|The MGA With An Attitude
Air Compressors - When You Only Need A SMALL ONE -- AR-106
An ad from the past. This ad was run in Popular Science magazine in June 1962. I bought the very same model in late 1970 for $39.95. I still have it, and I still use it. It is a nifty little tool for small jobs. A little slow, but good for inflating sports balls and tires up to 40 psi. Also good for small paint spraying jobs where appearance may not be absolutely critical.
The smaller diaphragm type compressor puts out about 1.5 CFM with no air storage tank, using a bleed type paint spray gun. It came with spot spray and fan spray paint nozzels, a blow gun tip, a sports ball needle, 10 ft 1/4" air hose, and a 6 foot power cord.
Since air pressure and air flow are not regulated you may need to adjust paint viscosity with thinner or reducer (if it's high viscosity). It works fine for small jobs in non-critical areas, engine compartments or underbody or for touch up on small areas. I used mine for all of the body prep and primer work during the restoration of my MGA. I didn't own any larger compressor until it was time to shoot the finish coat.
December 28, 2006:
Harbor Freight is currently selling a 2-gallon compressor for $59.99 -- Only 3.4 CFM at 40 psi, but that's enough for a small paint sprayer (or inflating tires). -- http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90539
$11.99 for a 15 piece Air Compressor Starter Kit -- http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=42005
$9.99 for an air paint sprayer and blow gun -- http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=93270
$8.99 for shipping (under $100 order). So for $90.96 you're in the small job paint spraying business, including a tank type compressor with adjustable pressure.