My Air Compressor Project
Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 62
Like Tree1Likes

Thread: My Air Compressor Project

  1. Top | #1
    eepete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    05-26-2019 @ 06:02 PM
    Location
    Efland, NC 54 Acres, hay, ponds, woods.
    Posts
    971
    Thanks
    20
    Thanked 54 Times in 47 Posts

    My Air Compressor Project

    About a year and a half ago, I started the project of my tractor garage and my solar panels. When I did those, there was another small project hidden in there that was waiting to happen. That project was getting and installing an air compressor.

    I'm on that project now. It's not going as smoothly as I'd like, but that's how it goes. Let me take a few posts to bring you all up to day on where things are, and then I'll need some help on the air compressor side.

    First, a comment on human nature: :empathy3:

    In the world of computers, you know the difference between hardware types and software types? If you ask how the project is going, the software person will tell you everything they think they have working. The hardware guy will tell you everything that is wrong or broken. It's a fundamental difference between hardware and software. Now I do both, but I tend toward the hardware side. As such, I like to point out everything that is wrong with a project.

    BTW, I claim salesmen and marking types are like software people, and tractor owners are like hardware people. But that's not the point of this thread, so lets get on with it .

    Here are the two buildings, the tractor garage and the inverter shed for the solar project. Now you all know what a tractor garage is, but the inverter shed hold the big electronics box that takes the 8 KW of DC and turns it into AC and puts it out on the grid. I have the inverter and the associated AC wiring in a small 6x8 shed.

    I put a 3" PVC drain pipe and a 2.5" electrical conduit between the garage and the shed. The goal was to have the air compressor not be in the garage. Here's a shot of the two buildings.

    Stay tuned, more to come, I'll let you know when I'm through singing...

    Pete
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails the_buildings.jpg  
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '16 X755 (23HP Diesel) w/front PTO, 60" deck, 72" front blade, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
    Volunteer Firefighter.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to eepete For This Useful Post:

    Rana1 (11-08-2017)

  3. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  4. Top | #2
    eepete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    05-26-2019 @ 06:02 PM
    Location
    Efland, NC 54 Acres, hay, ponds, woods.
    Posts
    971
    Thanks
    20
    Thanked 54 Times in 47 Posts
    Now inside the tractor garage, the 3" PCV comes up toward the top of the building. This conduit was to hold the air hose. If I'd been thinking clearly when I did this, I would have put a 1/2" copper line in a 1" black polyethylene (PE) pipe between the buildings. In the long run, it would be better than a hose in a PVC pipe.

    Now if you look at the electrical conduit, it comes down from the ceiling with a long run that goes to the breaker box in the garage. There is a small gray box to help with the wire pulling, and from that you see a 3/4" conduit that comes down to a switch box. This will be the switch to turn the compressor on from the garage.

    It's hard to see, but under the switch box is a quick connect for the air. There are three of these in the garage. They come down on 1/2" copper pipe. At the top of the garage, the three copper pipes are connected by pex pipe. I know it would be hard to get back at the walls as the garage got done, and new it would be hard and time consuming to work all the system in copper, so I did the connects with pex. It's a compromise. No one is every happy with a compromise. It will work, but, I'm not sure I'm happy now. It saved a ton of time and money during the garage construction though.

    Here is a picture of the conduits in the garage when the walls were open, and of the switch and air connection now.

    Pete
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails garage_conduits.jpg   the_switch.jpg  
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '16 X755 (23HP Diesel) w/front PTO, 60" deck, 72" front blade, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
    Volunteer Firefighter.

  5. Top | #3
    eepete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    05-26-2019 @ 06:02 PM
    Location
    Efland, NC 54 Acres, hay, ponds, woods.
    Posts
    971
    Thanks
    20
    Thanked 54 Times in 47 Posts
    Now out in the inverter shed I have a 30 amp twist lock outlet that is switched from inside the tractor garage. I also have the 1/2" air hose coming out of the white conduit. Here is what they look like.

    Both conduit came up a little crooked. Unlike the conduits in the garage, I had no walls as a reference point when I put in these conduits. And during fill in and compaction they shifted. And my picture of the outlet is a bit crooked. It's all off slightly, but it will work. There is another pull box, and a conduit stub in case I want to pull another circuit for something from the garage.

