Air Compressor Question (looking at buying one)

Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
324
Location
Maple Grove MN
At the risk of really giving myself away here with how little wrenching I've done before.. ......I have a question..

I'm about to buy an air compressor for light wrenching....plus sanding of rust spots... spraying of rust preventatives and light painting and also I want it to be able to take my lug nuts off and on for quick tire removal.

So... what size is best for me? I'm researching them all and I see 3 gallon, 15 gallon, 20 gallon,.. etc.. I assume I probaly need 125 PSI

And the CFM.. what is the min I need for lug removal?

Any useful advice for my first Compressor purchase? (yea, I know.. just take the rig to the freakin dealer) hahahahah

thxs..
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
200
Location
Central Florida
I just got a Craftsman 150psi - somewhere around 30gal - it come with some basic tools. Works great. thik I paid somewhere in the $300 range. I'd buy it again too!
 

Bluto

 
Joined
Apr 29, 2005
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1,104
Location
N. LA Co. CA
I went by Walmart last night (hehehe :D ) and saw Hauseman (sic) Dream Garage Package for $250 with accessories included like attachment for impact wrench, spray paint, air hose, etc. I don't remember the capacity but it looks good for a starter like me who is new in mech game.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
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53
Location
Harvard, IL USA
4-5 SCFM @90 PSI ought to do the trick for the most part. Some sanders (like Orbitals) take up more airflow, so check the kind of sander you want to use first.

Steve
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2004
Messages
307
Location
Denver Colorado
For sanding your going to need some capacity, nothing less then 60 gallons with a decent duty cycle. 208V at least for power consumption reasons. Devilbiss makes some of the best if you can get your hands on one.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
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1,150
Location
Castle Rock, CO
You're going to use an air sander? IMO that's a bit overkill. Air tools like that (sanders, drills, etc) are great for shops with big compressors, but for normal home use a electric tool (i.e. electric 4-1/2" grinder with sanding wheel on it) would work better and be cheaper (overall cheaper, since you aren't buying a big-a$$ compressor to run a tool). I think the air ones might be easier to handle, most electric 4-1/2" grinders (or the bigger 8-10" grinders) are rather powerful, and have no 'low' speed.. :D .

On thing to remember is the spec numbers on tools for cfm numbers is with the tool running continous, which you normally don't do. Certain tools would be ran more continous than others, an air ratchet getting wheels off is not a continous tool so the cfm rating is mostly meaningless since you usually just use it in bursts. A cfm rating for a drill or air nibbler is far more important, and a sander like you mentioned, since those are more continous-use items.

I have a Craftsman 4hp (I think) 30-gal one, works good, it's the direct-drive (aka wake the dead) ones, I have it under some stuff to dull the sound, but it's still loud (and if I happen to leave it on, the pressure will leak out and never fails, at 2:00am it'll kick on and our bedroom is right above the garage, not overly loud but plenty to be annoying and surprising, especially at 2:00am).

I have never had a problem with air, and my compressor was used on a plasma cutting system for almost a year, which is tough on it, it'd run continous for probably 2-3 hrs at a time (not really rated for that!), however it still works great. 99% of my use is airing up tires and using the air-rachet (oh and get a good one of those too, not the crap ones they put in the kits, you won't get any tough bolts off, get atleast a 500 ft lb one, mine is the Husky Pro from Home Depot, it's way, WAY more powerful than the cheapie ones they put in the kits, I have two of those kick'n around, they are mostly useless, just so you know).

Good Luck...
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
324
Location
Maple Grove MN
hey..

that's really good advice about the sander..

I'll just get a power one like you suggested.. makes alot of sense..

thanks..
 

fj40crusher

 
 
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2002
Messages
466
Location
Pacific NorthWest
photogod said:
Min 5hp and 60 gallon. My .02.
For a designated shop compressor, this or bigger is perfect.


I personally have a 25 gallon 5hp. It's perfect for what I do in the shop and it's portable enough to take to the odd jobsite when I need to run a nailer.

You really need to think about everything you will eventually do with it. If you ever plan on painting anything large don't go smaller then the 60 gallon. Smaller will work, but bigger is better.

My personal rule for buying tools: Buy the biggest/best you can afford.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,805
A proper air compressor, as would be used in a small commercial shop, will have an 80 gallon tank, a REAL 5 HP motor, and draw approx 30 amps on a 240 volt circuit.

Since you live in eastern Mass, check out the WantAdvertiser and find yourself a deal on a good used compressor. With some patience, you should be able to get one that meets the above specs, say an Ingersol Rand or Quincy, for $500 or less. Look for one similar to this: http://www.irgaragesolutions.com/t30_stationary-fp.asp. If you buy used, make sure the motor is single phase. A good percentage of commercial machinery comes with three phase motors; you want single phase so you don't have to mess with phase converters. I would also stick with a verticle model to save floor space.

This is not intended to be your first air compressor. It is intended to be your last! Overkill for a home shop, but purchased used can be a very good value. When the economy is not so good, this type of equipment is readily available on the used market.

Don't be confused by the cheap retail models that you see in Sears and Home Depot that have grossly inflated HP ratings.

For those of you outside of Mass, the WantAdvertiser is the best used merchandise publication I have seen anywhere in the US. Over the years, I have seen just about everything imaginable offered for sale, from a helicopter powered by a 1960s Triumph motorcycle engine (very scary!) to a 20 foot tall electron microscope. Think ebay printed on newsprint, without the competitive bidding. You just need to be the first to call and make the deal!
 
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
105
Location
Tulsa
The Craftsman models are made by develbis. Albeit, the 200-300 dollar ones are 'basic' oil-free models.

Considered by some entry level, and others disposable. But for the homeowner use, i'd say it'd be fine.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
1,662
Location
N.Q. australia
I have three compressors. One two pot 8 cfm clisby with a 5hp Honda motor set up as a hooker for diving this runs on vegetable oil and pumps enough air for two people.
The other two are used for carpentry to run rattle guns ,air wrenches and nail guns and the odd paint job. One is a two cylinder 8 cfm with 2 hp electric motor the other is a three cylinder 12 cfm with 2 hp [app2000w]electric motor both running on sae30 oil.I find both of these are quite adequate for normal use , though the 8 cfm does suffer running two hoses in excess of 100 feet.For normal use in a home garage with a 30 to 50 ft hose I think the handyman would be very happy with this performance.The larger one is better for painting as it builds up quicker both will run 2 nail guns at over 100psi.Sorry can't advise on an air sander as my sander and grinders are electric.
 

hoser

SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
Messages
9,121
Location
Bay Area, CA
Go with a cast iron, oil-lubricated type if you can afford it. They are much quieter and will last longer.
 

Biff

 
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
1,901
Location
Los Angeles
This is what I got, bought it super cheap for $260 with a whole bunch of discounts 33 gal, and some okay tools. Think its still $299


 
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