CatchemCaro

Air Compressor Questions.

22 posts in this topic

I am using my air brush a lot now and I'm weening myself off rattle cans. I bought one of those pancake air compressors from Sears. For those of you that have been at this air brushing for a while and that are doing a lot of painting, what compressor are you using and why? It seems as if this pancake compressor runs a lot. I'm assuming the Iwata compressor is going to be what most are using, I guess. Thanks

Rich

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hi. if you are painting a fair bit i highly recomend a oilsumped belt driven compresser. they live longer. you will always have enough air and are less noisy. my first compresser lasted 15 years with every day usage. presently we use a 7hp-60gallon tank compresser. sounds extreme,but we have a dedicated spray room and use air 10hours daily. even a good used compresser is a good buy. just change the oil 2 times yearly.

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hi. if you are painting a fair bit i highly recomend a oilsumped belt driven compresser. they live longer. you will always have enough air and are less noisy. my first compresser lasted 15 years with every day usage. presently we use a 7hp-60gallon tank compresser. sounds extreme,but we have a dedicated spray room and use air 10hours daily. even a good used compresser is a good buy. just change the oil 2 times yearly.

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I have been using the same compressor that I use for trim work it is a two gallon single oil less one that I bought from Tractor Supply. if you use it alot it will run alot. I set mine tank pressure at 100lbs and paint with between 10-20lbs.

Jeff

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Rich -all airbrushes are not the same when considering how much air it takes. For example gravity feed type typically uses less air than a gravity feed airbrush. Then add how much pressure is needed to get the paint to flow. Consider checking the specs on the airbrush you will use. Then look at the air flow spec of the compressor. If the compressor has a tank like some of the pancake type then the compressor run cycle time may be less. Depends on how much air you use. Something else to consider is the noise level of the compressor. Some types will run you out of the shop. Other types are not bad. Seen shops where the compressor is outside the room and air line is piped to the paint bench. If your worried about how hot the compressor gets and the life of the compressor consider adding a fan to blow across the compressor. Should extend the life of the compressor with heat buidup reduction. Just some ideas to consider.

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Something that hasn't been mentioned as to why your compressor is cycling (turning on and off) so much is the size of the air tank. A pancake compressor set to a shut off pressure of 100 psi will cycle more times than a compressor with a much larger air reservoir set to the same shut off pressure.

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I started with a pancake also and it was jus not feasible. It ran 24/7 while I painted and was just too much to handle. After some research I came to the conclusion that I wanted a compressor that had oil not one of these cheap chinese oiless compressors. Think about it... its an engine and without any lube it can only last soo long with the amount of friction there is. I looked on Craigslist for about a week and found a 20 or 25 gal one that was in decent shape. gave the guy $40 and have been using it for 3 years now and it still runs like a champ. If I were to do it again I would get a bigger tank but this one set at 35psi I can get maybe 5 mins of constant spraying before it spools back up (runs) for about 30 seconds. in actual spray time I would say I can spray 4 colors and wash out/backflush my AB before it has to run.

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I may be using the same $69 Sears 100 psi compressor as you. I formerly used a Badger airbrush compressor, one without an air reservoir that turned on when you hit the trigger. I called it the Bench Shaker. So the Sears 2 gal model is actually a step up because it sits on the garage floor, doesn't shake the bench, and doesn't pulse air like the Badger did. But yeah, it turns on too often and is loud. Next time around? Hopefully one with a bigger air tank, like 10-20 gal. I figure it would give lots more "brush time" between cycling and will still fit under the work bench. A remote 60 gal oil lubricated compressor? Ideal but pricey, and I have nowhere to put one.

Iwata airbrush compressors are expensive and I don't hear about a lot of hobby crankbait painters using them. It depends on your needs. If you must have something portable and want it as quiet as possible, it's a great option. But no compressor is "whisper quiet". For the bucks, tool compressors can't be beat where noise and size are not issues.

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If your interested in buying an oiled compressor that builds up to 115 psi tank pressure with a regulator mounted to the compressor PM me and I'll dig out the purchase info. It also has a 5 year warranty and cost somewhere around $135.

Ben

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I use an oil less air compressor that I bought at harbor freight. The compressor works alright but I will get one with a bigger tank next time. This compressor is still working alright after about 4 months of use but it sounds like it may go out sometime in the next few months. Good thing I got the 1 year warranty on it. If you get a oiled compressor just remember you need a filter on it to filter out any dirt and oil.

