Air Compressor Water Sep Advice

Please excuse my ignorance about air compressors.
After doing some reading, I realize that my 3.5 HP 20 Gal. compressor is below, if not seriously below, marginal for any real spraying operations. Given that, I'd still like to experiment a bit with some HVLP applications. I also realize that I should have added some sort of water seperator when I first purchased it, but instead I just drain the tank after each use.
Looking through the Grizzly catalog (it happened to be handy on my desk) there are various types/stages etc. of these seperators ($12.00-$399.00) and I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking at. What should I be looking for? Where do they attach ?
Thanks.
jim in orlando
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Forget the 3.5hp and 20 gal tank. How many CFM and at what psi is what you need to know for HVLP. You also need to tell us if you are a hobbyist or a professional that does HVLP all the time. My 3.5 HP witha 20 gal tank works fine with a Sharpe Cobalt HVLP conversion gun. the compressor produces about 8CFM at 45psi. "It is a non bleeder gun." You just can't spray continuously for long periods of time. But most of us spray for 30 seconds and then stop to move or to adjust the position of the workpiece. The compressor can easily catch up in that time.
Len ---------
Jim Bailey wrote:

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On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 12:03:19 GMT, "Jim Bailey"

not entirely true. accuspray makes a gun for small compressors. model 19c, IIRC. it's a high end production gun with a price to match. I think they recommend 1-1/2 HP or better.
I have one and can recommend it highly.

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The water separator is based on pressure and cfm, so you need the specs from the compressor. Whatever you do, don't put it right at the compressor or it won't work well. You want to put it down line at least 10 feet so the air has time to cool a bit so the moisture will condense out. I bought a 25' roll of copper. I opened up the coil just a little to give good air movement around it. I connected one end to the compressor and the other to the separator. That way, I can put the separator near the compressor, yet there is 25' of line to allow the air to cool before it hits the separator.
Preston

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