Air compressors are one of the most vital pieces of equipment in your woodshop. They are used for various reasons, such as running air tools or cleaning equipment, so size does matter.
Big shops that routinely use air-heavy tools most likely will need to invest in a stationary compressor, such as a rotary screw compressor. These compressors push out air at a higher PSI and can handle more than two tools being used at the same time. For example, a spray gun or sander that require a higher psi would be used with a stationary compressor.
Smaller shops will most likely need a portable compressor, such as a Garage Mate, Twin-Stack or portable wheelbarrow compressor. If you are running a nail or framing gun, those can operate on the air supplied by a smaller portable machine.
When setting up shop or upgrading your shop needs, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself:
- What size of a tank do I need?
- Do I need a one or two-stage pump?
- How do I keep moisture from running through my lines?
Tank Size: Depending on your air needs, that will decided how big of a tank you would need. If you find your compressor constantly running, that doesn't mean that you need a bigger compressor... You may need to invest in a receiver tank. Most our Ingersoll Rand's compressors come with a tank that ranges between 30-120 gallons, horizontal or vertical. The very first step you should take when looking to purchase an air compressor is to look at the tools that you use the most and what they require.
One or Two-Stage Compressors: The difference between a one or two-stage pump is the number of times that the air gets compressed between the inlet valve and tool nozzle.
- Single stage compressors are also known as piston compressors. The process that takes place within a single stage compressor goes as follows:
- Air is sucked into a cylinder
- The trapped air is compressed in a single stroke with a piston at roughly 120 psi
- The compressed air is moved onward to a storage tank, then in the storage take, the compressed air serves as energy for the assortment of tools that a single stage compressor is built to accommodate.
A two-stage compressor works similar to a one-stage compressor, expect that the air is not stored in the storage tank. It is actually sent through the pump one more time and compressed down to roughly 175 psi
Moisture: Did you know that over a summer month, you’ll have to remove at least 150 gallons of unwanted moisture in your air system due to high temperatures? Moisture wreaks havoc on your equipment, leading to unplanned downtime. Excess moisture in your air system can grow bacteria, lead to corrosion in piping and various compressor issues. A very important reason to have zero moisture in your system is that it will cause your wood projects to warp, leaving you and your customers disappointed. To solve your moisture issues, you should invest in refrigerated dryer. Having a refrigerated dryer installed to your system will clean up your lines and keep your operations running efficiently. A refrigerated dryer is the standard choice if you are looking for a low maintenance solution.
In addition to making sure that you have the right tank size, correct one or two-stage compressors and a dryer to avoid moisture, there are a few accessories for your compressor that you should think about investing in:
Air Filters: Let's be serious, an woodworking shop isn't the cleanest place. There is constantly dust in the air. When your compressor is running, it is collecting the dust in the shop and pushing it through your compressed air system. A compressor with dust particles, oil and water droplets only make the compressor to work harder, raising your energy costs. With our coalescing air filters will save energy and protect your compressors and tools from harmful contaminants by effectively removing solid particles, water, oil, and aerosols from compressed air.
Lubricants: Air compressors or components overheating and air leakage... You can successfully avoid these issues by adding lubricant and monitoring levels in your compressor are extremely important in making sure that your air compressor is running as efficient as possible. Our All Season Select lubricant is a synthetic, all-temperature blend designed to increase efficiency, reduce wear, and prevent carbon build-up. It performs four times longer than petroleum-based lubricants. It is recommended 2,000 hours of service between lubricants change-out under normal operating conditions.