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Nice spray mist system for the mill / lathe

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Jake2465

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#1
Hi everyone,

I thought I would make my first post about a recent success I had with a makeshift spray mist system that I cobbled together. To start, I used to use flood coolant (water mostly) to cool aluminum when I wanted to run a higher feed rate on my mill. All was well with the idea except that I found my flood coolant system required more maintenance than what I was expecting. Also, my shop is not insulated, so the winters present freezing issues. For a short time I used WD-40 as my coolant, but quickly found out that it could produce a lot of smoke once the feed rates went up.

After this, I thought about spray mist coolant and wondered if a system like that could provide enough cooling for my aluminum and also create less mess. I looked at my options and decided that I would go with those import spray mist lines. I purchased two of them from eBay and they shipped from the Chinese motherland. About two weeks later they came in the mail and I was eager to put them to use and see if they would do the job.

My setup consisted of a 1/3hp scientific vacuum pump, air lines and the all important water lines from a Tupperware style container that made their way to the spray mist lines. Now, these lines were the kind that did not have two adjustable needles (one for the air and one for the water) but rather only one ball valve the air in. I also found those mist lines needed more air than what my vacuum pump could deliver and trying to adjust air pressure to meter the water flow was close to impossible. After a couple of days of tinkering with the setup, I decided that it was just not reliable enough to put my end mills on the line and hope that they would receive the cooling that they required.

I went back on eBay and looked at some more options and came across a different kind of spray mist line. This one seemed to have two needle valves on it and I suspected that perhaps this type would work for my application. I went ahead and ordered those two from the Chinese motherland and they came in a couple of weeks. Once they came in I installed them on the mill and set everything up as I had done previously. I turned on my vacuum pump and I immediately saw that the gauge jumped to over 25psi and started to load up the motor. I adjusted the pressure bleed valve and toned down the pressure to about 15psi. I checked the mist nozzles and they were both blowing a nice amount of air along with a fair amount of water being drawn out. At this point, I worked the water adjustment needles and I was able to get them to where one could just barely make out a faint trace of water leaving the nozzles.

Needless to say I was very pleased with the result. Not long after I went ahead and loaded up a 3/8" end mill, popped a hunk of aluminum in the vice and fired up the spindle for a test. I took a 0.150" width of cut with a 0.300" depth of cut at 3000rpm and 24ipm. The performance of the cut showed no issues with overheating and I was free to use the full power of the mill without concern of aluminum getting soft and clogging the end mill.
 

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Bob Korves

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#2
I went ahead and ordered those two from the Chinese motherland and they came in a couple of weeks.
Could you share with us which ones you purchased?
 

ttabbal

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#3
I just got one like those for my future lathe. What did you use for air line? It didn't come with anything for that.
 

Jake2465

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#4
Sure, Bob. Give me a minute and I will upload a picture of the actual listing.

ttabbal, I just use those clear rubber / plastic lines that can be had at the hardware store. I believe they are called vinyl lines.
 

Jake2465

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#5
Here is the listing I used for the purchase.
 

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Jake2465

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#6
This kind failed to work for me.
 

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kd4gij

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#7
Can you post a link can't make it out in the small pic.
 

Bob Korves

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Mitch Alsup

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#10
Thanks for the writeup.
 

kd4gij

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#11
That works Thanks. :beer mugs:
 

Jake2465

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#12
No problem, glad to help :cool:.
 

Downwindtracker2

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#13
Thanks, I ordered one for my surface grinder. It just a Delta Toolmaker with no dust extraction.
 

KMoffett

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#14
I ordered one. I've been using a KOOL-MIST one for quite a while, but it was always a pain to get the air and water adjusted just right. Then you had to screw the air valve in and out to start and stop it. I realized that my mill had a front panel button and M7/M9 code for mist control that was an unpurchased hardware option. So now I'm in the process of installing a control relay and solenoid valve to take advantage of the new mister.

Ken
 

Silverbullet

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#15
Hi and thanks , future buy ill be betting . Unable now tho
 

woodchucker

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#16
This kind failed to work for me.
why did it fail? Always good to know what works, and what doesn't, but why it doesn't is just as important.

Thanks.
 

KMoffett

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#17
why did it fail? Always good to know what works, and what doesn't, but why it doesn't is just as important.

Thanks.
Two problems:

1. The water flow adjustment at the tip was very inconsistent. You have to screw down the air screw to stop the flow. Getting it back to the proper water flow after you turn it back on was a repeated, time consuming, trial and error. Part of this was also due to the lack of a backflow check valve. And with a large diameter water tube, as soon as the air is off the water empties back into the reservoir. It takes quite a while to reestablish water flow to the tip.

