It's kind of ironic that while air tools and equipment can and will make jobs much easier in the garage/workshop, they can also cause major headaches if they are not used and maintained properly. I'll be the first to admit guilt when it comes to not oiling my pneumatic tools periodically or even draining my compressor regularly. Along with the frustrating brain pain, this can also result in expensive replacement costs when those handy items ultimately fail. In the past, I'd address the situation by simply switching to a comparable electric or cordless tool.
After finally stepping up to a "real" compressor-one that could keep up with my high CFM diet tools as well as having an automatic drain-I found myself in yet another pneumatic dilemma: supplying air from the compressor outside into the garage in a tactful sort of way. Along with the hassle of unraveling an air hose all the time, I didn't have any type of filter and/or water separator system, which is pretty much just as bad as not oiling my tools. I had to come up with a filtered air distribution system, but it'd been quite some time since I'd done any real plumbing work above and beyond basic sprinkler repair!
Fortunately, the answer came the day a new Eastwood catalog arrived in the mail. Among all the tons of helpful stuff they offer for practically everything you do in the garage, Eastwood now stocks a complete garage air line kit. The Rapid Air Compressed Air Piping System is perfect for any home shop, large or small. With 100 feet of 1/2-inch 150-psi nylon tubing (3/8-inch ID), aluminum distribution blocks, and PTC (push to connect) fittings, plumbing doesn't need to be your forte to install this system like a pro-and get excellent results. Unlike PVC, which isn't recommended for compressed air due to a number of reasons (it's unable to withstand constant high pressure, for one), this type of nylon tubing is much more forgiving, plus it isn't susceptible to harmful oils emitted from the compressor. Nylon is also much cheaper than black metal pipe (copper is not recommended either), plus it won't corrode over time due to remaining water vapors.
While the Rapid Air system will do the job of getting compressed air to specific locations, there's still the matter of moisture separation (on top of the system's included drain valves). For that you'll want to install a quality regulated filter setup. For this job, I again went with Eastwood, using a new two-stage kit that features modular connectors and a shutoff valve that allows for individual component maintenance. The kit uses both air and oil separators as well as an adjustable pressure regulator, so it's perfect for painting and air tool use. (You'll note that I chose to omit the coalescing oil filter-that was done mistakenly, as I made the error of thinking it was used to "add" oil to air tools. It will be replaced!)
OK, so I had all the necessary elements for a proper plumbing system-now all I had to do was make it work. As it turned out, that wasn't anywhere near as difficult or time consuming as I'd originally thought ... it probably took longer to plot out my lines than it did to install them! And when it was all said and done, it worked just as good as it looked, and without any leaks, for that matter. Now if I can just remember to keep those tools oiled.
The Rapid Air garage air line kit from Eastwood features 100 feet of nylon tubing, an alum
Having your compressor located outside the garage avoids taking up precious interior space
Along with the aforementioned compressed air plumbing, we'll also be utilizing a two-stage
The new two-stage system from Eastwood features a unique O-ring quick disconnect that allo
Don't worry about having to solder or glue any tubing, as the Rapid Air system's push-to-c
No matter how you initiate the plumbing from your compressor, make sure to start with a qu