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Shop Talk - Tool and Shop Discussion! Tool and Shop Discussion!

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Old 03-31-2017, 01:09 PM   #21
Mopar440_6
 
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My only input on the PVC/CPVC discussion is, lots of people do lots of things that aren't recommended and have no issues but that doesn't mean its right or safe. Personally, I'll avoid even the possibility of having PVC shrapnel flying around my shop.

Black iron pipe is cheap and plentiful but the fittings, mounts, and labor to cut and rethread add up quickly. Also, rust. Even with dryers you'll still have some level of moisture in the lines and it will eventually rust. We have all black pipe at work and I'm constantly fixing/replacing components because rust particles have clogged or damaged it. That said black pipe is nearly indestructible even in a fire and I've seen it take hits from a forklift. If you have to mount the air lines low on the walls where they could take a hit, go with black pipe.

Black Pipe:
Pros - Cheap, plentiful, nearly indestructible
Cons - Slowest install, difficult to join, dirty air


Copper pipe is expensive but it is the gold standard for clean air supply. I've seen a few ISO9000 clean rooms and the air supplies were all plumbed with copper. I like copper because its easy to cut, solder, unsolder, and modify. However, some people have concerns with joints possibly becoming unsoldered in a fire and fanning the flames but the same could be said for any of PVC/CPVC/PEX/PexAlPex or Rapid-Air fittings.

Copper:
Pros - Cleanest air, easy to join, easy to modify, somewhat durable
Cons - Moderate installation time, most expensive, could be punctured, joints could fail in fire


Rapid-Air Fastpipe (or one of the competitors) is my personal choice and what will be going into the new shop I built last year. Stuff is high quality, somewhere in between black pipe and copper price wise, and the biggest thing for me is that it runs in quick. A friend and I plumbed his 4 bay shop with the big RapidAir 1" Fastpipe 235' master kit from Northern in a Saturday afternoon. Its somewhat modular with the saddle drops too and easy enough to change later because of the compression fittings. I'm going with the Fastpipe because my system will be all external to the walls and it will look better. If I could keep everything in the walls, I'd probably use the Maxline.

RapidAir:
Pros: Fastest install, clean air, easiest to join, easy to modify, somewhat durable
Cons: More expensive than black pipe, could be punctured, joints could fail in a fire


Just my
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:20 PM   #22
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I used the Pex-Al-Pex stuff like rapid air. 300' coil, with a good amount left over. I put clips on the wall every four feet, so it all looks pretty good. I have 7 drops and a full halo around the garage. The nice thing with the coil is I only have joints at each drop, not every 8-12 feet like if you were using sticks. I looked at copper and black iron. Black iron would've been cheaper, but then I'd be renting a threader or buying pre-threaded pipes of every length, and so many joints. Copper was gonna cost about the same as the pex I used, and then I have to solder all the joints in place. The pex is easy to cut, and even without the compression fittings tight, they will hold 100 psi (found a fitting I missed tightening when I did the initial leak test) and makes future tie-ins a breeze.
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:42 PM   #23
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If running copper and worried about fire situations, you'd just need to run it with crimp/press fittings instead of solder but down side being your never going to take get it apart and a bit more expensive
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:06 PM   #24
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I ran 3/4" sch 80 pvc in my biddies 40x100 machine shop about 8 years ago. Several drops and cross building runs for each machine. No issues to date.

He wanted to use sch 40 but I talked some sense into him.

Once I construct my shop, will be using rapid air aluminum tubing. More for OCD purposes than anything.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cumminsman315 View Post
If running copper and worried about fire situations, you'd just need to run it with crimp/press fittings instead of solder but down side being your never going to take get it apart and a bit more expensive
If I'm worried about copper and it bursting/unsoldering and feeding a fire you boys must have way better compressors than me...and I have some good stuff.

I know I have stuff I'd be way more worried about feeding a fire than my air compressor/plumbing.


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Last edited by Signature600; 03-31-2017 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 03-31-2017, 04:02 PM   #26
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Quote:
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If I'm worried about copper and it bursting/unsoldering and feeding a fire you boys must have way better compressors than me...and I have some good stuff.

I know I have stuff I'd be way more worried about feeding a fire than my air compressor/plumbing.


Chris
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Old 03-31-2017, 05:17 PM   #27
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I have 2 rapid air 3/4" systems in a box ready to go into the shop when I am ready. Hopefully that is the right decision.
Looks like when running pex-al-pex a cooler should be used if the system is going to be used hard. I will be looking into a cooler setup when I do mine.
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Old 03-31-2017, 05:18 PM   #28
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I hate you.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:35 AM   #29
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Kaeser SP11 with 3/4" copper lines, 26 years(just under 40,000 hrs) no problems. Shop next door to me had PVC lines, broke 2 times in the 4 years I was there. 1" line with a 25hp Quincy trying to overcome the split pipe was impressive.
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:30 AM   #30
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6 bay full scale shop with a big rotary compressor putting out 135PSI and a seperate heated air dryer and everything here is run in 1 1/4" black pipe.

Buildings been standing for 40+ years and we've never had any issues with air supply or rust.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:46 PM   #31
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Heated air dryer...why would you have any rust?

Chris
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:11 AM   #32
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I ran 3/4" PVC in my shop....about 16 years ago...No issues
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:43 AM   #33
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I ran copper years ago in the neighbor's shop. I pressure tested it before putting it into use. I don't think there has ever been an issue. His next two additions were with pvc and I tried to talk him out of it. I had nothing to do with installation. It has blown apart two or three times, that I know of. I'm scared of that stuff. My Dad had A relative install black iron pipe in the old shop, when I was a kid. It holds up fine, but can get condensation in the pipes and cause rust. I decided to go with Rapid Air in my current 60x75 shop. I sent them a diagram of the shop layout and they sent back a suggested layout. I modified it a little, then ordered the 20 ft hard sticks, fittings and quick coupler blocks from them. I ended up adding a few more drops and ran to Northern Tool to get a few extra fittings. I did buy a roll of the flexible tubing to bend and follow the ceiling that is above the overhead door.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:21 AM   #34
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I finally opt'd for the Rapid Air Line
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