Air Compressor Dryer




About: Just a lover of wood.

I am a woodworker with a Husky 20 gal air compressor in my garage shop; I believe it produces more water than air sometimes. I drain my air tank before and after each use using a Husky Extended Tank Drain Valve Assembly (Store SKU #1000053233) into a plastic pan with a sponge and still after about 2 hours of use and I would get about a gallon of water.

So what is a woodworker to do? Well, a good woodworker scours the web, YouTube and blogs and I did not see anything that worked with the right price range for me. So, since air is considered a fluid in engineering terms, I decided to build one and this is how I did it.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Material List

Material list:

  • 10‘of 250 psi, ½” id clear reinforced hose $2.00 per ft.
  • *2 Culligan HF-360A Whole House Sediment Filter Clear Housing $36.99 each
  • *2 Culligan UB-1 Mounting Bracket with Screws $4.08 each
  • 11 heavy duty 1” hose clamps (I already had these)
  • 7 Nylon Male ¾” X ½” male barb (Menards)
  • 1 ½” Nylon T male barb (Menards)
  • 4 Pipe holders (I already had these)
  • 1 White Spin Water Filter (I already had one)
  • 2 Compressor Hose Females (I already had these)
  • 1 jar of Vaseline and Q-tips (I already had these)
  • 1 small ½” OSB Board (I already had these)
  • *1 Oatey 31402D Pink TFE Tape, 1/2-Inch x 260-Inch $5.79
  • *1 Gallon Blue Silica Gel Replacement Desiccant Beads by AES Industries. $29.95
  • Harbor Freight 3/8 In. Oil Fog Lubricator $10.99 (Do not buy it, mine blew at 90 psi)
  • Large Bolt Cutters
  • Assorted Wood Screws

* Amazon

Step 2: To Start

  • I placed all of the parts in order on the OSB board to check sizing, depth from the water filters etc. Depending on the size of the air compressor and your humidity levels, you may only need 1 Culligan filter.
  • I cut the plastic tubing with a large bolt cutter.
  • Put Vaseline on the barbs with hose clamps to make the hose slide easier and the pink TFE tape on the threads.

Step 3: Assembly

I tightened, pushed and screwed everything in place. The filter hangers need to be on the filter when applying the side barbs. Use the hanger screws for something else; the screw heads are too big for the drop key holes. (Tip: make sure the hanger is up at the side barbs. The hanger can slip down and the clear canister WILL NOT SEAT RIGHT!!! (Experience).

Screw it to the board and check for leaks.

Step 4: ​Additional Information

The Culligan HF-360A Whole House Sediment Filter Clear Housing does have an on/off valve on the top of each canister. It comes with a filter already in the clear canister, I taped off the upper end with painter tape, used a funnel to pour the beads around the filter, then put the canister back on the filter head and tighten with the included canister wrench. The beads will turn a pink color when the beads are saturated. Pour the pink beads on a cookie sheet and insert into an oven at very low heat until the beads become blue again. So air comes from my air compressor into filter #1 down through the filter, through the blue desiccant beads and up to the other side and repeat the process again in filter #2. The air then goes to White Spin Water Filter to catch any desiccant bead particles from going down the line. The air then goes to a T. One side goes to an oil fogger for air tools and the other side to paint guns or general air stuff. My cost was about $137.88 for this project.

So, I have been testing my air compressor dryer for the last 3 months, using the compressor about 4-5 times a week and it works like a CHAMP!!!!! I am extremely happy with it.

Build a Tool Contest 2017

Participated in the
Build a Tool Contest 2017



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Metal Contest

      Metal Contest
    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge

    10 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Have you looked at air cooler and separator between compressor and tank? Has benefit of putting less water in to tank. I have car AC core on way to test it out.

    Lorraine Prather

    1 year ago

    It is a nice blog and also informative.If anybody want to buy this air compressor then it is a good for him to take decission.


    2 years ago

    A little advise on using Plastic Filters and other items not designed to be use with air pressurized system. PVC pipe, Water filters, and and other such items are dangerous, when they explode they send shrapnel of sharp plastic flying in every direction with extreme force. It is not worth the money you might save I someone is injured or worse. Check local building and safety codes and they will tell you why. Personally I wouldn't take the gamble. Just my .02

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    All parts bought were tested at 150 psi by the manufacturer. The hose is 200 psi tested. and I understand your concern as it was my concern also.


    2 years ago

    This is pretty rad. From your description, it sounds like this system is set up as compressor --> tank --> dryer --> tools, which would still lead to a buildup on moisture in your air tank. Would it be possible to put this system in line between the compressor and its tank, thereby keeping the tank and tools dry(er)?

    I can also see it beneficial to have this system a distance away (several feet or more) from the compressor, with the pressure line at a downward slope-- the ambient temperature would help the hot air condense on its way to the filters, thereby removing more moisture from the air (downward slope to keep moisture from building up in the line)... That's how we do it in the transit bus industry, anyway.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I thought about that method, but due to the very close configuration of the compressor and the tank, It was impossible. Since Jan 1, 2017, and I have been really using the compressor, Filter 1 is about 1/2 way with pink crystals.

    It is working out GREAT!!!


    2 years ago

    I live in one of the most humid places on the planet and I don't get the water that you do in your compressor. Weird. I just have one trap and my air is dry as can be. The trap don't really get water in it either. I think that may be due to the large input hose I run into it?

    I don't know. I used to get some water in the bottom of my air manifold. But with the trap I don't get that anymore either.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Nice setup :) It's awesome it works so well!