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Thanks guys for the good feed back. I think I'm going to get a longer hose and make a nice little box to place it just out side of my shop. I have notced also that it's a bitch trying to find the correct adapter to go from 1/4 NPT to the little 1/8 air brush hose. Thanks again

Rich

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Ok I must have the worst luck in the world. I just finished reading this and my comp broke. Would anyone no were I can get the parts to fix mine it's a salon air? I have a warranty and will have a new one in a week but would like to have a back up.

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I would also like to know if it's possible to use a nailer comp? I have a porter cable 6 gal 150 psi. How would you set it up for an airbrush etc? Thanks

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I would also like to know if it's possible to use a nailer comp? I have a porter cable 6 gal 150 psi. How would you set it up for an airbrush etc? Thanks

All you need is a moisture filter and a regulator. The moisture filter should be placed as close to where your painting as possible. I have the filter and regulator positioned on my work bench and they are both accessible from a seated position. If you have your moisture filter located on your compressor it still gives condensation a chance to form in the air hose. Especially if your using a long hose and you definitely need clean dry air to run your brush or you take a chance on ruining your paint jobs. You will also find it more convenient to have your regulator placed where you can reach it from where you paint. While this is not necessary it's a lot less trouble than having to get up and go to where your compressor is to change air pressure and it's necessary to lower the air pressure when painting any type of detail work.

Ben

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Ok can I buy all the parts at the local hardware? And should I use a heavy hose or will standard brush hose work ?

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Ok can I buy all the parts at the local hardware? And should I use a heavy hose or will standard brush hose work ?

The standard air hose is fine and you should be able to buy the fittings at your local hardware store or anywhere that sells compressor supplies such as air hose, etc. If you have an Auto Parts store that supplies body repair shops they probably have them as well.

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you guys are awesome thanks for all the info. 4 hardware store's and 2 hrs later I have a way better air supply. So sweet. thanks

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In the past six months I have been having a lot of problems with clear coats and 'fisheyes'- No 1 suspect was the sand paper I was using, then the wet and dry ( silicone/ and styrates). I never thought of the compressor as the air has been pretty dry here for the last 10 years, but it has been raining here since Spring (September 2010) so in frustration I decided to drain the compressor. I have been using a small FleaBay airbrush compressor for a couple of years now with no problems, BUT--- I found the air tank, which would only hold about 3 pints of air, was probably 30% water (black water). I had to flush everything out, including the hoses, terrible mess- so take it from Ben's book , fit a water filter, I'm going to, it cost me hours of cursing with clear coats.

KC Dano has a good recipe for one here somewhere.

Pete

Edited by hazmail

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I never thought of the compressor as the air has been pretty dry here for the last 10 years, but it has been raining here since Spring (September 2010) so in frustration I decided to drain the compressor. I have been using a small FleaBay airbrush compressor for a couple of years now with no problems, BUT--- I found the air tank, which would only hold about 3 pints of air, was probably 30% water (black water). I had to flush everything out, including the hoses, terrible mess- so take it from Ben's book , fit a water filter, I'm going to, it cost me hours of cursing with clear coats.

KC Dano has a good recipe for one here somewhere.

Pete, same happened to my compressor. I decided to drain the compressor, expecting half a cup. Must have been about 3 or 4 pints of black sludge. I should have known better, as the humidity never drops below 70 and is usually closer to the 90's. Lesson learned.

Dave

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Pete, same happened to my compressor. I decided to drain the compressor, expecting half a cup. Must have been about 3 or 4 pints of black sludge. I should have known better, as the humidity never drops below 70 and is usually closer to the 90's. Lesson learned.

Dave

Pete and Dave,

I have been using the same Sears compressor for over 40 years in my garage shop.

I was taught early on to pour some compressor oil into the tank and slosh it around to coat the inside of the tank and prevent rust. Then I drained the oil out (I saved it to use again) and hooked up the compressor. It's been running ever since, although I don't use it as much as I used to. It has a 30 gallon tank, so it doesn't cycle often when I'm painting.

Even if you've already got some black water, which means rust, you can still drain the tank, let it dry, and add enough oil to coat the insides as a rust protector.

I've bought a lot of compressors for work over the years, and have done the same thing to all of them. I've never had a tank rust out. I have had motors die and compressors die, but not tanks.

Since air nailers and pnuematic tools use oil as a lubricant, and it's typically added through the intake nipple before the hose is attached, any oil that might be included in the air from the tank was never a worry for me, but I use a separater for my air brush lines now that I'm an artist. Hahaha

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