Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Compressor.

 After many months of trying to carve a block of Italian Marble by hand, I had enough. My repetitive shoulder injury starting hurting again cause of all the hammering work. I decided it was time to start using pneumatics again. I have not used air tools since the late 90's when I lived and worked in Central Vermont. I have been carving alabaster by hand for almost a decade!
  I did a lot of research on compressors and decided to go with Sears 'Craftsman' model for a couple of reasons. One is that Sears is very close by to me and two they have a great return policy. A few weeks ago I bought a 33 gallon 150 psi (pounds per square inch) oil-less model. I liked this one cause I could just plug it into a 120 V wall plug and not have to get an electrician to wire a 240 V.
As soon as I turned on the (above) red compressor I thought an air plane was taking off. It was the loudest noise I have ever heard in my studio. I worked with it for a couple of days with earplugs and more earplugs until a neighbor mentioned how loud it was. At that point I decided to build a soundproofing box for it. I went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of 2" Styrofoam and built the big pink/purple box above. I sawed out exhaust holes on both sides and put it to the test. It did not really work and what is worse was causing a lot of heat around the compressor which is the LAST thing you want!
 The very next morning after getting up I needed to find a solution. I just realized I had to return the compressor and get something quieter. I did some more homework online about compressors and on the Sears website. For a little more money I decided to go with a smaller 27 gallon 150 PSI black Craftsman Professional compressor on wheels. I took the red one back with the great 'Craftsman' return policy and got the little black one. One thing to note about this compressor I learned is that it needs a special kind of Oil Sears does not sell. I ordered it from Loews online. I ran the unit for awhile then flushed all the existing oil that came out black. Apparently this is common in these compressors at the beginning. I added new clear oil to it and will drain it once more to make sure all the black is out!
This one works great and is MUCH quieter. The reason it is quieter is because it uses oil and has a spinning belt. This greatly reduces the noise. Though it is smaller then the red one it more then does the job and delivers air to the tools I use to carve marble. I have it up on some cushions to isolate the small vibration from the neighbor below me. I am very happy with this little guy and working away with plenty of air...