    The other conduit and box to the right of the white PVC pipe is the sensing for the solar panels. The little funny horizontal run goes to yet another box, and it has a conduit that goes to the panel and connects to a current transformer for the solar. But I digress.

    The 30 amp twist lock was a Cooper brand. When I was tightening it up on the #10 stranded THHN wire, the screw slipped as it started to strip out. I was not torquing that hard, and the wire was not compressed much. I'll have to go back and replace it with something that works, probably a Hubble. Cooper brand from Lowes- what was I thinking...

    I ran 4 wire so I'd have a neural in case I ever needed it. One extra wire now could save trouble later.

    As you can see, I have about 5' of airline out at the shed, enough to find it's way to the right place on the compressor. The open side of the shed will be finished with one half being a wall with screen, and the other side being a screen door. That way there is enough air that the inverter and compressor will stay cool, but it is all closed up to bees and wasps. I hate those bees and wasps... The open side is the north side of the building. Wish I'd made the shed a bit bigger, but I think whatever size you make any building you wish it was a bit bigger when you get to using it.

    Pete
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails twistlock_outlet.jpg   shed_air_line.jpg  
    Last edited by eepete; 04-10-2011 at 09:38 PM.
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '16 X755 (23HP Diesel) w/front PTO, 60" deck, 72" front blade, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
    Volunteer Firefighter.

  6. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  7. Top | #4
    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:50 PM
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Posts
    16,569
    Thanks
    5,136
    Thanked 4,132 Times in 2,575 Posts
    Looks good so far Pete
    Kenny

    -John Deere 3720 Deluxe Cab TLB
    FEL, MMM, Artillian 42" Forks and Modular Grapple, I-Match, Ballast Box, and lots of other STUFF.
    -John Deere 455 w/60" MMM


    Bolt on Grab Hooks and other cool stuff are now for sale!!

    Visit our YouTube Channel

    My Equipment:
    John Deere 3720 Deluxe Cab, 300cx FEL, 366 Front Blade, 59" Front Snowblower, Ballast Box
    Artillian 3K Forks, Grapple, Front-Hoe Bucket
    John Deere 455, 60" MMM

  8. Top | #5
    eepete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    05-26-2019 @ 06:02 PM
    Location
    Efland, NC 54 Acres, hay, ponds, woods.
    Posts
    971
    Thanks
    20
    Thanked 54 Times in 47 Posts
    Now the hose is a mess and a hack. But, it's were I ended up. I couldn't find a 75' air hose anywhere so I had to use a 50 and a 25. I connected them together, coated it with "liquid electric tape" and then when that was just a bit soft wrapped it in electrical tape to protect the seal. I could also have used self vulcanizing tape, sometimes called "coax seal". Now this hose and the splice will be in the 3" white drainage PVC so it will be wet. I hope the seal will last as long as the hose does. The fitting is a hydraulic hose fitting, I've had bad luck with the brass plumbing parts from Lowes.

    When I did the 3" PVC and had to make either 90 degree or 45 degree turns, I used 22.5 degree turns and connected about 4" between them. You've probably seen that for this type of pipe there is a normal 90 degree and a "wide sweep" or "big sweep" part with a bigger radius. Well, using the 22.5 degree fittings like this game me a "huge sweep". This meant I could pull the splice through a 90 degree sweep, and then later a 45 degree sweep without any problems. I did have to rig a bushing on my fish tape so it had a big bump on it and it would push through this chain of fittings OK. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of this. I was working fast while the building crew was there, since I only had a day from when the post were in and I knew where the wall would be to when they would put up the walls.

    So here are pictures of the splice, and a picture of how it comes up out of the white pipe in the ceiling of the garage and connects to the pex that feeds the three copper tubed drops with quick connects. After I took this shot, I spray painted the pex white so it would not be exposed to UV. UV degrades pex pipe with time and make it brittle.

    The picture of the connection between the 1/2" air hose and the pex is confusing- the big conduit is the 2.5" one from the breaker box. The little conduit is one that has a coax and power for a security camera. FWIW, I used the 2.5" conduit so I'd have something big to get from the breaker panel on the north wall of the shop to the south wall of the shop. If I every put in a welder, it would run in this conduit. Same for if I every put in a heat pump to heat and cool the place.

