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Technical New shop air compressor

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

  1. I bought my Sanborn at Menards about 30 years ago. 60 gallon tank, 220 volt 5 hp compressor. The control unit went to shit about 6 months ago and I couldn't find another one....bought parts for the unit and fixed it myself. It worked great! For 2 days. Now the motor growls, throws sparks and trips the breaker. Naturally, I'll have to move a storage locker and my work bench to get to the motor....shit.
    Tman likes this.
  2. This is the an old one. Barn find, fix it and hop it up :)
    Joined: Feb 16, 2016
    Posts: 140


    I have an IR 2 cylinder single stage 3-HP 30 gal from the '80s. Not exactly sure but I think it is like 6 CFM? I got it in 1992. Came from some kind of test setup so it had very little use. Had a 3 phase motor when I got it. Went through a few motors the first few years because I bought cheap ones. The GE motor on it now is almost 20 years old. In all that time I have blown 1 head gasket which IR had for me the next day. I don't know about the new ones, but I would sure have another old one. All I have done is change the oil and blow the water out occasionally. I have blasted with it and it's slow but it keeps pumping.

    Couple years ago I bought a 1950s single cylinder Curtiss at a moving sale. It had to go and I paid $30 for it. It was very tired and needed a rebuild but I flipped it as-is for $100 I think. They are out there. You just have to be patient and vigilant.

    As someone else commented the OP probably doesn't really need a super-duper compressor to run a production shop. Last year I bought my son an '80s vintage 220V Craftsman compressor for $100 for Christmas. Small tank but it will run an impact and air up a tire. It had more CFM than my IR.
  4. L. Eckart
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 533

    L. Eckart

    You might contact Northern Air in Downs, KS. I bought one of their industrial models over 15 yrs ago and have not had any issues. Was referred to them by a retired friend who was a service technician with IR before he retired and started his own service business.
    Cosmo49 likes this.
  5. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,457

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    Back in 1988, a guy with a shop in town had a 20 year old 10 horse Quincy that was whisper quiet. I was very impressed. I had a late '70's Federal 1750 rpm 5 horse 2 stage that sounded like a freight train cannonballing thru the shop. About 5 years ago, the Federal got a rust hole in the tank. So rather than get a new tank, I decided to buy a new Quincy to help with the noise situation. I got a 1750 rpm 5 horse 2 stage with 80 gallon tank and magnetic starter. It has performed flawlessly, but it is still a disappointment because it is just as loud and no faster than the 45 year old compressor that it replaced. I have thought about getting one of the scroll compressors and selling the Quincy. Or else build some type of enclosure around it to contain the noise.
  6. bobkatrods
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 750

    from aledo tx

    I have a 80 gallon Curtis with cooling radiator will be 19 yeras old next month, have done nothing but change oil in it
  7. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 5,168


    I have a Campbell Hausfeld “cheater 5hp” I bought about 25 years ago. It always made noise but awhile back it was making more than normal. I opened it up and found that two little reed screws had car me loose and fell into the cylinder. The screws were fine but had their left their impression on the head and piston. So I’ll fix that one...

    However about four years ago I went to my local tire shop and I saw a DeVilbiss in the parking lot. I asked the manager why it was there . He said they were getting rid of it because it kept blowing capacitors I believe. Turns out they replaced them with cheap knock offs. I asked how much they wanted for and was told $1000. I offered $400, though I think I should have offered $200, and it was mine. The manager didn’t like to pay for a compressor tech to show up on site. I took this 4 year compressor to a recognized service centre and had them go through it and changed anything they through should be replaced. $400 later I had a like new 80 gallon, 7.5 hp, 15 cfm@175psi, and very quiet compressor that will out last me.

