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Unread 03-13-2011, 09:54 PM   #1
leaf777
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What size air compressor should I buy?

Just starting to aquire some metal working tools, electrician buy trade, and recently bought a Lincoln 140 mig. Took my first trip to Impot City (HF) and picked up a really nice air grinder for $20. Most everything there seems to be crap, but their air tools seem heavy duty. After trying to use this new grinder with my craftman 1.5 hp 15 Gal. air compressor, I found it is not going to last here much longer. I seen a 60 Gal porter cable for 300 on clist, sounds like a good buy but is 60 Gal enough? I plan on buying a decent plasma torch in the next year.

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Unread 03-13-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
Pacfanweb
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It's not the tank size so much. Get a 2-stage compressor. Lots of single stage compressors either outright lie, or overstate their cfm output.

I have a Craftsman Professional with 60 gallon tank, and it claims it does like 11cfm. Right. Maybe for the first 5 seconds with the tank full.

Just running normal air tools makes it run all the time. If you fire up a DA sander or start running a grinder constantly, or using an air blower much, it just runs and runs. Can't keep up.

2-stage will do it, no sweat.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 06:43 AM   #3
JeeperDon
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I didn't bother with those sort of high consumption air tools. I use electric for that and am content with a decent smaller wet sump compressor (mine is a Lowe's 60 gal). Those air tools are also nuts on the ears.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 07:25 AM   #4
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Basic compressor buying advice= buy a bigger one then you think you will need. Like Pac said, a good 2-stage should do the trick. I am in the market to buy a plasma table and people have recommended to me to buy a "low RPM" 2-stage compressor. Supposively they are quieter and more efficient.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 09:58 AM   #5
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I started off buying a bunch of different air tools, and now use mostly electric for the same reasons JeeperDon mentioned. They have their place but for grinders, etc... electric seems to be far more functional for a standard garage.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 02:24 PM   #6
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What is a two stage compressor?
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Unread 03-14-2011, 03:09 PM   #7
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A two stage compressor has two different size pistons. The first piston is about the same size as any other compressor and works the same. After that piston has compressed it's cylinder of air the second, smaller piston takes that air and compresses it again. This is why 2-stage compressors usually run at 175 psi or more. One way of looking at it is that with each rpm the electric motor turns you're getting more air moved than what a single stage does with the same motor. Instead of getting 120 psi, normal from a single stage, you get 175 psi, normal with 2 stage, in the same amount of time. They are more efficeint.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 05:30 PM   #8
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My 220V 80 gal 7.5 hp two stage compressor is a blessing after using a 110v 22gal compressor for 24 years. I can run anything I have now without any issue.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
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Also consider the CFM. look at what your tools cfm consumption rates are and plan your compressor around what you will be using. This may be the more important thing to consider over HP and capacity.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 05:58 PM   #10
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yea I'm going to look for something 220v and around 60Gal. Thanks to all.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 06:58 PM   #11
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2 stage, remember
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Unread 03-15-2011, 07:34 PM   #12
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Too cut down on the noise from the compressor is to muffle the air intake or plume it outside of the garage. If doing the outside thing just make sure you point the intake down towards the ground or cover to where it does not get rain in it. That will make the running quitter on you ears.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 07:44 PM   #13
leaf777
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Whats the deal with the mouture coming out of my a/c? I was using this grinder and my hand was getting wet. I've seen filters of some sort???? I have a release valve in the bottom of the tank(homemade) that I drain and release presure everytime I finish with it, I would imagine if I didn't the tank would be 1/2 full of water by now????
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Unread 03-15-2011, 08:49 PM   #14
timatoe
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The water is condensation. You can get a fairly cheap filter set up to keep most of that from coming through the line.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 08:55 PM   #15
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You need to add an air dryer inline. Cold air holds alot of moisture Then when compressed gets hot and separates to a air ( which compresses) and water ( does not compress). Now you could add a cooling radiator between the compressor and the tank to cool the air with a catch tank for the water.
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A 89 yj with a 4.0 aw4 sye out of an 92xj. Now the hard part is done time to get it up in the air just a bit. Working on 8.8 with 3.73 and lsd for the rear. and new D30 hp with 3.73 .
For those who have not figured this out I'm old school but can handle the new too.
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im just cheap, and cheap makes you creative.
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