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I'd like to ask the gentlemen on this board for their advice concerning the purchase of my first air compressor. I am by no means a professional, but I do like to do nice work in my garage when I do it. I have a feeling my compressor needs are the same as many of you on this board. The one task I would like to be able to do satisfactorily is sandblasting. So, I guess my question concerns the minimum compressor requirements for a small workshop with occassional sand-blasting tasks.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Blair, check the air requirements of the tools you intend to use and get a compressor at least 50% bigger than you expect to need. I have one of the Walmart 5hp peak (big joke) compressors, that requires more recovery time than sand blasting time.
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government
to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the
government lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." Patrick Henry
I have one of the Coleman Powermates that was the subject of false advertising of horsepower. It is a 30 gal. capacity which is barely enough for the task of sandblasting. For air tool use and painting, it seems to be good enough. On of the main dislikes I have with it is it is direct drive. VERY NOISY!!! I've used a belt drive before and they seem much quieter.
I also replaced the cheapo regulator. One more glitch is all I need to get rid of it. Home Depot sells a brand, Husky, I think, which looks to be of good quality, AND, it's belt drive. I'd test the noise level first before I shell out the money though.
Do yourself a favour and buy the very best compressor you can afford. And I do not mean go to Walmart of Home Depot for one either.
Look in your yellow pages for Air Compressors or Air Compressor Repairs etc.
Then call up a couple of companies and enquire as to what they have in used compressors.
This is what I did. Of course I really needed a large compressor for my cabinetshop that would be capable of extended use with a number of air tools or spray guns running.
I bought a 5hp DeVillBliss with a 100 gallon laydown tank and I am not sorry.
This was at least a $3,000.00 compressor new, but when I bought it, it was 5 years old and I paid $350.00 and $400.00 for the electric controls.
I can do pretty much what I want with this compressor. I have been finishing furniture, cabinetry and commercial casework with this compressor for years and it can't be beat.
I also have a small portable Pony which cost me $450.00 as well for job site work and it is almost useless.
Also, buy yourself an inline dryer - they use silical pellets and is a must if you are going to paint. Pro dryers are really expensive and the inlines are probably about $50.00 - $100.00 and well worth the price.
Be ready to pay around $1,000.00 for a setup. It is a bit, but worth every penny!
I am still looking to buy a compressor and air tools too. Had not thought about the belt drive being quieter. I will look at the Home Depot Husky. I want a portable (on wheels) compressor.
The other local builder's supply store here is Sutherlands. They have a 25 gal. Porter Cable model CPF6025VP, 6HP, cut in 110 PSIG, cut out 135 PSIG, 8.3 SCFM @ 40PSIG, 5.8 SCFM @ 90 PSIG. Its on sale now for $275.00. Its a vertical tank with 2 solid rubber tires. Is this not big enough to paint with?
They also have a Campbell Hausfeld that is slightly larger HP and tank, and better performance for $450.00 with real tires.
This is about where I want to keep my budget. Which one would you recommend ?
They also sell a complete line of EXCEL Air Tools, which are made by DeVillBliss, overseas. They look very good and are very reasonably priced. Have you heard of the EXCEL tools ?
mltiema; I agree with Rudi do yourself a favor and buy the largest CFM and the slowest RPM compressor you can afford. The slower the RPM's the longer it will last and there is less heat and moisture problems.I have had two of the roll arounds and niether one would do sandblasting that I wanted too do. I found a 100 gal lay down at a sale for $300.00 and I'm very happy with it.
I too, had a small 20 GAl., 2 HP, 8.2 CFM @ 100 PSI Craftsman that served me well for a number of years. I do sandblasting with a pressure tank, but like others said, their was a lot of recovery time. Poor little thing ran steady. Had a large floor fan blowing on it to help with cooling. This machine is 21 years old and still going strong. Don't know how the new ones are from Craftsman.
Finally, 1 1/2 years ago I broke down and got a larger one. I called several commercial places like others said, to get a feel of whats out their. I finally narrowed it down to a Curtis, CA series, Industrial. This one is a 7 1/2 HP, 80 Gal. upright, 25 SCFM, cut in @ 110 PSI, cut out @ 175 PSI, crankcase, cylinder & head are all cast iron. Boy did this make all the difference in the world. Now it even has a chance to shut off for periods while I am blasting
When I piped it up, I took a few tips from a sandblasting equipment company by the name of TP Tools & Equipment. Their web site is tptools.com. . They sell a whole array of stuff for sandblasting. They suggested running about 20' of pipe BEFORE the water separator. It acts as a cooling loop so the warm air has a chance to start condensing before it goes through the separator. This sure does work slick.
Well that is my experience. Like the other guys said, get as big as you can afford. You won't be sorry.
I understand the budget problem but please think about it this way
before you buy.
Would it be better to buy one that is made well and is big enough to do what I want now and also 10 years from now. Or do I want to do this twice and end up spending more money in the long run because what I bought the first time was just big enough at the time.
Before you buy at all look at all the air tools you will want to use
& find what the largest CFM is then buy your compressor at least 25%
larger 50% is better though.
The other thing that will help you and some of the ohters on here is
this I looked around and found a used comp. that was shot but the tank was good and run all the air tru it result was cleaner air & more more of
Please don't be cheap now as you will pay for it later.
One closing thought what ever you buy make sure parts can still be found for it...............
Hope this helps you.
If it's been broken I did it.
If its not broken wait till I touch it.
Well..the reason I read this forum is for GOOD advice, so I will just wait until I can afford something larger.
I have a Craftman 60gal witha 6hp electric motor that I purchase in 1989 and has served me well with the small amount of sandblasting I do. It is a single stage 2cyl model and I just change the oil alot. Moving more air across the pump with a floor fan helps when I use it for extended period ie blasting painting and running a DA sander.
For blasting and painting I built a primative air drier that really help when blasing. My compressor is in the rear of my barn so the air is piped 30ft to the 1st connection. I mounted a combo regulator/air filter right on the outlet of the tank. Then the pipe dia is 2" across the ceiling (adds some extra capacity and cools air a little. Then 3/4 drops down and I assembled a coil of heavy wall copper that will allow me to submerge the coil into a 5 gal pail of ice water. The output has a second air collector that will catch the condensed water in the line. I have to add more ice about every 45 min of use but it has all but removed my water in the blaster problems. As air is compressed it gets hot and all the water vapor is compressed as well. Hot air holds more vapor and by cooling it will drop out of the air supply. You won't get much done with wet air and it also makes for a poor paint job.
Make sure you get a pressure type blaster and not a siphon unit. The siphon one are not worth the money you pay even if it were free. I had one but now use it in my homeade cabinet. I bought a pressure unit from Harbor freight and it works good for the $80 I paid for it 10 years ago.
I paid $269 for the Coleman unit from Sam's Club in 1997. This unit is still working like a new one. It's just that the direct drive units are noisy for an enclosed shop, such as mine. I paid about $40 for a better regulator with a guage I could actually read. The compressor came with a set of airtools, impact, ratchet, cutter, etc. All of which have been well used and still in good shape. I maintain 3 vehicles, 2 ATV's, a boat, 3 cubs, and do minor trim work with a spot-nailer. Maybe twice a year, I do some painting, and occassionally some sand blasting. BUT, my livelyhood is in no way associated with an air compressor of this type, so I purchased one to handle my hobbies. The capacity and pressure has proven to be more than adequate for this shade tree piddler.
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