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What size small compressor?

chrisxnoz

Grumbler in Training
Hi All! This is my first post and I'm just starting out in mat cutting as a hobby to frame my own art. I was able to get my hands on a Fletcher Valiani MatPro 150 Pneumatic. I'm learning how to set it up and use it with the help of the manual (sent to me by Crescent) and VHS tape that the previous owner still had. The video features John Raines, who seems to be pretty well known on the Grumble! I'm also taking a local class on framing starting in October.

The manual doesn't reference the specs of the compressor I should use with the mat cutter. I searched old threads and it seems like a pancake or small compressor will work. Lots of people like California Air b/c they are quiet. My question is:

What is the smallest size compressor you could get away with to work this machine at the hobbyist level?

Thanks so much!
 
888

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Welcome to the Grumble. I am not familiar with the workings of that specific machine, but most framing equipment does not require large volumes of air to operate. I would think that a two gallon minimum size would probably work for you. Note that, besides the California Air, several companies also now sell quiet compressors, including Husky, Senco, Masterforce (Menards), and even Harbor Freight.
I have a 5 or 6 gal. California Air for my underpinner, and also a 1 gal. Senco for my stapler and brad guns (great little compressor), and a Silentaire (silent but expen$ive) for my Wizard.
:cool: Rick
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Welcome. You have one of the best (IMHO) Computerized Mat Cutters CMC made. If you keep it maintained, properly lubricated, and clean it will last you for a long long time, I have never had to do any repairs what-so-ever on mine. In my opinion that machine is way over-kill if you plan to only cut your personal mats unless you are an artist or photographer.

I use a JunAir, very expensive but very quiet, 5 gallon compressor with my Valiani and that is plenty big enough. When I'm cutting mats it will probably kick in after cutting every 20th mat or so depending upon the size of the mat. This is very important - No matter what compressor you use make sure to install a air and water filter in the line between the compressor and the CMC and that you drain your compressor tank at the very least weekly, I personally do it daily as I'm closing down. Also, install a pressure adjustment valve, you can purchase this valve that has the air and water filter attached. I set my compressor at about 5 to 6 bar air pressure. Personally I am not a fan of the Harbor Freight products, I just don't like the quality. The Senco products are generally pretty good but I don't know much about the Materforce or Husky brands. Rick's been around for a long time so I'm sure he has a better handle on those compressors and won't steer you wrong. If you don't mind the noise and like to see your windows shake, any compressor that will maintain 80 to 100psi will work but personally I'm not a fan of the window shakingo_O.
 

chrisxnoz

Grumbler in Training
Rick is right...it's manual mat cutter with pneumatic clamping and is exactly like the one he included in his last post. Thanks to you both for your feedback! I'm looking for a low decibel compressor since I'll be working in the same space as my son plays. I'm not sure he'd stand for a loud compressor while he'll playing with his trains! Rick, I'll do some research on the quiet versions of the brands you listed above. Joe, thanks for the suggestion about the filters, draining and adjustment valve.
 

neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
I have used a Jun-Air compressor and we have a SilentAire compressor to run the Wizard and vnailers at work.. https://www.silentaire.com/silentaire/sil_air.asp
The Jun-Air compressors are expensive and there are other options and also used ones available.
When these compressors are running, they just kind of make a humming noise.
For used equipment check out....
https://aimequipmentcompany.com
You can talk to Steve about used equipment.
He is also on the Grumble. FrameShop1
I'm in Phoenix.
 
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Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Yes Rick you are right - mine is the Valiani Mat Pro CMC 150 i-X. I wasn't paying much attention to the identification, that's what happens when you are just filling in a little time waiting for some glue to set up:faintthud:
 

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
We have the Italian SilentAire 50-24 and it has served us VERY well for more than 10 years. It powers the vnailer. Wizard CMC, Valiani CMC, and some pneumatic tools at the fitting table. (We only use one thing at a time, as a small shop) It's a small one and about the same noise level as a refrigerator or water cooler. We have it in the basement, but it would be fine upstairs right near the design counter.

Ours is technically a AMS CM50, which is re-badged Silentaire 50-24 painted blue. I confirmed that with the manufacturer.

As long as you give her annual oil changes, she should last for a LONG time. This is the level of quality that you'd find in a dentist office, etc. They tend to run $800-$1000 for the single head unit, and a bit more if you want a higher volume unit with a larger storage tank.

We previously went through three LOUD $100 home depot Chinese compressors, over our first 4 years. The Silentaire costs a bit, but it's quiet and gives peace of mind that it will run reliably for a long time.
 
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alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
As others have said, pretty much any compressor will work for your machine.
We run our computerized mat cutter on a Jun-Air (sounds like a refrigerator).
A simple cheap option is to get a regular compressor, and just turn it off when the space will be occupied by others.
The air pressure in the tank will still be available to run your mat cutter for at least a few cuts.
The larger the tank you get, the longer it will stay pressurized. (It also means that when the motor is running, it will run for longer periods).
Best of luck.

Brian
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
THIS is the Senco I have. I suspect it would work well for your unit, even though it is only one gallon, since it is only operating the clamps. While not silent like the Silentaire, it is very quiet, and it only costs about $120, so not a huge investment. The guy who remodelled our kitchen a few years ago was using this exact model to run his air tools. BTW, there is a newer model of this for about $20 more, that is mounted in a rugged tubular frame. AFAIK, the performance is the same.
:cool: Rick
 

chrisxnoz

Grumbler in Training
Thanks for all of your responses. I think RIck answered my question as to whether a one gallon would be enough to make it work. I just wanted to clarify that this mat cutter has two pneumatic functions: for the clamping and the rotating cutting head. In addition to the Senco, I'm also considering this one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/California-Air-Tools-1-0-Gal-Light-and-Quiet-Steel-Tank-Electric-Portable-Air-Compressor-1P1060S/300500747. My objective is to get a big enough compressor to do a dozen cuts or so without have to stop mid-mat.

Thanks again in advance -- you guys have been awesome!;)
 

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
The California air tools will be big enough, although it is not from California (unless there is one in China) and isnt silent. It is quieter than most, though. A lot of framers do use that brand and most have been very happy. A couple reported them smoking up or catching fire, right here on old grumble threads, but that was probably 8-10 years ago. No complaints since!
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
For my V-nailer, I'm on my second California Air. The first one burned out (not up :rolleyes:) after about five or six years of use.
This one is reasonably quiet at first, but after it has cycled a few times it gets a little louder due to vibration. The Senco starts out quiet and stays that way.
:cool: Rick
 
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