Workshop Airline Tubing

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Forum topic by MoeBurns posted 07-23-2015 03:23 PM 1094 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MoeBurns's profile


7 posts in 2278 days

07-23-2015 03:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: air question tip

So, I have been checking on here for shop airline options. No pvc! Copper and iron pipe are pricey and time consuming to install. Rapidair is great but pricey as well. Kobalt shop air kit is ok, but I think the 1/4” ID is a bit undersized for long runs. In my research, I have come across Automation Direct. They sell 100’ 1/2” OD nylon tubing for $62 and its rated at 240 psi (Rapidair is rated at 150 psi). They have 1/2” push fittings as well. $13 for 5 tees and $9 for 5 elbows. Free 2 day shipping on orders over $49. The push fittings should would with the Rapidair system since that tubing is also 1/2” OD. You can’t get the nifty little manifolds that come with the Rapidair system, but I was thinking about adding a mini regulator at each drop anyway. Has anybody tried this before? Opinions welcomed.

5 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5277 posts in 3484 days

#1 posted 07-23-2015 04:30 PM

The rapidair system costs around $100. By the time you buy all the fittings and regulators, you will probably be looking at more than $100. In my shop, I ran 1/2” air hose instead of hard tubing or pipe. That is the cheapest way to do it.

View MoeBurns's profile


7 posts in 2278 days

#2 posted 07-25-2015 07:55 PM

My only issue with 1/2” air line is that the ID is only 1/4”. That could be undersized for long runs. 1/2” tubing has 3/8” ID. You have to step up to 5/8” rubber hose to get 3/8” ID and that is going to cost about the same as Rapidair or this tubing. So I guess the real question what size do I really need. MrRon, what is your longest run and how many feet total in your setup?

View REO's profile


929 posts in 2315 days

#3 posted 07-25-2015 08:36 PM

I have pex in my own shop now. Used it many times for air. cheap fast and sure.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3212 days

#4 posted 07-25-2015 08:59 PM

PEX will work.
PVC if you feel lucky, but I have seen it explode. Not pretty.
Copper and Iron obviously okay.
Nylon should be alright.
I have bought thousands of dollars worth of stuff from Automation Direct. Nice supplier.

View Kazooman's profile


1270 posts in 2193 days

#5 posted 07-25-2015 10:07 PM

You need to calculate the total cost of the application. The nylon you mention is priced right for the tubing, but the cost of the fittings is pretty steep. Half inch copper would cost more for the pipe, but tees and elbows are cheap. Total cost would depend on how much of the system is in long runs of pipe and how many fittings you need. Personally, I think I could install copper about as fast as most other systems. Sweating pipe is easy.

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