't use regular plumbing solder though! Get the silver-bearing solder, much stronger.

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    I had a friend who plumbed his air system with PEX. Worked great for about two years and then everywhere the PEX was exposed to light, it would crumble in your hand. Apparently PEX doesn't like UV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I hear alot to not use pvc, but we have pvc air lines here, and the other place I worked part time. I think this shop has been here for about 4-5 years and no "blowouts" that I know of....
    My shop building was plumbed with 1" sch 40 PVC many years before I entered the picture. I've replaced most of it, but there is still a section in place runs between the compressor and the first of 2, 80 gal receivers.

    I keep a 100', 1/2" air hose on hand for an emergency (temporary) repair if needed, but I know the rest of the PVC has to go.

    I have had 2 blowouts- one was on the drip leg, it blew the fitting apart and sent the drip leg drain flying.

    The second blowout was about an 8' section that ran along an overhead beam. That section went clear across the shop, over a 10' high dividing wall, and landed by my motorcycle. Distance traveled about 30 feet.

    Both blowouts were quite violent. PVC is not good for air!

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