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Silentaire 20 a okay for first compressor?
noobking
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Posted: Friday, March 20, 2020 - 09:20 AM UTC
Looking for a quiet compressor for apartment life.

This will be my first compressor.

Is the Silentaire 20 a alright for a beginner?
Thanks.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Friday, March 20, 2020 - 09:42 AM UTC
Absolutely.
If you plan on painting large surfaces (square feet) you might possibly want to consider one with a larger tank but 0.4 gallon is certainly big enough for model building.
You will usually consume air at somewhere around 20 psi and the pressure switch will keep the tank at 55 to 85 psi. If the sudden starting when the tank pressure drops to 54 psi startles you then simply let it fill up to 85 psi, turn of the power and consume air down to a tank pressure of 20 psi. This will be enough for base coating an average 1/35 model.

/ Robin
GTDeath13
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Posted: Friday, March 20, 2020 - 09:45 AM UTC
It is a very good compressor. I used it too, pretty happy with it.

If you are planning for lon gpainting sessions you might want to consider a compressor with a larger air tank.

Overall it is a great compressor, not only for beginners. Just drain the tank regularly and check the oil level.

EDIT: Usually the air regulator fails after some years because its body is made of plastic. You can easily replace it with a much better and sturdy one that can be easily found on most tool shops.
ctkwok
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Posted: Friday, March 20, 2020 - 10:42 AM UTC
I've used it for more than 20 years, it's a great compressor.
VintageRPM
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Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020 - 01:58 AM UTC
Silentaire make good equipment. I've had a Silentaire Scorpian for I don't know how long and its worked perfectly.
18Bravo
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Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020 - 04:16 AM UTC
My first source of air was the spare tire in my '71 Cougar, so I'd say yeah, anything above that is a good start.
Scarred
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Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020 - 04:58 AM UTC

Quoted Text

My first source of air was the spare tire in my '71 Cougar, so I'd say yeah, anything above that is a good start.



You're lucky. Mine was a old tire I found half buried in the blackberry brambles. My first compressor was a WR Brown Speedy.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020 - 05:27 AM UTC
For those who seek really quiet air-supply for their AB work...

Getting one of those air tanks people make from used propane cans for carrying as "spare air and tire-refill" in their cars and trucks is a near-ideal solution. Just fit your regulator and water-trap onto that tank and you have a virtually silent air supply capable of running your AB for maybe the entire paint job if the tank is charged to 100 - 120 psi (depending of course on how you use and waste your compressed air when painting!).

I don't like the compressor noise when painting, so use a tank as my AB driver. I refill it from my garage compressor when needed. Gas stations and tire shops often still have air available for folks to fill tires (and tanks), for those who don't have shop compressors. That air is either cheap or free. Of course, you have to go there for that refill...

PS: I used to run a long air line from my garage compressor up to my modeling bench in the house... That worked well for quiet in the modeling room, save that I had to leave the doors open for the line... And the cats figure that is permission to leave the building without supervision! Using the tank solves the cat issue and eliminates the hissing from leaky line QR fittings!

And it is actually pretty feasible to run a long small-dia air line into a modeling room from a compressor stashed in an outside storage closet (a feature in many apartment complexes), if inside noise is an issue. You put your regulator and water trap inside by your bench, so that you can control your air-p, with a short line for the AB.

Just another alternative!

Cheers! Bob

Scarred
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Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020 - 05:51 AM UTC
$500-$600 for an hobby air compressor? Ouch. Like Panzerbob I'm running an automotive a.c. but mine's in my tool room in my house. If I need it outside I run a hose out the door or I can wheel it outside. The large tank keeps me in air for days. For 5-6 hundred bucks I'd look for a less expensive one or go with a tank of nitrogen and regulator from a welding supply shop. It's dry, a tank will last a long time and it's silent.
SSGToms
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Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 01:21 AM UTC
Silentaire 20 a okay for first compressor?
Is a Porsche Boxter okay for a first car?
TopSmith
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Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 01:32 PM UTC
I have a CO2 20 lbs cylinder for spray painting. It is truly silent and needs no power or water trap. you do need a regulator and the proper fitting for your spray hose.
afm1990
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Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 05:16 PM UTC
You may want to consider this for less than $200 including taxes:

https://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools-compressors/air-compressors-tanks/2-gallon-135-psi-ultra-quiet-hand-carry-jobsite-air-compressor-64596.html

It's quiet and will leave you $400+ to spend on modeling compared to your choice. Just a thought.
GTDeath13
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Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 06:49 PM UTC

Quoted Text

You may want to consider this for less than $200 including taxes:

https://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools-compressors/air-compressors-tanks/2-gallon-135-psi-ultra-quiet-hand-carry-jobsite-air-compressor-64596.html

It's quiet and will leave you $400+ to spend on modeling compared to your choice. Just a thought.



