Compressor Recommendations

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I've got a friend who wants to upgrade his compressor but doesn't have a lot of space for a large 60-80 gallon tank. So far he's been using a little portable compressor which works fine for nailers, etc but he wants to get into sprayed finishes and we all know that once you have a new toy, you're going to find uses for it and air tools are probably in the pipe somewhere down the line.
What would everyone say is the minimum tank size for moderate use of relatively high capacity air-using tools like sprayers and perhaps air sanders? I doubt he'll be using it every day or even for long when he does, but I don't want to recommend something and have him run out of air in the middle of a job either.
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For those tools, you want at least a 60-80 gallon compressor, or a custom built smaller tank with the pump and motor for a 60-80 gallon tank compressor.
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On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 12:58:56 GMT, "Leon"

I can guarantee you that a 20 gallon tank stock compressor will not keep up with a da sander when you are working on your car. It can be marginal when spraying the same car.
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On Sep 13, 5:51 am, Brian Henderson

Well, what are his space limitations? My 60 gallon vertical tank model actually has a smaller footprint than a 25 gallon model I had in the past. It won't fit under a table or bench though!
That said, a higher horsepower or two-stage compressor with a smaller tank (say, 20 - 30 gallons) can supply a lot more CFM than a typical consumer unit with the same tank and exagerated HP. They are much more expensive and not usually available at consumer stores. You'll have to go to an industrial supplier like Grainger or similar. What they lack in tank size they make up for in pump capacity and duty cycle.
Tom
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First off, this is one of the more common questions on this newsgroup. DAGS and you will find a ton of valuable information. Like all good information, it takes a lot to accumulate it and to address all aspects of the associated questions, so there is no shortcut to the answers. You and your friend really need to dig in for a good research and education initiative.
To your specific questions - it can't be done. It should occur to one that universal tools never really exist, and better - once we've found something that meets all of our defined needs, we'll find new needs.
With respect to the tools you mentioned, it's not about tank size, it's about air delivery. He will need 12-15 SCFM of delivery, depending on the quality of the tools he purchases. This type of delivery typically comes with 60-80 gallon tank sizes - though... and this is important.. by no means does 60-80 gallons of tank imply compressor delivery capacities required for these tools. It just is not about tank size.
Get busy working your way through the archives of this group and you will be richly rewarded.
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-Mike-
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On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 11:02:39 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

See, that's the problem. Myself, I have a nice 80-gallon high end system but I have room for it. He has a much smaller shop and his compressor needs to fit under his bench or he just doesn't have room for it at all. He's not going to be using it all that much, mostly for small projects, he's certainly not going to be painting a car but if I go back to him and tell him he needs a 2-stage 80 gallon compressor, that will be the end of that, there simply isn't room in either the shop or the budget for it and, at least shop-wise, never will be.
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wrote:

No matter Brian - his compressor needs are going to be dictated by the tools he wants to use. The tools he uses will be dictated by the compressor he purchases.
From some of the things I've posted in the past... I have painted many cars using standard guns, with an old Craftsman 33 Gal, 9 SCFM compressor. The paint jobs came out just fine. Many of today's HVLP guns would not like that compressor. As well, you can always cheat the requirements a little bit. I could never run a DA with that compressor, no matter how hard I tried though. For him to spray furniture finishes, he might be OK with that compressor - depending on the gun. He'll never get performance out of a good air sander though. What are the trade off's he's willing to make? The one underlying truth is that he won't find some miracle compressor out there that meets all of his requirements.
Have him research the archives, and rethink his requirements. After-all, he can't be faulted for having unrealistic expectations before he becomes educated. If he isn't interested in investing that much effort, well then he should probably just buy whatever looks prettiest to him.
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Sadly, not everyone can afford or has space for all the tools they may want or need. That is just the way it is.
-Jack http://zo-d.com/stuff
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Isn't that exactly where we all were at one time or another. No matter how big or small we are, there was always some tool that was out of reach. That's part of what makes finally getting some long sought after addition such a treat.
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*snip*

If I had a shop with one of every tool in the world, I'd probably still use a tool not intended for the job because the one intended for the job would be somewhere else! (Don't say organize the shop, because all the saws would be together, all the planes would be together, etc. and then they'd still be somewhere else!)
Puckdropper
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wrote:

True, but just because one cannot fit the creme de la creme of tools all the time shouldn't mean one cannot do anything and that seem to be all too often what's recommended.
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That's why I suggest he review the archives Brian. Start with the one piece of knowledge that it's all about SCFM, spend the rest of the weekend reviewing what has been posted over the past year or so, and he'll be ready to ask a couple of final questions, and buy a compressor. The whole point of him coming up to speed a bit is to enable him to define his needs better. It's easy after that.
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On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 15:43:40 GMT, Brian Henderson

Be aware that most all compressors can have the compressor separated from the tank, and the regulator separated from the compressor. The tank can be hidden anywhere, with a remote water drain added. The "head unit" can be placed near AC power and the regulator in an area accessible for pressure setting.
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wrote:

That's all well and good if you've got a place for a large tank, he simply doesn't. He's got to be able to move all of his tools around so that cars can park in the garage and most large tanks aren't portable, they need to be bolted down. His only non-portable "tool" is his workbench and his only empty space for a compressor happens to be under it.
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On Sat, 15 Sep 2007 17:02:50 GMT, Brian Henderson

How's the overhead look?
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On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 10:51:49 GMT, Brian Henderson

I have a CH extreme-duty 25-gallon tank and it has enough air for all my needs. It is on wheels but I'm sure a larger upright (less mobile) tank will take up less floor space. In general, avoid oil less compressors.
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Brian,

According to an article in FWW of August 2003, the author recommended a mid-range compressor for the average woodworker. Said it would be fine for sanding, drilling, etc. However, there is a range of prices from $500 - 1900 depending if the compressor is 100% duty (on all the time) to 50% (only half time). No brand recommandations given, but shown in the article were Campbell Hausfeld, Ingosoll Rand, and Porter Cable.
About a 60gal tank is were these compressor are. The more expensive (I-R) hold 80gal.
Good luck!
MJ Wallace
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Brian wrote:

> relatively high capacity air-using tools like sprayers and perhaps air

Anything smaller than a 5HP, dual stage compressor with a 80 gal tank, and you are kidding yourself.
And no, that is not big enough to do sand blasting.
Lew
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i know a bunch of people who have 30 gallon compressors who sandblast on glass. not well, but it's possible. i have a 3hp 60 gallon single stage continuous duty i-r compressor, and i sand blast for hours using it.
regards, charlie http://glassartists.org/chaniarts
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Yeahbut a compressor that is truly capable of sandblasting will do in minutes what smaller ones do in hours...
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