! IT'S ALIVE ! ( Video) - OK... it works, now what's next?

Looking great!!

Sorry for the slow reply. We have been getting pounded with snow in Utah and I was up skiing enjoying the powder!

Skied till my legs fell off. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

On the plus side with no legs I can now sit in the 3rd row of my wife’s RAV4. The minus is no legs . :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::joy:

What do you have planned for your first project? I would just do some test cuts. I would do a two inch square with a 1 inch hole and cut down the center of the line. The difference between what you drew and your finished product is your kerf. (Stollen from @TinWhisperer and @TomWS). Then I would do some test coupons with a bunch of lines to get dialed in and off you go! There are a couple test coupons on fireshare.

Your setup is much better than mine you do great work!

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I think if I was going to buy one of those air cooling radiators I buy one that’s actually designed for air to air heat transfer instead of air to oil heat transfer.

@TortillaMan whet this direction I believe


Great observation! Thanks… I had no idea what those setting were for… I assume cut vs. gouge? Will make the change ASAP!

Can’t take credit for that shield… it’s been posted around these forums before. Just a simple, silicone collapsable funnel that will do a great job at holding down the sparks and water splatters. Link to the one I bought is here: Amazon.com

Yeah, the whole concept of a water-table based 220V plasma cutter is terrifying if you really think about what is going on for any length of time… The control box and PC have a good shield above them now, and the plasma cutter is under a fully-welded water table. I could probably do a splash shield above it just in case I ever had a leaking drain pipe to add an additional margin of safety, but ultimately I need the machine to be self-contained and portable. I tried to make the best possible safety and packaging choices based on that requirement.

Thanks. Being honest… I built the frame with the expectation that when it was fully-welded it would be removed for painting, and then I would lower the cutting table back down into those stake pockets. By the time everything was fully TIG welded the structure was SO rigid that I could not easily get the machine apart the way I had planned. For better or worse, they are permanently married at this point… as long as my table is square and true, it should stay accurately aligned for a long time.

My first “real” project will be a set of rectangular framerails for my 1972 Blazer project. It’s a pretty ambitious step so I’m templating with cardboard to get accurate dimensions and will use those to teach myself how to use Fusion360. My main concern (and the reason for this post) was just to get a better sense of how people actually got though their initial calibrations and proved that their machines were accurate. For sure I want to cut a few small parts to look at kerf, cut quality, squareness, etc. Obviously if there any anything else I did wrong (like my plasma torch front panel settings) I was hoping to resolve those too…

Here’s a shot of the cutting project that I’m preparing for… :slight_smile:

100%… yep, you already convinced me on that one and I purchased the radiator you have pictured there… getting that plumbed in along with an actual refrigerated cooler is yet another project that needs to happen… some filtration and dessicant is still needed also. It never ends. :wink:



I was trying to direct that at @brownfox :fox_face:

@TortillaMan I’m glad you went that route though it’s designed for that application.


So you were saying in another post that any type of cooler between pump and tank would cause back pressure and add heat to the pump. Do you feel the model you listed above avoids those problems?

I feel that putting the after cooler or what you would describe as an intercooler between the pump and the tank is not the best place.

There are several reasons I outlined in that other post back pressure being one, having to blow off the entire coil every cycle, and I think the main fact is that 60% of that moisture would have condensed in the tank anyhow so it’s doing part of a job that would have already be done whereas if you put it after the tank you’re doing a job that wouldn’t have been done. It seems to me you’re condensing a lot of moisture that would have been condensed in the tank anyhow.

If you ran both scenarios you would get more BTUs and more condensate out of the airstream by having the after cooler after the tank.

Having the radiator between the pump and the tank is a robbing Peter to pay Paul’s situation.

Tanks are designed to condense moisture in them.


So what about compressors that come with a intercooler from the factory?

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They’re designed for the function and they drain into the tank. Even those systems would benefit from having a cooler after the tank. You’ll also find that those factory ones are not trying to drop the temperature as radically as the home jobber ones nor have the pressure loss.

Another thing you’ll notice is a lot of the time they’ll have mini intercoolers even between the pump heads.

