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  #1  
Old 11-20-2021, 12:53 PM
spacedoc spacedoc is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 11
Default Real talk: compressor size

I'm awaiting my RV-14A tail kit and doing some finishing touches on my workspace. It's time to get a compressor. I'd like to get one that can support priming and ideally also finish painting down the road (if I do paint myself, I'm likely to do it in sections before final assembly, so I don't need a system that will support spraying the entire plane). I'm planning on using Stewart Systems (either EcoPrime or EcoPoxy).

Most literature online recommends a compressor with a 10+ SCFM capacity for spraying primer/paint. I don't have the infrastructure in my garage for a 220V compressor, so that caps me out around 5 or 6 SCFM based on the available compressors I've found. I'd like to hear some practical experiences from folks who have primed/painted with lower SCFM compressors. I understand that a lower SCFM rating means that the compressor might not be able to "keep up" with the gun, but if I can shoot smaller parts and not have to run the gun continuously for long periods, I figure that might be OK. I'm not sure whether there are issues other than capacity that might impact the quality of the application.

I'm looking at 20-25 gallon units and plan on running 3/8" hose to make sure I can get the flow rate I need to the gun.

Any comments/experiences are welcome! Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2021, 01:04 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,680
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I primed and finish painted my RV-6 (in pieces) with a conventional gun back in the day. In theory, that gun used a lot more air than today's guns. I used the same compressor to prime the RV-10 and paint the interior of the RV-10. I didn't have any air supply issues on either project.

It is a Sears 25 gallon, 1.5 HP compressor that advertises 7 SCFM at 90 PSI.

Probably a $300 compressor in today's world. Being single stage, it is loud, which I decided I could live with.
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2021, 01:06 PM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 3,276
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Final paint needs the most air. I painted an RV-10 and a RV-8 in my hangar paint booth with a compressor like this and never ran out of air:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-60-G...sor/1000542193

Wings, control surfaces and tail feathers done off the plane.

For the shop and for most of the priming, I use a 25 year old Quincy 110V compressor. It sounds like a sowing machine when it is running.

Carl
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2021, 04:43 PM
David Z David Z is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 782
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I have a compressor similar to Carl (previous post). It handles painting quite well, but not sure I'd want anything much smaller. It uses 17amps at 240v, so a lot of juice that you said you don't have.

What about just using a smaller compressor that runs on a standard 120v circuit for most of the build. Then when needing to spray paint, beg/borrrow/steal someone's similar compressor? Run them in parallel, each through regulators set to the same pressure to balance the air loads. Basically you'd be getting 25a and 120v, similar electrical power, but delivered differently.
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2021, 01:38 AM
spacedoc spacedoc is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 11
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Thanks, all. I think Iíll plan on priming with a 110v in the garage and then figure out what Iíll need to tackle painting once I get to that stage.
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2021, 08:01 AM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
 
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Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 3,276
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Just do not get an oilless compressor. The noise will drive you nuts in short order.

Carl
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2021, 08:38 AM
iwannarv iwannarv is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Olathe, KS
Posts: 483
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I bought a lower cost 'oiled' direct drive single phase thinking it would be quieter (wrong). I just traded up to a Husky 'Silent' Model. Its oil-less (scroll type?), but night and day difference and wish I would have bought one of these from the start. 5.0CFM at 40PSI.
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2021, 10:19 AM
abwaldal@gmail.com abwaldal@gmail.com is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Battle Ground WA
Posts: 322
Default Solution

If you have a small compressor the solution to volume is get a second tank for storage.
Now I have an 220 volt 80 gallon compressor with a 100 gallon storage tanks inline. Yes that's 180 gallons of air storage. Great system for anything
But that said in the past (Many years ago) I've used an 8 gallon compressor and put an old compressor tank inline for storage.
I bought my 100 gallon old compressor tank off Marketplace for $100.00
It helps the air cool down from the strain of the little compressor
Your luck may vary Art
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2021, 11:56 AM
Northernliving Northernliving is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 593
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacedoc View Post
I'm awaiting my RV-14A tail kit and doing some finishing touches on my workspace. It's time to get a compressor. I'd like to get one that can support priming and ideally also finish painting down the road (if I do paint myself, I'm likely to do it in sections before final assembly, so I don't need a system that will support spraying the entire plane). I'm planning on using Stewart Systems (either EcoPrime or EcoPoxy).

Most literature online recommends a compressor with a 10+ SCFM capacity for spraying primer/paint. I don't have the infrastructure in my garage for a 220V compressor, so that caps me out around 5 or 6 SCFM based on the available compressors I've found. I'd like to hear some practical experiences from folks who have primed/painted with lower SCFM compressors. I understand that a lower SCFM rating means that the compressor might not be able to "keep up" with the gun, but if I can shoot smaller parts and not have to run the gun continuously for long periods, I figure that might be OK. I'm not sure whether there are issues other than capacity that might impact the quality of the application.

I'm looking at 20-25 gallon units and plan on running 3/8" hose to make sure I can get the flow rate I need to the gun.

Any comments/experiences are welcome! Thanks in advance.
Unless you want to hear the compressor screaming all the time, get a 2 stage low rpm compressor. My motor rpm is 1800 and I run my compressor much slower. Itís high CFM and it just thumps away. Almost as good as an old Lister. I have an Ingersoll type 30, but Kellogg also makes good compressors.
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