    So don’t be afraid to look at used compressors... I couldn’t rationalize $4500 CND for hobby use.
    firstinsteele and Hemi Joel like this.
  8. I also have a Quincy that we bought new 10 years ago. It’s a two stage, 5hp single phase with an 80 gallon tank. I got spoiled at work with unlimited air capabilities. It does just fine with our TP blast cabinet. All I’ve done is change the oil. I love it, paid 2500 for it from our local Rural King store.
  9. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 6,181

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    There's always Graingers, as well. Their Dayton brand is pretty good, mine did 20+ years without a hitch. Graingers sells almost exclusively to business's here, so quality is usually high.
  10. andyh1956
    Joined: Aug 30, 2021
    Posts: 113


    I got a T30 Ingersoll Rand 30 yrs ago. Burnt one motor & spit a 2nd stage head gasket out in all them years. Got the same one Honda Gas Powered, never any trouble with it but it will rust apart before it wears out...I like IR compressors & all my air tools also!
    Two things when shopping air comp-
    1- as Rusty said, 1750 RPM motor, not a 3400 one.
    2- get one rated for "Constant Duty"
    My bud bought one them "Puma" compressors that looks like part of a Army Surplus radial airplane engine almost 50 years ago offa a gypsy tool truck that rode by one day. It's been under a lean to outside all this time. The roof fell in on it & the pulley wore a notch in the roof & never stopped pumping!
    Good Luck!
    AccurateMike and alanp561 like this.
  11. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 2,677

    from kansas

    I'm with @57JoeFoMoPar

    Find a compressor that you think will fill your air requirement needs as far as cfm and go with what you think you can afford.

    At 80 yrs old and doing this as a hobby there are plenty of compressors that will fill your demands and at a smaller reasonable price, take the extra money you save and buy yourself some other tools or parts for your restorations.

    If at 80 yrs old your worrying about a compressor that will last you 30 yrs your more optimistic than I am!

  12. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,647


    I bought a "big" compressor mainly for painting and air tools back in the 80's, it didn't get used a lot over the years until 2012 or so when it started showing it's age. I replaced it with a $300 garage sale Sanborn which was a nice upgrade until a couple of years ago when it started getting weak. We do lots of sandblasting, some air tools and very infrequent painting.
    We went with Castair (I was past 75 when when purchased their Industrial model:). When I had questions they were answered by the owner, it keeps up just fine when sandblasting and will be something the kids can sell when my wife and I are gone:) They use Baldor motors and the engine is...guess what ...Cast iron.
  13. 1952henry
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 1,273


    I must admit, I missed some details in the op's post. Still, good opinions and real life experience with different brands make for good thread fodder. This topic comes up on many different forums. Makes good reading/research for anyone in the market for their first or replacement compressor.
    williebill and leon bee like this.
  14. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 7,348

    Member Emeritus

    Go to your local farm supply store and buy a mid range air compressor. About $750 to 1000 depending on your budget. I`m on my 2nd one. Been using one every day in my business for 0ver 20 years now. I never turn it off. I don`t do any painting but I do have a blast cabinet. I do have about 30 + different air tools. If you need more air. But a used 60 or an 80-gallon tank and plum it to your other. But only hook it up when you need extra air.
  15. andyh1956
    Joined: Aug 30, 2021
    Posts: 113


  16. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 8,208

    seb fontana
    from ct

  17. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 8,208

    seb fontana
    from ct

    I bought a puma about 20 years ago, for some reason I thought I was going to do some sandblasting and the 4hp sears don't have enough volume.. 5hp 3cyl two stage, $1275 19cfm @ 175. Now that stated why go to 175psi when the most pressure used is 100lbs or less?? Wouldn't be better at 110psi to 130psi ? Curious.
    joel likes this.
  18. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,158


    I bought a Champion but they are on the higher end of the price scale.
  19. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 2,677

    from kansas

    The higher pressure allows you a bigger amount of air to use before the compressor kicks on.

    If you have 175 psi available but only using 100 psi, you have more air compressed in the tank thus more reserve. So you will go longer between starts and running of the compressor.

    You will have to drop, say 70 pounds of air pressure before the compressor kicks on. If your compressor runs 130 pounds then you drop only 25 to 30 pounds before kicking on and you have less air compressed in the tank so the compressor cycles more often....

