Chip Blower for the 65 mm spindle

Hi All
Is anybody aware of a chip blower that can be connected to a spindle for the OF?
And if so, what is the air source, a compressor?
I imagine a compressor would not be good for long run jobs as it would need to be recharged at some point. Maybe the reverse on a vacuum? I have a turbo spray painting unit that could be used. Just wondering what folks out there have seen for blowing chips away while routing metal.

Hey Jim,

for me, a chip blower is this, or this :slight_smile::

chip_blower

Are you meaning a workpiece coolant system like a mist coolant system or a flood coolant system? When milling metal, usually you have mist or flood coolant that does both cooling and lubrification, and also prevents the chips flying around.

Yes, these use compressors specially made for this.


– Source: Glenn McKechnie, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Industrial machines (vertical milling, lathes) for milling metal have a circulating workpiece coolant system and a band-conveyor for getting rid of the chips:

Subi_Performance_Hermle_CNC_02__cropped1

Chip conveyor (on the left)

Short of selling your Onefinity and mortgaging the house to buy a Haas I would suggest looking air blast units or mist units that you can use without the mist for air cooling only (if you don’t have a proper enclosure you’d likely avoid the mist or coolant as it gets everywhere in the shop). I bought one off Amazon for about $25 that works great to remove chips and cool the tool while cutting aluminum, the listing seems to be gone now but there are many just like it out there (Likely all made by the same company and sold under different names). For continuous operation you’ll need at least 3-5 CFM of compressed air which should be ok for most compressors out there but bear in mind most compressors are not designed for continuous operation and the lifespan might suffer.

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I have been trying out a few setups using some of the blue and orange coolant hose with a small valve block fixed to the spindle mount this is fed by a similar hose to the spindle coolant linked to a fish tank air pump. There are some fairly high output pumps available and they are designed to run all day.
A lot of people use a very similar set up to provide as assist on a laser engraver / laser cutter

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That’s a cool idea. I just want to be blowing the dust/chips away, not lubricating.

Are you looking for something like this?

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Hey Derek,

(by the way, shown is a Hermle.)

Yeah, if Jim @Maplehead had clicked on one of the links I provided, he would have been led to the products I’m sure he means and wants (and that he can use with air only of course) :

That was the only relevant part of my posting (rest was joking), but what can you do when they don’t click the links.

Sigh…

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Hey Derek,

most compressors? okay probably the crap out there is more numerous, you could be right.

…just as a note for Jim @Maplehead: It is also possible to buy reliable stuff for 24/7/365 use (in CNC suppliers (web-) shops).

Hey Jim,

Compressors have an air storage tank for this. They deliver compressed air without interruption.

To be more specific, piston type oil less compressors are the low price, lightweight, and portable options most people buy and have a relatively short lifespan - piston, cylinder, head, and connecting rod all made out of barely acceptable metal for the function. I’ve had a cast iron V style compressor in the shop for 30 years that runs on average about 4 hours 2 days a week still going strong where I’ve had about 5 of the oil less type self destruct due to heat in the field in the same time frame.

If you have the money a rotary screw compressor would be ideal and very reliable for 24x7 operation, but most people running hobby CNC machines aren’t investing in one.

Hey Derek, hey all,

you tell it a little as if between the cheap oil-less crap (starting at $150) and the rotary-screw systems (starting at $5000) there is nothing. It may be true that since CNC became a hobby of nearly everybody, the amount of people with small budget that wants to use a CNC router has augmented. But that does not mean there is only the user that only buys the chinese crap at am*zon. I know for sure, there are people in this forum who have a rather nice income and even if they are hobbyists too, they tend to avoid buying crap. So when suggesting hardware, I prefer to concentrate on items that can be seen as reliable. Also many users here discover that you can make a business with a CNC and I find it better to show alternatives that allow you to better rely on your hardware than to try to buy everything with nearly no cost.

A compressor is one of the first things I bought when I was young and I had to equip my first workshop. And the first time my compressor failed, it was an electrical failure and not the two-piston compression unit. In the $1000 class, you can get reliable piston compressors.

Also the cheap chinese crap at am*zon may all be oil-less units, but it has to be said that does definetely not mean that oil-less compressors are all crap. There exist oil-less compressors for professional, long-year use in the $400+ class. You can recognize them by the fact that the manufacturer provides wear parts such as piston sleeves, cylinder liners and air intake valve plates that you have to replace at some thousands hours of operation.

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Can you provide some examples of the $400+ class of oilless compressors?
Would these compressors have a duty cycle high enough for some of the 12+ hour carves that quite a few of the onefinity users refer to?

