air compressor question

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by meatgrinder, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. meatgrinder

    meatgrinder New Member

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    hi guys, planning to paint bike frames and gas tanks and small parts. im currently on the hunt for an air compressor. spotted a 1/4 horsepower, 36L tank capacity air compressor. is it enough for light duty painting? i'll be using a small,detail spray gun. the air compressor looks like this: (its a vespa lol)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and will be using a small gun like this:
    [​IMG] thanks!
     
  2. KenX

    KenX New Member

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    I don't know what the requirements are. One thing you may want to consider is compressor that will meet other needs whether it be air wrenches to plasma cutting. Just my 2 cents. Offer you a little flexibility.
     
  3. KCvale

    KCvale Well-Known Member

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    Look for the 'continuous pressure' rating not max, I bought a little Harbor Freight compressor that said 100 PSI to power the 80 PSI required for the numatic file tool I wanted. It fills tires dandy but failed miserably trying to power the file as it petered out almost instantly and the compressor (in the fine print) only puts like 18 PSI continuous.
     
  4. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    You should be using a regulator/dryer setup on any spray gun so as long as the tank is big enough, you should be alright. Running full pressure to spray is a bad idea anyway, so the regulator will slow air use enough to work. A small gun like you plan to use should be fine although you will probably have to stop occasionally to allow the compressor to catch up.
     
  5. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    An oil separator is also a good option to have for painting. Most compressors will pass a little oil into the reciever (tank) and you don't want oil mixed with paint. They have oil/moisture filters that will go in the main air supply line between the tank and the hose.
    Follow the spray gun manufacturer's recommendations for inlet pressure. That will require an adjustable regulator, as Maniac57 said.

    Tom
     
  6. Greg58

    Greg58 Well-Known Member

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    The compressor should state what cfm (cubic feet per minute) of air it can supply at a certain pressure, the paint gun should have the requirements with it also. One thing that helps me run a framing nail gun on a small 1hp compressor is adding more hose, the hose adds expansion capacity and the motor runs a lot less. 150 feet of hose is what I use.
     
  7. racie35

    racie35 Active Member

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    not many detail guns use much air so you'll probably be okay there. doesnt seem big enough for tools though. They gobble air like candy.
     
  8. KCvale

    KCvale Well-Known Member

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    I got this oilless 3 gallon compressor over 3 years ago from harbor freight on sale for like $50 and another like $25 for hose and a gadget and fitting kit.

    I just pulled it out from under it's spot for this shot.

    [​IMG]

    It is extremely loud, slow to fill the small tank, and it won't power any real air tools for long but it does have a tank pressure gauge and a regulator with gauge that is not so great but better than nothing.

    It looks like I should clean it up, clean the filter, and see what treasures may have fallen into it's box I keep it in to try to dampen the noise the last 3 years ;-}

    Air brush painting sure for like artwork but I doubt you would be happy with it to paint a whole house but probably OK for a frame or two in one session.

    Good point about the hose Greg, I remember that from my roofing days with a staple gun, a couple hundred feet of hose is a nice additional 'tank' to keep pressure longer.
     
    #8 KCvale, Aug 21, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  9. MMotorBike

    MMotorBike New Member

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    Hello meatgrinder,
    I work in the autobody field and most of your spray guns/painting require a psi around 40-60. Now for it looking good I recommend using a good spray gun my SATA cost me around 800 dollars which I'm sure you don't want to spend that kind of money on a gun you will only use here and there. But like 2door said you get oil and water in your air lines so I do say get a filter it will go on the back of your gun then you put your air fitting on that, and then your tins will come out clean with no fish eyes or anything like that providing you paint in a dust/clean place. I would sand with 320 grit or finer so you don't have to put a bunch of base coats on to cover up the sand scratches. If you need more answers or got anymore more questions Id be glad to help you.
     
  10. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    The best filter dryer setup I have used is a large removable can with a roll of toilet paper inside that the air runs through. It stops ALL oil and water. Cheap to replace too!
    The regulator is built right into the wall mounted unit.
    Expensive to buy but lasts forever!
     
  11. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    To use a HVLP spray gun like that you will need at least a 5HP compressor.They use a large volume of air at a low pressure to carry the paint. Tank size matters as well since a larger tank means that your compressor isn't coming on as often.

    MMotorBike is certainly right when he says that a Sata is the gun to have but I've used inexpensive guns like the one in your photo and they give an acceptable job if your careful.
    If your just painting bikes or small areas they will work well.

    The basis for a great finish is prep work. As was mentioned sanding with finer and finer grits, dusting your work with tack rags to get all the dust will go a long way to perfection also. Paint quality plays a big part also. Cheap paint is usually just that.

    Hope this helps somewhat. I've had better that 50+ years refinishing furniture so this is what I'm basing my knowledge on.

    Steve.
     
  12. KCvale

    KCvale Well-Known Member

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    That goes double for spray can paint I think.
    Ever tried Ace hardware BBQ high temp paint?
    That stuff is useless even for painting graphitie on walls.

    I don't paint enough big things like a whole bike frame to mess with setting up a compressor and paint gun to paint, it is just brackets and engine covers and maybe the head on an motorized bicycle so nothing beats a can but after trying every brand and type of black spray paint I can get locally I am sold on PlastiKote engine enamel for everything. Expensive at like $8 a can from the auto supply house but man does that high temp stuff does a good job for anything and I can usually get 4 bikes worth of painting out of a can.
     
  13. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    KC,
    Tremclad (rustoleum) is $8+ a can here. I found a HVLP Touch up or door jamb gun works great for small jobs but if you using acrylic enamel like I like to do you still have to mix the paint up.
    I'll have to see if someone sells PlastiKote up here. If not I'll get some when I go down to pick up parts from the mail drop in Washington.

    Thank you.

    Steve.
     
  14. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    All this great advice from people who know what they're doing and the OP hasn't responded once in all this time. I hope he or at least someone benefited from the help you guys offered.

    Tom
     
  15. KCvale

    KCvale Well-Known Member

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    Not tried that I don't think, I get the PlastiKote from the Car Quest auto supply house around the corner from me and the only place I have found it, I gave up on Ace and Autozone spray paint brands they carry, even if the paint is OK the nozzles clog or run out of gas before paint from turning them over to clear the nozzle after painting.
     
  16. dmb

    dmb Active Member

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    toilet paper filter! what a good idea, where do you get one? i like the old binks and devilbliss guns that turn up for $5 at swaps and yard sales, they use alot of air and paint but are easier to use but they spray everything. this was before epa and you could paint a car and not color sand if you were good, unlike todays water colors thin ass paint. pepboys sells ready to spray paint no mixing just pour in your gun and spray qts and gallons.
     
  17. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    Man, I bought that thing 20 years ago....no idea where to get one now. Since it worked so well, they probably changed it or stopped selling it altogether.
     
  18. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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