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Old 06-11-2015, 02:22 PM   #1
TeneRay OP
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Quiet air compressors

I just got the CNC plasma going and it loves compressed air. My 240V twin pump 20 gallon single-stage Craftsman meets the requirements to keep up.

The problem is I live in a duplex and don't want to be that neighbor. The sound is a bit much.

I came across California Air Tools and they run a line of "quiet" compressors. I've watched the youtube vids and they seem pretty quiet. They claim 75dB on their larger models.

I was wondering if anyone here has seen one in person and can attest it's quietness?

I figure I could keep my current compressors tank and just swap the pumps since they sell those separately. Pressure switch stays since it's rated for that tank.

Also wondering what else is out there? I've seen guys use refrigerator compressors and those things are, well, just as quiet as a refrigerator. Unfortunately, are only good to air up a basketball.
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Old 06-11-2015, 02:29 PM   #2
ruin
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You can buld an enclosure for the compressor. It's fairly cheap to do so, plenty of DIY plans on them thar interwebz.
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Old 06-11-2015, 02:37 PM   #3
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Many years ago a neighbor friend put his compressor in a sound enclosure. It was amazing how quiet it really was.

Playing around with compressors I found out how loud the intake is. Something to think about.
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:11 PM   #4
victor441
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Makita compressors are known for high quality and low noise, have one myself and am happy with it (a MAC700) A MAC5200 might work for a plasma cutter...

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Old 06-11-2015, 03:13 PM   #5
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I was going to suggest california air tools.

Is that craftsman oilless? Those are louder than my 30 gallon campbell hausfeld which is really loud even with tubing on the intake. This thing has sounded like it's eating it's self since new and by the look of the oil after a few changes when new I think it is . I have a older champion pump that is remarkably quiet and will fit on it if it does.
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:32 PM   #6
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You might look into finding a used dentists compressor.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:19 PM   #7
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Huh, that Makita would work. I just youtube'd some videos for that compressor and did come across a guy using it to supply a Powermax 45 (the one I have) and it was able to keep up. Unfortunately, it has to run non-stop. The plasma needs 6cfm at 80 and mine runs around 7 at 90. Luckily mine can catch up and take a break in between cuts.

My Craftsman is an older, discontinue model. Oiled, not oil-free. Got it for $100 because the check valve ball fell out. The airline out from the pump was also cracked and had a leak so I replaced that. Ran like a champ ever since.

I never though about the intake noise so I'll give that a shot. I'd be afraid to enclose it and no matter how well I ventilate it. If I was running it intermittently or if the garage was climate controlled, I could see that as a viable option but working with the plasma in the hot garage, it needs the breeze.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:33 PM   #8
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Make sure you drain it too. The first thing I did did on my CH was in stall a good ball valve to keep the tank water from sitting in the tank. The lack of maintenance before I got the champion killed the tank.
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:48 PM   #9
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I would also be inclined to build an enclosure for it. Whenever I have the free money for a real compressor (I want an 80 gallon Quincy 2 stage ~$1400), I actually plan on having the compressor in an enclosure NOT in my garage. I'll probably build a compressor shed just outside of the garage for it and pipe the intake into the garage so I'm not sucking in high humidity air during the summer. Most tire shops have their compressors outside of the shop under a small roof like that, and a good bit of them are also using Quincy's too.

I'd imagine that if the California air compressors are so quiet, they're giving up something somewhere along the way to make them run so quietly. Maybe it's speed, output, different valves, maybe price point -- but it is something.

Another compressor to also look into is EATON. I believe they're located in Ohio and then have compressors that run at lower RPM's for longevity. I believe they also sell just the compressor heads.
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:42 PM   #10
voipwizard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeneRay View Post

Also wondering what else is out there? I've seen guys use refrigerator compressors and those things are, well, just as quiet as a refrigerator. Unfortunately, are only good to air up a basketball.
Hi I believe that you can achieve good air pressure with a fridge or AC compressor. I picked up a Trane AC compressor and I'm planning to build a low noise unit. There are a lot of videos on youtube.

Thanks
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:44 PM   #11
KeithinSC
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A lot of the noise of a compressor is from the air intake. My last compressor, I made a box of baffles lined with carpet that the air intake sat inside. Sort of like a Flowmaster Muffler.
Very surprised how it damped the noise.
Just haven't gotten around to duplicating it for my new comp.


Something like this, but make it large enough not to strangle the air flow.
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:42 PM   #12
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I plumbed the intake to mine outside. Used a roof vent turned 180* and installed a small air filter inside that. Drastically reduced the sound level. I still may install some sort of enclosure, but for now it's great.
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:09 PM   #13
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I have a california air tools quiet compressor, a jobsite one to run my trim nailer and occasionally a framing nailer. It's about the same capacity as the Mac700 that Victor has, but much quieter and lighter (A friend has a Mac700, and it's a good compressor- I expect it will outlast my compressor, but that's a tradeoff I made for less weight and noise).
If their larger compressors are as quiet as the small one that I have, I think you'd be set. This compressor is really less noisy than most vacuum cleaners, you can stand next to it running and have a conversation.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:54 AM   #14
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DeWalt has this one, they claim 71.5 dBA. But probably not up to your air requirements;

http://www.dewalt.com/tools/compress...dwfp55130.aspx
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Old 06-12-2015, 05:54 AM   #15
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Avoid oil-less compressors. They are all loud, despite claims. And they suck, anyway.

The slower the RPM and larger the cylinder bore, the better. I think Makita makes some "big bore" compressors or something like that which run about half the RPM of most which really cuts the noise down.

You may not find a really quiet compressor that meets your CFM needs. Enclosing the compressor to quiet it can work, but make sure it can breathe and that you won't make it overheat. The motors and cylinders can get really hot during constant duty cycles.
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