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Thread: The importance of dry air..

  1. #1

    Default The importance of dry air..

    My PowerPlasma 50 has been one heck of a machine. Nice cuts and very reliable until I started cutting on very humid days. I also am planning on getting a CNC machine so I need dry air.

    My air compressor was a Craftsman 33 gallon oilless. It was loud as all get out and drove me crazy. But it did give me enough air to run my PowerPlasma 50. Every time I used it the air compressor would kick on and it was so loud it woke the dead and made anyone alive jump. So I replaced the oilless pump head/motor with an old 3 hp Dayton 220 volt motor and for the pump, an Eaton V-twin belt drive oil bath pump. The 33 gallon tank was perfect and allows me to roll it around and not have miles of hose. Really quiet and NOW I have a real air compressor.

    The problem started when I was plasma cutting on humid days. I do run a filter but the moisture was still a problem as I was not getting very good life out of my consumables. I did some research and found that water in the air is a real problem for plasma cutters. The dryer the air the better and dry air is needed for long consumables life and for smoother cuts.

    So I did some more research and found that there are many ways to get water out of your air. I wanted to do something that required not a lot of money and not a lot of maintenance.

    When you compress air, it heats up and that heat allows the air to hold more water. Compressing humid air concentrates the water in the air and then it condenses on the cool inside walls of the air tank. Sort of like taking a hot shower and the mirror in your bathroom gets all steamy. When the air in the tank is consumed, the cool dry air picks up the moisture in the tank and when run through your air tool or hoses, it then re-condenses. So you get water in your tools, water in your paint gun and water in your plasma cutter which is not good for consumables life and for smooth nice cuts.

    So dry air is needed. Again, the dryer the better. I did some more research and found an idea that I wanted to try. Its a device you can build called a Franzinator. It is named after a guy who has been tinkering around with the idea for over twenty some years. What it is is a 2 inch x 36 inch pipe with end caps and an inlet, an outlet and a drain. On the 1/2 inch inlet in the center, a 90 degree fitting is welded inside to aim the air towards the bottom of the Franzinator. What it does is cool the air and removes most of the moisture before it gets to your tank. There is a lot of chat on the internet about the Franzinator and how it works so if you want to learn more, Google Franzinator.Click image for larger version. 

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    Does it work? OOOOH YEAH! My cuts with the PowerPlasma 50 are now much smoother and I have seen an increase in the lifespan of my consumables. I still run a filter before my air line and have noticed a huge decrease in the amount of water/oil that the filter gets and almost no water in the main tank. Almost none. The drain on the Franzinator sees a lot of water coming out of it and I cannot be more happy. I get cool dry air that requires almost no maintenance and no purchasing of expensive filters. This may even help the tank on your compressor last longer as there is very little water inside the tank to cause rust which is the number one cause of tank failure.

    If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get rid of that pesky moisture that a compressor produces in the air, this project can save your consumables and make for smoother cuts. All for under a hundred bucks.
    Last edited by Steve; 10-10-2012 at 08:14 AM.
    Powertig 250EX
    Powerplasma 50
    Hobart Handler 210 with spoolgun
    Cobra 2000 / Henrob O/A torch
    Drill press / metal brake / 36 ton air hydraulic press
    Franzinated modified Craftsman 33 compressor
    Lots of other metal working tools

  2. #2

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    I don't know whether to thank you or not as now I have another project to build. I guess I am off to Google Franzinator

    Any link to the plans you followed?
    Everlast PowerTig 200DX
    Everlast Supercut 50P
    I need a MIG.... which one to buy:
    I-Mig 160, I-Mig 200, or a MTS 160

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneJackson View Post
    Any link to the plans you followed?
    After reading up on it, I am going to pretend I didn't ask that....LOL
    Everlast PowerTig 200DX
    Everlast Supercut 50P
    I need a MIG.... which one to buy:
    I-Mig 160, I-Mig 200, or a MTS 160

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneJackson View Post
    After reading up on it, I am going to pretend I didn't ask that....LOL
    I know you did not ask but since you did not, here it is anyways.

    There is sort of plans in the discussions. Some drawings and lots of comments. Seems everyone who has built one is happy with the results. Very easy to build. Got most of the parts from Home Depot. Don't use the thinner walled copper tubing for the air lines as the stuff that Home Depot sells is not thick enough. I had to go to a hardware store for the thicker tubing. The copper tubing is the most expensive part.

