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Thread: How useful is a large compressor in a woodshop?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Staunton, Virginia
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    367
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    If it was a body shop it most likely has a dryer for spray painting autos.
    Yes there is a dryer.
    I am thinking we have WAY to much compressor- all this is overkill.
    The only thing I can see we need air for is our nail guns and we already have 3 small compressors for that.
    I'm only responsible for what I say, not for how it is understood

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    The 5hp unit is probably enough for your needs including one disk sander. I would adjust it to run no more then 100 PSI. Slow it down by reducing the motor pulley size, keep rpm at least to 800, That will be enough cfm to keep up and it will be quieter then any of your little compressers.
    Bill D.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hubbard View Post
    Yes there is a dryer.
    I am thinking we have WAY to much compressor- all this is overkill.
    The only thing I can see we need air for is our nail guns and we already have 3 small compressors for that.
    Having two air compressors you may consider overkill, but if they’re not consuming valuable real estate keep them. I have a 5 hp and I use it all the time. (Mine is run on a VFD with three different speed settings and 4 different pressure speed calls. Mine is a 5 hp that works a lot like having 5=>1 hp’s but that’s a different story.) The main thing is with all that plumbing you really want very little leaks.

    I’ve worked in a lot of shops that have 2-5 air compressors. Generally one would be the master and the rest of them would be slaves. First thing in the morning they would all start up to get shop pressure up quickly. The tanks add additional reserve and they also condensate as an air dryer. The master tank/pump is usually the first one to click on when pressure is reduced in a shop. The master is usually the highest horsepower and recovery pump.

    Most often big air compressor’s are put in a corner of the building out of audible range. If the shop is air-conditioned and the plumbing system is properly done, it works as another air drying system.

    If you have a refrigerant air-dryer, They usually chill the air pulling out condensate and then reheat the air before delivering to the system.

    Most Air drying systems work best if they are before the storage tank/s.

    You might think the two air compressors that you inherited are useless to you right now, but you might be surprised that they have their weight in gold. I personally wouldn’t sell them or get rid of them. I would check in see how well the system performes... then make your decision.
    Last edited by Matt Mattingley; 09-11-2018 at 11:25 PM.

  4. #19
    I've had a 5hp 60 gallon compressor in my shop for 25 years. I find it indispensable. I'll wager that once you start using either or both you'll soon see that there are very many uses for such machines.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    6,833
    I have a 60 gal 5hp compressor in my shop and I'd hate to be without it. I run an occasional nail gun in the wood area and use air nozzles often but it really shines when using the pneumatic random orbital sanders. I plumbed my shop with air outlets (eight) which is so much better than stretching a long hose across the shop.

    JKJ

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Tasmania
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    Keep the compressors but just use what you need. Compressors are like workshops - your needs expand to fill the available capacity. I have 500cfm supplied by 3 screw compressors in a master/slave set up. I need more. The machine shop complains every time the blast chamber fires up. That 500cfm supplies 1 blast nozzle, 1 spray painter, and a dozen cnc's. Cheers

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Willard,Utah
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    124
    I see no need to pay for an expensive air dryer, maybe in automotive spraying? I have always used a water filter and, drain my lines periodically. If the original question was, can you use or how do you use a large compressor in the wood shop..the answer is definitely, YES I have an 80 gallon 7.5 hp compressor plumbed through my shop with only a water filter and it works great. I use it fit spraying finishes, air sanders, nailers, wide belts, etc...

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Use the big one, and turn the breaker off on the small one. Use the dryer. Once you have used that setup for a while, come back and tell us when you decide that you don't want to use it any more.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
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    5,417
    It all boils down to what your needs are.
    'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance...

  10. #25
    yep

    I dont have a cutter head in the combo machine where babies can sleep beside my machine while im machining Hickory, I dont even have kryptonite knives. You need what you need, its not you have to have this it simply does not work that way. Some of the top cabinetmakers ive met making a living for 50 years have lesser stuff than many of hobby guys.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    yep

    I dont have a cutter head in the combo machine where babies can sleep beside my machine while im machining Hickory, I dont even have kryptonite knives. You need what you need, its not you have to have this it simply does not work that way. Some of the top cabinetmakers ive met making a living for 50 years have lesser stuff than many of hobby guys.
    I've found the more I need, the more I need. But, I turn out a better product, faster, and at a lower cost.


    As to the original question, what to do with so much air.

    Pneumatic clamps (door, face frame, coping sleds) I've got dust collection gates actuated off air, pulse jet filter cleaning, debris clearing on some machines, blow guns, nail guns, da sanders, widebelt (tension and tracking, sometimes there's Ann air knife too), air drills are nice for some things. My dovetailer uses air for clamps and actuation of the spindle, I've got one saw that cycles with air. Castle Machines need air.

    Moral of the story, compressed air gets a lot of use in a wood shop.

    A cnc is the reason I put in the system I did. You need clean, cool, dry air. Your spindles are changed out with air and chips are agitated so the dust collection can more easily pick up. The agitation takes a lot of air. Basically a line running wide open the whole time. The spindle changes is the important part though, it needs to stay clean. Anything in that air can cause a tool to not seat perfectly, then you can have vibration and at 20,000 rpm the thrust load is astronomical and no bueno.

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