    Pete
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails splice_1.jpg   splice_2.jpg   splice_3.jpg   air_connection.jpg  
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '16 X755 (23HP Diesel) w/front PTO, 60" deck, 72" front blade, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
    Volunteer Firefighter.

  9. Top | #6
    eepete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    05-26-2019 @ 06:02 PM
    Location
    Efland, NC 54 Acres, hay, ponds, woods.
    Posts
    971
    Thanks
    20
    Thanked 54 Times in 47 Posts
    Ok, so, now I've got power (well, I still need to change out that silly Cooper outlet to a good Hubell one) and air hose. With the grunt work done, its time to buy the compressor .

    What to get ?

    Well, I'm leaning toward a 3 HP dual stage from Tractor Supply. It's about a grand. I don't have a repair shop, I don't have a welder, so this should be OK for most of the stuff I'll do. I've agonized over this, , but it is consistent with the level of things I do. What I lack in tractor repair equipment I make up for on my electronics work bench, but that's another story.

    Now here's where I need help:

    Various threads here have talked about problems with moisture in air systems. I plan to have the drain for the tank where I can get to it OK. I'll might drain it on the concrete. I thought about a drain in the pad, but it's so flat where the building is there is not much hope there. I could drill a hole in the wall and run a tube to the outside for manually draining the tank. Ideas?

    There has also been talk of dryers for air systems. I know there are some high dollar ones out there, but are there any that are in the "weekend warrior" class. Something between nothing and a "RandyM - Do it right the first time" without being too wrong. I know my air line in the PVC is an imposable to drain line, that seems to be yet another trade off of this compressor not in the garage system. But if I drain the tank on the compressor regularly and then have some sort of dryer, will that be good enough? I'm thinking air tools down the road, right now I use air for tires and cleaning/blowing stuff off.

    Ok, so there's the project and what I've done. Tear it up all you can, it's the only way others can learn. Can this project be salvaged? I've been living with a single stage belt-less noisy 25 gallon $200 special air compressor that is still going after 18 years. I hope I can have yet another piece of infrastructure around the place that will outlive me.

    TIA, let 'er rip....

    Pete
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '16 X755 (23HP Diesel) w/front PTO, 60" deck, 72" front blade, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
    Volunteer Firefighter.

  10. Top | #7
    RandyM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Last Online
    11-08-2019 @ 09:10 AM
    Location
    Stoughton, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,594
    Thanks
    1,047
    Thanked 1,064 Times in 674 Posts

    Compressor Drain

    Pete, here is what I do to drain my compressor. Cheap and simple crack the valve and the pressure empties the water right into the bucket.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Air_Compressor-1.JPG   Air_Compressor-2.JPG  
    raco232 likes this.
    Randy __________________________________________________ ___ Be Safe!

    2009 - 2305 w/62 MMM **** 2008 - 2520 w/72 MMM **** 200CX w/49 bucket
    Weight Box w/extension ***** LandPride RTR 1558 Tiller ******* 54 Snow blower
    60 Gallon Demco Sprayer *** 60 Broom ** BB2060 Box Blade**SS2036B Spreader
    Everything Attachments ETA-PluggerV2-60 Aerator

    The more I learn, the less I know.

  11. Top | #8
    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:50 PM
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Posts
    16,569
    Thanks
    5,136
    Thanked 4,132 Times in 2,575 Posts
    I think you should have just used PEX, probably 3/4 to feed the air to the shop...no splice and less restriction. Surplus center also sells good rubber hose by the foot so you could have made the length you needed, that's how I fed my pole barn.
    Kenny

    -John Deere 3720 Deluxe Cab TLB
    FEL, MMM, Artillian 42" Forks and Modular Grapple, I-Match, Ballast Box, and lots of other STUFF.
    -John Deere 455 w/60" MMM


    Bolt on Grab Hooks and other cool stuff are now for sale!!