    The one thing that needs to be done is weld a 90 degree elbow inside the 2 inch pipe. Don't tig it as tig is too clean a process. Either MIG, stick or gas weld it in place as those processes can handle the impuries of the pipe and elbow fitting. Remember, this Frazinator is a pressure vessel. The welds need to be good and strong. The air will be bled off when the compressor stops so it is only when the pump is on will pressure be present. Weld the fitting with a nipple in it to protect the threads of the elbow and then remove the nipple. Be careful if you use galvanized pipe as it gives off toxic gas when heated. I will include a drawing of how the thing is built along with a parts list.
    I cannot tell anyone the lengths needed for the

    Parts:
    One 36 inch length of 2 inch schedule 40 pipe with both ends threaded.
    Two 2 inch to 1.5 inch reducer couplings
    Two 1.5 male to 1 inch female reducer couplings
    Two 1 inch male to .5 inch female reducer couplings
    One 90 degree brass compression fitting 1/2 inch male to 3/8 male ( size dependent on the plumbing of your compressor) as that is what fed my compressor. You want to try to keep it at 3/8 inch as forcing air through a smaller opening has a cooling effect on the air.
    My original compressor pump had a 3/8 inch line feeding the tank from the pump. My new pump has a half inch feed. It is best to feed the Franzinator with a half inch line. To feed the tank from the Franzinator a 3/8 inch line is best.
    One half inch male/male compression fitting
    One Half inch commercial grade ball valve female threaded both ends
    Two half inch x 1.5 inch nipples
    One bag of 3/8 inch compression rings
    One bag of 3/8 inch compression nuts
    Two 1/2 inch compression rings and nuts

    How to build it:
    First, take the 36 inch x 2 inch pipe and you will need to drill a hole with a 1.25 inch hole saw at the 19 inch point. The longer end will be the top of the Franzinator. Insert the 90 degree 1/2 inch elbow with one end facing down to the shorter end of the pipe. This is important to point the one end of the elbow down to the shorter end of the two inch pipe. Either MIG, stick or gas weld the elbow in place while having a short nipple in the elbow to protect the threads from splatter and damage. Remember, this is going to be a pressure vessel so make sure your welds are good and strong. I used magnets to hold the elbow in place to tack welded it. Removed the magnets and then I finished up the weld. Tig welding will not be a good choice to weld this. Again, either iron or galvanized pipe has lots of impurities and makes tigging a rough road to hoe.

    Now it is time to add the various reducer couplings from largest to smallest. See previous post photos. Use pipe thread tape as pipe putty will be exposed to water and will degrade. Use pipe tape ONLY or it will leak!

    The 90 degree 3/8 inch compression fitting is next at the top and then at the bottom ( the shorter end where the elbow was welded) install one 1.5 inch nipple with the commercial grade ball valve and then another length of 1.5 inch half inch nipple for the drain.

    Plumbing will be different from compressor to compressor. Mounting can be done on the wall or on the compressor depending on your circumstances. Lengths of tubing will be dependent on the position of the Franzinator.

    Don't try to improve upon it by making it bigger as bigger is not always better according to Franz. Follow what the design states and it will work. For larger compressors, you may need to have two in series to get the air dry.

    Pardon my crude drawing but here is what the dimensions are and how to put it together.Click image for larger version. 

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    Some folks build one without welding using a T coupling in the middle. I hear it does not work as well as the elbow as the air is not forced downwards.
    Powertig 250EX
    Powerplasma 50
    Hobart Handler 210 with spoolgun
    Cobra 2000 / Henrob O/A torch
    Drill press / metal brake / 36 ton air hydraulic press
    Franzinated modified Craftsman 33 compressor
    Lots of other metal working tools

  5. #5

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    Another option using the same principle is to use a second, old compressor tank in place of the 2" pipe. I've gone through so many compressors that it is stupid so have spare tanks available. The larger tank does require more room. (Edit: another advantage is that all of the needed fittings are already there on the tank.)

