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Old 04-17-2018, 12:47 AM
Ron Hampe Ron Hampe is offline
CAMaster Owner
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: McDonald, PA
Posts: 106
Default Compressor size

I have a pancake compressor that I use for my nail guns and a Grass hinge boring machine, etc. but want to plumb the shop for air and upgrade it to one with a dryer to handle everything including a Panther PT-408 with a 3kw spindle, fast tool change, counter balance & locator pins.

I'll likely buy a Champion compressor as I am familiar with them and they are easier to field service than most. What size (cfm/psi, single or two stage, etc.) would you recommend?

Ron Hampe

Last edited by Ron Hampe; 04-17-2018 at 12:58 AM. Reason: typo's
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:23 AM
Milzie Milzie is offline
CAMaster Owner
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Barrie, ON, Canada
Posts: 87

If you have any plans of spray finishing, or running air sanders, buy the biggest you can afford. We have a 5HP 2 stage with 80 gallon tank. Works fine for everything except the air sanders. Air sanders work, compressor just runs more than I like it to.

My recomendation would be to just buy a 5HP 1 or 2 stage with a 60gal or larger tank. Should cover you for pretty much anything you want to do now or in the future.

Camaster Cobra 510 ATC
10HP spindle, 20HP vacuum
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:37 AM
Jim Becker Jim Becker is offline
CAMaster Owner
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: SE PA
Posts: 1,051

I agree with the previous poster. My compressor is a 3hp IR 60 gallon and fine for my small shop, but if I was using more air tools, I'd want a little more CFM. Mine is primarily used for spraying finish and powering air nailers.
Jim Becker

SR-44 (2018), 1.7kw spindle, Performance Premium, USB, Keypad, T-Slot table (y-axis configuration), WinCNC, VCarve Pro upgraded to Aspire

Non CNC stuff...

SCM/Minimax - slider/JP/BS
Festool "a good collection"
Stubby - lathe
Oneida Cyclone

Retired from full time work in the telecom industry 9/2017
Commission work for equestrian tack storage and other custom furniture and cabinetry
Located Bucks County PA
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:09 AM
The real JP The real JP is offline
CAMaster Owner
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 476

I bought a 15cfm @90 mainly for my finishing. Of course a year later I got a hvlp turbine unit.

The counterbalance just provides static pressure to lift the spindle so the Z doesn't do as much work. A small compressor would be fine, there really isn't any flow to speak of.

Get one for your other needs, that type of cnc wont use much.

Industrial electrician by day, Cabinet and furniture maker by evening and weekend. Cnc newb.

June 2017 Stinger 3 SR48
3kw spindle, FTC, Laser, Recoil, Hurricane
V Carve, Mozaik
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:48 AM
de5 de5 is offline
Cobra Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Honea Path, SC
Posts: 917

I have the same compressor as Jim (post #3) and it is plenty for my Cobra ATC plus a little spraying at the same time.
Charlie Hind
Cobra 404 ATC with 12 tool positions & 4th Axis (2012-present)
(2006-2012 - K2 CNC... sold in 2012 to buy the Cobra)
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:40 AM
vgibson vgibson is offline
CAMhead Friend
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 6
Default compressor size

Just picked up my Stinger I with HSD 1 HP spindle and am realizing I need air for the counter balance. I am new to CNC but really excited to get it up and running. I have a 12 yr old PC 6 gal. 150 PSI, 3.5 SCFM pancake compressor, but I know it has some rust in the bottom of the tank. And boy is it noisy. I am willing to spring for a new compressor ( I have no other needs in my shop for air) but I have no clue what size or specs. to look for. Cant find any specs. for counter balance air on Stinger I. Would appreciate hearing from anyone.
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:29 AM
Gary Campbell's Avatar
Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is offline
CAMaster friend
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Marquette, MI USA
Posts: 2,861

Most any compressor will be capable of providing the minimal amount of air that a counterbalance requires. Even one of those "12 pack" Senco mini versions. Some guys have even run them off one of those tire filling tanks
Gary Campbell
CNC Technology and Training
The Ultimate Woodworking Machine

"There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those that understand binary logic, and those who don't"
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:39 AM
vgibson vgibson is offline
CAMhead Friend
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 6
Default Compressor size

Thanks very much for the reply Gary! I'll have to go shopping this weekend.
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Old 07-21-2018, 02:48 PM
keithrhyde keithrhyde is offline
CAMaster Owner
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Winchester, Virginia
Posts: 300
Smile Fwiw

I have a California Air Tools compressor which is the quietest I could find at 60db or conversation level. I bought the 10 gal model and I plumbed that into a 100 gallon storage tank and it does everything I need. I have owned it for a few years and I have had no issues with it. Read the reviews on them and you will find they are all good. I bought mine through Amazon. If you want quiet than you will love this compressor. Cheers.
Keith Hyde, Winchester, VA
2016 Stinger 1, 1.7KW HF Spindle HSD
Performance Package Pro, Vac, lathe, Aspire 9
Former Marine and retired Seabee Master Chief.
Furniture is my hobby not my vocation.
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