This is looking awesome!!! And the price is very nice. I wish we had these in my country.
noobking
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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 07:54 AM UTC
Many thanks to everyone.

Silentaire 20a it is!

Thanks again!
Trisaw
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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 11:34 AM UTC
Silentaire makes great air compressors, especially whne one has to repair it. Repairs could be expensive as Silentaire parts are from Italy, but, yes, it is a great air compressor.

The water trap and Control Unit works fine and it is super-silent.

Remember to refill and change the oil every so often. It does run hot if put to continuous use, but the air pressure is well maintained.

If for some reason the airbrush paint doesn't spray well, then chances are it is your airbrush or your paint---took me a while to learn this as some airbrush paint spray better than others. It is not the air pressure or Silentaire compressor.
joepanzer
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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 12:15 PM UTC
Go to Harbor Freight and get one of the Central Pnuematic AB compressors-they say for $70, I swear i got mine for $40 a few years back.

Cheap, fairly quiet (your bathroom fan is 3 times as loud)and a good starter that doesn't break the bank
Kevlar06
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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 12:39 PM UTC
I canít recommend those Harbor Freight compressors. When I worked at a LHS, I had four or five customers who came in either looking for repair parts or new compressors complaining about their ďel cheapoĒ HF compressors. Most of them ended up buying a higher quality compressor anyway. One gave up on airbrushing entirely due to his disgust with his HF compressorís performance and quality. They all had leaks, cracks, or bearing malfunctions over time. Itís better to invest in a high quality compressor from the beginning, rather than buying a cheap compressor and having to buy another to replace it down the line. I have a Binks compressor thatís still going strong nearly 50 years later. Invest in quality up front rather than be disappointed somewhere down the line.
VR, Russ
ctkwok
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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 12:45 PM UTC
+1 on what Russ said. I wish I went the route of OP and bought the 20A at the beginning, rather than going through all the trouble of finding alternatives such as cheaper compressors that don't meet my needs, CO2 tanks that I can't haul around, plus other dumb trials. I have not needed to fix my 20A for over 20 years.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 03:18 PM UTC
You know, I mis-spoke, I was out in the garage messing around and noted the date on my Binksó it says 1962! (I got it when I was in HS in 68, second hand) so itís actually 58 years old and going strong! (with a few paint spills and chips of course). One of those Harbor Freight compressors lasted one of our customers about 2 months as I recall. Put your money where it will do your hobby the most good.
VR, Russ
panzerbob01
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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 06:33 PM UTC
I inherited my Sears shop compressor from my dad... It's at least 60 at this point. It supplied the mid-pressure air for his machine shop for decades before he moved to AZ. Only service I've done was to install the "new" belt before I moved him and his shop out there in 1981. It still supplies my machine-shop air, fill tires, and drive my AB! Cheap and still running!

I wouldn't expect that sort of faithful service from most newer compressors... HF or otherwise.
Scarred
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Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 12:33 AM UTC
I bought a WR Brown Speedy PC410 in 85. It started losing pressure around 2015 so I started using my big compressors. The old Speedy didn't have a tank but the air pressure didn't pulse and was pretty high for a little compressor. It still runs but I think the diaphragm is worn and it lost it's rubber feet so it bounces around a bit. It is also a wee bit noisy. Not as loud as my big compressors but still you know when it's running.
Trisaw
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Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 04:08 AM UTC
Not to correct or lecture anyone, but Silentaire's Representatives know what they're talking about. Here is what she said to me about 17 years ago.


* If you live in an apartment, you need your compressor to be whisper-quiet. Silentaire hums like an expensive refrigerator motor. There is a slight hum and a POW as the air pressure releases like a cap gun. There is no way to get rid of the POW (perhaps newer Silentaires corrected this). Running it won't wake the neighbors.

* I had a SEARS and a Badger air diaphragm compressor and they started off quiet and then grew loud because the interior bushings wore down. They eventually grew very LOUD and ran HOT, bouncing all over the floor "walking." Then I looked for a silent one.