    One of those automatic drain valves is also a plus if you can stand it going off every 45 minutes and causing you to jump out of your skin. After a couple of years I'm finally getting used to it. But my wife still shrieks if she is in the shop when it drains. She is sure the end has come.
    Last edited by GWD; 10-10-2012 at 02:20 PM. Reason: more info
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  6. #6

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    Now I do have to say that this does not remove 100% of the moisture from the air. Having this contraption before your tank will get rid of a whole heck of a lot of water. You will need a good filter (either a desiccant or other) to get rid of all the water. This Franzinator will make your filters last a whole lot longer as it stops MOST of the water and oil. It will make life easier for the final filter and make them cost effective.
    Powertig 250EX
    Powerplasma 50
    Hobart Handler 210 with spoolgun
    Cobra 2000 / Henrob O/A torch
    Drill press / metal brake / 36 ton air hydraulic press
    Franzinated modified Craftsman 33 compressor
    Lots of other metal working tools

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by GWD View Post
    Another option using the same principle is to use a second, old compressor tank in place of the 2" pipe. I've gone through so many compressors that it is stupid so have spare tanks available. The larger tank does require more room.

    One of those automatic drain valves is also a plus if you can stand it going off every 45 minutes and causing you to jump out of your skin. After a couple of years I'm finally getting used to it. But my wife still shrieks if she is in the shop when it drains. She is sure the end has come.
    That idea was expressed to Franz, the designer of this thing and he states that while a second tank is sort of a Franzinator, it does not accomplish the same objective. The design is made to cool the air by forcing the air downward inside the 2 inch pipe and causing the air to stop for a short moment and that stop causes the moisture to drop out of the air. As the air rises in the pipe, it then cools and cools more as it goes into the 3/8 inch tubing. You will notice quite a difference in temperature between the lower part of the Franzinator and the top part. The tubing to the tank and the tank itself is way cooler than before.

    There has been huge heated discussions about this device on the internet and for the most part, any attempt to change the design has been a failure. There is also a plan for an air polisher which gets rid of the rest of the moisture. It is a second smaller tank with tubing inserted and a drain. I'm debating weather to add that as my air dryer/filter is now lasting a lot longer than it ever did.

    All I know is that this device works. I followed Franz's design to a T and it does do what he says it does. I hear the gas companies use a device similar to this to remove moisture from their gas lines.
    Powertig 250EX
    Powerplasma 50
    Hobart Handler 210 with spoolgun
    Cobra 2000 / Henrob O/A torch
    Drill press / metal brake / 36 ton air hydraulic press
    Franzinated modified Craftsman 33 compressor
    Lots of other metal working tools

  8. #8

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    More info here on the forum as well.

    http://www.everlastgenerators.com/fo...earchid=330728
    Mike R.
    Email: admineverlast@everlastwelders.com
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  9. #9

    Default

    In theory the franzinator could be made more efficient if one were to load the lower half with metal strips, giving more surface area for the moisture to condense on, at least that is my take on it.
    Some of those lies people tell about me, are true

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by geezer View Post
    In theory the franzinator could be made more efficient if one were to load the lower half with metal strips, giving more surface area for the moisture to condense on, at least that is my take on it.
    Stainless strips packed under a stainless screen to hold them down. No major labor there or rust.. We are up to 4 cents now.
    Mike R.
    Email: admineverlast@everlastwelders.com
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer View Post
    In theory the franzinator could be made more efficient if one were to load the lower half with metal strips, giving more surface area for the moisture to condense on, at least that is my take on it.
    Franz, the designer of this contraption who has messed with this design for over 20 years, has tried that too. He's tried everything to increase the efficiency but has found that the simplest design, just a 2 inch x 36 inch iron pipe with caps on both ends and a 90 degree elbow at the lower end works best. According to Franz, very little can be squeezed out of the original design by modifying it. That is according to Franz and many others who are using this device.

    I did some aluminum and steel cutting today and decided to do a little test. It was a bit humid today after a rain. I have another compressor without the Franzinator on it and so I cut some scrap up to see the results between the Franinated compressor and the non-Franzinated compressor with a filter. Both compressors were drained of air and any water. The Franzinated tank had none while the non Franzinated compressor had a little bit, enough to make a little puddle under the tank. Both tanks were at the same PSI.

    The results were that the non-Franzinated compressor with just an inline filter had lots of slag in the cuts and the cuts had lines in them. Not very smooth and not real clean on both steel and aluminum. The arc was making a spitting noise and you can tell it was not a very stable arc.

