air compressor questions....


Hi folks, I'm thinking about taking the leap into air tools. Sanders, staplers, finishnailers, etc. I've got a decent basic understanding of air tools and compressors, but not realy enough to make a good purchasing decision. I'm a one man (sometimes 2) custom furniture shop, so I don't need a huge unit. The most air it would us would be 2 folks running sanders....
I'm looking for something stationary. I can run permanent air lines to the workstations.
I don't know anything about what brands are best (reliability, durability, etc.). From what I've read and discussed with friends, a 2 stage is the way to go....
any comments?
thanks -_JD
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About 8 years ago I was in a similar situation as you regarding a need for an air compressor and not wanting to buy one that was too big. Well, last year I bought my forth (final?) air compressor. I work alone most of the time, but every time that I turned around it seemed like I was waiting for the air to build back up and realized that it was costing me time and money. It seems that once you have air available in your shop there's a whole lot of new things that you discover that you can do with it, and in no time you are suffering from insufficient air supply (again). Last year I finally bit the bullet and bought a big one, an Ingersol Rand 18 cfm at 100 psi system plus a good air dryer (had to add 6' x 6' shed onto the side of the shop for it) and a complete re-piping of the shop air system. I think that I've finally got enough air now.
I guess what I'm saying is that you had better buy a big one so you will save a bunch of money and not do it like I did. But maybe buying something smaller to start with isn't such a bad idea. If you go this way, then buy the biggest one that you can run on a standard 15 amp 125 volt circuit with a at least a 20 gallon tank and wheels so you can easily move it around. Stick to the oil type rather than oil-less (the oil type are quieter and last longer - my first compressor mistake). At least then, when it isn't big enough for the shop anymore it'll be a good portable system to have around when your air hose won't reach from your shop to your project . Trust me, compressed air and woodworking go together, and you will continually find new uses for it once it's readily available in your shop. If you buy one that's too small, you will work it to death in no time and you will find yourself waiting on it to catch up frequently.
--
Charley

"j.duprie" < snipped-for-privacy@unh.edu> wrote in message
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[snipperized for brevity]
That is good advice and is similar to my experiences. Can't have too much air. The OP mentioned TWO sanders at the same time. Even the most efficient sanders are air hogs. Two of them will break a genuine 5HP (not those horsepower ratings from the Borgs, btw) into a sweat. In a recent ad from Home Despot, I noticed a RHP rating of 1.7 HP for the same compressor they rated 5HP just a few weeks prior. Maybe somebody in the advertising/legal department finally figured out that selling a 5 HP compressor which only draws 15 amps (about 2 R(eal?)HP) is fraudulent. When choosing a compressor, take the rated amperage and multiply by the operating voltage and divide by 750. Deduct 15% for belt slippage, bearing friction, and you'll have a better idea how much actual horsepower you're buying. (All figures approximate as I am in no mood to start arguing that 1 HP is 'really' 756 watts at 20.002 degrees Celsius at sea level, assuming the wind is from the NE.)
Two stage with intercooler, 1" or bigger distribution lines, 50+ gallon tank (not as important if your pump can keep up). Automotive painting supply people know a thing or two about these things as well.
FWIW, YMMV, HAND, DSFOHAYE.
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Huh?
I'm usually good at these, but I'm stumped, as is google, or acronymfinder.com
Please enlighten ...
Regards,
JT
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I'm sorry about that, I had my silly shoes on today.
Don't Swim For One Hour After You Eat.
I have NO idea what inspired me to do that.
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Well, while not your typical disclaimer, it's certainly good advice ;-0 ...
Regards
(And thanks for the explanation ...)
JT
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You did not answer the obvious question though.
Where does one buy a pair of silly shoes?
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Well....errmmm... suffice it say that I was born in Holland...and this is a woodworking group..sooo...they're not really 'shoes' per se.
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That would be 746 Watts. Wilson
wrote:

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j.duprie wrote:

Bite the bullet once.
Get a 5HP, 2 stage compressor with an 80 gallon vertical tank.
You will need a 2P-40A (240-V) circuit.
The above will allow you to spray or sand without running out of air.
It will also keep the air temperature down thus reducing water content in the air.
Been there, done that, have the above.
Lew
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Yup, that's what I used to have...3 phase too. I sure miss that big un.
Dave
Lew Hodgett wrote:

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way
I picked up an "air america" unit about a month ago made by devilbiss for $280 nice little unit ,220vac. it will do everything except run a buffer and airs ander .mjh
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Good advice, except don't get 120V unit. If you can afford it, the big ones at HD or Lowe's. $400 for the single stage, but the two stage is a lot better, up around $800, if you can afford it. I have a Brand X that's run perfectly for over 10 years of home service, including a good bit of sanding. Both need 240V, but it's just a run of Romex from the panel. Wilson

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I have an Extreme Duty CH 6HP air compressor on wheels. I think it has a 30 gallon tank, cast iron pump. I recommend this unit. I attached a short extension to the oil drain port to make oil changes less messy. I like the portability of this air compressor--you never know when that can be a handy feature.
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