• Total voters

Mike Labbe

Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Jun 25, 2002
Lincoln, RI
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RESULTS from previous surveys: LINK TO RESULTS

Hopefully this will generate some discussion!
Do you use a compressor?
Do you split one compressor to several devices or have one for each?
If you use an air blower at the fitting table, how do you keep it moisture and oil free?
How often do you change your oil?
How often do you bleed it?

-This survey is intended for framers.
-Your poll selections are anonymous, although discussion is public and encouraged.
-The results represent only a small sample of the industry, and should NOT be used as a planning tool or business plan.
-This survey is purely for entertainment and discussion.
Question 5 of 5: WHAT DO YOU USE THE COMPRESSOR(S) FOR IN THE SHOP? (Air chisel)
Umm, what on earth would you use an air chisel for?
Umm, what on earth would you use an air chisel for?
We don’t have this problem in New England, but I suspect that in southern California when the smog gets too thick, one needs to be able to chip away at it.
I'd like to apologize for the confusing wording and possible misinformation on two questions. This is a topic i'm not completely familiar with and I forgot one type of compressor, although I listed two others.

I also confused "Air chisel" with "air nozzle", because I thought that was the correct name for the device. This question really is asking if you use an air nozzle in your shop to blow dust from glass, etc.

I welcome discussion regarding the risks of using an air nozzle (moisture, air damage, etc), how people have gotten around humidty issues, how you split your air to other devices, how you handle the sound issues, horror stories, etc.

For us, we're using a single compressor that lives in the basement. I put a "T" on the unit, and have 2 rubber hoses coming up through the floor. (for the joiner and Wizard).

We had a problem year 1... A hose burst overnight and the compressor ran continuously for several hours, trying to meet the demand. The basement had smoke and the compressor was so hot that it was damaged beyond repair. Now we have an x10 module on there (similar to a lamp timer) which disconnects the power at night.

Thanks for participating and it'll be great to see new faces in Atlanta!

An Air chisel is handy for removing spilt glue from the floor, maybe useful for fitting some jobs too.

I answered "Other" for location as the compressor simply lives in the workshop, if this is intended to be the same as "backroom" my apologies as all of our backrooms are for storage and office space.

Another reason for the compressor to be turned off at night is the switch that controls on/off can begin arcing after a while and may cause a fire, I learned this when ours had a faulty pressure sensor and it kept turning on and off over night, eventually burning the switch out (without further damage thankfully).
I had to vote "other" on "How often do you bleed your compressor", because the bleed valve is stuck. It's not too much of a problem, though, because there is a leak in one of the hoses that lets out what little water we get.
I actually have two compressors, both designed for contractors / building trades. My little hot dog style compressor sits under my fitting / layout table and I have a very soft hose that I can reach and grab easily. Pull out a drawer and my air stapler and air nozzle are there on quick connect fittings. Because it is so light I pick it up from time to time to tip it. If I hear water sloshing about it gets carried out to the driveway to be drained.

Before I used my bigger compressor and would have to pull a long hose out from the woodshop / hellhole / random tool hiding room (as in they hide on me). The portable is much easier for my basement set up.

We have air plumbed throughout the shop with drops at every work location and standardized, quickconnect fittings. Air nozzles have special modifications to meet OSHA regs because we do not regulate our nozzle pressure to 30 psi or below. Humidity here is normally very low so that even in summer months we can draw a static discharge when walking across carpet. We drain less than a cup of water per month from the compressor.

The inexpensive direct drive compressors seem to last about 1 year and at times seem to make more noise than air. The belt driven, like we currently have, are much quieter and will last almost forever. It's even quieter after I put it inside an insulated, but ventilated enclosure with a muffin fan attached to the compressor fins. Carpet padding has a better noise reductin rating than any fiberglass batting type insulation.
For draining - we have an automatic drain fitting, both on the tank as well as at the filter/separators.

As far as turning it off - in our old facility we has a "dry" sprinkler system. There is no water in the pipes, just compressed air. When a head goes off, it releases the air pressure, triggering a valve that lets the water in. So, turning off the compressor was not an option if we wanted our sprinkler system to work when we weren't around.
Jun-Air - not belt driven - refrigerator style (very) quiet compressor. Nine years never shut off and still running. You needed another category.

Pat :D
I answered other on "where it lives". It's mounted to the wall in the closet, but it's not soundproofed. It's actually not that loud. It is an oilless compressor. I guess econo-line. About $120 at Lowe's. Run the hose up through the ceiling and down to worktables. Glad you did this poll, cause I just realized I am supposed to drain mine daily instead of whenever I think of it.
Porter Cable pancake oilless. Drain it when I think about it. Sits in a soundproofed box for the last 4 years.

It is always on.

I carve frames and furniture with my air chisel. It gets the large chunks off quickly so I can turn to more delicate work with the sledge hammer and cold chisel... :D

Actually my "air chisel" is a 425,000RPM rotory carver.... much like a dentist uses. I don't get to play as often as I thought I would. Makes awesome Christmas tree orniments. :D
We have a sixty gallon upright compressor, expensive sucker, over $2000.00 when I bought it new twenty five years ago. Thing still works great. Our shop is plumbed with iron air pipe through out, Drops at all stations, drain drops, etc.

This is a good example of getting your moneys worth by purchasing the best you can afford. Actually, I could not afford it at the time, bought it on a lease to own deal.

We have a Kinetronics blow gun in the fitting room it has an electrode that ionizes the air flow and eliminates the static that atracts dust back to the item that you have just blown off. It works well. I imagine they will be in Atlanta you should check thhis out. If you buy one you may want to ask for the coiled hose.
To make draining the compressor easier, I removed the factory petcock and installed a nipple, (1/4" pipe thread if I remember right) an elbow and a male hose nipple. Onto that I clamped about ten feet of rubber hose and a brass ball valve. Now every Saturday morning I can run the hose out the back door to drain it.

I keep the compressor under my Fletcher 6100 mat cutter, and have it covered with thick rubber packing foam for sound deadening. It's a Quincy twin tank unit with a wheel between the tanks. Normally used by contractors on job sites, it's one tough piece of equipment, and not as loud as some of the small pancake units.

Because the on/off switch is covered by the foam, I removed the plug from the 110 volt line cord and ran it through a surface-mounted switch on the wall, then to an outlet. I used a weather-tight box like you'd use outdoors. This makes the switch easy to use and easy to see if it's turned off at the end of the day.
We're down to the last few days on this one.

If you havent clicked on VOTE, please do.