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Forum topic by Patrick Jaromin posted 02-08-2008 01:59 PM 1373 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Patrick Jaromin

405 posts in 3857 days

02-08-2008 01:59 PM

So I’ve been casually watching Craigslist for months for a used compressor, 60-80Gal, with at least a 12-14 SCFM @90, which I think would be what I’d need to be able to use a moderate-sized sander. I’m planning on installing a central system using either copper or Chemaire.

First, am I right about the size? Would something smaller do or am I looking too small?

Second, I was originally planning to install the compressor in the same front closet as the dust collector. However, the dust collector I purchased is a double-bag unit and the closet simply isn’t large enough for both. If I purchase an upright, I’ll need to install it in the basement of the house and run pipe across and up into the shop. If I buy a horizontal unit it could fit in the crawl space under the shop…which I would prefer. Unfortunately, used horizontal compressors are a relative rarity…and I don’t want to spend big $$$ on a new one.

Just this morning I saw a horizontal tank, sans compressor/motor come up on my local craigslist for the second time (the first was a number of months ago). They’re asking $70 for it. What do you think? Would you buy the horizontal tank and then keep an eye out for a compressor and motor? Or buy a new compressor and motor (expensive I think).

Can anyone provide any adivce on this?

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

9 replies so far

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Patrick Jaromin

405 posts in 3857 days

#1 posted 02-08-2008 09:28 PM

Here’s the horizontal tank I’m looking at:

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4220 days

#2 posted 02-08-2008 10:56 PM

You should be able to use the horizontal tank and “plumb” any new or used compressor into it. Even if you’re not real savvy in compressors, it’s just a matter of looking at how the air gets from the compressor to the tank, and routing it. You could buy a new or used vertical tank model, remove the tank, and just hook the compressor into your horizontal tank if you wanted. Who knows, maybe you could even sell the vertical tank on craigslist. Good luck -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3789 days

#3 posted 02-08-2008 11:03 PM

The tank is probably the last thing I’d want to buy used. Pretty hard to tell what the condition on the inside is, and if it ever developes a leak around a weld or a seam it’s over with. No one I know will touch it, probably because of liability issues. New tanks are very expensive. If you expect to have a air compressor for a long time, for the peace of mind and a warrantee go with a new one. Unless you find a used complete package that you KNOW has seen very little use.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4324 days

#4 posted 02-08-2008 11:03 PM

I’m wondering if you mounted a compressor on the ceiling, if the vibrations, would carry through your whole

house. Unless you isolated it from making contact with the ceiling.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 3796 days

#5 posted 02-09-2008 03:21 AM

Two things to consider… 1. Wherever you place it there will be noise. Forget about isolating it with an enclosure as it develops quite a bit of heat while operating and needs circulation to cool down. 2. If you place it under your shop will it be in a temprature controlled environment? If it is not and the temp goes below freezing, the electrical load may cause your circuit breakers to trip constantly.


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

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Patrick Jaromin

405 posts in 3857 days

#6 posted 02-09-2008 05:31 AM

Thanks folks….

Woodchuck- I think you’ve sufficiently scared me away from used…it’s true that this could have been sitting undrained for however long, rusting away on the inside.

Dick- You’re probably correct…but I’m going to mount it on the concrete skim coat floor of the crawl space to avoid this possibility. The crawl is 4’ in height, so there should be plenty of room

Tom- Yeah, I’m aware of the noise of oil-less compressors, though I’ve read that the higher end ones are significantly quieter. The shop and the crawl are both feed from the house’ central forced air furnace…so no worries there.

I’ve read that the SCFM should be 4x the tool’s requirements…so for a 4CFM @40 sander “they” recommend a min 16cfm @40 compressor. Anyone have any experience with that? I’ve used central air systems in other folks shops, but that was years ago and I never paid attention to the size/capacities. I’ve only used nailers in my shop to this point, which obviously don’t require much. I’d really like to get a RO air palm sander.

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

View Rich_S's profile


53 posts in 3890 days

#7 posted 02-09-2008 06:17 AM

At that scfm and pressure I suspect that your going to be looking at a 5hp oil lube compressor or larger which is what I have…in addition to all of the above considerations (noise, heat, vibration, electrical load) you need to be able to drain the tank at the end of each day too….

-- Rich, Madison WI

View jcees's profile


1060 posts in 3824 days

#8 posted 02-09-2008 10:01 AM

Patrick, in order to run an air sander efficiently you’re going to want a two-stage compressor. Otherwise, even with the specs you stated, a sander needs a lot of constant umph from the compressor and a two-stage while more expensive, will be the one to deliver the needed constant airflow without overheating. I’ve used air compressors from gargantuan three-stage, six hundred gallon jobs to tiny portable ones good for filling a bicycle tires. There is no one perfect compressor for all jobs but for ANY air powered high speed tools or sanders you’re going to want to look seriously at a two-stage 60 gal with at least a two horse motor driving a CI pump. You’ll probably leave it to someone in your will. Also, for safety sake, insist on an ASME rated tank. Good luck.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3840 days

#9 posted 02-09-2008 01:49 PM

No compressor expert here…but just throwing some stories at you. We just went through this.

We bought an old used comp. from a machine wheeler/dealer. Mostly reputable ( I don’t think he would deliberatly try to screw us over.) After going through various problems with it, this is what we learned.

Of course, tank could get rusty so used can be scary.

Tanks are cheap, motors and compressor heads and mag switches are the expensive part.

Motors should be compressor duty…didn’t know there would be a specific difference there. Guess they have extra starting capacity over even other hd motors. We were also advised to have a compression release on the head if we didn’t have one (unloader or something like that.)

The cheap ones you see in the home stores have the cheap chinese heads and motors and won’t last under much more than occasional use. (and that, while I believe is probably true, it came from someone probably trying to sell us a new comp.)

All this was from another compressor company rep. that helped us get our “used compressor” up and running.

And from my own take on things, I swear there is a deliberate price increase for any compressor with enough capacity to run a motor type tool (sander, grinders, whatever.) It’s that cfm spec. that I noticed on jitterbugs…anything under it was alot cheaper and anything big enough suddenly went alot more expensive.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

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