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Old 02-14-2021, 08:14 PM
skelrad skelrad is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 153
Default Compressor - Water Separator & Oiler

I'm reworking the shop to better fit airplane parts vs wood and cars - my existing compressor has an inline water separator, followed by an oiler. I have a 3 way quick coupling manifold right after the oiler. If I'm going to spray primer, am I right in assuming I should rework my setup so I have a manifold that comes off after the water separator but before the oiler (and then buy a dedicated hose for primer/paint)? I know having oil free air matters for paint, so guessing the same is true for primer?

Or, I suppose I could just take the easy way out and just remove the oiler altogether and get a new hose just for spraying.
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Old 02-14-2021, 08:20 PM
Weefle Weefle is offline
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Vernon BC
Posts: 80

Definitely no oiler in the line for spray painting. Ensure you have a good pre filter as well just before the gun.


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Old 02-14-2021, 08:53 PM
alpinelakespilot2000 alpinelakespilot2000 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,699

Just put a drop or two of oil in each tool every day or two and leave out the pre oiler entirely.
Steve M.
Ellensburg WA
RV-9 Flying, 0-320, Catto

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Old 02-14-2021, 09:14 PM
Taltruda Taltruda is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 637

If you have a pneumatic rivet squeezer, you donít want to get oil in it at all. The oil will wash out the grease and it wonít work correctly after a while. Itís pretty much the only tool besides paint guns that you DONT oil.
Las Vegas
RV-8 empenage finished 10-2020

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Old 02-14-2021, 10:00 PM
skelrad skelrad is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 153

Thanks! Sounds like removing the oiler completely makes sense then.
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Old 02-15-2021, 07:02 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 5,879

Originally Posted by skelrad View Post
Thanks! Sounds like removing the oiler completely makes sense then.

You'll also want to use an air blower for cleaning off debris on things and you don't want oily air getting on your parts.
N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019
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Old 02-15-2021, 08:45 AM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 2,893

When you get around to final paint, here is a DIY water separator that works amazingly well.
Run the output line up hill, add ice and drain from time to time (bottom blow valve not shown in the photo).
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Old 02-15-2021, 09:16 AM
fixnflyguy fixnflyguy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posts: 1,358
Default What Carl did

I did the same as Carl many times, but less elegant..I just coiled a 50 foot airhose in a cut in half 55 gallon plastic drum, then through separator, and one final measure of the little plastic separator at the gun. Never a drop came through while painting.
Bill E.
8A7 / Advance NC
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Old 02-15-2021, 10:27 AM
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Roadjunkie1 Roadjunkie1 is online now
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Erie, Colorado
Posts: 155

I LOVE how airplane builders come up with way to deal with things that NO one else would have thought of! The coiled water remover is genius! May come from their Moonshine days.............

In the 13,000+ rivets that I drove, I did NOT have an oiler as I wanted my hoses to be oil-free. A few drops of air tool oil in the air hose fitting on the tool prior to using them each day was plenty. And likely used less oil. I wanted to control how much oil my tools were getting. I didn't have a pneumatic squeezer but have heard NOT to use oil in them.

I would suggest dedicated hoses for painting. Mine have never had oil in them but would probably have oil hoses one color and clean hoses as another color. You don't want ANY oil, even a miniscule amount, in your paint lines. Unless you are fond of fisheyes. A water filter in line and also one near the paint gun has been used in the past. And primer is paint so that applies to anything you put through a paint gun.

Have fun! Painting can be very interesting! I had some variable experience blowing painting, mostly cars but some on airplanes, and I did all mine myself on both the RV and the Cub; they turned out pretty well. And, when I get to where I am redoing the paint, plan on doing that as well. If a neighbor has a junker pickup or car sitting around, offer to do a backyard paint job on it for practice. Shooting some test stuff, even on cardboard, will help you get a feel for the gun, settings, painting, technique. Ask your paint vender if they have some paint that was returned or aren't likely to sell of the same type you are thinking of using that you could use for practice.

There are many books and UTube videos about painting. Painting cars is similar, just a slightly different shape. And you likely won't paint anything UNDER the car.....
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1946 C-90-8 J-3 Cub
The adventure begins when things stop going as planned - Glen Heggstad
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Old 02-15-2021, 07:37 PM
David Z David Z is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 567

I have multiple outlets before and after the oiler. A picture is attached of my setup. The compressor is at one end, and I ran air lines to opposite walls. Both setups are identical.

I also have 3 air hoses. The orange hose is dry air and gets used for car tires, painting, etc. There's 2 blue hoses for oiled air. Each has a labelled hook on the wall. I have two blue hoses so I can run both hoses from the other regulator at different pressure. Typically one is at 90 PSI for an air drill, grinder, etc. The one by the bench gets used for the rivet run where I can quickly adjust the pressure to suit.
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