    Hope that makes sense!

  20. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 3,854

    rusty valley

    Compressor's should never run nonstop, that will over heat the wimpy springs on the valves. If you are using so much air it cant keep up and never shuts down to cool, you need a bigger unit. Most blast cabinets will work, but trying to blast out of a pot outside will realistically take more air than the average 5hp home compressor puts out.
    A 2 B and Budget36 like this.
  21. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 12,715


    My dad taught me that years back, if the compressor wants to keep running, take a break for 15/20 minutes after you stop and it shuts off.
    rusty valley and A 2 B like this.
  22. A 2 B
    Joined: Dec 2, 2015
    Posts: 394

    A 2 B
    from SW Ontario

    While blasting entire vehicles, inside & out my 5 HP 80 gal 20CFM will run rather steady but I normally have to stop blasting to refill the 60 lb pressure pot before running out of sufficient air pressure. I usually just shovel the material into 5 gal. buckets and then filter it into the blaster. While doing this the compressor gets a short break. I have blasted some days for 6 hour sessions and never seen the need for a bigger machine. DSC06146.JPG
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2022
    rusty valley and Budget36 like this.
  23. RodRocket
    Joined: Feb 1, 2015
    Posts: 13


  24. RodRocket
    Joined: Feb 1, 2015
    Posts: 13


    Wow!!! What a terrific encyclopedia of responses! My tired old brain will be 2sizes bigger by the time I digest all of them. I would like to get in the car and come shake hands with all of you. Also love all of the photos. My heart goes out to those who served in Viet Nam. I served an extended tour 64 & 65 with MACV & was exposed to Agent Purple for 6 months & then to the “safer” Agent Orange for 9 months. That is why I’ve had 30 heart operations since 96. I also have PTSD (80%) & poor memory which is why I will save all of your responses. Many Thanks, Rod
  25. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,573


    Don't want to hijack this thread but I feel for all those who served "in country". I didn't get my "invitation" from Uncle Sam until 1971 and I was an MP stateside so I never was subject to everything that still effects those who were.
  26. embyman68
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 46


    I love my new (2018) Quincy 5hp 60 gallon. Not a lick of trouble, and made in USA.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 10,008


    I always offer the same advice and I'm a compressor snob, sort of.

    A shop going out of business, commercial compressor service places that sell rebuilt, some auction places, all better than box store. Some of the best names are Kellogg, Quincy, Champion, Wayne and Speedaire. CFM @ (insert pressure) are the ratings to look for. 18 CFM @ 100 PSI ain't shit. You want the highest PSI rating. "Ok smart ass, what do YOU have?"

    I bought a 10Hp Speedaire from a shop that was closing. 35 CFM @ 150PSI. Yes, it will catch up to a DA sander and shut off. It fills both tanks (205 gal total) from 0 to 150 in just under 7min, cycles for 1min 15 seconds to refill from 100 to 150. I have a total of $1400 in the whole get up. I'll never wear it out. Can't use it at home you say? Bought a Farm Duty 10HP 1ph electric motor from Grainger. Yes, it sucks up some power but runs so little (tank size and CFM) its actually cheaper to run. Old gas stations were big on Champion 60gal units. Most all are pressure oiled and last a literal lifetime. Even the horizontals take up very little space. Yes, I use the big 10HP at the shop now on 3ph, at home I put the old Kellogg back in duty. Single ph, 5HP, vertical 80gal. Seems slow to me being used to the 10.

    Shop commercial rebuild places. Box store shit is just that, shit. If it isn't stuck from abusive storage you can be at least 99% assured it's fine, FOR LIFE. Oh, the Kellogg was probably 10 years old when Dad and I got it in '75. Still goin.
    SilverJimmy likes this.
  28. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 7,039


    WalkerMD and AccurateMike like this.
  29. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 8,208

    seb fontana
    from ct

    I attend a car cruise at a Compressor shop. I always look in the dumpster, amazing at what's in there.
    rusty valley likes this.

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