    The Franzinated compressor with the same inline filter was a different story. The cuts were slag free and smooth. The arc on the PowerPlasma 50 was very smooth with no spitting and sputtering. A very smooth arc.

    I now will never be without a Franzinator on my compressor. It makes my PowerPlasma 50 much easier to use and makes it perform to its best abilities. Plus in theory it makes my compressor tank last longer and keeps the moisture out of my spray gun and tools.
    Powertig 250EX
    Powerplasma 50
    Hobart Handler 210 with spoolgun
    Cobra 2000 / Henrob O/A torch
    Drill press / metal brake / 36 ton air hydraulic press
    Franzinated modified Craftsman 33 compressor
    Lots of other metal working tools

  12. #12

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    The biggest problem is the compressor heats the air and it cools in the tank and condensates , if you are moving a lot of air constantly the heated air will exit the compressor into the lines .I have a 25' loop built on the wall with a drain tap to let the air coming out of the compressor cool and condensate so it can be drained also.I use the Ingersol automatic drain on the bottom of the compressor it does a good and you get used to it going off after a while. I also use a very good filter after the tank and loop before the air goes to the lines in the shop. I have also used an A coil from an AC unit with a filter as a drier at a dedicated spot before a machine hookup it actually does a good job cooling the air and pulling the moisture out. It has worked great for years with no moisture problems at all.
    Last edited by cbmkr; 10-13-2012 at 11:07 PM.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbmkr View Post
    The biggest problem is the compressor heats the air and it cools in the tank and condensates , if you are moving a lot of air constantly the heated air will exit the compressor into the lines .I have a 25' loop built on the wall with a drain tap to let the air coming out of the compressor cool and condensate so it can be drained also.I use the Ingersol automatic drain on the bottom of the compressor it does a good and you get used to it going off after a while. I also use a very good filter after the tank and loop before the air goes to the lines in the shop. I have also used an A coil from an AC unit with a filter as a drier at a dedicated spot before a machine hookup it actually does a good job cooling the air and pulling the moisture out. It has worked great for years with no moisture problems at all.
    Yep. I've seen that done on many compressors using an automotive A/C condenser to cool down the air and squeeze the moisture out of it. Sort of like an intercooler for a turbo to get more air squeezed into the cylinders. I was thinking of doing something like that but decided that being able to move it around easily and being simple as it is, the Franzinator costs less to make and it really does work well.

    I was refinishing a door today and was doing some spray painting. It was humid with temps in the mid 70's. The Franzinator did a great job of keeping the air dry as my line filter was totally dry and the painting went great without any moisture and oil problems like fisheyes. I then had to cut some 5/16 plate and the Powerplasma 50 cut it so nice and easy. way better than before without the Franzinator.

    I have to thank Franz© for the information and ideas on how to build this contraption that really works.
    Powertig 250EX
    Powerplasma 50
    Hobart Handler 210 with spoolgun
    Cobra 2000 / Henrob O/A torch
    Drill press / metal brake / 36 ton air hydraulic press
    Franzinated modified Craftsman 33 compressor
    Lots of other metal working tools

  14. #14

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    I also must warn everyone that welding GALVANIZED pipe or anything galvanized can kill you. I gas welded my pipe and did it with the correct ventilation and wore a proper air mask that filters out poisonous gasses and such. I made sure that I did not breath the fumes from the welding of the galvanized pipe. The burning of the zinc on the pipe coating will give off fumes and those fumes have killed people. So if you don't know what you are doing, don't do it!

    There are plans on the internet to build the Franzinator without welding. That may be a better way to go as it is far less dangerous if you can only find galvanized pipe. Black pipe is better but rusts.
    Powertig 250EX
    Powerplasma 50
    Hobart Handler 210 with spoolgun
    Cobra 2000 / Henrob O/A torch
    Drill press / metal brake / 36 ton air hydraulic press
    Franzinated modified Craftsman 33 compressor
    Lots of other metal working tools

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    I also must warn everyone that welding GALVANIZED pipe or anything galvanized can kill you. I gas welded my pipe and did it with the correct ventilation and wore a proper air mask that filters out poisonous gasses and such. I made sure that I did not breath the fumes from the welding of the galvanized pipe. The burning of the zinc on the pipe coating will give off fumes and those fumes have killed people. So if you don't know what you are doing, don't do it!