    Visit our YouTube Channel

    My Equipment:
    John Deere 3720 Deluxe Cab, 300cx FEL, 366 Front Blade, 59" Front Snowblower, Ballast Box
    Artillian 3K Forks, Grapple, Front-Hoe Bucket
    John Deere 455, 60" MMM

  12. Top | #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Last Online
    11-30-2013 @ 08:29 PM
    Location
    Chester Grant, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    747
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts
    Are you planning on doing any paint, or sand blasting? If so, it is absolutly crucial that you get as much water out of the system as possible otherwise you'll find issues with painting and sandblasting.

    A quick and dirty way is this, as close to the compressor as possible. Some guys use a copper manifold, with a drain at the bottom, before it even gets to the filter.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/desicca...yer-97686.html

    Check out:

    http://www.garagejournal.com

    Many, many discussions on running compressors, lines, filters, you name it.

    Quote Originally Posted by eepete View Post

    ...Now here's where I need help:

    Various threads here have talked about problems with moisture in air systems. I plan to have the drain for the tank where I can get to it OK. I'll might drain it on the concrete. I thought about a drain in the pad, but it's so flat where the building is there is not much hope there. I could drill a hole in the wall and run a tube to the outside for manually draining the tank. Ideas?

    There has also been talk of dryers for air systems. I know there are some high dollar ones out there, but are there any that are in the "weekend warrior" class. Something between nothing and a "RandyM - Do it right the first time" without being too wrong. I know my air line in the PVC is an imposable to drain line, that seems to be yet another trade off of this compressor not in the garage system. But if I drain the tank on the compressor regularly and then have some sort of dryer, will that be good enough? I'm thinking air tools down the road, right now I use air for tires and cleaning/blowing stuff off.

    Ok, so there's the project and what I've done. Tear it up all you can, it's the only way others can learn. Can this project be salvaged? I've been living with a single stage belt-less noisy 25 gallon $200 special air compressor that is still going after 18 years. I hope I can have yet another piece of infrastructure around the place that will outlive me.

    TIA, let 'er rip....

    Pete

  13. Top | #10
    eepete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    05-26-2019 @ 06:02 PM
    Location
    Efland, NC 54 Acres, hay, ponds, woods.
    Posts
    971
    Thanks
    20
    Thanked 54 Times in 47 Posts
    Kenny, when this hose blows I'll get the custom length from Surplus Center. I kinda liked the fact that the hard to get to section had a 250 PSI rating (but don't know what temperature that's at....). This whole project has a "when you're done you know how to do it" aspect to it, more than most. I plan to run everything at 90 PSI.

    Dellwas, tnx for the links. Various web searches on air compressor and distribution systems put them in a class with Oils, R1 vs. F4, and Hydro vs. Gear. I guess if I ever do an painting or sand blasting, I'll up the drying system better. I will give the Horror Freight dryer a shot.

    My hope is that the combination of a two stage compressor and the big tank, coupled with occasional use and not for long periods of time means that the tank will stay cool and most of the water will come out there. Long periods of continuous use seems to change the game here.

    The other factor affecting choices is that this compressor is in essence outside (i.e. not in a shop with HVAC and controlled humidity). So a quick drain after each use will have to happen. Randy, I'll need to have my drain system so that water can't sit in the pipes so in the winter it won't freeze. Any water left at the bottom of the tank should be small enough that it can't break anything when it freezes. Again, drain after each use although in the winter time with lower humidity there should be less water accumulation.

    And if all this fails, well, the compressor moves into the garage where it won't go below freezing during the winter.

    Tnx for feedback!

    Pete
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '16 X755 (23HP Diesel) w/front PTO, 60" deck, 72" front blade, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
    Volunteer Firefighter.

  14. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. My air guns.
    By tackit in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-15-2015, 10:48 PM
  2. Compressor Decision Time
    By Spudland_Dave in forum Tools & Equipment
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-18-2011, 12:14 PM
  3. Compressor Sizing - How much do I really need?
    By Spudland_Dave in forum Tools & Equipment
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-18-2011, 10:03 AM
  4. Recommend Me a Compressor Air Hose and Reel
    By FordGuy in forum Tools & Equipment
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-28-2010, 07:23 PM
  5. air compressor questions
    By BigDogTrain in forum Tools & Equipment
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 12-01-2010, 11:39 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •