Advice needed about buying air compressor

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by clovis, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    My sister is wanting to buy my dad an air compressor for Father's Day. He deserves such a nice gift since he completely remodled a 2600 sf house my sister bought, at no charge to her.

    He would like a compressor that he could:

    Use to paint a barn.
    Air up tires.
    Use in nailing new siding to one face of a 24x 32' barn.
    Possibly paint an old junky car.
    Make projects using a brad nailer.
    Put new trim in his house.

    There are so many types of compressors....about a $250 budget.

    What do we look for? Single tank or double tank? Brand? What do you think?
    clove
     
  2. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............To perform the array of tasks that were mentioned you really need to increase your budget to about 375. Get him a compressor with a 5 horse electricial motor turning a compressor with a FAN BELT. They are selling these airless compressors with the motor and compressor as one unit. They will NOT last as long as the old, traditional, motor<<>>compressor that requires a belt. Check at both home Depot and Lowes as they have the model that you should get your father............fordy.... :eek: :)
     

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If he is going to use it in several locations like it sounds in your post he'll need one with wheels so he can move it. It wouldn't need a huge air tank. Some of the ones with more than a couple horse power are made to run on 220 electric. That's good if you have 220 curent and a plug in where ever he wants to use it. Otherwise 110 is easier to plug into. Some extension hoses are cheap and if they are don't count on any prolonged usage out of them. He might be better satisfied if you herded him into the store and let him pick what he wants. As we get older being pleased is better than being surprised.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Before returning to the farm I was employed by the large air compressor manufacturer that got its start in the late 1800's. Fordy is correct, as usual, with his recommendation for a belt driven unit. The direct drive compressors are junk. With use, the compressor will knock the bearings out of the motor. Additionally, select a lubricated compressor and use synthetic oil in the unit. The rings will fail in the non lube units with prolonged use. Now, as for the size, all the major manufacturers lie about the horsepower of the units. It is more of a white lie but still a lie. The motors on the units will have the frame size to end in SP. That means that if needed for a VERY short time the motors could delivery that HP. Do not use the HP rating to determine what you are getting! Instead go by the CFM. Any decent compressor can make 4 CFM per horsepower. For the uses you listed you need to get a 6 CFM air compressor. That will give you some reserve and still meet your needs as listed. If you have a choice buy a cast iron compressor and get the largest tank (ASAE rated if possible) for the money that is available. Most of the small compressors are a 80/20 duty cycle and need to run unloaded part of the time in order to cool. The use of the synthetic oil will avoid the carbon buildup on the valves in a hot circumstance and moisture will not combine with the oil on a humid day. :)
     
  5. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    Clovis,

    I've worked construction for years, including a wide array of air tools. ALL of the tasks you specified can be easily handled by a Campbell Housefeld unit. After someone else decided they needed my Monkey Wards compressor I bought the CH unit at Home Depot. Price about $300 and worth every penny. Mine gets used near daily mainly for nailers, pneumatic caulking jobs, air where needed (like tires). Yes I have painted with it and it is up to the task.

    Mine lacks wheels for easy transport, but there are many solutions to that. The wheelbarrow works just fine. And I have also used both a hand truck and a dolly to move it. Weighs in around 100 lbs or so so tough to carry to the back of the house...especially for us old guys with a sore back.

    I'm in the People's Republic of CA so your prices may be a bit different, but I can say with comfort that the CH unit will meet your needs and is still a good quality domestic tool.

    bearkiller
     
  6. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    You might also take a look at Sears if you have one in your area. They have a wide range of compressors both of the Craftsman brand as well as Dewalt and other brands and the prices fairly good too.
    Sears Compressors

    HTH
    Dave
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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  8. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The problem area's are with painting. for the siding,air up and brad nailer work any small take based compressor will work. When you start putting paiting in the mix then you make a major change to your needs. The paint a barn should be dropped. It would be easier to go rent a paint sprayer system to paid a barn.
    THe paint a car is doable but your going to need to but up your budget a bit and move to a larger capacity tank.

     
  9. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    If your father is in good shape and dosent mind fixing things go with the belt drive. If he wants a good all around light weight compressor thats going to last with no maintaince go with the oiless. My oil leaking monster went to the rummage sale for some poor sucker to lug around. Just my .02 my airless is 20+ years old and only had to replace the cord with a longer one.

    mikell
     
  10. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    We got a Campell Hausfield Compressor, it does about everything, even the "high CFM" tools like Impact wrenches and Dual orbital sanders.

    it is the "Farmhand" model, other than the pretty picture of a guy plowing behind a horse on the tank, it has a 5 HP 110v motor@15amp, 8.5cfm continuous running, Cast Iron Air Pump(quieter than aluminum) 20 gallon tank.

    "You won't Find these at Wal-Mart" :haha: I guess they takeup too much shelve space?
     
  11. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Wow.
    Thank you for your responses.

    The biggest problem in buying him a compressor is that he will keep whatever she buys him....even if she overpaid by $100 and the compressor didn't even come close to matching his needs. He would never except a gift of cash, either.

    So, in a nut shell, it has been hard to figure out what to get.

    At first, I liked a Bostich with a brad nailer that Menards had for $259, but it is made in Mexico.

    My next favorite was a Porter Cable with two small tanks....seems like a well built compressor for $227, at least assembled in the US.

    The CH compressors seemed to give more bang for the buck, but I was uncertain of the quality and longevity of the machines...maybe I will take another look.

    If nothing else, I will print this page and take it to the stores with me.

    Again Thank YOU!!!!!!
     
  12. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    "The CH compressors seemed to give more bang for the buck, but I was uncertain of the quality and longevity of the machines...maybe I will take another look."

    Beware with the Campel Hausfeld compressors, they have a design flaw in the Pressure switch that turns "on" the compressor. What we do is Plug it in the wall and unplug it when were not using it, don't use the "on-off" switch on the pressure switch, they are weak and go bad
     
  13. brosil

    brosil Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you're going to paint a barn or other large building, buy or rent an airless sprayer. I did my barn in 4 hrs flat. It's on my list of things to buy.
    I bought this big 220v compressor with the intention of sandblasting with it. It's too small for meaningful sandblasting and non portable so it's of limited use for everything else. Think portable, it's more useful.