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  #1  
Old 06-22-2008, 08:15 AM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Here is a way to power your Airgraver with compressed air and still have it as portable as with the Co2 tanks.

Using a Paintball compressed air carbon fiber tank is the trick, these tanks have a discharge rate of between 800 and 900 psi, thanks to a built in regulator that reduces the 4,500 psi down to 800 to 900 psi at the discharge fitting.

This means that you don't need to run a scuba tank regulator to reduce the pressure to Steves regulator to run the tool. Just get one of these tanks and the fill station fitting for $40 and fill the Carbon fiber tank when you need to from the scuba tank.

The regulator that Steve sells to use with the Co2 tanks, can also work with these compressed air tanks as long as they have the built in reducing regulator that comes with these tanks from the factory.

Tippman has a sale on one of these tanks for under $200, here is their web address. http://www.tippmannpros.com. There are several sizes and makes, so shop around for the right one for you. THIS IS NOT THE TANK THAT IS ON SALE.



The carbon fiber tanks are made for paintball guns/markers and can be used for 5 years before re-certification is required, just like a scuba tank.


Also if you want to refill your own tanks, you can get a “Fill station” also from Tippman for under $40, this will refill your carbon fiber tank several times from a scuba tank depending on the sizes of the tanks that you have.





For on the road, you could get a scuba tank, and keep it in a hotel room or car and anytime you need a refill, just bring the Carbon fiber tank out and hook it up and in a couple of minutes you have a full tank at 4,500 psi to run your tools.

With this kind of volume and pressure, a foot pedal control system will run for many hours before needing a refill. A PC handle should get double the length of time from a full tank.

I have yet to test the length of time that you can get from a full tank, but it should be real good, I guess it would be something like 20 hours or so.

Here are pictures of the tank and the set-up for a PC tool, I will post a travel package that I am working on for shows when it is complete. I want to include a connection for both style of controllers, PC handle and Foot pedal controller that will run off these tanks.





A cover for the tank is recommended since it can chip if dropped.



You can always connect a Co2 tank as a backup power supply in case you run out of compressed air.

Any questions?

Tim C
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2008, 05:00 PM
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KDavid KDavid is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

I want one!!!
Where is Cutler Bay, by the way?

David
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  #3  
Old 06-22-2008, 05:47 PM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

South of Miami, 10 minutes north of the Florida Keys.
Do you ever go to Charlies Steak House in Orlando, it is my favorite place to eat.
Tim C
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2008, 02:41 PM
James Wark James Wark is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

You can also get these tanks in steel for a much lower cost. I sell them in my shop for a little over $50.00, these are for 3000 psi models, and most paintball shops will have them, also on ebay. Very easy to fill from your scuba tank. If I could only afford an airgraver this is the way I will go, soon I hope. If you have trouble finding a place to fill you scuba tanks, dont forget about your local fire departments, rescue units. Sometimes they will fill for a small fee.
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2008, 05:02 PM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Thanks James,
That is good info about the steel tanks and the fire department. That could come in handy, if you don't live where scuba diving is done a lot.
Do you have online sales and a link to your store?
Thanks again,
Tim C
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  #6  
Old 06-24-2008, 09:59 PM
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mckeenh mckeenh is offline
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Wink Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Yeah, thanks James, there is not alot of scuba diving here in Montana. I need to check out my options. I have a tank to trade in and the local welding gas supplier is where I am headed first.

Neil:yesnod:
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2008, 10:57 AM
James Wark James Wark is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Hi Guys,
I do not have an online store, I am working on a web site www.888guns.com.
But its pretty generic now. I was also not trying to sell product thru this forum, just list some options. The place I order most of my paintball supplies is www.paintball-discounters.com. They have many tanks of all different sizes.
Thanks
Jim
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2008, 12:07 PM
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Danny C Danny C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

What size of tank works the best with a PC?
I'm talking about either C.I. or OZ's?
What's the relationship - for the large tanks?

Is compressed air better/same than carbon dioxide?

How about a small scuba tank?

