I'm new to this board, so please forgive me if I miss any of the finer points of the etiquette here. I've searched the board and can't seem to find any references to this particular problem...
I'm using vortex tube cooling to chill the bits on my mill. The vortex tube is mounted on the headstock with loc-line taking the chilled air to a pair of nozzles by the bit. Overall, the system works quite well, and since I can't use liquid, mist, or droplet coolant in this application, it's a lifesaver. But I'm having two problems related to the loc-line... it's only about a 6" run of loc-line, but over that length my nice icy cold air is warming up from the hot air in the shop and from the heat coming off the spindle to which the loc-line is necessarily held. I'm losing maybe 30F over that short run. And the other problem is that I get tons of condensation on the outside of the loc-line and dripping water on a cnc machine - especially one with parts that really need to stay dry - just isn't cool, if you'll pardon the pun. Has anyone solved that problem before? Is there some better insulated flex line/hose I could use for the run from the vortex tube to the nozzle? Maybe some clever way to insulate the loc-line to cut down on the heat loss and condensation? The whole setup is very small (Taig sized mill, 0.5mm endmill, 1/4" loc-line), so I haven't been able to make the more obvious solutions like foam pipe insulation scale down. I'm stumped and would welcome any thoughts.