Looking at air compressor recommendations

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fergy

New User
Fergy
I think I may be in the market for a new compressor. Being a home hobbyist, I don't have the ability to have a 220V model. But, I'm spraying finishes with a Devilbis HPLV gun. It's been running okay on a Craftsman 30G compressor, but I think I finally killed it. CFM rating on this gun is 10-14 CFM at 25-45PSI. I know my little portable compressor can't handle it.

Or, if anyone has suggestions on an easy way to repair this compressor, please let me know. I've already replaced the started cap on it a month ago; it just seems it's not meant to cycle very often. Now the motor's just humming and sticking again, but it's a different noise than before when the cap burned up. I'm figuring taking it in and servicing it, and replacing parts, is probably going to cost more than it's worth.

So, if anyone has suggestions on a decent compressor that can give me 14CFM at 30PSI, please let me know.
 

ehpoole

Administrator
Ethan
It's possible that you have either burned out the starter windings and/or need to either clean or replace the centrifugal switch assembly. If it has a running capacitor then that, too, could need replacement.

If you end up replacing, there is no such thing as a 120V shop air compressor that will be able to actually keep up with a 10-14CFM HVLP gun for an extended period. My 220V air compressor draws about 15 measured amps (17.5A claimed) and produces 16CFM and requires a 25-30A 240V breaker. That equates to 30A running at 120V and a roughly 50A single-pole circuit breaker ... and it is hard to come by motors that large for 120V. There is just no magic way to get much more than you probably already have from a 120V 15A circuit (15A being the limit of the average residential receptacle on a 20A circuit).

So, you will either have to live with a roughly 1.6HP (actual) motor and probably 6-8CFM max on a 120V circuit, or you will have to step up to 240V. Otherwise, your next best choice is probably to greatly expand the capacity of your reserve tank(s) to increase your reserve air capacity and allow for longer run cycles and longer rest periods. Or find a way to shorten your spray sessions to that air volume available just before the compressor falls short and increase the breaks between cycles so that the compressor can cool down far more than it does now (in other words, baby the compressor) before the next cut-in.

Whatever way you go, best of luck!
 

fergy

New User
Fergy
As far as I can tell, this motor only has a starter cap, no running cap. This is just a cheap Craftsman compressor. It's got a 30G tank, I believe. It's got enough reserve to spray one side of a cabinet before I give it a rest to recharge. But, I guess I need to wait longer to allow it to cool down. I guess I need to call around tomorrow to find a place to repair this one.
 

BSHuff

New User
Brian
For the price you would need to spend to get a compressor to spray with that gun, I think you would be better off getting a turbine HVLP setup if the only reason you need the big compressor is for the spray gun. You are going to be over $1k to get close to those specs and it will be a 220 unit that will be the size of a refrigerator that will wake the neighborhood when it cycles. You could get a good portable compressor for your tool needs and a mid range HVLP turbine for that same $. I went down that same path and ended up with a 30 gallon husky oil bath compressor for shop use, a small portable compressor for mobile use and a Fuji HVLP. When I was using a conversion (compressor air driven) sprayer I was having consistincy issues with water in the air due to the frequent cycling. To really spray with a compressor you need cool dry air. Getting that needs an assortment of filters, traps and all kinds of piping tricks. For me as I was only casually spraying it was not worth it. I was amazed how much better my finishes got with the HVLP, as I was always fighting with 'bad' inconsistent quality air. If I was spraying every day, I would do things different but.....
 

fergy

New User
Fergy
I've actually had great results with this compressor and this gun, don't get me wrong. I just think I'm cycling it too hard. Moisture's been an issue lately, but the finish I'm using has been forgiving.

Following the advise of the Craftsman repair guy, a good whack with a rubber mallet on the side of the motor and it started up again. I'm thinking the start/run switch inside the motor is sticking.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, Events Director
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Glad to hear you got your compressor running again. You will need to eventually clean that start switch inside the motor - it is really quite easy. The HVLP gun you have requires more air than your compressor can continue to deliver. You might want to consider one of the LVLP guns that will reduce your cfm requirements down to the 7-9 range, your current compressor will be able to handle that better. There are numerous LVLP guns available but I do not know which one is the best value
 

fergy

New User
Fergy
I've actually got a new detail gun arriving in the next couple of days for the smaller projects and for shading/toning. It takes a lot less air. I'm excited to try it. This big gun is just nice for getting down a large coat of finish in a hurry, but it's tough on large pieces. I usually give the compressor a chance to catch up before I do the second cross-pass.

I'm going to try to get through this project and then take that motor apart. Tonight I'm stripping finish and dye to start over on the coloring for this project. But that's a sad story in another thread.
 
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