* What makes Silentaire ultra-quiet is the motor oil. As the Rep said, the oil is needed to coat the motor and absorb the heat (just like the engine of a car). No oil and the compressor pistons will eventually wear out and grow louder via friction, and that I think is the problem with the other air compressors that you buy for cheaper (they don't contain oil). Refrigerators use motor oil too, which is why your kitchen doesn't catch on fire from your fridge or wakes you up in the middle of the night as the fridge turns on. (And we all know that refrigerators aren't cheap). Silentaire is like a refrigerator motor and it takes a lot of oil to fill.

* Condensed air produces water and the Silentaire has a built-in water trap.

* Compressors need an air tank to maintain constant air pressure and stop from running constantly. Silentaire has an air tank and the compressor turns off and on to maintain that air pressure. One needs to relieve the air pressure before putting away the compressor. The tank also serves as an oil reservoir. Other cheaper compressors have an air tank but no motor oil.

* Silentaires DO NOT "walk" around the floor. At 47lbs, they're so heavy that they stay put. I use a mini handtruck to move mine around. They also come with a handle to move it so that you don't touch any hot parts, and yes, the piping grows hot.

* Compressors need a dial to adjust the air pressure and Silentaire has one dead-on accurate to the pound. Dial in 23lbs of air and the Control Unit will turn the compressor off and on to maintain that pressure. With no leaks, it will always be dead-on accurate. So what is the issue here? Other compressors can do this too, yes, but Silentaire does it "Whisper-quiet" like a refrigerator motor. I will NOT pump tires with Silentaire as that is not its job. I mean one could do so, but I use a loud cheap no-oil compressor to pump tires.

* Finally, it took me a while to figure this out, but if the paint doesn't flow or spray right, chances are it's not the air pressure or compressor, but your airbrush and airbrush paint. I used Vallejo AIR and it gunked up on me all the time and frustrated me immensely, wasting time. Then I talked to an airbrushing professional and some modelers who recommended a paint flow improver for AIR, or another brand of paint like Tamiya, Gunze Sanyo, or Mission Models. Those paints airbrushed a lot better than Vallejo AIR; I kid you not. I was using the wrong airbrush paint.

Silentaire is Made in Italy so its not a Porsche, but like the Ferrari or a Lamborghini of air compressors. Yes, it is very expensive to purchase and very expensive to repair if something breaks (I had to buy parts direct from Italy). But it sure lasts and maintains the air pressure well. After all, old refrigerators don't need much programming or circuits and can last for decades. It's also built rugged with solid enamel steel. Mine didn't rust after 17 years and I place it in a plastic bag when not in use.

I highly recommend one---it's just a quiet refrigerator motor made better.

I hope this helps.

Peter
Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 08:24 AM UTC
Peter,
Donít worry, youíre not correcting me at alló my point is, buy a good product and be happy with good performance. In 1968, Binks was the top of the line, and mine has served me well for 58 years now, but thatís because I didnít scrimp on the product to begin with. Iíd saved up many a lawn mowing fee over a year, and I think I spent a whopping $25 for my Binks (in todayís dollars, that would be about $400). I got it second hand at an art store at that. If I had to replace it today, Iíd buy a top of the line model. In fact, I did sort of replace it in 2012, and bought an Iwata tank compressor I use just for fine work (it has a regulator). I think I paid $250 for the Iwata. But again, my point is, donít spend $75 on a compressor that will break down at the worst possible moment, or frustrate the @#$&* out of you when you try to paint. Itís the same for airbrushes. Buy quality stuff to begin with, learn how to use it, take care of it, and you wonít be disappointed by wasting your money (or time) with junk.
VR, Russ
TopSmith
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Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 04:57 PM UTC
With my "silent" 20 lbs CO2 cylinder, there is no need for a water trap. The only moving part is the regulator knob. It never walks and needs no power. It does not get hot from use. It holds about a year and a half or two years of CO2. They just exchange the cylinder for a full one when it gets low. Its pretty cheap for CO2 gas. It is highly portable.
ctkwok
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Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 05:34 PM UTC

Quoted Text

With my "silent" 20 lbs CO2 cylinder, there is no need for a water trap. The only moving part is the regulator knob. It never walks and needs no power. It does not get hot from use. It holds about a year and a half or two years of CO2. They just exchange the cylinder for a full one when it gets low. Its pretty cheap for CO2 gas. It is highly portable.



I saw comments like this back when I started and got my CO2 set up. The tank occupies volume and not time, so if you paint more you use it up more quickly, which for me is less than 6 months. Hauling that thing for refill is PITA.

It's great that it works for you but I decided I didn't want to live with all that downside.