Air Lines and dust collector hoses

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Forum topic by Deltaman posted 03-05-2010 10:31 PM 4753 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 3051 days

03-05-2010 10:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: air lines dust collection

Quick question for everybody. So I have a new shop and am setting it up. I need to run some air lines. Should I use galvinized pipe, copper lines….

Also, what works the best for dust collection lines? I am thinking that flex hose going to the equipment but possibly using PVC for the long runs. Also putting blast gates at every piece of equipment. Any advice would be grestly appreciated.

-- He who laughs last..... makes alot of noise!

15 replies so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3913 days

#1 posted 03-05-2010 10:38 PM

Black iron pipe for the air lines.
We use PVC from the BORG for dust collector piping.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Deltaman's profile


11 posts in 3051 days

#2 posted 03-05-2010 10:49 PM

Thanks John. That is really helpful. What do you mean by BORG?

-- He who laughs last..... makes alot of noise!

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3913 days

#3 posted 03-05-2010 10:56 PM

BORG =’s BIG BOX STORES, They kinda look the the Borg ship from Star Trek.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Deltaman's profile


11 posts in 3051 days

#4 posted 03-05-2010 11:01 PM

Haha… I learned something today. Great! thanks.

-- He who laughs last..... makes alot of noise!

View knottysticks's profile


281 posts in 3057 days

#5 posted 03-05-2010 11:06 PM

John Grey is right black iron pipe is the strongest and most cost effective , but here’s the rub you need access to a threader to cut the threads onto the ends of the lenghts of pipe after you cut them. Also bare in mind the longer your run of pipe and number of elbows the more the resistance, so the less air pressure at the far end. I don’t know how big the shop is or what the load is on the line but likely a small shop would be fine with 1/2 pipe. Just try not to over do it with too many ells. Also consider installing a drain valve at your lowest sections.

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3260 days

#6 posted 03-05-2010 11:09 PM

The acronym BORG means Big Orange Retail Giant… A.K.A. Home Depot. However the term has been applied to Lowes, and other faceless collectives known as Big Box stores…

I agree with the black iron pipe comments. I often see 3/4” and / or 1/2” black pipe being run in a shop depending on the shops needs, and of course, the size of the compressor…

For DC ducting, the most cost effective is S&D PVC pipe and fittings.

In both areas, run your lines as straight as physically possible, avoiding any sort of bends as much as possible. Use the least amount of flex hose as you can get away with. Flex hose has ribs which create resistance, and thus radically reduce performance. Essentially flex hose is a necessary evil…

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View Deltaman's profile


11 posts in 3051 days

#7 posted 03-06-2010 06:07 PM

Thanks everybody for the info. I am well on my way!

-- He who laughs last..... makes alot of noise!

View cut50's profile


12 posts in 3056 days

#8 posted 03-06-2010 08:12 PM

Big site,but will help with your dust collecting, I went with 6” pvc, works great!
For air I used 3/4” 40 pvc that I had on hand from a trade,works fine. I know it`s not as good as black iron pipe, but try and break 40 pvc.

-- FUN IS GOOD Smithers BC

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

377 posts in 3110 days

#9 posted 03-08-2010 06:20 AM


PVC pipe for air lines is extremely dangerous. It may seem like it is hard to break, but PVC gets brittle when it is cold or exposed to sunlight. Compressed air has a lot of potential energy that is released explosively when PVC bursts. The result is lots of PVC shrapnel all over your shop. Some people use it without failure, but they are pushing their luck. Enough people have reported the disastrous results of an explosion that it is way too risky to try it. There is supposedly a PVC pipe designed for compressed air, but it is more expensive than copper.

Copper or black iron pipe does not shatter when it ruptures. The result of a burst copper pipe is a small hole and a long psssssst sound, but no explosion.

Be safe and only use metal pipe for PVC.

-- Steve

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3228 days

#10 posted 03-08-2010 04:16 PM

Here Deltaman, this website will give you an idea of everything. I chose a combination of PVC and copper.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3447 days

#11 posted 03-08-2010 04:36 PM

Check out this article from one of the magazines I subscribe to. Can’t remember which one. They suggest rubber lines with copper drops. This is a short run, though. If you have a huge shop you’d definitely need solid pipe.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Chase's profile


448 posts in 3054 days

#12 posted 03-08-2010 05:12 PM

If you go to Lowes or homedeopt they have a product called PEX tubing. It comes in a variety of sizes and is rated to hold air or water at up to around 170 psi at room temperature. It is pretty cheap by the foot, and is flexible enough that you can make gentle bends out of it. The sharkbite press on connectors and adapters are a little expensive, but all you need to work with the stuff is a plastic tube cutter. I use it in a number of places in my shop for air supply.


-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3765 days

#13 posted 03-08-2010 05:30 PM

I would not recommend using PEX tubing. It is designed to hold water. We fill the pipe with water and use a hydraulic pump to test it so there won’t be any injuries if a joint fails or the pipe fails during testing. This can be very dangerous. Imagine you are in the shop and one day accidentally cut the pipe with something sharp while the pipe is under pressure? I would only recommend steel or copper pipe.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View dmorrison's profile


151 posts in 3290 days

#14 posted 03-08-2010 09:26 PM

Copper pipe can be used if you use the M type copper pipe. Otherwise I just use rubber hoses zip locked in position along the wall and where needed. The hoses usually terminate at hose reals so I can roll up the hoses easily. I also have one real that has 100’ of hose on it. with an additional 100’ stowed near it. I can get anywhere on my property with compressed air.

You may consider this. Again all the arguments may applyabout material used etc. . But it might make the process simpler.


View carpentrymonster's profile


57 posts in 3202 days

#15 posted 03-19-2010 04:15 AM

For abouut 80 bucks you can buy a shop air kit complete with fittings and tube. It’s similar to pex but rated at a higher psi. check out harbor freight.

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