Earlier today, I cracked open the big air dryer to see what kind of shape it was in. The filter (the little part at the very bottom) was pretty well gooped with oil, but the inside of the housing had very minimal corrosion and should clean up easily.
The upper-left unit is a sort of physical water trap- air comes in the side, but the outlet pipe extends all the way up inside, nearly to the top. The incoming air hits the pipe, water collects at the bottom, and air goes through the top of the pipe and down to the filter.
The drain valve is a cheap little brass quarter-turn unit, that I'll probably replace with a stainless one with a good teflon seal.
The main thing I was curious about was the desiccant chamber. The end caps came off reasonably easily, and I was able to pour out the media with little difficulty.
The two immediate discoveries were one, whatever this stuff is, it's not silica gel.
They're pellets roughly the size of the beads from a beanbag chair, but made of something like ceramic. They're hard, opaque, and seem vaguely porous.
And two, apparently at some point this thing had enough moisture in it that the inside of the housing started to rust.
There was a considerable amount of rust-dust in with the pellets, and said rust didn't come from the input air, as the filter was lily-white inside and out, save for the oil which was turning a faint yellow.
So what likely happened was whoever had this thing last never changed the desiccant, or didn't change it often enough, and it got saturated, with the moisture starting to rust the container.
I got out a flashlight and a digital inspection camera (Milwaukee M-Spector, very handy, and has been worth every penny on multiple occasions) and looked around the inside. There's some pitting of course, but nothing terribly heavy- and the walls of this thing appear close to 3/16" thick.
So I misted some Ospho in there to 'cure' the rust (it converts the iron oxide over to iron phosphate, which is inert) and swished it around. By the time I get ready to use this thing again, it'll be thoroughly dry.
I was thinking, however, of swapping the existing filter chamber for the new one I just bought:
It's a bigger filter for one thing, but mainly has a pressure regulator built in. I plan to knock the operating pressure down to 90 psi rather than the straight-from-the-tank 120 or so I've been using, which should help my overall air consumption a bit.
That'd also reduce the strain on the desiccant tank a bit, which probably isn't necessary, but certainly couldn't hurt.
Getting back to the rest of the system, I had a chance to notch the back of my pegboard frame and get it, my guns and the tools back up in place.
It's pretty close to the arrangement I had before, but neatened up a little. I also got rid of a couple of things that no longer needed to be hung up- like the VM-68 valve tool, which when I took it down likely hadn't been off that peg in five years.
The top of the bench itself is still a mess, as is the little shelf below the pegboard, but I'll get those sorted shortly.
I also put the shelf back up that holds my 5C collet closers, which I had to take down to run the lathe-side air line drop:
That, too, needed a notch on the back to clear the hose, but it's all happy now.
And finally, I found a chunk of 1/2" plywood in the scrap pile that was already painted white, and I was able to trim it down to fit in the space under the bench.
At some point I'd broken the original outlet plate, so I picked up another one. I'd forgotten that I'd set the outlet boxes a bit high, and had to trim the old cover plates- I only did that some 18 years ago, my memory must be going
- so I picked up a new one, ran it through the belt sander for a couple seconds, and voila`!
And that'll be about what it'll look like, save for the compressed air QD sticking out somewhere.
I keep thinking I should do something with the rest of the space, but it's kind of oddly shaped for drawers, I don't have anything tall and thin I need to store in there, it's too narrow for a trash can, etc.
Oh well, I can always add something later.