Thanks

Hey David,

sure. We buy stuff at this shop:

Silent Compressors:

Sorotec.de » CNC-Accessories » Compressed air & accessories » Silent Compressor

Manufacturer page:
Implotex - Silent Compressor

Mist coolant systems and Flood coolant systems:

Sorotec.de > » CNC-Accessories » Lubricating / Cooling Systems

Other compressor page:

Druckluft-Fachhandel > Kompressoren
They have normal mobile and stationary compressors of all price ranges (and also rotary-screw compressors)

Here their silent and oil-less compressors:
Druckluft-Fachhandel > Kompressoren > Labor- & Dentalkompressoren - Ölfrei
Druckluft-Fachhandel > Kompressoren > Ölfreie Kompressoren
Druckluft-Fachhandel > Kompressoren > Leise Kompressoren

…in german but just as an example.

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Thanks.
I will take a look and see if there is anything available in the US.

Hey David,

This I don’t know. The one I mentioned above says the parts I mentioned above have to be replaced after 2000 hours of operation. I just know it makes a difference whether you can replace wear parts and the manufacturer provides them, or the dealer does know nothing anymore about the bunch of crap in the container he got last month from China :slight_smile:.

I have such experience with other things, e.g. commercial kitchen faucet. When I saw there are some at *bay and *zon for 129 € I bought one. One year later it leaked water even when it was closed, more and more, it leaks on the seals of the parts that can be swiveled. I wanted to ask the manufacturer but he didn’t exist anymore. But a similar model was still offered. I asked the new manufacturer, which turned out to have the same surname as the old, for spare parts, but they said there aren’t any. It turned out that he was no manufacturer but a dealer, but sets up homepages that look like a manufacturer page. Now you know why I got back to my 750 € made in Switzerland commercial kitchen faucet. It does not leak water, and if it should, I get the spare part.

I think it is a good sign if the manufacturer provides a drawing like this:


Implotex “exploded”

But I haven’t bought such a oil-less yet. A very long experience that I have, is with a “normal” 3-phase 3 kW two-piston oiled compressor in the $1000 range. They have much less wear of course and can be very reliable.

But as long as you are in an apartment and the place with a workshop where you plan to move is not ready, and all you do would be prototypes, the silent compressors could be worth consideration. But if you plan to let machines run 24/7 I think I would better recommend a normal two-piston oiled compressor which start at 800 €.

I think most of us have had similar experiences with various things.
I could stand to replace my old very noisy oilless compressor and from time to time check what is out there.
I find that a 3 to 5hp 60 to 80 gallon unit usually gets me the air delivery specs that should exceed my needs but they usually have a 2 pole motor or are just too much $ for me to justify the expense for some thing that I don’t actually need but would like.
When I look at the quiet (oilless) compressors I have not found one that flows as much air as I would like, the California Air Tools brand has been recommended as being decent or better quality but I have not checked to see if they sell replacement/repair parts.

Your post piqued my interest so I will now take a deeper dive into the options out there the next time I get the bug to look for a compressor.

Thanks again

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I purchased a small unit from California Air Tools that falls at the price point you indicated. It is oil-less, fairly quiet, and has an aluminum tank. I wanted something small and quiet for use in my basement with my ATC spindle. I have yet to thoroughly test if it can handle all the pneumatics effectively. I believe it has a 70//30 duty cycle. I might consider purchasing an axillary tank in the future to add capacity to the system, but I’ll see how it performs first as is.

Hey David @DavidL, hey Tom @TMToronto,

I just had a look at California Air Tools for comparison with Implotex in matters of “silent” “oil-less” compressors. Looks like identical engines to me, but who knows:


Looks like cylinders are mounted upside-down on one of both :slight_smile:

I also had a look at what they say about wear. Implotex sais 2000 hours before wear, while California Air Tools say 1000 hours for consumer grade, 3000 hours for contractor grade and 4000 hours for industry grade. I have not found whether California Air Tools also say something about spare parts availability like Implotex does, did not have time to read further. Searched for support documents but it seems these are videos :frowning:. Don’t have the time to watch videos, I am a reader!

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Hey Tom,

which model did you buy?

Thanks for the feedback fellas, it is appreciated.
@TMToronto, my son and uncle both have the Cal Air Tools compressors, both the “larger” 2hp versions I think. My son uses his quite a bit even painting autos in his garage. His biggest complaint was the tank size being too small causing too much cycling so he took the 26 or 30 gallon from his old compressor (same unit as my old loud oilless) and adding to the tank size. Of course it takes longer on the initial fill but seems to maintain much better.
I held off on getting one until I got feedback from them about longevity but have not checked on parts for them yet.

@Aiph5u man, you really dig in and help out, thanks for your diligence. I think you will see most of the compressors advertised as silent or ultra quiet or whatever jargon they assign appear to have pumps that look like that, I believe even the compressors at harbor freight appear to look the same.
That said I doubt harbor freight has parts for their line of compressors.
I assume these compressor pumps have been copied and like most things are being imported from china at varying levels of quality.

Thanks again guys

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wrap a piece of tape around the bit so that the two ends are stuck together and hanging out a quarter to a half inch.