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Technical New shop air compressor

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RodRocket, Dec 1, 2022.

  1. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 17,012

    from oregon

    Bought my Campbell Hausfeld new in the late 80's from an actual compressor shop , has a cast iron pump not the aluminum ones like the big box stores have that seem to get bad reviews.
    Heed the mfg. recommendation on compressor oil.
    Also, if the compressor does not come with one, wire in a magnetic starter that matches the unit.
  2. 1952henry
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 1,045


    Keep in mind, a high spinning pump makes heat/water. That money saved gets spent on ways to keep water from the end user.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2022
  3. 34D212E8-E551-4847-9481-9E23A9DE489E_4_5005_c.jpeg I have a Quincey Ten H.P. single phase. I use the 10 for my sand blast cabinet and outside sand blaster also for painting cars. I bought from Northern Tool 15 tears ago for the shop and have a 50 year old 5H.P. Sailor-Bell that I use every day when I am in the garage at home. Good compressors and Dryers make you $ not cost you $. I have PTSD and need to keep busy to keep my mind occupied or it wanders off. I hid out in the back of a bodyshop for several years before I went to work for numerous dealerships till I retired and still work at my shop at home, building hotrods. 1965-66 Vietnam 1st. Can. 545 M.P. Co. attached to the 1st./7th.
    warbird1 and egads like this.
  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 32,120


    ^^^^ 1-shot mentioned somethign important. If you run a sand blaster it is exactly the same as chopping your air hose in two and letting it blow as far as the air compressor is concerned. Sand blast cabinets eat up more air than most compressors can keep up with.

    A new 5 hp 60 gallon Quincy runs right around 2K from most vendors. Quincy 2V41C60VC QT-54 Pro 5-HP 60-Gallon Two-Stage Air Compressor 230V 1-Phase (
    Northern tool is 100 more but that takes care of their free shipping. Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor — 5 HP, 230 Volt, 1 Phase, 60-Gallon Vertical, Model# 2V41C60VC | Northern Tool

    I've got a horizontal Develbiss that I put a 5 hp Baldor motor on and the compressor it self is so old I am not sure that I can get parts to rebuild it. The beast with it's 80 gallon tank takes up a lot of room though. It's getting it's own space outside of the shop when the shop gets done. I just flat don't like the noise a compressor makes inside the shop.
    egads and Tow Truck Tom like this.
  5. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 6,027

    from Berry, AL

    Why is that? Mine has only tripped twice in 25 years, both times it was because I had some shitty leaking lines causing it to run more than it should when I was using it. When it cooled down, it was fine. I think the reset saved the motor from overheating and burning up. It was my fault for not fixing the leaky lines, should have done it long before, but procrastinated on doing it until I just had to...
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 32,120


    I think he is implying wimpy little compressor motor like on my 8 gallon HF unit or my little Haitachi compressor for my nail guns.

    We had the breaker blow on the 80 gallon 5 hp 3 phase compressor in the school shop all too often when we were using the sand blast cabinet hard. Never a problem otherwise.

    On my little compressors I pop the breakers somewhat often but I finally figured that popping the built in breaker quite often means that your wiring to the compressor isn't up to the job. If it pops when you start it up your extension cord is too light weight. I had to warm the Hatachi up the other day so it wouldn't kick the breaker. Never a problem with it otherwise. I've overworked the HF 8 gallon with my portable Craftsman sand blaster a time or two even though I only do small pieces with it and not that often.
  7. ray
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 3,784

    from colorado

    i like my Eaton. i've had mine about 16 years now and it just keeps chuggin. big ol 2 stage cast iron pump thats repairable/rebuildable, legit 5 horse low speed motor, intercooler, aftercooler, all the stuff you want in a good compressor.
  8. ottoman
    Joined: May 4, 2008
    Posts: 338

    from Wisconsin

    I have a year old IR 60 gallon 5 hp. As mentioned above the compressor is made in India.. dont remember where the motor was made. Anyway the nuts holding the reed valves fell off and it stopped compressing a few weeks ago. I maybe could have gotten some warranty but I'm sick of dealing with warranty people so I bought the parts off E bay and repaired it myself. Hoping it treats me good now. But hey.. sticker says its proudly assembled in America
    51504bat likes this.
  9. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 3,597

    rusty valley

    I know most folks want to bring home the shiny new thing and just plug it in and be done. Being both a cheap ass, and a guy that like high quality stuff, I have always put my own together. This last one, which will be my last one, was built with a Curtis pump, already mounted on the base including the safety shield around the belts, in the dumpster at a job I was doing for the compressor company one day. They told me it was noisy and still under warranty, so they replaced it. Can I have it?...yup! So that pump, on top of an 80 gallon LP tank, 100 bucks, and a new 5 HP Balldor motor for about 350, some welding, some sand blasting, and some paint got me a commercial grade unit for about 600 bucks that will outlast me. And, I did not fix anything on the pump, sounds fine to me, and its been 6 years now. LP tanks are twice as thick, and pressure tested way higher than an air tank. My first compressor was made from a 100 pound LP tank, used commercial pump, built in about 1980 and it worked until the fire in 2010. C972F849-E7A3-4BF7-A685-91857073FF5B.jpeg
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2022
  10. Vics stuff
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 410

    Vics stuff

    I have a Ingersol Rand vertacle 60 gallon 22 year old compressor. It is rated 15CFM @ 175 PSI. Has been a great compressor. I paid $1,700.00 for it back then. I have just sold my place and the new owner wants the compressor . I am going to keep it and take it to my new place. I am afraid of buying a new one and it goes south in a couple of years .
    guthriesmith likes this.
  11. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 3,597

    rusty valley

    I also wanted to say, yes, those old Quincy's are good units, they even have pressure oiling. Look for one with an oil pressure gauge on it, rebuild it, and you are done for life
  12. A 2 B
    Joined: Dec 2, 2015
    Posts: 344

    A 2 B
    from SW Ontario

    My semi-long term experience with my current compressor has been exemplary. I bought it new in 1984. Manufactured in the US and sold under Compressor Catalogue No. 202H80-5. Because it was bought from an industrial supply company it only had their name on it, so I was never really clear on who actually built it. Never researched it. I have the original invoice but the ink is blurred and it was only one of several machines I bought that day. Best guess is it was about $1500. back then.
    It is a two stage , 80 gal with a 5 HP motor. It was the smallest compressor in their catalog. I have the paper work still with the specs. If I needed another today I would get one as close to these specs as possible. Here is a few pages if you would like to research the attributes that made this compressor one of the best shop buys I ever made.
    I bought separately, an Allen Bradley starter switch for it (a necessity). It has only had basic maintenance and oil & filter changes over the years. Compressor 1.jpg Compressor 2.jpg
  13. 1320 Fan
    Joined: Jan 6, 2009
    Posts: 138

    1320 Fan

    WHATEVER you get. Use a mag start switch, if necessary, add the automatic water drain.
  14. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 10,396


    This is most important for a compressor, HP means nothing. Only thing is you need to look at the FLA of the motor and make sure your wire and protection is up to snuff.
    I ran 10 gauge for my two stage compressor, old school 5HP motor. Even with the unloader valve, I peaked around 26/27 amps on my Sperry, before it settled down. This is single phase 220. Never tried loading a 7.5 HP motor though.
  15. louisb
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,126


    I bought a Quincy 2 stage 5 horse six years ago and love it. Not cheap but it will probably outlast me.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  16. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 8,001


    [QUOTE="rusty valley, post: 14693454, member: 256487"
    LP tanks are twice as thick, and pressure tested way higher than an air tank. My first compressor was made from a 100 pound LP tank, used commercial pump, built in about 1980 and it worked until the fire in 2010. View attachment 5585085 [/QUOTE]
    How do you get the smell out of an LP tank? A friend tried using one in series with his compressor for more air storage. The air coming out of it smelled like propane and stunk up the whole shop.
  17. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 8,001


    Another thought, If you can rebuild a motor you can rebuild a compressor. I have seen old big Quincy pumps go for scrap ($100 or less) that just needed to be rebuilt.
  18. andy dewitt
    Joined: Mar 25, 2017
    Posts: 24

    andy dewitt

    Saylor-Beale , factory is close to where I live ,myself and several friends have them and no complaints,low rpm( less noise), poppet valves not reed valves ,cast iron pumps ,80 gal tank with 5hp single phase motor is what we all bought, not cheap but no regrets ,never said I wish I would have.....
  19. bschwoeble
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 883


    Good info. I was told the same by an employee at TP Tools in Canfield, Ohio. He spent a lot of time explaining the different compressors to me. Again, you only get what you pay for.
  20. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 868


    I've had several over my many years, yeah I'm old. What I've learned the hard way is that most pumps fail due to broken reed valves. Some of those are cheap replacements, some aren't. Most 3450 motors are noisy, not the pump, not from pump RPM just motor noise.

