Awhile back I bought a Campbell-Hausfield air tank off ebay (I think it's 5 gallons, it's a tank from a compressor that just doesn't have the compressor on it anymore, so it has a drain, safety valve, etc) for an onboard air idea that kinda fizzled out.
I'm moving into a place with a garage in a few weeks and I'd really like to pick up an air compressor.
Would it be possible to pick up a compressor that has a high CFM rating but a small tank, and hook my tank up along with the tank on the compressor to effectively have a larger tank?
__________________ 1994 F250 XLT- Sold & sorely missed 2005 Mustang GT- Hurst Billet/Plus, Hooker Aerochambers, C&L Racer intake, tuner, very fun!
1997 Toyota Camry- Winter beater
Most home use high cfm compressors have a 60-80 gallon tank on them, but more air volume is always a good thing. If you have it plumbed as a receiver inline after the main compressor tank, then you will get dryer air.
Real trucks have the key on the left FTE Guidelines
The larger the tank capacity, the longer you can use air tools before recharging becomes necessary, but also it takes longer to recharge.
Smaller, barely useful compressors designed for nailguns and occasional-fired items actually work okay for heavy use power tools with a larger tank - at least in batches. Since they take longer to refill a larger tank, you have some waiting in between work steps. Generally I've not found this terribly inconvenient as the tanks get refilled while I look for the next socket to use, or shift my position to get a better angle at something, or wipe my goggles if I'm stripping something with the air sander.
I have an old cast iron 60 gallon tank I got in trade as well as an 11 gallon "husky" portable tank for this purpose. Both tanks have quick connects and a "T" fitting and a valve. This allows me to connect and disconnect the compressor when I need it somewhere else than near the tank, while keeping the tanks full of air so when I reconnect, I don't have to stand around waiting for a full recharge. Also, the smaller 11 gallon tank is useful because I can disconnect it and fill up a tire or two without having to listen to the toy compressor hammer the air into the system. A quick fsssst and I'm good to go.
I got into the additional tank thing when I had to paint the bed of my truck, because the smallish compressor kept kicking on and off too rapidly, radically bouncing the air pressure around behind the regulator on the gun. Even though the regulator is "supposed" to keep the outgoing air pressure constant, anytime the compressor kicked on it would spike above 45psi to 80psi for a "hair" then back down to the setting of 45psi. That spike always flung globs of paint out so with the extra tanks it was easier to mentally predict when it would kick on and off, thus giving me the chance to stop spraying just before, and not flinging globs of paint all over the place for me to sand off later.
Another option if your compressor is permanently installed at the back of the garage or something, is to run hard line from the back of the garage to the front of the garage, and install quick connect fittings along the way for in-garage use as well as one on the far end for outside use. The volume of the pipe acts as an air tank. A friend of mine plumbed his two car garage bay with 2" diameter black pipe for this very reason - with the bends up the back wall, down the length of the garage, and the three branches at the front of the garage - one on the far wall of the left bay right by the door, one on the far wall of the right bay, and one down the middle to a permanently installed self-winding air hose reel that feeds through the column between the garage bays outside - for outdoor work.
Since volume = PI * radius * lenght
V = 3.14 * (1.5" ID / 2) x 60'
V = 1695.6 cid
V = 6.3 gallons.
Doesn't sound like much but if you're going to plumb air around your shop this is a "free" 5 gallon tank in a sense.
It's in the back closet in the garage under the stairs where I put it originally. I just haven't been using it because I used to put the compressor in there, and carry it out the back garage door when I needed air someplace else other than in the garage. Since the backdoor is frozen shut (extreme wood rot), I just haven't been back there in a long while. There's this enormous pile of crud in the way you know.
I have one air compressor, and two tanks. The second tank has a inlet fitting, with a valve on the tank. The outlet fitting is just a normal air fitting. Both inlet and outlet fittings are on the top of the second tank, and seperated from each other. Both tanks are 20 gallon, I think.
The second tank is very useful to take somewhere my air hoses will not reach.
I also use this second tank when painting with a HVLP gun. I connect the second tank to the regulated air from the air compressor, at about 40 psi, or so. The air coming out of the compressor expands after the regulator, it cools some, and it also drops its moisture. When the air with some water flows into the second tank, the water drops fall into the second tank, and stay on the bottom, and I get just air out of the second tank.
Because the second tank has no hoses connected to it unless I am using it, it will stay pumped up for a long time, and I do not have to run the air compressor each time I want to fill a tire.
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