Air Line specs and selection

  1. reb78 Member

    Messages:
    692
    Herts UK
    I have been having a read around but am still not clear about the best thing to do when speccing and installing air line.

    In my workshed, I eventually want to end up with a rigid pipe setup from the compressor to the point that the airlines to the tools plug in. This system seems to be recommended by a fair few people - https://pipefittingsdirect.co.uk/contents/en-uk/d29.html

    What determines whether 15mm is best or 18/22/28??

    When it comes to the flexible lines from the rigid pipework to where the tools are being used again, i have the same question? There seems to be 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" and even 1" flexi pipe although the latter two seem fairly hard to get in the UK with 3/8" ID pipe being most common? How do you spec what you need here - is it related to the tool or compressor or the pipe run or something else??

    Finally, if you have say 3/8" pipework but a 1/4" ID fitting on it, how much of an effect does that have? Do the fittings need to be paired in some way with the pipe?

    Sorry if these are silly questions, but i dont want to go out and spend a load of money and find i have done the wrong thing!
     
  2. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    What size compressor do you have or intend to up grade to?
    What is the air consumption of the tools you intend to use?
    How many tools will you use at the same time.

    For a home setup 15mm will be massively overspecified but none the worse for that.
    The pipe runs will act as additional tank capacity so no bad thing.
    A 3hp compressor will "just" keep up with a 2mm dia orifice (if it's in good nick) so the sizes of fittings you are talking about will make no difference to tools up to say 12cfm.
    If the 2mm orifice was say a 1m long pipe it would have a massive effect
    The fittings need to be paired with the tool not the pipe work
     
  3. reb78 Member

    Messages:
    692
    Herts UK
    Thanks. That helps me start to sort out what i need to think about.

    This is my current compressor (slightly different as i think the tank is 100litres on mine) - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wolf-Cylin...=1556802593&refinements=p_4:Wolf&s=diy&sr=1-5

    When I finally get it wired in, this monster will sit in the far shed and i will pipe it to the main shed though - https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/threads/h85a-f3.82351/ (this may not happen for some time). Its complete overkill for what i want but it was cheap and will cover any of my needs.

    Tool wise, the 1/2 inch IR impact gun will probably need the most 'power', the reciprocating saw is hungry, as are the sanders and die grinders.
     
  4. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Now that's what you call a compressor.

    What Cfm is it or what HP is the motor?
    How are you going to feed it?
    Have you 3phase?

    Seems just a tad OTT but you'll not run out of air
     
  5. reb78 Member

    Messages:
    692
    Herts UK
    Oh, its completely OTT, but it was £100 so I couldn't say no!

    Its a 12kW motor I think. There are three phase sockets the other side of the wall to where it will be located, so i will drill through and connect up to that. I have had it about 9 months but will get on to it soon.
     
  6. knighty Member

    Messages:
    1,627
    Location:
    Sunderland
    12kw is about 26hp

    can't see a cfn for the compressor, but it'll be quite a bit... probably over 50cfm?

    I'd stick with 3/8 around the building etc. because it'll deliver more than you need for tools/spraying ec. etc.

    if you decide to do some sand blasting later on you could run a seperate line for that?
     
  7. reb78 Member

    Messages:
    692
    Herts UK
    I think Clive (i think he is on here at times), who i bought it from reckoned at least 45cfm now you mention it, so yes, around 50 would make sense.

    When I get to installing it, is it best to go as large as possible then with the rigid pipework given what Dcal mentioned above about this acting as extra reservoir volume? So 22mm perhaps?

    I think the previous owner of my place used barrel pipe to pipe his compressor around the unit, but i need to trace where it starts and ends and whether I can tap into that as well.
     
  8. armalites Member

    Messages:
    3,826
    Herefordshire
    If you've 45cfm on tap then there is going to be no need for extra air reserves unless you are Edward Airtool Hands :laughing:
     
    reb78 likes this.
  9. reb78 Member

    Messages:
    692
    Herts UK
    Haha. So 15mm pipework should do the trick?!

    I think the tank is something like 320 litres. It could be nearer 400 on the big compressor.
     
  10. armalites Member

    Messages:
    3,826
    Herefordshire
    If it's just for you then you'll be fine, if you had multiple people running tools then bigger may be better. What's the price differential from 15-18-22?
     
  11. brightspark

    brightspark Member

    Messages:
    26,369
    Location:
    yarm
    half inch will do everything you want including a 25cfm blast pot .22 is better for heat dissipation if in copper mind. mine are all rubber hoses from the comp and I use a secondary cooling tank near the end which works well
     
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