Thursday, December 15, 2011

DIY Pressure Pot: Part 2

DIY Pressure Pot: Part 1 was posted last week.  Now it is time to think of what conversion design to use.

First off, let me mention the 3 set-ups I am considering.

1.  With Regulator

2.  Without Regulator Style #1

3.  Without Regulator Style #2

A, B, and C are parts that came with the paint pot.  C is the safety relief valve rated at 60 psi.
D is the regulator with pressure gauge attached that came with the paint pot.
E is an 1/4" female pipe cap.
F helps connect the regulator to the ball valve.  This part is 1/4" female on both ends.
G is the ball valve.  It is 1/4" male and female connectors.  Different brands may open and close in a different direction.  The reason I added a connector instead of connecting directly to the regulator is that I wanted enough room to open and close the valve without obstruction from the regulator.  If you choose to connect the female end of the ball valve to the regulator, make sure that the air hose connector.
H is the air hose connector.  In my illustration I would use a male 1/4" connector.
I is a 3/8" male reduced to a 1/4" female brass fitting.
J is a pressure gauge that is rated minimally the range the paint pot is rated for. It has a 1/4" male connector, which seemed to be the norm.
K and L are parts that came with the paint pot.
M is a brass fitting reducer from 3/8" female to a 1/4" female.  Change the 1/4" size if you plan to have the ball valve in reverse to what I have shown, which also means to make the proper adjustment to the air hose connector.

I have tried to list the parts as accurately as possible.  There are so many ways to go about doing the conversion so it is hard to be 100% accurate.  As mentioned above, using the ball valve in another direction than what I did changes a few of the other parts.  It is easier to just decide where the main parts will be located and figure out what brass fittings you need to connect them.  You will also need to decide if you need to remove parts that came with the paint pot or use them.  Keep It Simple Silly!  That can be hard to do...

So which way do I want to do the conversion?

#1.  Although the regulator will add extra safety in case the air compressor regulator fails, I feel it is a bit redundant for my use.    For me though, I don't plan to keep the air compressor attached to the paint pot and on at all times.  Once the pot is has reached the proper pressure, I plan to shut off the ball valve and remove the air compressor line.  In my illustrations I have added an extra pressure gauge instead of putting a plug.  The reason for this is to not waste a spot.  Another option is to put a ball valve there instead to help vent the air pressure when you need to empty the pot.  Overall I think the added regulator on the pressure pot is heavy, bulky, and not necessary.  This may not be the same for you though, so please think it out before you decide.

#2.  The paint pot I have has a connector on the inside that will allow air entering the tank to not be blown downward.  This is why I made this option since it uses that feature.  Your paint pot may not have the same feature as mine so it may not matter at all.  I am a bit concerned about the safety valve being directly across from where the air is coming in and if that would cause the valve to pop prematurely.  There is one way to find out.  :)

#3.  This is a common conversion style when it comes to excluding the regulator.  The simple design is very appealing.  The only thing bad I have to say is that you may want to add an 'L' or 'T' brass fitting on the inside where the air comes down into the pot to keep the air from blasting over your resin causing a mess.  Or I assume you can be careful at the rate you allow the air to fill the pot so that there is never a sudden burst.  Of course you still want to make sure you have the pressure up before the resin sets.

Of course you can do a mix between all of them.  There is a lot of variety you can do, which can be dependent on the parts you find locally.

So far I am leaning more towards style #2, but I still wish I could use a regulator.

Look above at the #2 illustration for the cost of parts.

160 psi pressure gauge (J) : $5.99
1/4" female x 3/8" male NPT adapter (I): $2.28
1/4" full port ball valve (G):  $3.99
1/4" male air hose connector (H):  $0.00 (came with air compressor so I didn't need to buy one)
Total Cost of Parts: $12.26 +tax

I bought all the parts at the local Harbor Freights excluding the adapter I listed above which I bought at Lowes.  Harbor Freights should have had this part in stock, but for whatever reason they could not locate the item.  Luckily Lowes had it.  I could not find it at Home Depot.  The price of comparable parts at Home Depot were often double the price of what I paid at Harbor Freights.

I am going to go back to Harbor Freights to see if there is a small regulator that I can use with my set-up...

UPDATE (12/19/11):  I have made some changes since this post.  I have added a regulator.  Please see  DIY Pressure Pot: Part 3 for more details.

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