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  • Compressor Recommendation

    I am new to woodworking and I have two pancake compressors right now (the Porter Cable that came with the Finish and Brad Nailers and a Craftsman Professional I got off of Craigslist for $70 that is 3 HP and 4 gallons [8 CFM @ 40psi on that one]).

    My question is I would like to use a gravity feed sprayer for latex paint and finish work (polyurethane, stain, etc.) what kind of setup do you recommend? it seems like all the HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) gravity feed guns require 8.5 CFM and I can't find a compressor that meets that. Even the big ones seem to top out at 7.5 or 8 CFM.

    Is my higher CFM pancake compressor good enough for now? I don't want to spend $800 on a huge tank (don't have the room or need it) but would be interested in a small roll around like the Porter Cable C3151 or Ridgid OF45150 or Ridgid OL50135.

    I spoke with a repair center person and they recommended staying away from Ridgid oil compressors. The oil-less are made by Cambell Hausfeld and easier to get replacement parts for.

    Sorry for the long winded post but I figured I'd put out as much info as possible.

  • #2
    Pancake Compressors

    Unless you are planning on running 3" nailers or multiple guns constantly at the same time, there is no need to spend the additional money. I have had a PC pancake for over a year, and it has never let me down. It depends on what you need now, and also what your future needs may be. If you just need to get from point A to point B on time and safely, a stock Chevy is fine. I your future needs include running Daytona, then you have a decission to make.
    Never use your thumb to check the sharpness of a spinning blade

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    • #3
      As for the compressor SCFM, you seem to be keying on the SCFM at 90 PSI. It will be more at 40 PSI which should be all you need for the HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure).
      The Campbell-Hausfeld compressor I have is only rated at 6.8 SCFM at 90 psi, but I was able to spray the outside of a 1800 SF house with a conventional (Binks Model 7) spray gun without any problem. It does have a 26 gal tank though, which helped. The key point is to use larger (3/8"ID ) air hose. 1/4" will not give you the volume of air you need. (You can probably get by with a short 8' pigtail of 1/4" hose at the spray gun if you need the flexibility, tho )
      Maybe some of the compressors you ruled out will meet the 8.5 SCFM at 40 psi. A larger tank will let you get by with a little less SCFM,. Also, the 8.5 SCFM is for continuous spraying. If you are doing small jobs (staining one piece of furniture or spraying a cabinet) you shouldn't need the continous volume you would need for spraying a room or a car, etc.
      Please do yourself a favor and get an organic vapor respirator (one with activated charcoal filters as opposed to just a dust mask), even if you're spraying latex or water base.
      Hope this helps
      Practicing at practical wood working

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      • #4
        Thanks Gofor

        Originally posted by Gofor
        As for the compressor SCFM, you seem to be keying on the SCFM at 90 PSI. It will be more at 40 PSI which should be all you need for the HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure).
        The Campbell-Hausfeld compressor I have is only rated at 6.8 SCFM at 90 psi, but I was able to spray the outside of a 1800 SF house with a conventional (Binks Model 7) spray gun without any problem. It does have a 26 gal tank though, which helped. The key point is to use larger (3/8"ID ) air hose. 1/4" will not give you the volume of air you need. (You can probably get by with a short 8' pigtail of 1/4" hose at the spray gun if you need the flexibility, tho )
        Maybe some of the compressors you ruled out will meet the 8.5 SCFM at 40 psi. A larger tank will let you get by with a little less SCFM,. Also, the 8.5 SCFM is for continuous spraying. If you are doing small jobs (staining one piece of furniture or spraying a cabinet) you shouldn't need the continous volume you would need for spraying a room or a car, etc.
        Please do yourself a favor and get an organic vapor respirator (one with activated charcoal filters as opposed to just a dust mask), even if you're spraying latex or water base.
        Hope this helps
        Thanks for the reply, my little pancake gets 8 SCFM at 40psi, but I called Ridgid and they did not recommend their compressors for painting b/c the are only a 50% duty cycle unit. They said I need a 100% duty cycle compressor but I can't seem to find one that isn't a huge stand up one.

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