Don't you have to be certified to get air from a scuba shop?
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2008, 05:43 PM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Hi Danny,

You ask some good questions.
The size that I have, that is pictured here is just a little bit bigger than the 20 oz Co2 tanks.
From the numbers on the label, you may be able to determine the size that it is. I see a 13.0 CC listed on it but I doubt that this is the capacity. If I had to guess, the top line lists a number 310, I think that this might be to signify 31.0 oz. But that is a guess, I am not an expert on paintball equipment.

A standard scuba tank is quite a bit larger, although there are smaller scuba tanks made for double set-up's.

Compressed air is not really better or worse, it is another way to power the tool.
If the tool used a lot of air, the compressed air would be better because Co2 makes parts cold when discharged in large amounts, that might cause a problem with o-rings.
But Steve's Airgraver uses so little volume that it is not even close to being a problem here.

The problem with using a small scuba tank is that you have to use a reducing regulator to get the 4,500 psi down to under 1,000 psi so that you don't blow the diaphragm out of the regulator that Steve sells with the high pressure.

This is why these small tanks will work so well, the reducing regulator is built into the valve in the neck, all that you do is screw it into the fitting used for the Co2 tanks and you are on your way.

Some shops require that you be “certified”, some shops will fill if you sign a waiver that the air is not being used to breathe. They are used to “paintballers” coming in to get air, it depends on where you live.

If you go in with your tool(s) and show them what you are using it for, they will most likely fill a scuba tank or this little tank if you want.
This is where the info on the fire department may also come in handy, "firemen" like things like engraving, I’m sure that they can help fill the tanks too.

Hope this helps.

Tim C
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2008, 02:25 AM
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Daniel Houwer Daniel Houwer is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Nice post Tim!

I have found the paintball tanks allso but I have to drive quite a bit further to fill air then co2. But I am keeping my eyes open cause I like air better then co2. I will surely check out the firedepartment.

Another thing better about air is you don't need the co2 and since we are trying to reduce the co2 exhaust all around the world, this would be a small start right at home.
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  #11  
Old 06-26-2008, 07:48 AM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Good point Daniel,

I doubt that our little 20 oz tanks are melting any glaciers, but every little bit that we can reduce helps.

The fire department is a good source. They have to fill their air packs for fighting fires somewhere.

If they don't fill the tanks at their station, they must take the tanks to someone to have them filled. Ask them who they use?

The paintball shop that was near my home closed down, so I have to find somewhere to fill my tank too.

I'm going to try a local dive shop and see what the deal is with the need of being a "certified diver" to get the tanks filled, if that can be waived or not.

Tim C
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2008, 09:30 AM
airamp airamp is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Hi,

Go to your local welding shop. They can fill up tanks with any gas you like or even compressed air if you are using it for breathing equiptment for welding.

You might just show them the airgraver and what it does. They are into metal. Never had a problem with welding shops.

airamp
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2008, 09:46 AM
PS_Bond PS_Bond is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Houwer
Another thing better about air is you don't need the co2 and since we are trying to reduce the co2 exhaust all around the world, this would be a small start right at home.
I'm not sure what the comparison is between emissions on running a compressor to get air up to 232 atmospheres versus generating CO2 & compressing it to a far lower pressure, but it isn't as clear-cut as "air good - CO2 bad".

More like damned if you do, damned if you don't!
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:27 AM
airamp airamp is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

HI,

PS Bond I agree..

CO2 comes as a liquid (like propane) for your grill and is in welding shops in liquid storage tanks. Compressed air is uses high powered compressors to get it up to pressure and is a gas always. (2800psi).

CO2 is at 600 PSI max (liquid form) as you open the tank it changes to gas and gets colder as it changes (endothermic).

It is more friendly to the environment than the emissions of a high powered compressor by far.

If you think by not using CO2 you are being environment friendly I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn and don't drink carbonated anything...

airamp
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  #15  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:50 AM
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Danny C Danny C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Thanks for the explanations.
So I can get a small "reserve" air tank and get it fitted with a low pressure regulator, fit up Steves regulator to it, and get it filled at a compressed air shop.

For those who don't know, welding "air" is cleaner than "breathing" air - as welding can't have the impurities in it.
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  #16  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:00 PM
airamp airamp is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Danny,

Steves regulator is for co2 and not for high pressure.

