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post #1 of 277 Old 05-01-2019, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Beefing up my air capacity?

Okay, so, question for you compressor-heads out there... I was pretty disappointed several years ago when I discovered that my 20 gallon Snap-On compressor wasn't going to have enough guts to be able to effectively power a blaster or a paint gun. However, when would I ever need to do anything like that? Well, the answer is, now... I need some more oomph in my air for being able to sandblast some parts. But 1) I can't afford a big new compressor, 2) I have no space or electrical for a big 80 gallon upright compressor.... So, here's my question.... My local Princess Auto has THIS:

https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...nk/A-p8661324e

So, I know its not the perfect solution for major amounts of air, but will something like this, hooked in line with my existing 20 gallon 4.5 CFM @90PSI compressor actually give me more CFM? Not sure I totally understand the capacity setups for compressors...

(besides the fact that a little unit like this could sit outside during the summers, when I can sandblast, and be safely tucked away during winters... Versus having to have an entire spot set aside for a big compressor that I can only use 4 months of the year).
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post #2 of 277 Old 05-01-2019, 03:04 PM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

No, as it's just a tank.

Effectively, it would be like putting the compressor from your 20 gal unit, onto a 40 gal tank.
It'll run your equipment longer, but then take longer to get back to working pressure.

I've got a IR SS5L5, 60 gal, 18 cfm @ 90 psi, and it would cycle regularly just painting a fender and a door. It does need 220V

I think you'll find using your setup to paint even a fender to be unacceptable, as you'll spray part of it, then have to stop and wait for the compressor to get it back up to working pressure, then spray some more, and that does not result in a good paint job... For sandblaster, it'll work, you just have to wait fairly often for the compressor.

If this is a one-off job, rent a larger compressor. If it's something you are going to do more of (particularly painting), then buy a larger compressor. a 60 gal upright is noticeably smaller than an 80 gal upright... make sure it can provide the cfm you need for spraying paint, as if it has less, it means you have to pause in the middle of painting... and you have the right power connection for it (or also plan for getting that power connection).
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post #3 of 277 Old 05-01-2019, 03:12 PM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

and either way, don't forget to drain water from the tanks periodically, especially after using them. If you get a 60 gal, also get a toggle style drain plug with a cable, so you can just walk up to it and pull the cord briefly to drain the water. They are only $10 or so, vs the slightly cheaper T-style drain that requires you to get on your hands and knees and get air/dirt/water sprayed in your face on the rare occasions that you remember to do it...

And if you don't think it's worthwhile, google "air compressor accidents", then click images. NSFW...
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post #4 of 277 Old 05-01-2019, 03:29 PM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

Sandblasting takes a ton of air. I did the extra tank thing years ago when I used to spray paint my cars. It worked pretty good for that, but sandblasting is another story. Luckily, we had a blast cabinet at work.

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post #5 of 277 Old 05-01-2019, 05:29 PM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

I bought a used 100 lb propane tank about 30 years ago cheap from a LP Company that I used for a storage tank. Worked real good but when doing something that required alot of air it was still hard for my compressor to keep up. I'd always have to stop and let both tanks fill up then continue on with my project.
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post #6 of 277 Old 05-01-2019, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

Well crud.... No 240 in my garage either.... Guess I talk to my neighbour the electrician, and check the couch cushions for small change....
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post #7 of 277 Old 05-02-2019, 12:11 AM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

7.3 CFM will operate two pot type paint guns at 40 PSI continuously. What was the problem with 18 CFM? To long a hose or to many air leaks?
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post #8 of 277 Old 05-02-2019, 02:17 AM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

I believe I'm the only one on this thread to mention an 18cfm compressor, and it works just fine for me. The O.P. has a much smaller compressor that only does 4.5 cfm.

And when my old 60 gal compressor got some pinholes in the bottom (thankfully, I noticed them right away and stopped using the compressor before something worse happened, and they were due to my having a cheap t-valve at the bottom that was a pain to use to drain water from the tank, so I didn't do it very often), I considered buying a used compressor, but realized there's no good way to know how well they've taken care of the tank, as you can't readily tell how rusted it is inside short of opening up the tank and shoving an inspection camera inside. So, I shopped around for a new compressor. I did buy a 80 gal vertical Sanborn unit, put in compressor oil, then ran it for the prescribed run-in time (30 minutes with the tank open I think the manual said), but the compressor died during the break in cycle. Then I exchanged it for the Ingersol Rand SS5L5, filled with oil, ran it through the break in cycle, and it works fine.

Course, a couple months later, I found a source for brand new 60 gal tanks (as the motor/compressor parts were from an IR setup, and worked just fine, and it would be way cheaper vs the whole new setup)...
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post #9 of 277 Old 05-02-2019, 06:44 AM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

I've run (2) 20gal 2hp air compressors in tandem before to keep up with my sandblaster and DA sander. Tied them together with a T- fitting. It worked fine except 1 compressor had a slightly lower unloader valve so the other one would run most of the time while the lower pressure one kicked its heels up--lazy POS.

One thing that will help is to turn down the air pressure to the tool. I think I'd have my regulator set as low as I could run my tool effectively. This give you more run time before the pump needs to kick in.

I eventually got sick of hearing my pumps run all the time and bought an electric orbital sander that would take my 6" sticky-back DA pad and use it instead of my DA. I rarely sandblast anything. If I did I'd rather have a blast cabinet to contain the media as it's such messy, hot, gritty work and my hood steams my glasses.