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One other caveat is also with the ones between the pump and the tank the radiator subject to the ambient temperature around the tank which is usually the hottest in the whole shop(especially with long run time). So trying to cool air with the hottest air in your shop makes less sense too.


Thanks for the help!

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I am super jealous! You have some fun projects! Would love to have one of those early blazers. My neighbor has a long bed truck from that era that has been sitting in their backyard for years. I have tried multiple times to buy the truck from them. It’s her dad’s truck who passed and it has a fair amount of sentimental value. Even tried to trade one of my Duramax trucks for it. Her husband was all in but couldn’t sway her! :wink:

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Just to add my 2 cents. I think the best chance to remove moisture from the compressed air is immediately out of the compressor head while it is hottest and can be cooled to drop the water out. Going right into the tank just adds moisture into the compressed air already in the tank. I believe the concern of adding a cooler between the head and check valve is valid as well.

What about plumbing the check valve after the head and before the cooler to prevent back flow into the head??

The cooler would remain pressurized between cycles and allow any condensed water to further settle out. Appropriate shutoff and bypass valves can be added as desired.

Also, one other question: Doesn’t the design of the Derale 15300 cooler have every other loop returning upwards in such a way that condensed water can collect in the loops? (I have a hard time believing the flowing air would carry it all out.)


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I wouldn’t move the check valve. In the event of a plumbing failure you could lose all your compressed air.

Two check valves??

Also, plumbing failure on downside of tank now will drain tank and/or kick the compressor on.


I wouldn’t see the benefits myself. Expensive lessons learned never leave your compressor on when not close by. And always have a cutoff valve on the tank.

On another note I do have a after cooler on my compressor head I see great benefits for it. Mine doesn’t seem to overwork or over heat my compressor… there will still be moisture suspended in the air until you do some serious air drying… the amount of air drying equipment needed is a rabbit hole for sure. Never the less it depends on your climate as far as how much you need.

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Well that’s the one I’m buying next if my current one fails.

As long as you orient the derale correctly, the runs are all horizontal.

I’ve pictured it this way for a while, perhaps I’m not imagining it correctly.

By saying letting it condense in the tank, isn’t that assuming it stays there long enough to do so?
If I’m using air at a constant rate, then the air in the tank never has a chance to cool down right? So 250 degree air off the pump goes into the the tank, and hits my refrigerated dryer at 250 minus whatever cooling happens on its way there.

But, if I’m dropping 100 degrees off the pump before it gets into the tank, doesn’t that put me in a better situation and keep moisture out of the tank? But, if I’m using at a constant rate, there’s virtually no difference between cooling it before or after the tank, unless you consider the additional tubing run like you describe and the back pressure, which I can see potentially affecting the efficiency of the compressor. I’ll have to time the cycle again once I fix my cooler.

These are the loops that appear to have the potential to capture water on the 15300.

  • Steve

you run at 100% duty cycle ? Naturally during cutting there is a lot a times when air is not flowing . before a pierce during travel, during some rapid time. If compressor is always running it is too small for the application .

The air mixes with the air in the tank in does not bypass it so a lot of heat transfer is happening . Also the tank is normally at a higher pressure then the rest of the system. a regulator is installed after the tank.

When you pressurize a vessel the contents must reject heat . Pressure and temperature are linked.

The tank is designed to capture moisture so what is the benefit to keep moisture from condensing there?

The coil is subject to a pulsing air flow that is at the highest pressure of the whole system ( between the pump and tank) which also means to is also subject to the highest pressure loss because of friction.

After the tank the air flow is not pulsing and at a lower pressure and had also lost a lot of its heat. now the coil is subject to a lower pressure so it has a lower friction loss.

At the end of the day having the coil after the tank will ultimately remove more btus from the system to this point with less work and unnecessary stress on the compressor.

Yes, The back pressure on air pumps will cause them to run hotter introducing more heat into the air.

Really what are the benefits to having the cooler between the pump and tank???

ease of installation?

seeing lot of water come out of cooler that would have mostly condensate to the tank anyhow?

I have trouble seeing any benefit