Air regulators (welding regulators) are for the high pressure so they are 2 stage. one stage to drop the 2800 psi to a usable pressure and the other stage is adjustable.

CO2 regulators are for low pressure only. if you put it on a high pressure tank it most likely will blow apart.. Be careful..

You can use a Welding 2 stage regulator on a CO2 tank but once CO2 has been put through it YOU cannot use it for anything else. There is a Oil residue in the CO2 that will contaminate the regulator and if used for Oxygen for welding again it will blow up... Again be carful. If you do this Mark the regulator not to be used for anything but CO2.....


airamp
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  #17  
Old 06-27-2008, 03:37 AM
PS_Bond PS_Bond is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Quote:
Originally Posted by airamp
It is more friendly to the environment than the emissions of a high powered compressor by far.
AH, but... The CO2 used in these applications is created, rather than extracted from the atmosphere (not enough there to be viable). So that aspect differs very little from burning fossil fuels... And so on, and so on :D

Veering dangerously close back to being on-topic, there's a thread in the tutorials section on using scuba tanks (with a few addenda on using paintball air cylinders - mine's ally rather than CF). http://www.engravingforum.com/showthread.php?t=614
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  #18  
Old 06-27-2008, 07:11 AM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

As you can see in that post, he used the regulator on the scuba tank to do the pressure reducing for the Airgraver system.

All that tubing can be eliminated and you can connect the "fill station" fitting on to the scuba tank and fill the carbon fiber or if your choice is a steel tank from the full scuba tank.

The carbon fibers come with the regulator inside the neck of the tank, this is why they will work so well.

Be sure to get the same reducing regulator into the neck of any steel tank that you purchase from elsewhere or you will blow the regulator out on the Airgraver system.

You have to get the discharge pressure on your small tank down to under 900 - 1000 psi, to work with the Airgraver regulator.

I'm working on converting an old hard cased "shooting box" to hold the whole set-up, it will take a while longer to get it finished. I will post some pictures when it is completed.
Good luck,
Tim C
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  #19  
Old 06-30-2008, 11:25 AM
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Danny C Danny C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

So, the real advantage to carbon fiber is the reduce weight - not the increased pressure?

Scuba tanks can have an adapter put on them to turn them into "air tools", I checked at a scuba shop. It is a very low pressure port.
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  #20  
Old 06-30-2008, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Danny

Looks like there's another advantage as well:
Quote:
The carbon fibers come with the regulator inside the neck of the tank, this is why they will work so well.
The built-in regulator means you need one less thing.

But the weight difference between CF & steel should be pretty significant if you're talking about something you're going to move around a lot.
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  #21  
Old 07-01-2008, 03:49 PM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

I should have taken a picture with both the Co2 and Compressed air tanks side by side, but the Carbon fiber tank is about the same size as a 20oz tank.

Of course the carbon fiber is lighter, and holds more air.

Tim C
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  #22  
Old 09-17-2008, 09:00 PM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

I'm putting this in to move it up in the forum, someone asked about this info.
Tim C
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  #23  
Old 08-19-2009, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

I'll make this a sticky to bring it to the top. Very helpful thread. Thanks Tim!
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  #24  
Old 08-20-2009, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

Theres the Nitro i was lookin for.
thx for the write up.
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  #25  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

I have been watching the talk about the use of scuba tanks as well as these fiberglass cylinders. I am a scuba instructor and a cylinder inspector. These cylinders need to have a visual inspection yearly and a hydro every 5 years.
Some cylinders have been removed from service but resurface to be sold cheap. Be very careful in selecting and using thes cylinders. I would never sugest filling your own cylinders and OSHA has some input on this too. I have seen the results of a cylinder rupture and it is very much like a bomb. Just some thoughts.
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  #26  
Old 08-21-2009, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

I was rather glad to learn when I went to get my 20lb CO2 tank re-filled that, at least here in Kansas City, they've changed over to doing exchanges instead. Mostly because they only do actual CO2 filling at one central location, but partly so they can make sure they only refill tanks in good shape.

I'll still need to occasionaly replace my 20oz tanks but for CO2 those are cheap.

