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View Full Version : Flexible but rigid air line for clearing chips?



SirLesPatterson
03-10-2015, 01:26 PM
I've had a momentary air valve kicking around my garage for years, don't know where it came from. I put some air fittings on it and mounted it on the mill. It works good, I just punch the button when I want to clear chips. For the output I soldered a short copper tube to a brass air fitting and bent it in the general direction I needed. I would like replace the copper with something that is rigid enough to stay in position but adjustable too. I have regulated the pressure down quite a bit but don't recall the number... 40-50 psi maybe. My initial searches turned up those segmented coolant lines but I don't think that will work well here. Any suggestions?

http://dosumpthin.com/projects/machining/mill/excello602/air-valve-mill.jpg

SirLesPatterson
03-10-2015, 01:45 PM
Nevermind, I think I may have found something to try.

J Tiers
03-10-2015, 10:16 PM
If that doesn't work out, some coolant nozzles may work for you. I use one of the Cedarburg flex-loc lines for mine.

dian
03-11-2015, 05:25 AM
the pipe used for under floor heating is flexible and stays in place. what did you use?

SirLesPatterson
03-11-2015, 06:51 AM
I ordered this...

Wiha 34490 MaxiFlex 1/4-Inch Hose System Starter Kit
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0033PQWJM/

1/4-Inch diameter articulated hose for fluids and air
Unrestricted flow, extra rigid stay in place design
Dimensionally stable won't alter under pressure
Guaranteed up to 58 psi
Non conductive materials ideal for EDM

Cheap enough to try, it should be in today, will report back in the near future.

I figure if it isn't rigid enough I could always tape or zip-tie some stiff wire to it.

Thanks folks.

J Tiers
03-11-2015, 07:47 AM
That is essentially identical to Loc-line, or Flex-loc.

SirLesPatterson
03-11-2015, 08:02 AM
That is essentially identical to Loc-line, or Flex-loc.

Ok, thanks. I am not familiar with any of these products yet. Getting there! :)

SirLesPatterson
03-14-2015, 06:18 AM
Reporting back: The product worked out great. It is very rigid and shows no signes of movement with 50 psi air bursts.

http://dosumpthin.com/projects/machining/mill/excello602/air-valve-mill-2.jpg


I ordered this...

Wiha 34490 MaxiFlex 1/4-Inch Hose System Starter Kit
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0033PQWJM/

1/4-Inch diameter articulated hose for fluids and air
Unrestricted flow, extra rigid stay in place design
Dimensionally stable won't alter under pressure
Guaranteed up to 58 psi
Non conductive materials ideal for EDM

Cheap enough to try, it should be in today, will report back in the near future.

I figure if it isn't rigid enough I could always tape or zip-tie some stiff wire to it.

Thanks folks.

DATo
03-14-2015, 06:42 AM
The MaxiFlex is the same system we use in our shop for this purpose. Where it really shines is when you are trying to mill a lot of material in a single pass. The flutes of the milling cutter tend to get clogged resulting in bad finishes and smaller mills tend to break when overly clogged with chips. Our CNC uses a mist coolant along with the air to help lubricate the cut as well as clear chips. You can probably find some home brew designs for making a system like this online if you are interested.

A bit of advice you might find useful: It has been my experience when attempting to reposition this line that the air pressure can cause the line to separate at one of the segments (blow off) requiring one to pop it back on which is not always easy, especially with a new and unworn line. To get around this just turn off the air at your valve before repositioning the line.

EDIT:
I'm not sure what I am looking at in your picture with regard to that valve screw? or button? sticking out the top. What you want is a small regulator which will allow you to adjust the pressure on a continuous stream of air.

SirLesPatterson
03-14-2015, 06:53 AM
I'm not sure what I am looking at in your picture with regard to that valve screw? or button? sticking out the top. What you want is a small regulator which will allow you to adjust the pressure on a continuous stream of air.

Thanks for your advice. This is a momentary push button valve. I have the pressure regulated elsewhere and I like that I can just punch that button when I want to clear chips instead of continuous blowing. There have been a few times though when I held the button for awhile but mostly the on-demand bursts are working well for my current needs. That could change though!

J Tiers
03-14-2015, 08:31 AM
I put a smaller nozzle in the end of mine, because I use a small, quiet compressor in the ship (bigger one is out in the shed). But I leave it on all the time when cutting, to blow out chips and reduce re-cutting and welding of chips. Not perfect, but pretty good.

Does make a bit of a mess, but I do own a broom.