    There are plans on the internet to build the Franzinator without welding. That may be a better way to go as it is far less dangerous if you can only find galvanized pipe. Black pipe is better but rusts.
    Post a link to verify this assumption (in red above).

    Metal Fume Fever is what it is called. Can't upload a *.PDF file so here it is in text from the American Welding Society.

    Metal Fume Fever.txt
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by GWD View Post
    Post a link to verify this assumption (in red above).

    Metal Fume Fever is what it is called. Can't upload a *.PDF file so here it is in text from the American Welding Society.

    Metal Fume Fever.txt
    http://z6.invisionfree.com/ToolBoxTa...?showtopic=249 for those who need to know for sure. I never make assumptions. This guy was running a forge and was burning some galvanized pipe. The fumes got into his lungs and eventually killed him. Franz© is the one who reported the death and there is also a web site honoring the gentleman who passed from breathing the fumes off of galvanized pipe and that site is linked in the previous link given. That was back in 2005.

    So be careful if you are doing anything with galvanized. Some dangerous stuff to weld or heat if you don't know what you are doing.
    Powertig 250EX
    Powerplasma 50
    Hobart Handler 210 with spoolgun
    Cobra 2000 / Henrob O/A torch
    Drill press / metal brake / 36 ton air hydraulic press
    Franzinated modified Craftsman 33 compressor
    Lots of other metal working tools

  17. #17

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    Add light headed and it seemed mine lasted for that 2 days (the headache part). I did have it once, was gas welding a big sheet of galvanized when young. Took off goggle a bit later and there was white power all over place, the floor all around the metals.

    It was not comfortable, I did not know about it back then. I made me flu like ill, there was a ton of the white mess all over but it did not kill me.

    I am not saying do it, just backing the GWD post from experience. We do light galvanized TIG and MIG now just outside the bay door, just grind around the welds and do not breath it.
    Mike R.
    Email: admineverlast@everlastwelders.com
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    I also must warn everyone that welding GALVANIZED pipe or anything galvanized can kill you. I gas welded my pipe and did it with the correct ventilation and wore a proper air mask that filters out poisonous gasses and such. I made sure that I did not breath the fumes from the welding of the galvanized pipe. The burning of the zinc on the pipe coating will give off fumes and those fumes have killed people. So if you don't know what you are doing, don't do it!

    There are plans on the internet to build the Franzinator without welding. That may be a better way to go as it is far less dangerous if you can only find galvanized pipe. Black pipe is better but rusts.
    lol.... When I went through the welding night course offered here locally, the "instructor" said he had welded Galvanized many times and it was ok to weld it as long as you don't do it all the time. Nothing about how dangerous it is or that maybe you should wear a respirator.. I really hate small town logic!
    PowerTig 250EX
    Power I-MIG 200
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    It's what you learn, After you know it all, that counts!

  19. #19

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    I found this pdf from the American Welding Society www.aws.org/technical/facts/FACT-25.pdf. I am not saying I know anything about this topic, just interested and read the thread and did some searching on the web.

  20. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nick54 View Post
    I found this pdf from the American Welding Society www.aws.org/technical/facts/FACT-25.pdf. I am not saying I know anything about this topic, just interested and read the thread and did some searching on the web.
    i have built, without exaggeration, over 1500 of these boat saddles over the past five years. the clips and angle iron that contain the wood are of HOT DIPPED galvanized. big difference between hot dipped and zinc coated. i have suffered no ill effects at all. galvanized is welded every day of the year down here. it is very common around salt water. it appears that you guys that live inland have the biggest problem with it. position yourself correctly, don't work in confined space without exhaust, get a fan!!

    in the first photo i am using a carbon arc setup to remove old weld from saddles.

    after i finish this post i am headed to the gym, i will be doing forty to fortyfive minutes of cardio on a cross trainer at level 42, same as i was five years ago. i am in my sixties.
    i mention this only to illustrate that it can be done with no deleterious effects if you simply take minimal precautions. seriously, you wouldn't suck exhaust from a car, would you?

    i have visions of some of you guys going to work in space suits.

    that frazinator is interesting i am thinking of adding one to the compressor i use in the field.
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    Last edited by fdcmiami; 10-27-2012 at 08:16 PM.

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