    So my advice is to buy disk valves and a 184 frame motor. Both are signs of a quality machine. You won't find those on a new and inexpensive machine. So, you're constrained to used or expensive. Used works for me. The last one I bought, and probably my last one ever, is an 80 gal that was a single phase motor from a service station. Bad motor probably caused by low voltage from the grid.. Bought and installed a 3ph Baldor that I found used. It's been running for over 10 years with almost daily use. Sanders, sandblaster, air file, paint work etc. I think the pump is a Champion but I'm not at the shop to verify. IMO, brand isn't really important it is the two features mentioned earlier, you won't find them in a poorly designed product.
  21. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,071


    I would recommend a Champion over a Quincy. The Quincy can be a good compressor, if you opt for the higher priced pressure lubricated versions, but the consumer priced compressors aren’t built to the standards of the premium industrial compressors.

    IR is the same.

    Having said that, I, too am in my early seventies, and have come to realize that I really have no need for a compressor that will go 40000 hours before a rebuild is required. I think any name brand brand with something other than a light duty “compressor duty” rated motor would be fine for a home shop.

    I have two 80 gallon compressors (in different buildings), each made in the seventies. The Rand has a newer Marathon motor, and was previously in a wood shop that built displays for exhibitions at McCormick Place in Chicago, while the Champion was in a service station. Total investment for both is about $500. I have no reason to believe that both will need to be replaced before I am gone. If they do require replacement, I would buy a new Champion, just because I can, fully understand that something from a box store would probably suffice.
    seb fontana and lostone like this.
  22. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,548


    I've had my Ingersol-Rand for 35 years now in daily use with just regular maintenance. Great machine to say the least. Most likely, when it finally dies I'll replace it with a rotary. I used to have an additional 60 gal certified tank tied in at the back of the shop for extra storage. L&I tagged it on an inspection a few years ago and had me remove it. Worked really well that way though.
  23. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 3,597

    rusty valley

    @BJR , yes you can smell propane for a while, but it does go away. I've not had a problem with it
  24. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 7,797

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    I was also in the market recently to replace my 60 gallon 5 hp IR compressor that threw a rod through the aluminum case. :mad: It was about 25 years old. Thankfully, I found a couple old compressors that I ended up buying from the wife of a buddy that ended up in prison when she was pretty much throwing stuff away. Problem solved at least for a while.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  25. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 3,007

    from norcal

    I have a hf, cheap as f and noisy as f, only thing it’s good for is airing up tires, and blowing off parts.
    rusty valley likes this.
  26. 20201212_111022.jpg
    This is mine...7.5 hp, screw, with built in dryer (for painting). Lots of air and quiet (can hear and talk on the phone when its running). I wore out 2 Eagle brand 3 cylinder compressor heads before going this direction. Very happy with it.
    rusty valley and nochop like this.
  27. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 3,597

    rusty valley

    Very nice, looks expensive though !
  28. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,630


    Some of you guys are out of your minds. The OP said he just turned 80 and is restoring cars at home as a hobbyist. WTF kind of air requirements do you think he needs?

    This reminds me of the thread where the OP asked about a cheap, reliable engine for a first car for his 16 year old and dudes are suggesting SOHC motors and Hemis. Some here need to lay off the crack pipe.
  29. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,561

    Model A Gomez

    I bought a new home shop grade Ingersol Rand last year and probably had less than 20 hours on it when it started dumping air from the unloader valve all the time. They would fix it if I brought it back to them but I wasn't willing to load it up in my truck and haul it back so I drained the tank and pulled the unloader valve and found part of a screw wedged in it, removed it and put it back together. Then I needed to pull the top of the head and replace the screw in the reed valve, now the unloader seeps all the time and causes the compressor to cycle a couple of times a day if I leave it on. The compressor pumps up in about 4 or 5 minutes so not a big problem but not real happy with it and it's noisy when it's running.
  30. Nah...they were giving them away. ;):cool:

    In all seriousness, yes it was, but there have been very few times I've regretted buying or using good quality tools. Cheap tools on the other hand...well that's probably a topic for another thread.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2022

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