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Old 12-27-2011, 02:33 PM   #1
'31 Patina
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Default Air Compressor Help

I know this isn't really Model A related but I've received a lot of good information from people on the Ford Barn so I though I'd ask for some input and opinions.

For Christmas I got a new air compressor from my girlfriend and I'm wondering if it will be able to handle the things I would like to do with it. All I'm looking to use it for is to air up tires, rotate tires (impact wrench) and would also like to occasionally run a air ratchet wrench and die grinder.

It's a Craftsman 20 gallon portable vertical air compressor. The compressor is oil less and is 1.5HP. I've been doing a lot of research on compressors today and I'm learning that one of the most important things to consider is the CFM delivery. This pump has a CFM delivery of 3.8 at 90psi and 5.1 at 40psi. This doesn't seem like enough CFM's to run the air tools I've listed above. I've looked up the CFM's of 1/2" impact wrenches and its seems you at least need 5 CFM's at 90psi to run one. I don't want to have to wait 5 minutes in between every lug nut I take off.

I don't need anything fancy but I also don't want a 20 gallon air compressor that's only good enough to air up tires. I've also read that oil less compressors are loud and will wear out faster. Again I'm not using this every day or even every week....maybe just a few times a month. I'm not looking to sand blast or paint with it either.

Here is the link to the compressor if anybody is interested in seeing it.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...5&blockType=G5

In your opinions would it be best to save up for one that has a higher CFM delivery? Oil vs oil less? I did a search on the Ford Barn and HAMB and found that most people suggest at least a 5HP 80 gallon tank.

Or does it make more sense to purchase a small compressor, like a 6 gallon, to air up tires and buy an electric 1/2" impact wrench? I heard Milwaukee makes a good one.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:03 PM   #2
2manycars
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

Thank your girl friend for being so kind and thoughtful, and use it for what it will do. If it is not fast enough for your impact wrench (how often do you rotate tires?), then an electric wrench will do it. Many of us would be pleased to have such a girlfriend.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

I do a lot of field service work, and usually my work trk. and what I stock on it are all I have when doing my work. I mounted 2 small ac units from Harbor Frieght on my headache rack a couple of years ago. The advertised use was for emergency air, to air up a tire while on the side of the road. I use it for running my impact when I have to remove a driveline (in commercial vehicles). When I want more volume, I add more tanks, as of now I've added 2 -15 gal. tanks and I'm happy w/what it does. I'll bet if you plumb in another tank in your shop, this unit will work just fine. I would only recommend this if your not happy with how much air you get before you have to wait for the pressure to build up again. This, of course, won't raise the pressure, but it will give you more "work time" w/what you've got. Enjoy!
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:44 PM   #4
'31 Patina
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manycars View Post
Thank your girl friend for being so kind and thoughtful, and use it for what it will do. If it is not fast enough for your impact wrench (how often do you rotate tires?), then an electric wrench will do it. Many of us would be pleased to have such a girlfriend.
I'm very grateful for the gift and in no way am I complaining about it. I'm just curious as to what I can expect out of it.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

It doesn't sound like you are planning on doing any major work, so that compressor should prove to be handy. It will do fine with intermittent use; topping up tires, impact wrench, air ratchet, etc. The die grinder is a different beast because it runs continuously for longer periods of time- like paint sprayers and sand blasters. That's where CFM really matters. The compressor that is big enough for those jobs is probably too big to be practical for the little jobs. I have a big one that I couldn't live without for heavy shop work, but like to use a little 3 gallon compressor for the small daily stuff. It seems wasteful to charge up a whole shop air system to top up a couple tires.

Merry Christmas!

Last edited by Tin Lizard; 12-27-2011 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:26 PM   #6
JBR
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

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I have one just like it that I have had for about 10 years. I have a 3/8 & 1/4 inch ratchets, a 6" orbital sander, a small nail gun, a 3/8" drill, & a small die grinder that I use with it. It handles all of those well. When using it hard such as with a cut off wheel or the sander, I have to wait occasionally for it to catch up, but for the price and what I am using it for (working on model A's, lawn mowers, etc.) it does a pretty good job. It can turn a 3/8" ratchet way faster than I can.

Last edited by JBR; 12-27-2011 at 04:28 PM. Reason: punctuation
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

That unit will work for what you ask but it will have to catch up the larger tasks meaning you'll have to wait for it to come up to pressure. You are very fortunate to have someone to care enough to gift you something as such, you better oblige her in a grateful way. Just go ahead and use this for awhile then go from there.

GW
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

My "girlfriend" (aka: wife) bought me one very similar to this last year for Christmas. I love it! It does a good job with all the tools I have been able to acquire since then; 3/8 ratchet, 1/2 impact, grease gun, power washer, and of course the air blast and chuck to fill tires. I haven't tried a sander or grinder yet, but don't think they would be a problem either.

Girls that buy tools for their guys are the greatest.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

I have a cambelhousfield compressor similer to that one it handals just about anything I through at it . except the air rachet I use a butterfly when i need the air rachet. I ve even done some small spot sanding and spot painting jobs with it. For the bigger jobs I have a 60 gallon Harberfraight 220 compressor.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:52 PM   #10
'31 Patina
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

Thanks for the input guys. It sounds like the compressor will work for what I intend to use it for. I can't wait to use it!

And yes girls who buy tools for their guys are the greatest. Especially when they're right beside you in the garage helping you work on the A!
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:31 PM   #11
Mike V. Florida
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

She bought what she thought was fine. She had no idea what a compressor will or will not do. I would sit her down thank her and let her know that you are going to use her gift as the basis for a compressor that will do everthing you need one to do so you only need one and return hers for credit towards another. Bring here along to buy it if you can abd take her out for dinner after. How much worst could it be than buying a second one to do the jobs the first cannot? What do you think she would say then?
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Air Compressor Help

I have and use two compressors. The larger one mostly for sandblasting. I picked up a small one cylinder oil type at a swap meet last year for $10. That's the one I use the most. I roll it around to blow dust and air up tires. It's only 1/2 H.P. but I use it almost daily.

Use the one you have for airing up tires and bowing dust, and save up for a larger one to use on big jobs. Also keep that girl!
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