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Thread: Homemade Compressor for Airbrushing

  1. #11
    All2skitzd's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
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    Homemade Compressor for Airbrushing-image_23860.jpg
    Super quiet, get buff
    Homemade Compressor for Airbrushing-image_11828.jpg
    Still pretty quiet, the usually quality at a great price.

  2. #12

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    Sep 2016
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    Finding quiet compressors

    Hey, Joe:
    I would not try building. As an engineer, you know how complex it gets. Better to buy and let someone else build it for you.
    I've been airbrushing pro for 36 or so yrs. Since I use them hard for 8-12 hrs a day, I go with the oil-cooled 1 HP or so industrials that they sell you for running nail guns, etc. Too loud for you,I guess, tho I have built boxes out of plywood and lined with several layers of old blanket stapled to inside; always have a small fan blowing air through the box to cool it or you'll burn up the pump. It will knock off half or so of the sound. Also, after building them, I sometimes drape many layers of thick clothing on top and this helps more. ALSO, lay a layer of something ( those stiff foam rubber floor tiles are great) on the floor, set the compressor and box there. The floor transmits a LOT of noise, especially to your downstairs neighbor. Even better, put it in another room and run a hose to your workplace. If you must have silent, you can buy them at or dixieartcom. Not cheap, but they work. Also, I've noticed at Menards (Lowes, etc), they sometimes, not often, have compressors that use small almost silent pumps and they are reasonable.

    Right now on amazon there is a California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S for $104. Gets good reviews. I would put a small fan as close as possible to the pump and blow LOTS of cold air on it to extend life.

    Honestly the last time I used a silent fridge type (Air Force brand, a first mover in this area), I burned it up in a few weeks of 12 hr days. Swore them off. Good luck.

  3. #13

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    Nov 2015
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    I would buy a compressor. The time and effort and cost will be a wash in the end. As for noise I buit a box out of 3/4 plywood. And lined the inside with Comercial carpet squares (2 layers). You can get them for just about nothing. Or go by any construction site and ask for some. Or any building that you know has raised flooring in it. Ask the facility manager about getting some. I stapled mine to the inside. I also I stalled (2) 120 Vac fans with a switch to blow air in the box on the opposite side I built a box along the far side of the fans with a hole at the top edge and a hole on the bottom to vent the air along with baffles lined with the same carpet. Think of the outside box like an upside-down periscope. This made a huge difference in the sound. It dropped the Db levels down 30 db. Density in the materials is the key to sound damping. If you can't get carpet squares get rock wool from any large construction store. The problem with rock wool is that it is very thick and you will need to build you box mucH larger to accommodate for it. You will need to build the box 3 times the volume of your compressor to allow good air flow and proper cooling.
    As for a compressor I would get a belt drive compressor. They are much quieter. And can produce alot more volume and run less. The majority of the noise comes from air intake you could re-pipe it to a sound dampened box to cut your noise down even more.

  4. #14
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  5. #15

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    Hi I'm a new member. Lou is correct CO2 is an excellent choice for your project, dry, safe and cheap. An excellent source for CO2 is a local welding supply store. They will also have the regulator you will need for the CO2 cylinder. You will want one which has a PSIG gauge on it for the downstream pressure you will want to set, do not get the regulator that has flow in CFH or cubic feet per hour. Most regulators will have 2 gauges, one for the pressure in the cylinder which will be about 750 psig, and one for the flow pressure you set. CO2 is sold by weight in pounds from very small 2 pound cylinders up to 75 or even 100 pound cylinders, this is the weight of the liquid CO2 in the cylinder, not the total weight of cylinder and product. Also there are 2 types of cylinders, one for gaseous with draw, the one you want. The other is for liquid with draw, mostly used for fire suppression. Liquid CO2 converts to cubic feet of gas at a ratio of 1 pound of CO2 to 8.7 cubic feet of gas. Probably a good size for you would be a 20 pound cylinder, should last a long time is portable, requires little space. Also remember the product is priced higher at smaller size cylinders. In other words the cost of a pound of CO2 in a five pound cylinder is greater than the cost of a pound of CO2 in a 20 pound cylinder. it takes as long to fill a 20 as it does a 5 and so on. If you see a cylinder on craigslist for sale you will want to know if it is in test, they are tested every 5 years and the date is stamped into the neck of the cylinder. Also make sure it has clear title, verify with a local welding supply they will fill it, many stolen cylinders out there. I was in the industry for 39 years and have seem many people do this.

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