Need to hear from some of you using an airbrush. I have an adequate 6hp 80gallon compressor. Wife wants to start playing with an airbrush and I am tired of dragging 160 feet of air hose every time I want to finish nail some trim, use my upholstery stapler etc. in the house. The compressor is in the shop. Question. Do I buy a small 30-40 psi (I assume they are fairly quiet) compressor for my loved one, OR, do I buy something a little bigger like this 2 gallon unit from HF.
I'm sure that the HF compressor, or equivalent would let me shoot a few nails. My wife will do her airbrush work in her ceramics studio which is also in the shop. She has a separate room so we could simply run her a hose in case this unit is noisy.
This is an idea only for people who are really, really cheap -- like me. When my son wanted to learn to use my airbrush and I didn't want to hear the sound of a compressor coming from his bedroom, I bought a Badger tire-valve converter (less than $5) and picked up a nice-size mounted tire at the recycling center. I pump the tire up to a little over 45 psi and let him go. It lasts for a surprising amount of airbrushing.
Don't do this if your wife already thinks you don't spend enough on her. d8-)
As a second alternative, I can suggest something a friend of mine did. His wife is an artist who likes to work late. He couldn't stand the noise of even the best-quality compressor. So he put the compressor in the basement and soldered together a line of 1/2" copper water pipe up into their room. Problem solved, and it provided an opportunity to install a T-fitting at the bottom and a drain valve, which effectively kept the air dry and the line free of condensation.
Stay away from the small oilless compressors sold by the air brush companies. They only put out about 30 psi max, which is not enough for real airbrushing. I gave mine away to a friend who only wanted to dabble with one. A good shop compressor with regulator up to 90 psi and a water trap/filter is the only way to go. Bugs
I have a homemade compressor consisting of a Thomas 4-diaphragm compressor and a 4-5 gal (roughly) "portable air tank" mounted under it. Has a pressure switch and unloader valve. I built it specifically for my son's airbrush, and it works very well. He's moved out, and I don't need it any more. If you're anywhere near NJ, you're welcome to it. Like all direct-drive, oilless compressors, it's a bit noisy, but the price is right.
Ivan, can you somehow make an air line from your air shop to wherever your other family members need compressed air. You can use your basement and attic and outside of your house to lay the air lines unconspicuously. Pay attention to moisture in compressed air and freezing, though. This would be the "right" way of doing stuff, in my opinion. Think how nicely it is done in hospitals.
Those little buzz-bombs are NOT quiet. I have the Porter-Cable pancake compressor for field trips, and as a rule the HF units are even noisier.
What are the ground surface conditions from the house to the shop? (dirt, pavement, lawn, 3 feet of snow, permafrost...) And are there any underground conduits down there now?
If you already have an underground conduit for Power Phones or CATV between the house and shop, it would be simple enough to pull through a length of 3/8" black polyethylene air line tubing through an existing pipe. It will gladly run all day at 90 to 110 PSI, though I'd knock it down from 175 PSI before it hits the PE line.
And it's non-conductive so PE Tubing should work fine in the power conduit, though it certainly wouldn't be my first choice. If the tubing gets too warm it will form a little hernia and pop.
Put a small receiver tank in the house that will supply small bursts of air for the nailgun or stapler, since the 3/8" line to the garage will take a few seconds to recover.
If everything is overhead now, this might be the time to consider a backhoe and doing it all at once. Dig in a 2" PVC Conduit for power, a 2" white PVC as a sleeve for the 1/2" Hard Copper air line (sloped for a drip leg outlet at all the low spots) a few 1" conduits for phone and CATV, and water and drain lines. Whatever you don't have out there now.
For that, running a permanent copper air line into the Studio from the Shop system is the only way to go. Gives you a good excuse to buy a refrigerated air dryer and build a soundproof closet around the main shop compressor, instead of that portable compressor. And she can have her own Filter/Regulator to dial in the airbrush pressure just where she wants it.
I don't buy things from Harbor Fright that have lots of breakable parts and will be used hard, since their long term repair parts availability varies from slim to none - and Slim ain't been lookin' too healthy lately. ;-)
That particular #90539 compressor doesn't look too bad, but ask me again after you put a few hundred hours on it. There's a reason why when you have an in-warranty failure of a tool they just hand you a new tool and toss the old one in the trash...