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post #10 of 277 Old 05-02-2019, 07:25 AM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

If cost is of concern, you can get by with another small compressor (~5cfm) on a separate 120V circuit. Tee the outputs together ands set the regulators below the lowest cut in pressure. Not perfect, but it will get the job done for less than $200 vs $700-$1000 for a tank + $ electrical work.
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post #11 of 277 Old 05-02-2019, 11:05 AM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

We burnt up a few 5 HP motors on a Curtis 80 gallon compressor we had at the junkyard,from using it to sandblast used parts..it would run constantly once you started blasting,and if you didn't stop every few minutes to let it catch up and stop,it would first pop the thermal overload on the motor,and eventually the windings started smoking,and that was it..

We had tried adding a second tank to the compressor--that only made it take longer for it to come back on again,it also made it run twice as long to build up to full pressure in both tanks...which eventually killed the motor..and the cost to run the compressor so much had our boss livid!..(never mind the fact we killed the motors on it!)..

One day a big load of industrial scrap came in,and in the load was one of those "tow behind" compressors,used for a jack hammer,to tear up asphalt streets..

It was ancient,had parts missing,and at first was seized up,but we got it freed up and running after some parts swapping,it had a Continental engine and the parts missing happened to be the same as a Continental we had in an old Kaiser..

Once we had that thing operating,we could sandblast all day and the thing barely labored at all,a jack hammer probably uses 3 times as much CFM as a sandblaster..

It looked similar to this unit below..

At home,I have got electric tools to take the place of many of the "air hog" air tools..I got an electric orbital DA sander,and an electric impact gun,and use a 4" grinder with a cut off wheel instead of the air powered cut off tool,because I felt it was a waste of money paying to run the compressor so much,and wear it out,when a nickels worth of electricity will do the same job..
I only use the compressor mostly to blow up tires,spray paint,and when I need the air impact when the electric one isn't gutsy enough..

I did some work with a guy who had a tow behind air compressor,that used a 460 Ford engine as the air pump--it ran on 4 cylinders and the other 4 were for pumping air..that thing would run anything..we used it to sandblast some big beams in a warehouse that were scorched by a fire,I had to stand watch and keep adding oil to the engine,as it was pretty tired,and consumed a quart about every 20 minutes of run time!..it had special cylinder heads on one bank for the air compressor part..
I have seen a military unit similar to it at a local junkyard that has a 231 Buick V-6 engine..they were selling it for $300,it needed an engine,but they would include one with it from a car,all you had to do was swap the heads onto the car engine..
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post #12 of 277 Old 05-02-2019, 11:57 AM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

Tractor-Holic touched upon a possible solution for littletractorguy in that he doesn't have the 220V in his garage for a larger air compressor. That solution would be to purchase (or rent) a gasoline powered air compressor instead of a electric powered one. They are built to withstand the elements since many are mounted on service vehicles that are driven in all kinds of weather, so he could store it outside when he is not using it. Many contractors use the wheelbarrow style ones to power their air tools anywhere they go.

Princess Auto has a wheelbarrow gas powered air compressor that puts out 18 CFM @ 90 psi. That should handle sandblasting and other.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...or/A-p8474488e
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post #13 of 277 Old 05-02-2019, 01:57 PM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

Check out these guys. They've got a compressor for everything and they're so quiet you won't believe it!

https://www.californiaairtools.com/c...iAAEgK8_vD_BwE

I bought this one. https://www.californiaairtools.com/u...rs/cat-4620ac/

While I don't sand blast I have painted with a HVLP spray gun with a 1.4mm nozzle all day long. I also run impact wrenches and air tools often.

California Air Tools has a lot of compressors available, I'm sure you could find one suitable for sand blasting.

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post #14 of 277 Old 05-02-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

Well, I guess the one option would be for me to get the Princess Auto blasting cabinet I put together, like, 4 years ago back out of storage and just try the thing out with my current compressor setup and the teeny tiny hand blaster I bought (on special from Princess Auto, an equal number of years ago). At least then I wouldn't have to wear the blasting hood I bought from Princess Auto 2 years ago when it was on special... Seeing a bit of a pattern here maybe?

That California Air Tools compressor looks like an awesome (and quiet) piece of hardware... AND its even on sale on their website right now! Except, of course, i can't get it here from there...

So I'm assuming then, that what they did was put a bigger pump on a smaller set of tanks... If I'm understanding what people are saying about compressors...

That tee-ing together thing sounds intriguing, although I would imagine it would need to be two similar compressors... I couldn't do that with my 2 gallon Craftsman and my 20 gallon Snap-on and have it make any difference, right?
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post #15 of 277 Old 05-02-2019, 03:14 PM
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Re: Beefing up my air capacity?

What California Air Tools did was put a double cylinder air pump instead of the usual single cylinder one and used a slower quieter motor. Their tanks are usually smaller, also. I have the 10020 model that puts out 4.5 CFM @ 90 psi and added a 10 gallon tank to the 20 gallon that came with it. I also put it into a sound reducing cabinet and you hardly even know it's on, just a very low hum, even standing right next to it.

Teeing your 2 gallon to a 20 gallon would hardly make any difference, least one you could notice.

Different air tools require different CFM to operate correctly. When you have smaller air compressors, you have to size the air tools accordingly.
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