A journey into the workshop. #127: Compressed air piping system done! Whew!

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 01-04-2022 03:02 AM 628 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 126: My hopes for progress in 2022 Part 127 of A journey into the workshop. series Part 128: Slappin' mayo on a sandwich. A.K.A. wood glue woes... »

As mentioned in a prior post somehwere, I received an inexpensive Chinese knockoff of the Rapidaire 1/2 compressed air piping system. While it lacked the aluminum oulet blocks of the Rapidaire, it DID feature a LOT more of the push to connect tubing fittings.

My intention was to be able to plumb my shop for compressed air, front to back. Most notably moving the Central Pnuematic automatic hose reel from the back of the shop just forward of theAir compressor, to the front of the shop to the space between the overhead door tracks on the celiing.

I wanted 1 outlet at the back of the shop right by the compressor, the hose reel obviously, AND an outlet on either side of the left side overhead door as the right side is really inaccessible the way I have the shop set up.

Well in my setup, I replaced old, cracking, dried up and flexed awfully funny rubber hose.

The kit I used was the Bigatur Air Piping System 1/2”.

There were too few of the 1/4” Male pipe threaded push to connect fittings, so I bought a cheap bag of 10 of those…

The 2 outlet blocks used up front are Primefit 3/8 Push To Connect outlet blocks.

I outfitted them with 1/4” ball valves as dump valves to drain the lines.

These were in my shop inventory already, but I had 3/8 to 1/4 NPT brass bushings used aplenty of the outlet blocks as I didn’t expect the 3/8” thread size on the block, and the 1/4” thread size on all the fittings like an idiot.

The back side had a 1/4 FPT hole that needed to be used, or plugged, I opted for plugging with brass plugs. I already had these in my shop inventory.

More from my shop inventory was the brass nipples to make the connection to the quick connects.

While I could have used the steel quick connects from the kit, I opted to use the brass quick connects from my pre existing and formerly pulled out Central Pnuematic pieces.

The install was pretty straight forward.

#1. Remove quick connect pieces from between the air compressor, and the inlet side of the regulator / dryer / filter / manifold assembly. #2. Thread on the male push to connect fittings, cut tube to fit, and assemble the tube to the fittings. Reclaim the quick connects. #3. Move the Central Pneumatic retratcing hose reel. This took some effort doing it as a one man job. It is doable, but not super easy. #4. Remove quick connects from hose formerly plumbed to hose reeel, and output side of previously mentioned manifold. The manifold has 2 inputs, and 2 outputs. The inputs have one way check valves to prevent bleed back or hammering between compressors. I have a 29 and an 8 gallon Central Pnuematic compressor delivering around 12 CFM at 90 PSI, and around 16 CFM at 40 PSI which is more than enough for my purposes.. The second outlet side of the manifold is fitted with a Central Pneumatic quick connect. #5. Add threaded fitting, plumb the first run form the outlet up the wall to the ceiling, make the 90, and shoot accross the ceiling, over the dust collection duct, and to the hose reel, a T at the hose reel, and then a tight 90 at the input of the reel. #6. Continue from the T at the hose reel to the front wall, 90 to go down the wall, to a T, drop down between the doors to the first outlet. Whcih got outfitted with one of the take out brass disconnects. #7. Other side of the T gets run across the front of the wall / ceiling over the overhead door to the wall, where a quick 90 goes down the wall, to the remaining outlet block.

Once it was all set up, I took a bottle of soapy water, pressurized the system to 90 PSI, and went around and leak tested every single mating piece / joint.

I still have some tidy up work to do to tighten the tubing up to the ceiling, but for the most part, it is a DONE DEAL.

Oh yeah, pics…

The compressor connection.

The manifold / regulator / filter / dryer assembly.

Hopefully a decent pic of the first 90 connector how it makes the bend etc…

The new home for the hose reel, and the plumbing connections to and from it.

The outlet block between the walls. No sense in showing 2 of the same things…


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#1 posted 01-05-2022 02:52 AM

If anyone is interested in seeing the blog post with photos of the finished system, please take a look at my blogger page.

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