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Old 12-08-2016, 08:12 PM   #1
snowbear
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Default DIY Air Dryer

Curious if anyone here has built their own air dryer? I'm looking at trying an automotive AC condenser mounted between the compressor and the tank. The pressure rating on these is far more than my compressor makes. Depending on how well it works, or doesn't work, I may add some fans to increase the cooling. I figure as long as it is large enough it shouldn't restrict the compressor output enough to worry about. It's probably more accurate to call this an air cooler. Cooling the air would encourage the water to drop out of suspension. It would all be part of a larger project to relocate my compressor and free up a little floor space.
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

I have about 125ft of hose buried 5ft down. Works well as an air cooler. Wasn't the purpose, but a thought for your dealio.

My compressor lives in the shed on the back corner of my yard.
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Old 12-08-2016, 11:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

Any system has to have a low point drain. Having a compressor outside helps a small amount but the downside is freezing. Wet air is not a problem for short use. It's things like blasting, painting, sanding when the compressor runs continuously that water is a problem.
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Old 12-09-2016, 01:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

I built mine with 3/4" copper tubing using sweated fittings. Input is on the top left side, IIRC it has 5 horizontal runs ~32"long, the horizontal runs are 5" apart. The copper tubing is attached to 2 vertical 2"x4's about 30" long, using conduit clamps. The outlet is in the lower left side. There is a low point drain that hangs below the bottom horizontal run about 8", with a quarter turn ball valve. Inlet and outlet are 3/8", which I think I will change to 1/2" leaving one outlet 3/8". This will allow greater air volume to the sand blasters. Will be mounted to the wall behind the air compressor. I have a retractable 1/2" hose reel to run the sand blaster cabinet in the Conex or the pot blaster outside. The dryer is connected with hose to the air compressor, so I can eliminate the dryer when not needed. It will be used for my sand blasters (pot and cabinet), plasma cutter and paint guns. The dryer will be drained before each use. I installed an air pressure gauge in the dryer also. This was built from previously experienced parts, the only parts bought were the conduit clamps, about $3. It has not been used in hot weather yet, but, I downloaded the plan from the 'net and made it a little larger, so it should be adequate. Ambient air temp differential should be adequate to drop any suspended moisture out, I suppose a box could be built around it and packed with ice, or alcohol/water mix for greater cooling, if necessary. I am thinking of adding a drain valve to my air compressor also, long overdue, just never think about it when I'm out there, don't know yet if it will be automatic or manual. Good luck!
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Last edited by wasillashack; 12-09-2016 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 12-09-2016, 01:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

air super dry right now! i keep my compressor outside, thats the best way for me anyhow.
cold dry winter air.
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

The humidity in my shop is about the same as outdoors. I only have problems when the compressor runs continuously.

Shack, the designs I've seen like you describe are run vertical and the legs are as long as possible. The bottom of each leg has a dead end trap with a drain valve. Very simple to make and can be expanded by adding additional legs as needed. I like the design but all that copper is kinda spendy.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

I haven't had it freeze up to cause issues. The compressor does trip the breaker when it's cold sometimes, like -15 or colder, but it will fire up if I hold the breaker for a second or two and it fine after.

I have 2 drain points in the shed and in the garage. I'be never had water in the 30 gal tank in the garage. I've done plenty of painting, plasma cutting and running air sanders (almost doesnt keep up with that)

Have an in line air dryer on the hose feed, it's been there 7 years, I've never had to empty it.

Although I've never had the compressor run non stop, sounds like you need a larger tank and pump.
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Last edited by nate; 12-10-2016 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 12-10-2016, 01:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

Nope, but I need to. Water into a laser is bad news.

https://www.google.com/search?q=franzinator+air+dryer
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

Nate, there is water and it's going somewhere. It's simple physics. No I don't need a larger compressor or tank.
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

Scott, I followed a design I found on line. The advantage to running the long lines horizontally is that I only need 1 low point drain, instead of one on each long vertical run, which traps water at the bottom of each vertical run unless you have a drain in each vertical leg. My copper tubing was a freebie on CL. I still have enough left over to build another. I'm not frugal, I'm cheap, LOL Good luck!
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Last edited by wasillashack; 12-10-2016 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbear View Post
Nate, there is water and it's going somewhere. It's simple physics. No I don't need a larger compressor or tank.

If your compressor is running non stop like you said (that's what I replied to) then yes you do. Less cycle time means cooler air.
It also gives more time for the moisture to condense and "drop out" and can be drained out of the tank vs coming out of the air hose.

But again, you ask for help, get answers, but no one knows anything. Why do you even ask? (or maybe why do I even bother?!)
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Last edited by nate; 12-10-2016 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 12-11-2016, 11:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

Nate, go back and read the OP, never mind here it is: "Curious if anyone here has built their own air dryer?" You answered no, at least not on purpose, move on.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:38 PM   #13
wasillashack
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Default Re: DIY Air Dryer

To all who are interested in DIY air dryers, here are some good sources for ideas and designs:
"The Garage Gazette", "Weld Talk" (Hobart forum), "H.A.M.B.", "The Practical Machinist", "Homemade Tools.net". Or just Google "DIY air dryers" . Good luck!
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We are told not to judge Muslims based on the actions of a few.

I suggest we give the millions of responsible Americans gun owners that same courtesy.

Last edited by wasillashack; 12-12-2016 at 09:03 PM.
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