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Desiccant dryer and oil separator?

#21
I have a Pneumatech refrigerant dryer and plumbed it in between the compressor head and the tank to remove the moisture before it hits the tank. I've been told that desiccant will have a tendency to break down and can add impurities into the air system, possibly showing up as paint defects resembling small circles of delamination. So instead of desiccant I opted for the SATA filter system and being a tight ass I waited until finding one on CL for cheap. The nice part is this also uses the charcoal filter setup so I can use compressed air for the breathing hood. The filters are installed outside the both to keep them out of the overspray, the final regulator and shutoff valves/outlet ports are inside the booth.

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#22
I have a Pneumatech refrigerant dryer and plumbed it in between the compressor head and the tank to remove the moisture before it hits the tank. I've been told that desiccant will have a tendency to break down and can add impurities into the air system, possibly showing up as paint defects resembling small circles of delamination. So instead of desiccant I opted for the SATA filter system and being a tight ass I waited until finding one on CL for cheap. The nice part is this also uses the charcoal filter setup so I can use compressed air for the breathing hood. The filters are installed outside the both to keep them out of the overspray, the final regulator and shutoff valves/outlet ports are inside the booth.

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You are correct on the desiccant breaking down. it will, you should always have filtration after it as fine as you can get is best. You might one day be thinking where did all these fine specks of dust come from and it might just be that. So I always recommend filtration before and after the desiccant. Each serves a purpose and can save you from hours of headache. The one thing with filtration is to make sure they each provide enough CFM pass thru, get one or all that choke the CFM's and you wont have enough left to keep up with tools or spray guns.
 
#23
Thanks all for the input. I'm just a hobbyists so I don't need a pro system, but if I want to do this type of work I need to have a decent setup so I don't waste time and expensive materials. Being the frugal fella I am I have read a lot about homemade after coolers and plumbing systems to eliminate water. I was going to build my own but the discovered the Harbor Freight Refrigerated dryer. Nothing but positive reviews for people using them with plasma cutters and for spray painting. I would probably spend $200+ for everything needed to build an after cooler and still not come close to what a refrigerated unit can do. So for $400 I bought the Harbor Freight unit and I couldn't be more pleased.

I re-configured my system the other day and after the work I did yesterday I am totally impressed. It was close to 80 and one of the most humid days of the year. My paver patio and lawn were wet all day. That's wet, not damp, and it was sunny all day. Granted they are in the shade, but I couldn't get over the humidity in October in New England!

I sand blasted for a solid hour and then primed my parts with 3 coats of epoxy. Probably a total of 45 minutes spraying time. After all that I checked my Motor Guard filter and it was bone dry!

My system: Harbor Freight two stage compressor to SpeedAire 40 micron filter/water trap to Harbor Freight refrigerated dryer to Motor Guard M-60 1/2" NPT filter. All components are connected with 1/2" fittings and lines up to the Motor Guard. After that everything it 3/8".

I have had the compressor for over 3 years and have really put it through it paces. I provides more air than I will probably ever need and has been totally trouble free. It was my first big purchase at the Harbor and I was nervous given what the net has to say, but I'm impressed so far.

I've got under $1400 into my entire system including fitting and hoses and couldn't be more please. A fair amount for the budget conscious, but if you are going to spend $500-$1000 or more to paint a car it's worth the investment. If I treat it right it should last many years.

I hope this info helps others contemplating these decisions as many others have helped me make mine.

 
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