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Old 10-22-2011, 07:49 PM
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Pics of my Homemade Air Dryer

I've tried several different setups (an understatement) for drying out my air. I do quite a bit of DA sanding and painting from my garage at home and have always battled moisture and oil problems.

The tank is an old propane tank. Black iron couplings were cut in half and used as weld-in bungs. Tank was back-purged with argon and mig welded with my little miller 140.


1.25" bungs on top and bottom for easy empty and refill.

takes almost three large bags of fresh step crystals cat litter (95% Silica gel) -- much cheaper than buying bulk silica Sink drain Screen brazed to inside of exit nipple to keep the desiccant in the tank and out of my regulator.

I have ZERO moisture for about a month of continuous use and gained a little more volume (which helps my 60 gal IR keep up!)



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Old 10-22-2011, 09:35 PM
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I am moving this to garage/tools ..Good idea you have there though some will be a bit iffy about using the propane tank..there are some other tanks of similar capacity though that one could use..the use of the fresh step litter is great if one lives out in the woods somewhere as well..

Sam
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:37 PM
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oops. Thought I posted to the garage section. lol not sure what you mean by living in the woods and kitty litter
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:19 AM
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When a guy lives way out in the country anything that helps save a buck or he can improvise is a good thing..fresh step cat litter for desicant I would have never thought of..

Sam
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50bowTie
I've tried several different setups (an understatement) for drying out my air. I do quite a bit of DA sanding and painting from my garage at home and have always battled moisture and oil problems.

The tank is an old propane tank. Black iron couplings were cut in half and used as weld-in bungs. Tank was back-purged with argon and mig welded with my little miller 140.


1.25" bungs on top and bottom for easy empty and refill.

takes almost three large bags of fresh step crystals cat litter (95% Silica gel) -- much cheaper than buying bulk silica Sink drain Screen brazed to inside of exit nipple to keep the desiccant in the tank and out of my regulator.

I have ZERO moisture for about a month of continuous use and gained a little more volume (which helps my 60 gal IR keep up!)



Feel free to comment, copy, whatever.
Looks like you used Monster tape.
Did you have the tank hydo'd?
Good tip on the kitty litter.

Back in the day a friend of mine was a commercial diver. He refilled his tanks using a home made filter box. It was nothing more than a steel box welded up to hold 40 Kotex pads inline. He said it worked as well as any commmercially available filter at the time.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:24 AM
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That's a great tool you created! I just found out I have two propane tanks that are over ten years old and therefore not certified for use. I would like to give this a shot. What steps did you take to purge the tank?
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:58 AM
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A local Aviation maintenance shop used a raq of bras tubing left and right to cool the air. The tubing goes back and forth across a wall several times and has been their cooler/drier for some time.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:14 AM
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I have tried the copper/brass drop leg racks.... made a large one that was cooled with water and air... it worked OK but with the price of copper sky high I wouldn't do it again. It also didn't remove all of the moisture. it just collected it and then I had to remove it manually from the system.


####

I can't stress enough that you need to really know what you're doing If you want to make one of these. Pressure vessels are nothing to fool around with, and welded improperly can kill you. (while welding and after pressurizing).

####


I drained tank, removed valve, set upside down for five minutes or so.. dumped some comet and dawn soap in the tank and pressure washed it out a few times. Took a big weed burner and heated the tank to burn off any excess. and went to hole sawing the holes in it.

Welding...

I put a "Tee" right after my regulator on my argon bottle and ran a hose to the propane tank to back purge it while welding. Used painters tape to seal it up. Black iron fitting weld (OK) but if I had it to do over again I would use a little better grade steel.



tank has seen 135psi many times. full and empty of desiccant. So far, I'm still alive.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Fool
Looks like you used Monster tape.
Did you have the tank hydo'd?
Good tip on the kitty litter.

Back in the day a friend of mine was a commercial diver. He refilled his tanks using a home made filter box. It was nothing more than a steel box welded up to hold 40 Kotex pads inline. He said it worked as well as any commmercially available filter at the time.

Monster tape FTW!!!


No, the tank was not hydro tested, someday I may make one out of a dive tank to save desiccant, then I'll do it up right

that guy's filter idea worked great i'm sure! I always use a cotton media filter at my paint gun to collect any dust from this. (It works well for moisture also).
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:21 PM
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Thats a good tip with the kitty litter.I'm going to have to try that.It costs me 90.00 for about a gallons worth of desicent.
40 Kotex????? another good idea but Dang I feel funny just buying one box for the old lady....
....I got a filter that uses toilet paper.....no sheet....works good too.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
Thats a good tip with the kitty litter.I'm going to have to try that.It costs me 90.00 for about a gallons worth of desicent.
40 Kotex????? another good idea but Dang I feel funny just buying one box for the old lady....
....I got a filter that uses toilet paper.....no sheet....works good too.


yeah the kitty litter works, only difference is it doesn't change colors when its saturated. But it's cheap enough that you can change it out before it's too late.

I might also add that there is a small amount of dust at first until moisture traps it. Using a toilet paper filter after the desiccant is the way to go.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:03 PM
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Litnes paper turns blue in the presence of moisture.my old decisent filter had a small window with a piece of it that turned blue when it was time to change the balls.. silica balls can also be reused if baked in the oven for a while.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:38 PM
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I thought about doing something like that with a screw-in sight glass but decided against it. I just watch for fog in my water separator bowl. That's the first sign that the desiccant is fully saturated.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:15 AM
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LOL ,tell ya the truth it was blue when I got it (used) I never knew it was supposed to change color until I bought the new balls and there was a piece for the window.. Mine turns color right away because its at the bottom of the filter where the water collects...so I dont ever look at it,it would be nice if it had a pitcock to drain off the water though..
That DeVilbis filter cost about 400.00 when I pulled it apart to replace the balls I couldn't believe it was basicly only a canister,very easy to make
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:51 AM
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An old pressure tank from a shallow well pump setup would have the connections already on it. You'd still have to open the tank up and get the diaphragm out of it, but it wouldn't have to be purged. AN IN-LINE TANK LIKE THIS
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