Just bought a new 60 gallon Rol-Air Compressor (oil sump) for my
basement shop. I have two quick questions:
1.) I checked the archives, but could not find a good example for how
often to empty and drain the tank, both of air and water buildup.
Obviously it takes a while to fill the 60 gallon tank, so I figure
that doing it every time I use it may be overkill. Every post I found
said "regularly", just need a definition.
2.) I would like to install a water trap at the end of one line for a
future HVLP sprayer (probably far in the future for now), and I was
wondering if it is OK to run nailers off of the water trap, or if they
benefit from a slight oil mist from the regular lines.
I leave my drain minutely cracked, so it bleeds all the time. I mean just
enough bleed so you can hear it if you are near. Water can get ahead of you
and build up quite a bit if you forget to drain.
Nailers are fine with a couple drops of oil now and then. To really dry
out, you'll probably want to use silica gel, which can be baked to reuse, or
a refrigerated unit. It's a big advantage of turbines that they don't
compress enough to cause condensation AND they put out warm air that keeps
I got a great deal on a "dead" Senco stapler with which someone
followed this advice to oil. Once I cleaned out all the old gunky oil
and put in a new rebuild kit I had a great stapler for $30 materials
and some sweat equity.
Advice: Not all guns need oil.
Certainly OK to run nasilers with a water trap. You should however use Air
Tool Oil and add a few drops to the outlet of your nail gun before each use.
If you are using the nailer all day, you might have to add an extra couple
drops half way through the day for good measure.
Just check your air tools are not of the oil-less variety. In that case, you
should not add any oil of course :)
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There's no need to empty the tank of air. How often you need to drain water
from the tank will depend on the weather and how much air you use. Drain
it every day to start; if no water comes out, you can reduce the frequency.
Most air tanks come with tiny little drain valves that are hard to open.
Replace it with a good ball valve to make it easier to drain. There are
also automatic drain valves; look here on rec woodworking and also over in
rec.crafts.metalworking for posts about these.
Never for air; there's just no need. Water, every time it cycles on or
off isn't too often. I installed an automatic valve to do just that. It's
well worth the $10. Details here:
The nailer might benefit from the oil, but I wouldn't rely on it. Nailers
should be oiled directly at the start of each day, at least. I run mine
after the trap.
I haven't bolted it to the floor yet (maybe later today), so thanks
for the hint on clearance.
I just figured out before logging on this morning I don't need to
drain the air to bleed the moisture. I don't know what I was
BTW: After reviewing one of the links on another thread (T*P Tools
and Equipment Diagram), I am rethinking whether to use soft copper.
They highly recommend black metal. I just have to see if I can buy it
in the appropriate lengths so I don't have to do any cutting and
OK, now I'm back to square one on the lines. The guy at Neu's Ace
Hardwood swears nearly everyone uses "L" type sweated copper and that
the steel will eventually start flaking into the airlines and affect
Soft copper will work OK, or even hard copper with sweated fittings for a
home shop. However . . the black iron pipe doesn't *flake*. Galvanized
might! My SIL is a commercial plumber, and at least here in Southwestern NY
State, code calls for black iron for compressed air piping.
What Norman said, iron won't flake but galvanized may.
You may get a bit of rust with black pipe. This is one of the reasons to
put a ball valve at the end of each main/ leg. Blow out the line with
full flow and chances are a tool isn't going to move what
Plus you want your filter/ separator close as you can get it to where
your using air. You'll want to build a F/S stand and use a whip hose to
connect it to the tap.
Based on that, I'll go with black iron. I will only have one line to
start, which will have the filter/separator and regulator at the very
end. I picked those up yesterday, the guy had a hard time finding 1/2"
in stock. It will also have at least two risers in between, and an
end line to blow out. I plan on pitching the line slightly downhill
from the compressor.
Next summer, I'll run a second line to the garage for filing tires,
etc., though I'm no mechanic.
Some suggestions based on having designed and built a few compressed air
Use 2" pipe as the distribution manifold.
Go to a plumbing supply house and get a 20 ft length of black pipe, then
have them or a local contractor cut it into 4-5 equal lengths and thread
Use 2" x 2" x 3/4" reducing tees to connect these pipes together with the
3/4" side tap pointing up to the ceiling.
Hang the 2" pipe assembly with a slight pitch away from the compressor.
At the end of the 2" pipe assembly, install a ball valve to bleed down the
Install a 3/4" hose between the compressor and the 2" pipe assembly.
Install two (2), 3/4", 90 degree street ells at each tee so that the outlet
is now pointing towards the ground.
Plug unused connections with pipe plugs.
Hang hoses from connections that will be used.
Install filter/regulator/lubricator devices where used on an as needed
Why go thru all the expense and aggravation above?
Several reasons that all have to do with keeping condensation away from the
1) 2" pipe reduces the velocity of the air, thus reducing air temperature,
thus reducing condensation.
2) 2" pipe reduces the velocity of the air, thus allowing any existing
condensation a chance to drop out and stay in the 2" pipe.
3) The use of two (2) street ells forces the air to first rise, then turn
180 degrees before traveling thru the hose to the tool. Makes it more
difficult for condensation to get to the tool.
S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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