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A buddy did his shop with the plastic tubing (pex I think) that is stretched to fit around the fittings and then is 'memories' itself back to it original diameter and seals up very solid. His plumber friend said it was good to about 700psi, so good and safe. Very inexpensive as well, especially if you can rent or borrow the stretcher.

-Jer.
 

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HHHmmmmm, interesting.:think:
 

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A buddy did his shop with the plastic tubing (pex I think) that is stretched to fit around the fittings and then is 'memories' itself back to it original diameter and seals up very solid. His plumber friend said it was good to about 700psi, so good and safe. Very inexpensive as well, especially if you can rent or borrow the stretcher.

-Jer.
Are you talking about the pex expander style fittings (Wirsbo or Uphonor)? If so those work well for plumbing. I redid the plumbing in my house this spring because I didn't like the way it was set up. When your expanding 1" PEX, its quite the workout!!
 

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I use alot of Pex in my P&H business none that I have used is rated over [email protected] degrees.

The Sharktooth fittings that Dave has pictured are quite handy to work with and will mate copper,cpvc and pex since all of these are tubing sizes.

Copper is great for airlines with the exception of vibration which will make it hard and brittle. As long as you use a hose whip to the compressor and have the copper securely mounted it will be okay. The easiest to install in the shop would be L Hard copper in 20ft sticks for straight runs as it is a much neater install.
 

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A buddy did his shop with the plastic tubing (pex I think) that is stretched to fit around the fittings and then is 'memories' itself back to it original diameter and seals up very solid. His plumber friend said it was good to about 700psi, so good and safe. Very inexpensive as well, especially if you can rent or borrow the stretcher.

-Jer.
I'd be real leery of using PEX for compressed air service unless the manufacturer says it's rated for that application.

Just heard about this from a friend who knows a guy who just ordered some, apparently its Cheaper then Black Pipe and 1/2 the price of plumbing with Copper...
http://www.pattonsinc.com/piping/piping.html
I find it hard to believe that using aluminum tubing is going to make it 1/2 the cost of copper as both are expensive. I do like the color coding system they offer, and it makes for a clean looking installation. What happens if one goofs and doesn't get the tube completely seated during installation? However; it's only rated to 220PSI at 176-degrees Stupidheit (Fahrenheit).

Copper is great for airlines with the exception of vibration which will make it hard and brittle. As long as you use a hose whip to the compressor and have the copper securely mounted it will be okay. The easiest to install in the shop would be L Hard copper in 20ft sticks for straight runs as it is a much neater install.
That's what I use, a hose whip between the compressor and system, type 'L' tubing, though type 'M' is more than adequate, and plenty of straps to secure the tubing.
 

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So why does black pipe scare everyone? :unknown: It is really easy to do. Tools are cheap, bender and a threader. Use quality "Rector Seal" dope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So why does black pipe scare everyone? :unknown: It is really easy to do. Tools are cheap, bender and a threader. Use quality "Rector Seal" dope.
Its not that its scary...its just a HUGE PITA to install. Definetly better IMO for a static system, install & Forget... With Brass or some of the commercial systems available, its easy to add/remove/change/etc...

If I could get it to look nice like pipe, I'd use the Legris nylon tubing...But thats my hangup with Pex as well (even for domestic water plumbing in the house)...doesnt look like a neat install when done.
 

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Do tell? Sure it isn't a snap together erector set but I don't find it all that bad.
Well, I can just see 2 months down the road saying...heck I wish I had another air drop right over this here new welding table I just built....with Brass/Pex/whatever, just cut the pipe, sweat in a Tee, pipe, voila...done deal. With black pipe....even if you cut the pipe and thread it 10' in the air, how you gonna thread your Tee on? :think:
I guess I shouldnt really comment on it, I've never done it myself with black pipe, but I have heard people saying things along those lines.

As far as the whole price thing....dont blame me! :hide: I'm just telling you guys what I heard...If I actually had an idea for what I'd want/need, I'd request a quote for the fun of it... If anybody here gets a quote, be sure to let us know...
 

