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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to add this capability to my bag of tricks and since my 20 year old 2 gallon compressor ate itself yesterday, I thought this would be a good time to look at getting one hefty enough to run a spray gun and a buffing pad. Cost is of course a factor. So what is needed to run a spray gun or a buffing pad? In terms of horsepower, size of tank, cfm?
 

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You need to start at the other end of the equation, and determine the pressure and cubic feet of air per minute needed by the most air intensive tool you will be using. All manufacturers include that information with the tool.

Look for a compressor that provides the pressure and cubic feet required.

Then figure that all air compressors are now made in China, no matter the brand.

Determine your power source, 120 or 240 VAC, or fueled engine.

An oil filled crankcase compressor run by a belt will be much more reliable and durable than the direct drive units. But they require good air and moisture filtering when used for automotive finishes, and they are heavy.

Tank size is not as important as the compressor rating. Larger tanks take more maintenance time and must be frequently drained of accumulated moisture.

Once you have a target unit in mind, take a look at craigslist. I spied an Industrial Air 90 PSI @ 10.3 CFM near new unit for $425 today. A fraction of the new cost, and it is a real industrial rated unit at the price of a far lesser capacity and quality Harbor Freight unit.
 

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If you're running an air orbital (DA), they flat out will tag any of the smaller compressors. I have a 65 gallon 6.5 horse power single stage that will run an orbital (DA) all day long. I would absolutely not go oil less unless you are spending some serious money. Names such as Craftsman are nothing more than a plastic piston inside a plastic jug. As RC pointed out, go with a double cylinder single stage cast iron cylinder compressor that uses oil. Depending on what you are painting, you might look in to a HVLP spray gun. First time I ever used one, I was skeptical, but I have to admit that they actually do a great job. You can get by easily with a single stage compressor.
 

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Adding more here, it's like with anything else, I've run a cap sprayer off of my 28 year old 1 hp 2 gallon Italian made Bostitch compressor, but it doesn't last long. Personally, I know that they make some great compressors these days and any of the upright compressors like you see at Home Depot or Napa in the 4 to 5 hp range, would suite you just fine. Check out the CFMs as RC mentions. Go for the most CFMs, because waiting for your machine to recharge can be agony! I myself would be inclined to scour craigslist in search of an older compressor. In my area, I see them all the time for cheap. Sure, they might be only a 20 gallon tank on wheels, but it's the pump and motor that matters, given that the tank isn't about to rust through. What sort of paint gear you have? I have a couple older cap sprayers that do everything I need to address.
 

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You'll also need a good regulator to get the outlet pressure to around 40 PSI.
Then,a drier/oil separator to keep the air clean of water and oil !
The newest guns,are LVLP(Low Volume,LOW PRESSURE),and operate at around 15-20PSI,with a fine mist.
Expensive , though.
How are you,at welding?
I built my compressor from a 100# LP gas tank.
Got the pump,and engine from Harbor Freight.
I have about $250 into it,and it keeps up with all my air tools ,very nicely.
 

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Good point on the regulator John. My two guns have them built in to them so I can control the air ahead of the trigger. Only tool I added a regulator to was my drywall texture gun. Everything else I have doesn't require lower pressure.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks jhngardner and Tractor Beam for your thoughts. Not sure I want to get into the painting at this time, but my 20 yr old Makata (sp)2 gallon bit the dust Monday running my impact wrench and just don't want to replace it with something that won't run a paint gun or dl sander. Harbor Freight has a sidewalk sale this weekend so I want to see if I can pick up something that will serve me.
Tire Automotive tire Wheel Automotive lighting Motor vehicle

Painter did a great job on the right fender, however left one has an orange peel and thin paint on the top radius.....he will have to redo this.
 

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Don't forget about the pawn shops.. When I was lookin for my tiller, I spied about 10 big air compressors in the back {60-80 gal}... & when I asked about them, they said about 250.00-300.00 for any one you choose.. at THAT PRICE I'd get 2.!! Lol
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks thepumpguysc. Wish I had thought of the pawn shops before I bought one. Yesterday after researching lvlp spray outfits and dl sanders, I ordered a Porter Cable 20 gal vertical. I believe I may wait for it on some occasions, but for panel size work, I think it will do the job. I have had good luck and decent prices with Porter Cable in the past 2 years. To be honest, this week I am a bit weary of time spent on my knees at the rear of this tractor fussing with the fenders. Thinking of placing votives on the drawbar bracket and at least getting double use of my time spent there.
 

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I would like to add this capability to my bag of tricks and since my 20 year old 2 gallon compressor ate itself yesterday, I thought this would be a good time to look at getting one hefty enough to run a spray gun and a buffing pad. Cost is of course a factor. So what is needed to run a spray gun or a buffing pad? In terms of horsepower, size of tank, cfm?
this might seem as odd but I paint all my
tractors with a Wagner Power Painter using the tractor colors at Ace Hardware oil based. when I first tried I thought I had
made a large mistake as it looked terrible with the paint beaded up but it gradually flowed for a very smooth finish. I didn't need to buff or do any other thing after painting. I would suggest that you practice on some other metal as the painter needed some fine tuning
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, bstrang4 for your information. I do have an electric power sprayer that I use for latex opaque stain for the fence panels you see in the background of my avatar photo.
 
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