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Air Compressor Woes

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by 62CheepJeep, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. Feb 17, 2019
    62CheepJeep

    62CheepJeep Member

    Spartanburg SC
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    Sep 10, 2018
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    i have a 20 year old Craftsman Air compressor and I fear it is time to replace it. I am building a farm house table and bench for a coworker and came time to sand. I did the bulk of it with a 3x21 HF belt sander but for the finish sanding I am trying to use an orbital air sander but the compressor can’ seem to keep up. It is a 6hp 30 gallon model I bought new in 1999. It has seen minimal use in the 20yrs I’ve had it. I pulled the bottom plug and blew the tank out, made no change. I guess I will buy an electric orbital sander.

    Any suggestions on what I could do to improve the compressor, I was hoping to use it to paint Willard soon but I fear it won’t handle it since it cannot keep up with the sander.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  2. Feb 17, 2019
    garage gnome

    garage gnome Rust polisher Sponsor

    Western MA
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    What brand is it? Some can be rebuilt, others, just throw out. You could also retro fit another pump on.
     
  3. Feb 17, 2019
    62CheepJeep

    62CheepJeep Member

    Spartanburg SC
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    Craftsman(edited original post) thanks Garage Gnome :beer:
     
  4. Feb 17, 2019
    PeteL

    PeteL Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    You could easily add a second compressor tee'ed into the same line. I have a stationary unit and can boost it with a small portable when needed. Having two different size units gives me more options for other uses too.

    Or add a supplemental storage tank, tee'ed in, which would allow longer cycle times between work and re-fill. I re-purposed a 100# LP tank for use with high-consumption tools.
     
    47v6 likes this.
  5. Feb 17, 2019
    62CheepJeep

    62CheepJeep Member

    Spartanburg SC
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    I wondered about this last night. There are a lot of small compressors for sale locally. I think I will try this route. Thanks
     
  6. Feb 17, 2019
    PeteL

    PeteL Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    You may need to use them on separate electric circuits, to handle the load.
     
  7. Feb 17, 2019
    62CheepJeep

    62CheepJeep Member

    Spartanburg SC
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    It is currently wired into a single 20amp circuit, outlet to breaker panel. Will this handle he load of two compressors?
     
  8. Feb 17, 2019
    PeteL

    PeteL Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    With a 6 HP unit? I am amazed that you can run even that on 20amps. Must be those notorious "Sears" horses.

    I assume it is 220 volts, but a smaller portable would most likely be 110volt, and need a different circuit anyway.
     
  9. Feb 17, 2019
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! Sponsor

    Washington DC.
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    I would stay away from the "oil less" models. I have had poor results with them, tripping breakers, unloader valves not working correctly etc... I have a 3 HP 220V single stage HF model with a 60 gallon tank and it works continuously for sanding or shooting paint. Had it for about 13 years.. Its very similar to the Husky brands or similar. Its still not enough air volume to run that stuff really.
     
    Dave Deyton and ITLKSEZ like this.
  10. Feb 17, 2019
    Focker

    Focker I Hate Being Bi-Polar, It's Awesome. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Tri-Cities WA
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    Too small for air sanders, sand blasters etc...It will never keep up.
     
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  11. Feb 17, 2019
    mortten

    mortten Active Member

    Peninsula, Ohio
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    And airless = LOUD.
     
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  12. Feb 17, 2019
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist Sponsor

    Albertville, AL
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    If you are painting with an HVLP gun it won’t require as much air and your compressor will likely do fine. Your 30 gallon compressor may be rated at 6hp but that was a huge over rating. Is this an oil less compressor?
    My 25 gallon is only 2.5hp. And yours at 30 gallon was never rated to run an orbital sander for anything but intermittent use, sanders require huge volumes of air.
     
  13. Feb 17, 2019
    62CheepJeep

    62CheepJeep Member

    Spartanburg SC
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    It is oil less, loud and runs on 110. I guess I will just buy an electric sander and hope the compressor will be up to painting. The paint gun is a cheopo from HF, Christmas gift from kids, and am grateful to have it. It says 1.4 com @30 psi so I guess the compressor should be good it is rated at 150 psi.