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Do tell? Sure it isn't a snap together erector set but I don't find it all that bad.
Well, I can just see 2 months down the road saying...heck I wish I had another air drop right over this here new welding table I just built....with Brass/Pex/whatever, just cut the pipe, sweat in a Tee, pipe, voila...done deal. With black pipe....even if you cut the pipe and thread it 10' in the air, how you gonna thread your Tee on? :think:
I guess I shouldnt really comment on it, I've never done it myself with black pipe, but I have heard people saying things along those lines.

As far as the whole price thing....dont blame me! :hide: I'm just telling you guys what I heard...If I actually had an idea for what I'd want/need, I'd request a quote for the fun of it... If anybody here gets a quote, be sure to let us know...
Yup! I agree Dave, much harder to add or change with iron pipe. Plus it's heavier and dirtier to install. Add to that if you have a leak you have to take everything apart back to that point to fix it. Copper may be more money up front, but the labor savings along makes up the difference I think.
 

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So why does black pipe scare everyone? :unknown: It is really easy to do. Tools are cheap, bender and a threader. Use quality "Rector Seal" dope.

Yup! I agree Dave, much harder to add or change with iron pipe. Plus it's heavier and dirtier to install. Add to that if you have a leak you have to take everything apart back to that point to fix it. Copper may be more money up front, but the labor savings along makes up the difference I think.
Black pipe isn't scary to me; it's just a nuisance to work with compared to copper. No one uses threaded galvanized pipe in new construction either because it's a pain. Besides I hate anything with NPT threads.
 

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Well everyone has their opinions. As far as add ins, I left that option open on my installation. As Dave mentioned it comes in 10 ft sections. Instead of using a coupling I used a tee and a plug along with some well placed unions. I can add any place or time I want. And 10 ft increments are plenty close enough for drops. I really haven't found the need for much changing though. I think it comes down to having planned enough drops with hose reels. Kenny, maybe I am lucky but I haven't had any leaks. Not really sure how they would develop now anyway. Personally, I am very happy with my set up and I would do it all again the same way. I guess unless you have actually done it, it may be a bit frightening. And as far as it being dirty, I didn't find it to be that bad. I find I do a lot of dirty jobs in my shop. Itsn't like it do black pipe plumbing every day. The big benifit I have with my set up is getting the water out of the air. I would not trade this feature for any thing. Between the iron pipe and filters I do not need a dryer. This is a big plus when sand blasting and painting. Just my 2 cents, well maybe nickle.

Also, I do have some tee'd in copper in a couple of places and personally I do not see it being any easier, harder, cheaper, or cleaner. In fact, I have had more problems with leaks and getting sealed than with pipe. But, each type has its place.
 

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Doubters!!!

I can get you pics of his install, and the pressure gauge on his compressor if you'd like. I'll even make sure that today's paper is in the picture, just to confirm the pics validity!!!

Seriously though, Mike - his plumber friend - tested those fitting to failure when they were in school and they failed at about 700psi.

-Jer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Doubters!!!

I can get you pics of his install, and the pressure gauge on his compressor if you'd like. I'll even make sure that today's paper is in the picture, just to confirm the pics validity!!!

Seriously though, Mike - his plumber friend - tested those fitting to failure when they were in school and they failed at about 700psi.

-Jer.
I've seen it done in a few shops...I guess you just need to use the Pel-Al-Pex like what you would do for a heat loop.

My personal hangup with pex (Air OR Water) is it doesnt look like a nice neat install...its virtually impossible to get the tubing straight....I put in a new Outdoor Silcock using pex, and when I have a chance I'd like to re-plumb it with copper because of the appearance..... I can only imagine how it would look in a finished garage...about the only way I'd do it is if I put it inside the wall....
 

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Good discussion guys, here is a little more info on my set-up that may shed some light onto my stance on this issue. Bear in mind I have well over 200ft of air line throughout my shop, including header and drops. I have five 50ft hose reels that allows me to reach anywhere in my shop. I have dedicated drops for my blast cabinet and paint booth. My air meter, lift, and can crusher are all hard plumbed with copper from the main header. I really felt I had to do it right the first time and followed the attached PDF as my guideline. When I first did the plumbing I did not have threading or bending capabilities. I have since added that equipment.

