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  #1  
Old 03-31-2021, 01:29 PM
SarahLadd SarahLadd is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: United States
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Default Air compressor alternatives

Hi everyone,

I have completed my engraving setup at my home. I purchased a California air compressor thinking on a budget, but my studio is on the second floor of my house and with the floors being wood it really reverberates in the entire house when it kicks on. I'm looking for alternatives that run quiet so I can engrave after 8 when the man of the house has gone to bed.

I'm thinking of using nitrogen. I am wondering who else uses it and what size tank is good. It has to be small enough I can get it up 12 steps but I don't want to be filling little ones constantly. How long does it last before a fill is needed?

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2021, 05:55 PM
Blood-Sucker Blood-Sucker is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 65
Default Re: Air compressor alternatives

Sarah, You might not want to use Nitrogen, it really is not good to be inhaling that as it is narcotic.

If you want to use bottled gas look into scuba tanks. Cheap to refill and they do last a good while.

Brant
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2021, 07:01 PM
SarahLadd SarahLadd is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Default Re: Air compressor alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blood-Sucker View Post
Sarah, You might not want to use Nitrogen, it really is not good to be inhaling that as it is narcotic.

If you want to use bottled gas look into scuba tanks. Cheap to refill and they do last a good while.

Brant
...What? The air we breathe is 78% nitrogen. It's an inert gas.

There is exactly one place I could fill a scuba tank in Minneapolis, and it requires that I present a dive license.
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  #4  
Old 03-31-2021, 08:35 PM
airamp airamp is offline
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Location: Scottsdale, Az.
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Default Re: Air compressor alternatives

Easiest and quite and available is a 20 cf CO2 tank.
You do need a CO2 regulator on the tank to take the pressure down from 600psi to about 80psi. Then the 2nd regulator to fine tune your graver.

It should last quite long since it is compressed to a liquid and changes to a gas when released.

Not as high a pressure in the tank as with Nitrogen or scuba tanks and can be filled at almost any welding shop supply. So it is much safer.
Always chain a tank in place so it doesn't fall over on the valve...
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2021, 07:03 AM
Blood-Sucker Blood-Sucker is offline
Steel
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 65
Default Re: Air compressor alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahLadd View Post
...What? The air we breathe is 78% nitrogen. It's an inert gas.

There is exactly one place I could fill a scuba tank in Minneapolis, and it requires that I present a dive license.
While an inert gas and yes it is a large component of air it is narcotic, think nitros oxide. As a scuba diving instructor I can tell you that increased partial pressure it has narcotic effect, it is called “nitrogen narcosis”.

Use caution around nitrogen gas.

Brand
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  #6  
Old 04-02-2021, 09:24 AM
tsterling tsterling is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Coupeville WA USA
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Default Re: Air compressor alternatives

Before you go to all the trouble of trying compressed gas, put a foam pad under your compressor and see it that quiets it enough. You might also try putting a small sheet of plywood or fiber board on top of the foam pad if the compressor sinks too deep into the foam.

Best of luck!

Tom
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2021, 02:28 PM
DKanger DKanger is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: West TN
Posts: 300
Default Re: Air compressor alternatives

Build a wooden box and line the bottom with closed cell foam such as that used in camping mats. You can also line the sides with styrofoam sheets to dampen the noise a bit. Leave the top open for air circulation to prevent compressor overheating.
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  #8  
Old 06-02-2021, 01:16 PM
TerryWehling TerryWehling is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Minden, LA
Posts: 5
Default Re: Air compressor alternatives

I built a box for my California Air Tools. It made a tremendous difference.

I bought a low price ($20) sound level meter just to see how the box worked. The meter claimed to be calibrated but I have no way of checking.

My outside shop compressor, the loud kind, measured as putting out 92 dBA of sound.
The California Air Tools compressor put out 70 to 75 dBA of noise. This is inside next to my engraving setup. Without the compressor running the sound level in the room is 45 dBA.
After I put the compressor into a box I built, the sound was at 50 dBA.

I found many designs on the internet for boxes. I made mine with gypsum drywall material and 2x2s for the frame.
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  #9  
Old 06-02-2021, 11:02 PM
chujybear chujybear is offline
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Posts: 717
Default Re: Air compressor alternatives

just don't build your box too small. your compressor generates heat.. i don't think it would like being too cozy.

i keep a few scuba tanks around.. you can get quite a bit of work done on one, tho I haven't been quite scientific about it.. handy when the power goes out, or if I head out to the beach for a couple weeks
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