    I am not going for a show car finish, I just want to slow down the inevitable decay/rust. Lol.
     
  14. Feb 17, 2019
    62CheepJeep

    62CheepJeep Member

    Spartanburg SC
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    Thanks for all the help folks. I really appreciate the shared knowledge of this forum.
     
  15. Feb 17, 2019
    PeteL

    PeteL Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    Then it cannot possibly be 6 HP.

    That would be the maximum theoretical HP at 100% efficiency on 220 volts.
    Something that size would be more likely operated on 3-phase power.

    In real life a 110 circuit could support about 2 to 2-1/2 actual HP.
     
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  16. Feb 17, 2019
    62CheepJeep

    62CheepJeep Member

    Spartanburg SC
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    Not sure, maybe it is 2.5hp. The original plastic housing is long gone. Along with my hair and memory. :oops:
     
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  17. Feb 17, 2019
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
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    With air compressors, you definitely get what you pay for.
    In saved up and got a great deal on a new Quincy 5 hp 2 stage compressor. It has never failed to pump more air than I can consume with just me running tools.
    It is fully rebuild-able and I keep it drained and change the oil and filter regularly. I will plan to add an automatic drain and run the pipe around the garage.
    The only problem is that it takes most of the available power of the circuits in the garage. It pulls 50 amps on start up and 22 amps running.
    Sometimes if I finish painting or doing work and go into the house and forget to flip the off switch, I will be reminded when the lights flicker in the house.
    Since I work by myself, the power is not a big problem, and more power will be needed if more than one person works at the same time using welders and the compressor.
    Power upgrades are planned when I retire.
    Never have seen an oil less compressor run very long.

    I don't skimp on welder's and compressors. I like to buy a tool once and use it for a life time.
    The one I have had for 25 or more years:

    Quincy
    QT-5

    https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1...0i71j35i304i39j0i22i30j0i22i10i30.0qxg7mucdIU


    Dave
     
  18. Feb 17, 2019
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! Sponsor

    Washington DC.
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    Thats the one I want, but 50 amp startup!!!:shock:

    Might be better to get a 3 phase motor with a variable frequency drive for soft start option?
     
  19. Feb 17, 2019
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
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    Oct 12, 2003
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    I have mine on a 50 amp slow blow breaker. Has worked so far. I only have a 60 amp service.
    The paper work says 50 amp start up, but it could be less.
    Don't have 3 phase here so if I run any 3 phase equipment, a phase converter is the only choice.

    Went to a metal working meet in South Carolina and we blew a transformer and had to wait an hour for it
    to be replaced with a bigger one. In a shop with phase converters and lots of equipment but usually only one person
    working we had 15 to 20 people using the equipment and the transformer blew.

    Got to work within your budget and your available power. I'm sure I can upgrade my power, but it will be
    costly. Can't run the compressor, welders, grinders, plasma cutters at the same time,
    but so far it works for me. I installed the receptacles so that ones next to each other aren't
    on the same circuit to spread the current around.
    Regardless of how late or tired I am I always take a walk out to the shop an hour or so after
    I finish working to check for smoke after welding. Usually everything is fine but one time I saw
    saw wisp of smoke in the corner. A hot metal chip had started a rag on fire. It was slowly
    smoldering. I always check before closing up the garage.
    Dave
     
  20. Feb 17, 2019
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
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    195
    Had two Big Gardner Denver Compressors given to me and I tried to build my own.
    Buying all the parts got way to costly and rebuilding the valves, finding suitable tanks,
    got really complicated, really fast. Passed them on and bought the Quincy, I have never looked back.
    Got an old Craftsman 5Hp, with 220V and a 30 gal tank, no comparison. Always waiting on air to fill up and
    no where near the cfm for air tools.
    Dave
     

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