2. The LOC-LINE connection to the brass ball fitting at the body has a very limited range of motion before it pops off. A real pain to try and push it back on. Bought a pair of Loc-Line pliers to do that, but that didn't keep it from popping off when trying to position it by moving the tip. Loc-Line sells a bag of four clamps to tightly fasten one segment to another, or to the ball fitting. That worked for the pop off problem.

The new mister's Loc-Line seems a lot stiffer than the one on the Kool-Mist unit. I hope this is not a problem. I have yet to test it, as I'm still working on the control. I'll keep you posted.

Ken
 

Jake2465

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#18
Those ball valve type air misters seem to require a lot of air to get them to work properly. My vacuum pump was allowed to move enough air to drop under 12psi running just one mist line due to the larger orifice openings of the mist line. I found that they would need at least 15psi of air to start drawing water. But, this pressure was also dependent on the height of the water tank in relation to the mist line.

Say you have water in the tank and you run the pump to get air going through the mister. You can probably picture that the water tank will need to be lower than the mist line so a syphon effect does not dump all the water. So, here we are waiting for the water to make it through the line to the nozzle and the water is having too much difficulty making it into the mist line. At this point, one option would be to just grab the tank and lift it up a bit to help the water flow. It makes it into the mister and goes from nothing to way too much. One option would be to drop the pressure a little bit and try to lower the differential in the system so water stops flowing to much. The issue is that balancing this rate is pretty sensitive and the pressure would need to be adjusted in fine amounts. Very hard to achieve using a ball valve. Also, restricting flow would mean that once the pump is shut off, then it beings all over again because the next time the pump is turned on there will be far too little pressure to draw water back through the line.
 

Bob Korves

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#19
Jake, with the interest you have generated and the orders that have been sent in, you should be asking the seller for a commission!
 

Jake2465

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#20
No joke! Guess I was not the only one. The struggle is real, lol.
 

middle.road

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#21
Picked up an 'orange' body one a while back. hooked it up to a large juice bottle of Boelube.
Wish I'd gotten the 'black' body one instead of the orange one. Also need to score a smaller air generating source.
Silly user story: after I first set mine up I hadn't put a shut-off on the line. Generated a nice siphon and I had a puddle
in the slots of the mill table.
 

woodchucker

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#22
Have you guys considered putting a separate regulator on that line. That way you can dial the pressure back from a larger compressor. Even though I have a dental vac that can run continuously I plan on using my large compressor and just using a cheap HF diaphragm regulator to control the pressure and flow.
 

Boswell

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#23
Hi everyone,
I thought I would make my first post about a recent success I had with a makeshift spray mist system that I cobbled together.

Welcome to the forum Jake. Cooling systems seem to always be a big PIA and of general interest here. Looking forward to seeing more from you shop.
 

KMoffett

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#24
OK. I got the new mister system running, though the solenoid valve is not under system control yet. That's the next step.
Wow! It has so much better air and fluid control than the Kool Mist mister. With the solenoid valve in the air line, when it's off, there's no more drain down of the fluid line because of the fluid line check valve. So the mist is there as soon as the solenoid valve opens. By the way I'm running it off of a 70psi air supply. The maximum air blowing force, with or without fluid, doesn't seem as powerful as the Kool Mist unit.

Ken
 

7milesup

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#25
Just ordered one too. LOL
 

gonzo

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#26
Have you guys considered putting a separate regulator on that line. That way you can dial the pressure back from a larger compressor. Even though I have a dental vac that can run continuously I plan on using my large compressor and just using a cheap HF diaphragm regulator to control the pressure and flow.
A possible problem with the regulator is that they are made to regulate higher discharge pressures than those needed on a misting system. You might find it difficult to precisely adjust it to your pressures. Norgren makes a good low pressure regulator but I am thinking that it may be too pricey for your application.
 

woodchucker

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A possible problem with the regulator is that they are made to regulate higher discharge pressures than those needed on a misting system. You might find it difficult to precisely adjust it to your pressures. Norgren makes a good low pressure regulator but I am thinking that it may be too pricey for your application.
Even to get the pressure down to say 10 psi?
What about a restricter after the regulator.
 

ttabbal

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#28
I took mine to Lowes to get tubing for the air line. It's 5/16 OD, 3/16 ID that fits the push connect fitting. They also had a 3/16 hose barb to 1/4 NPT fitting to adapt to the common air fittings. I'll test it with water today. If it looks good I'll probably pick up a valve and regulator for it.
 

kd4gij

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#29
Even to get the pressure down to say 10 psi?
What about a restricter after the regulator.

My compressor is set at 90psi. I use a HF regulator down to 15psi with out any problems. Can go lower if needed.
 

7milesup

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#30
I agree. You can buy regulators for airbrushes too that go quite low. I put a reg on my compressor that goes quite low, 10psi I think.
 
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