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I finally bit the bullet and bought a compressor that'll give enough CFM of air to keep up with my high volume tools like orbital sanders and so on. I used to do a lot of sandblasting and painting but life has had me running in different directions so I'm setting up to do all of that again as well. I have all of my old paint guns and pots (used to do heavy equipment, semi's and semi-trailers so used a paint pot a lot) and sandblast pots, guns and so on except that I sold my old blast cabinet so am probably going to go with an HFT cabinet and do the Tacoma Company upgrade (Tacoma Company).

I struggled with what to use for shop plumbing but finally decided to go with the 100' 3/4" Maxline kit that Northern tool has on sale right now. I can't do the same amount of plumbing in copper (my preference) or black iron pipe for what the kits costs and all of the reviews tend to be very favorable. I'm putting a regulator and a water separator right out of the compressor for mainline pressure and filter/regulator at each drop. The compressor I bought is Northern Tools NorthStar 7.5 HP 80 Gal. that produces 24.4 CFM at 90 psi and it has some air cooling built in but to get moisture out the better you cool the air the more moisture you can get out. One of the shops I worked in had an air cooler that was basically several pipes running up and down the wall with drains in each "U" at the bottom so I started digging and came across several DIY coolers and the one I lean towards is in a YouTube video at
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There are several others as well and building an air dryer is new territory for me so I'm looking for advice, ideas and so on. I did our shop and terminal years ago using type L copper and it has been great so no problem putting the thing together, just need to make sure what I build works.

Does anyone have any ideas, etc.?
 

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@TexasRedNeck didn’t you just do something like this?


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Lot's of experience on the site here and still hoping to get some ideas. My experience is all with installing a system to someone else's specs and I really don't want to spend a bunch of time and money and then find out after the fact there was a better way. I sure would appreciate any feedback.
 

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Heres mine, haven’t used it much yet, but it seems to be working well. I haven’t ran anything through the shop yet, still trying to decide if I want to use copper or the RapidAir stuff.





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Heres mine, haven’t used it much yet, but it seems to be working well. I haven’t ran anything through the shop yet, still trying to decide if I want to use copper or the RapidAir stuff.

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Reddogg - Nice looking job! I thought I replied before but the older I get the more I space things out. After seeing yours I went ahead and built one and man does it work nice. I plumbed it so that I take the air just before the compressor pump dumps to the tank and run it through the cooler, then back to the compressor tank. Then my air from the tank goes to a standard water separator/filter and regulator like the one in your photo. I added an auto drain to the compressor tank and that might have been a waste of money because it's only spitting dry air.

I'm not having even a hint of moisture in my sandblast media and that was one of the goals. The other is shooting paint and I'll be doing my '84 Chevy in a couple of months so will see what happens there. There's nothing more frustrating than having a droplet of water spit out of your gun when you're painting.

I figure the jury's still out on the cooler though since I don't know how it'll do in hot weather. To get the mist in the compressed air out of the air it's essential to cool it so that it condenses in the cooler and I'm not sure at what temperature that quits happening. Some of the setups on YouTube have a fan set up to blow air on the cooler tubes so I'm wondering whether that'll be needed but I guess we'll find out.

I'm pouring a 44"x44" pad outside of my shop and am building a compressor shed so that I can move the compressor out of the shop. That'll get rid of some shop noise and it'll be pulling cleaner air and am debating putting the cooler inside the compressor shed. Just need to make sure I have an arrangement when draining the drip legs will be easy since if it's a PITA it likely will get skipped more than it should.
 
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