Air Compressors, what do I need?

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  #1  
Old 05-08-02, 08:19 AM
LaJaco
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Question Air Compressors, what do I need?

I am in the market for a garage air compressor. I do woodworking as a hobby and will use the compressor primarily for finish nailing and painting.

I have been told to buy the best compressor I can afford. I appears to me that cost is closely associated with the size of the storage tank and hp of the motor.

Considering my intended usage, I assume the duty cyle of the compressor motor will be relatively low, even with a small, say 5 - 8 gallon tank.

Based on this I was considering the pancake type compressors now on the market. Are there other considerations I should take into account that might indicate the need to look at the larger, higher capacity and also more expensive, models?

Also, any ideas on what I need to do in my garage to set up a painting station, such as controlling over-spray, controlling dust and dirt, etc.

Many thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-08-02, 10:58 AM
arthropod98
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personally, i have a 28-gallon porter cable, and i find new uses for it all the time, so i like the size.

one thing to look into also is the VOLUME of this thing. i looked at the oil-free ones at lowe's, and they were LOUD, so i went with the oil model -- MUCH quieter!
 
  #3  
Old 05-08-02, 11:02 AM
arthropod98
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one more thing . . . keep in mind that any tools you buy for this compressor must relatively match the CFM ratings (i think it's called CFM!). someone with more experience and knowledge on here can give ya more info.

oh, and mine's actually a 25-gallon.
 
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Old 05-08-02, 01:30 PM
rs_petty
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I only have experience in doing things the wrong way...

Here is my $.02. 1st requirement is the environment where you are going to use the compressor. Is it in your shop, garage, and how much are you going to move it around. If in small area, go with an oiled model. They are much quieter. If in a large space where sound is not a problem you can go with oilless, they are a little cheaper. If you need portability, probably no bigger than a 2 hp/4 gal model (pancake models are good). 2d requirement is "what". What are you going to use it for. If you intend to eventually get an air sander the small compressors won't work well. You'll need lots of tank capacity and that only comes with big motors, consider a 6 or 7 hp with a 60-70 gallon tank as minimum if your going to do a lot of sanding. If a brad gun and air blower are all your doing the smaller ones work fine. Third requirement is electrical. Don't believe the "works on 15 amps" marketing. The cut-in amps are higher and you'll be like me, chasing circuit breakers. I'd suspect anything above 3-4 hp. If you need bigger, plan on a 20 amp circuit (dedicated) or 240v. The key is just to match the tool requirements. The basic trade-off is capacity to cost. If I were buying again this is the one (http://air.ingersoll-rand.com/pdf/DD2T2.pdf) that I would certainly consider for my situation. I'd stick with regular corded sanders.

For a quicky type paint booth consider using the clear plastic paint tarps and some home made "T's" to basically create a tent. Build the "T" to custom fit your garage floor to ceiling height and use them to support the plastic. Another way is to craft some hangers on your ceiling and just hang the plastic from them. Size to what you need.

Hope this helps.
 
  #5  
Old 05-08-02, 11:21 PM
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Good advice rs_petty. If you will be using a paint sprayer, I would reccomend more than a small pancake type compressor. You don't want pressure fluctuation and a larger tank is the way aroud that. I don't like oilless compressors. I've seen too many broken ones. I have a 60 gallon, 6 HP, 220 volt compressor, but I have a high demand for CFM, using die grinders and impact guns. I also have a 10 gallon smaller unit that I used to use. I painted a couple cars with it, but I ended up having to stop periodically to let the pressure build up. Find the CFM required by the tools you will be using, and get a compresor with at least that amount, preferrably 10 to 20% higher.
 
  #6  
Old 05-09-02, 09:17 AM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

I agree with all of these guys.

You are looking for CFM and air delivery. It must always exceed your air tool requirements or you will run out of air and never catch up.

Oiled compressors LAST longer than oil free ones. I have an oil free 4 HP, 18 gallon Craftsman one, but I paid 60 bucks for it and it was brand new (literally). I couldn't pass it up . I would buy an oil lubed one if I had to buy one new. I'll probably eventually do that and use this one for a back up.

As others have mentioned, you WILL find new uses for it. Might want to buy a pancake for your nailing requirements AND another one for other requirements when and if you come across them.

Choose good quality air tools and accessories. I got most of mine from Home Depot as they offer a lifetime warranty on their air tools, which appealed to me.

The air guns from HD are from Husky, which is rebadged Florida Pneumatic. In turn FP I believe partners with Fuji of Japan on these tools. I believe they are the same ones that Sears sells. Husky impact tools are made by StanleyWorks.

Hope that helps. I won't repeat what the other guys said, as they are right on and I agree with them.
 
  #7  
Old 05-09-02, 03:03 PM
LaJaco
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Thumbs up The result . . .

First off, thanks to all that have commented. I appreciate the assitance.

I was at Home Depot today and they had a Husky, 5 hp, 26 gallon compressor on sale for $190+. It was regularly $369. I bit the bullit and got it.

I am really glad you all brought up the issue of noise. This unit is much quieter than the pancakes I was considering initially. I also paid particular attention to the CFM of the unit and made sure I have enough capacity and reserve for painting, one of the key tasks I will use the unit for.

Again, thanks to all for your help.
 
  #8  
Old 05-11-02, 12:56 AM
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Sounds like you got a good deal! I hope you enjoy it!!
 
  #9  
Old 05-16-02, 04:58 AM
raggy
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Just a comment

Curious as to why no fan was mentioned for pulling fumes, etc. from spray booth.
 
  #10  
Old 05-16-02, 11:57 PM
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Because LaJaco requested help in determining the type of air compressor he/she needed. Nothing was mentioned of a spray booth or how to build one. A ventilation fan has nothing to do with what air compressor suits the needs of LaJaco, but should be used in any paint booth, yes.
 
  #11  
Old 05-23-02, 08:57 AM
RichO
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Since he will be using the compressor for painting and running tools will there be any issues regarding oil/water in the lines.I sure he will need some kind of filter/drier for painting.What about residual oil in the lines from the tools?is that even something to worry about?
 
  #12  
Old 05-23-02, 09:53 AM
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The best bet would be to develop a manifold for the lines. Have one outlet just go to a filter with no oiler on the outlet and have the other one have the oiler. I thought about this myself. I eventually will run a system in my house that will have two outlets. I figuered to have different hoses and to even go so far as to use two different connector types on the lines. That way you couldn't hook up a hose that had oil in it on the line for spraying. For the spray setup, you should also use some of the disposable filters just ahead of the gun.
 
  #13  
Old 05-23-02, 11:30 PM
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Or...you could make two short hoses, with couplers on the ends....one with an oiler in line, the other with a filter. Attatch the one you will need when you need it. The seperator/drier should be attatched for all applications, and can be permanently installed.
 
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