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What air compressor should I buy?

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I'm getting set to buy a blasting cabinet and need to get a HD compressor. There are so many variations with HP and PSI and gallons...which one? I want to get a good one that wn't have me stopping everyminute to let it build up pressure. The blasting cabinet I'm looking at says it runs on 110-130 psi.

Recommendations?

Cost?

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In my opinion you are better off tying together multiple smaller compressors than buying one large compressor. If you ever have a down compressor, you still have a backup or 2 to run the blaster. I use an 80gallon, 60gallon, (both 220v) and a portable Dewalt 110v compressor all plumbed into the same line that feeds the blaster. I have the start and stop pressure switches timed so the largest compressor starts first, middle next, and portable last. If I need the portable compressor for another job, I just unplug it from the manifold and off I go.

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Tubo has a great idea.

The standard shop compressor is a 60 gallon upright, 220V, 2 cylinder with 1, or preferably 2 stages that is the oil immersion type. Oiless compressors are much, much less durable. It should have a maximum pressure of 135 psi (minimum), or preferably 150 or even 175 psi. A compressor like this will put out around 13 CFM at 90 psi. Cost should be in the $500-700 range

This would be the minimum for a blasting cabinet.

The next step up is a 80 gallon, two stage compressor, but the cost jumps up alot, in to the $1500 to $2000 range.

Go to:

www.ford-trucks.com and look in the garage and shop forum. There are many threads about shop setup including compressed air, electrical, welding setups, etc. ad nauseum.

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I have a 7.5 horse 120 gal tank Eaton compressor. Take a look at their website and compare the size of their motors and pumps to the popular brands like Ingersoll Rand and Curtis. The Eatons are WAY bigger and heavy built. I spent about $2300 on mine, but you wouldn't have to go that big. Mine puts out like 30 cfm with a max pressure of 175 psi. Their 5 hp 80 or 60 gal unit might be more what you would want. Runs super slow and quite too.

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costco or sams club sell 60 and 80 gallon models for 600-700 dollars and they work well sometimes they will have the two stage pumps

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Well, this might seem obvious but I've seen it happen, so I'll take a chance on expounding on the obvious; do not put your sandblast cabinet in the same space with compressors and/or any machinery. The grit WILL migrate to your godd stuff and shorten its life span bigtime.

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Great stuff. Thanks guys. I'm hoping to find something in the $700-900 range, to do a cabinet I can blast motorcycle wheels and frames with. Don't plan on doing anything bigger than that.

I'm thinking a 7hp, 2 stage with 150 psi in 80 gallon. Is this possible to find at the price range listed?

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Check Grainger on thier prices. My dad just bought a 60 gallon Ingersoll Rand compressor. Really quiet and doesnt take long to bring the pressure up. Got it at Grainger for 512 bucks (without tax)

-Phill

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The CFM number is the most important, any compressor will provide the pressure needed. Read up on the blast cabinet, it should tell you what CFM it requires. If you get a compressor that flows less than that number, be ready to wait for the compressor to catch up, and variable blaster effectiveness.

Also, get the large I.D. hose. When it comes to air compressors and CFM, size does matter!

Robert

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OB1 is correct, buy a compressor with the cfm needed to run your cabinet at the required operating pressure. Most tools provide these specs for pressure & cfm.

Don't go by HP as many air compressors are rated by "peak HP", which is pure marketing hype. You will likely need a dedicated 220 volt outlet.

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Also look at the compressor's rated duty cycle. If you buy a compressor rated near the required cfm of your blast cabinet and it only has a 50% duty cycle, you'll wear the compressor out prematurely if you're doing a lot of heavy paint and rust removal. I also recommend running a good grade aluminium oxide grit rather than silica sand or other media. It lasts much longer.

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