compressor location - I need to install a compressor for a mini printing press

I need to buy a compressor for a mini printing press for my wife's screen printing.

The mfg suggests a unit providing at least 7CFM @ 90psi, a Speedaire 4ME96 from Grainger.

Bigger than what I wanted, but that's life.

I want to site it in the unfinished, dirt floor basement of her studio. It's always cool there albeit somewhat damp.

My intent is to cover the floor in heavy plastic to keep down the moisture and hard wire a 220 switch inside her studio so she can turn it on/off as needed.

I need it to be as maintenance-free as possible as I may not be on location to look after it. Is my scenario OK? Any options I haven't considered? Thanks!
Good that you are giving some thought to installing the compressor correctly and safely.

More than below is on the Installation pages linked from the site map.

Will the press be running daily? That being the case, I would not recommend that you turn off the compressor with the power switch, rather, rely on the integral pressure switch to shut the compressor off when it reaches the normal cut out. That way, there is air in the tank to start work each day.

I don't know the cycle of the silk screen press, though the compressor you've picked should supply a constant flow of air, even if the press is working non-stop.

Don't forget the electric auto drain for the tank, so your wife doesn't have to crawl under the tank to drain it each day, or worse, forget to do so.

What about the air intake? How big is this area? Any chance of pulling too much air and starving the compressor? If so, consider plumbing an air feed to the vicinity of the air intake filter from outside. That will augment the air in the studio. You can use a coil-dryer hose for this, with a screen on the outside to keep out bugs. Just have the inside opening near the intake, or a window open.

What about noise. This sucker is going to be loud?

Just a few thoughts...

Good luck.


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Feb 27, 2012
compressor size and site
by: Buzz

Bill, thanks for these comments. The basement area is about
1200 sf, there are auto foundation vents that in warm weather open up, I don't know how much air they'd let in when shut during cold spells, but running a "free air" line with a drier hose as you suggest to the outside to feed the compressor's demands would be no big deal.

The press will not operate every day. During her print cycles she'd use it typically in 1-2hr work stints, once, maybe twice per day for 3-7 days. Then not need it at all for many days, maybe many weeks. I can add a .wmv attachment the mfg. sent me that shows the press in operation if that might help.

I know compressors are loud, I don't see a way around that unless I build a little sound insulated booth around it, but I assume the motor needs to have air circulation around it so it won't overheat. I'm tempted to scale down the compressor size to something like a Makita MAC5200 that shows 6.5 CFM @ 90 psi, but it only has a 5.2 gal. tank, and I've heard a compressor should have enough air volume to supply the tool used without having to run continuously. But if it DOES keep up with the press's demand wouldn't it work?

Thanks much!
Duty cycle means that an air compressor should run for 15 minutes, and then shut off for at least that long, so the motor does not overheat.

Unless your compressor has 100% duty cycle, that might be a problem.

If the compressor is 100% duty cycle, and it provides the air flow and pressure necessary for your press, then yes, it should work fine.

Put the shroud around it to reduce noise, add a fan for cooling wired to a switch that can be turned on and off when the compressor is running, and bring the air in from outside to the intake if noise is going to be an issue.

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