I am a firm believer in RectorSeal pipe sealant. You need a good quality sealant and none of those sold in retail will cut it. I have also gone commercial on the filters. I use the Domnick-Hunter filters with the auto drain and monitor gauges. I started with the paper elements from TP Tools, but they just didn't cut it. They don't hold that much water and the aluminum housings did not stand up. Water was a huge concern of mine and when I first started out I really thought I would need to have a dryer. I figured I’d start without it and if problems arise I could always add it. As it turns out, I do not need it. Trust me, you start getting water when blasting or painting and it is a nightmare, most other things aren’t so sensitive. And at times I run a lot of air. I realize most of you have smaller set-ups and the copper can work just fine. But, I really can not see me doing my whole set-up in copper and brass fittings. Good luck with your set-ups.

Also, don’t forget to oil your tools occasionally if you don’t have oilers in-line. I have found that oiling the tool manually works best for me (three drops). This keeps the oil out of the lines which can dedicate them to certain uses. I have tried a small in line lubricator right at the tool, but really wasn’t convinced it worked that well. I had it in line with quick disconnects. Hope all this can help some one
 

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I've seen it done in a few shops...I guess you just need to use the Pel-Al-Pex like what you would do for a heat loop.

My personal hangup with pex (Air OR Water) is it doesnt look like a nice neat install...its virtually impossible to get the tubing straight....I put in a new Outdoor Silcock using pex, and when I have a chance I'd like to re-plumb it with copper because of the appearance..... I can only imagine how it would look in a finished garage...about the only way I'd do it is if I put it inside the wall....
Evan's looks pretty good. It's not a laser beam, but I pretty nice. I'll snap some pics next time i'm there.

-Jer.
 

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Well everyone has their opinions. As far as add ins, I left that option open on my installation. As Dave mentioned it comes in 10 ft sections. Instead of using a coupling I used a tee and a plug along with some well placed unions. I can add any place or time I want. And 10 ft increments are plenty close enough for drops. I really haven't found the need for much changing though. I think it comes down to having planned enough drops with hose reels. Kenny, maybe I am lucky but I haven't had any leaks. Not really sure how they would develop now anyway. Personally, I am very happy with my set up and I would do it all again the same way. I guess unless you have actually done it, it may be a bit frightening. And as far as it being dirty, I didn't find it to be that bad. I find I do a lot of dirty jobs in my shop. Itsn't like it do black pipe plumbing every day. The big benifit I have with my set up is getting the water out of the air. I would not trade this feature for any thing. Between the iron pipe and filters I do not need a dryer. This is a big plus when sand blasting and painting. Just my 2 cents, well maybe nickle.

Also, I do have some tee'd in copper in a couple of places and personally I do not see it being any easier, harder, cheaper, or cleaner. In fact, I have had more problems with leaks and getting sealed than with pipe. But, each type has its place.
From what I've seen of your shop Randy, you are adept at planning, and how you describe adding plugged tees into the system every so often is the smart way to go for possible future expansion. I did something similar with my copper system in the basement shop. However; I wouldn't use copper in a heavy industrial installation where physical damage is highly likely.

Fortunately I don't get much water in my system; but I have drain valves at all drops, except for the ceiling mounted ones at each power tool (e.g. table saw, bandsaw, chopsaw). Those are just used to blow sawdust, etc away.

My personal hangup with pex (Air OR Water) is it doesnt look like a nice neat install...its virtually impossible to get the tubing straight....I put in a new Outdoor Silcock using pex, and when I have a chance I'd like to re-plumb it with copper because of the appearance..... I can only imagine how it would look in a finished garage...about the only way I'd do it is if I put it inside the wall....
Coming from an industrial/commercial design world, you're description of PEX's higgly-piggly installed look turns me off too. I've never worked with PEX; but if it's anything like wresting poly irrigation pipe, or wire; then I'll stick with copper or PVC where appropriate.
 

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I use alot of pex tubing in my work, all the above ground stuff I use straight sticks 20ft long, in a ditch with long runs I use it in the roll form 500 ft.

The rolled up stuff is harder to handle especially when it cold but you have the advantage of less fittings too.
 
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