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singleslammer PowerDork
12/4/17 8:51 a.m.

I just did my shop in PEX. Worked great. Likely similar pricing to rapid air but with great flexibility to run drops, change setup later, etc... Because all my connections are available locally. Rapid air uses a a different sized (smaller) ID tube than the 'same' sized PEX. No using PEX fittings on your rapid air kit.

12/4/17 9:54 a.m.

Little compressor.  Harbor Freight 50' plastic air hose over the garage roof to the Harbor Freight hose reel at the front of the garage.  It's good enough for as poor of a mechanic as I am.

toxonix New Reader
12/4/17 11:47 a.m.

In reply to LifeIsStout :

You're not going to be painting at all with that system :|  If you're doing any grinding or cutting I'd say that's not a good size. It will be running constantly. For impact wrenches that should be fine, but grinders and cutters, sanders use a lot more air. As long as you're not doing sheet metal work that should do the trick. 

Mark_42 New Reader
12/4/17 1:25 p.m.

"...we’re big fans of copper pipe. It’s easy to work with, almost as cheap as PVC"

Really? Where can I buy this cheap copper pipe?

fearlesfil New Reader
12/4/17 1:37 p.m.

After years of suffering with a 25 gallon 2.5 HP oil-less (very noisy and wouldn't keep up with a cutoff tool) I have a 60 gallon 5 HP HF model I got on sale for about $600. A bit of an extravagance but it is so nice to never have to wait for it to recover, and it is so much quieter. I put it in our little well "pump house" where 240 V was already available which keeps all of the noise outside of the garage. I ran a 50' 1/2" rubber hose from there (I will bury pipe to the garage someday soon'ish). There were two limitations to overcome:

1) the regulator/ gauge manifold that came with it had tiny shut off ball valves that limited flow so I replaced them with 1/2" valves (3/8" would have been good enough), and

2) the typical 1/4" hose couplers/ plugs were a restriction so I replaced them with 3/8" from HF for all but the end of the last hose going to the tool. Flows like gangbusters now.

With the compressor being remote and next to the driveway I put a 25' hose reel on the inside of the pump house door. If the garage is busy and a vehicle tire needs some air it is immediately available and convenient.

pinchvalve MegaDork
12/5/17 12:51 p.m.

Yes, well, I can reach my entire shop area with a 4' hose.  :(

CJK440 New Reader
12/6/17 11:59 a.m.

The biggest plus of metallic air plumbing is its ability to condensate moisture out of the hot air so a water separator can do its job. 

I used to run rubber right off a regulator/water separator mounted to the tank and constantly blew water out of my air tool exhausts. Worst was blowing water out of my media blaster nozzle. It's a big problem when used for painting too. Water separators don't work well with hot humid air.

I decided to run copper down the knee wall in my garage that looks like a sideways V. The tank feeds the top, it runs on a downward angle where there is a drop down drain and a tap for a hose coil near my garage door then back down the other direction where there is another drain at the very bottom with a fitting to feed my regulator/water separator + other hose coil.  The idea is the air will cool and water will condensate out during its run. Once it condensates out, it runs down the angle of the tube to the collectors to be drained. And no rust.

Major difference now. 

iceracer UltimaDork
12/6/17 5:18 p.m.

I have enough hose on my little compressor to reach all four wheels of my vehicle.    When I had need for air in the car port, small hole and extension hose. 

Electric (battery) impact wrench.

12/7/17 1:48 p.m.

In all this discussion I have seen no mention of black pipe - The kind used for natural gas pipelines.  Would there be a problem with that?  Since it wouldn't be buried, galvanizing wouldn't be necessary, so why not the cheaper black cast iron pipe?

tomtomgt356 Reader
12/7/17 3:49 p.m.

In reply to Torqued :

Black iron pipe works fine for airlines and is used regularly. Issues are that is is harder to work with, harder to modify, and doesn't pull moisture out of the air as efficiently. 

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