Never personally seen a SCUBA tank go but I've seen what they've done with them on Mythbusters and remember an incident where I saw the aftermath of a peanut tank getting dropped - managed to miss everyone crowded into the very small shop, go through the outside wall and take a neat chunk out of a telephone pole about 40 feet down the road. Until they got it replaced you could see the (reasonably) neat half circle about 20 feet above the ground.

Taught me to respect pressurized gasses.
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  #27  
Old 08-22-2009, 12:36 PM
Tom_W Tom_W is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

I have just installed a scuba system "powered" system. I live in the UK. I am also a scuba instructor.

FWIW, a few UK ammendments to the above.

A SCUBA Cylinder in the UK must be looked over at the time of each fill, and is by law certified every 2.5 years. If it fails re-cert for any reason it is chopped in two or drilled by the fill station rendering it useless.

All low pressure ports in SCUBA first stage regulators should give out a 6 to 8 bar pressure. This low pressure varies per regulator and age hence it is worth getting the low pressure port of SCUBA regulator checked if you are considering using it to reduce the SCUBA tank pressure to the useable 8 Bar to mimic a compressor input to a Airgraver control regulator. The dual regulator that Steve has sent has a stated max input pressure of 10 bar.
As SCUBA air has to be contaminant free (water etc) it takes a lot of worries about the quality of air away. It costs about 3 for a 12 litre tank 300 bar fill. (according to my calculations about 270 hours of using an air graver based on the figure of 5 hours for a 20oz Co2 fill)

Now, for the UK and Europe, the important bit. Steves dual regulator set-up are supplied with a 1/8 NPT input (female) thread - this is an American thread that is not used in the UK - we use 1/8 BSP. You can screw a 1/8 BSP male thread into an 1/8 NPT female thread as the threads are similar, but they are not the same. For your integrity you should get a 1/8 NPT male to a 1/8 BSP female thread converter. It is 50p and your engraver is worth a lot more.

Finally use the quick connector male for a low pressure inflator hose (threaded for 1/8 BSP) to connect to the input (via the NPT adapter) of the dual regulator. Now with first stage regulator fixed upon the tank valve attach the drysuit hose from the low pressure port of the diving first stage regulator into the dual regulator supplied by Steve, check for leaks, and it should work.
NOTE: in the UK there are about 3 different types of these quick fit drysuit inflator connectors, it helps if to get the right connector for the hose, but some are interchangeable; my advice buy both connector and hose as a set.

Also it is worth pointing out that all the CO2 threads that are standard in the USA are not internationally standard and the vast majority of paintball estabilishments in the UK are now air not CO2 and are very wary of non-paintballers. I am still investigating the paint ball bottles with respect to the CO2 reg that Steve sells, a further update will be forth coming.

T
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  #28  
Old 08-23-2009, 04:53 PM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Default Re: Carbon Fiber compressed air tanks for AirGraver

There are many reasons why you should be careful with either the compressed air or CO2 tanks.
I chose to purchase the carbon fiber tanks new for several reasons, first, you get the most use out of the tank before re-certification is needed if you are the original purchaser.
Second, you know what kind of treatment the tank has had.
Since these tanks are used on paintball guns, the knowledge that the tank hasn't been banged around or dropped as some teenager ran around concrete barracades makes me more comfortable using it.

The info I gave here for refilling from a scuba tank was to help those engravers that live in rual areas where Paintball establishments may be hard to find, so that they can get refills for the Carbon Fiber tanks.
If you purchase a scuba tank, I would purchase it new, so that I know how that tank has been treated too.
When scuba tanks are filled, they are submerged in a tank of water while the filling process goes on.
For some reason the Carbon fiber tanks are not submerged by the local Paintball store. I don't know if there is a reason for this, or not.

I have the local store do all my filling, but if you are going to refill tanks yourself, do some research before you take that on yourself.
The store only fills my 4500 psi tank to 3,000 - 3,500 psi at the most. It is good common sense not to fill your tank to the maximum psi rating for the tank.

Since I live in South Florida, if you get stuck and can't find an answer to a question that you have about Scuba tanks. Post your question and I'll see if a local scuba shop can answer your question.

Check with the local Fire Dept., it will be a good source to get answers, they most of the time are the agency that sign off on fill station permits. Depends on the State you are in.

Good luck, hope this helps out.

Tim C
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