I bought a Coleman direct drive at Costco for arount $230, if I remember right. It has a vertical 30 gallon tank and puts out 9 cfm @ 60 psi and 7 [email protected]
90 psi. It is more than adequate for running impact wrenches and air hammers, ok for short bursts with a sander/ saindblaster, but compressor will run contunuously and you actually want a 25 % duty cycle to cut wear and tear. It works great with a paint gun, I recommend using two air driers, one half way down the line and one at the gun (air driers require the air to have cooled off a lot to work properly) and a regulator at the gun, moisture in the line can really ruin an otherwise good paint job. Get either an HVLP setup or a standard gun, both standard and detail sizes, don't scrimp. Good paint guns really do a much better job than the cheapies. They also need more air. The standard size ones should use at least 8 cfm at 50 psi for good results. The detail one should use at least two. A non-hvlp setup will work just fine as long as you ventilate properly to suck up the overspray. I use a large shop vac setup outside the spray area with a new filter, and it works great. I did a frame up restore on my CJ5. If I was going to do this for a living, I would have gotten a belt driven compressor, but they cost at least twice as much and I was nomadic for a while, too. Now I am planning on getting a piston-type compressor (without motor) from Northern or a local surplus place and hooking it up to the front PTO on my jeep via a Vee belt from the winch drive(I have a vintage Koenig 8000# pto winch driven from the transfer case) and mounting it on the front bumper with a small tank underneath for really killer onboard air, without having to resort to a york compresser on the engine, which I don't have room for. That way I can have 150psi air driven by a rather substantial engine that won't care about contunuous duty and will provide lots of volume for pumping up tires, air horns, serious graffiti (just kidding), firing paintballs (just kidding, maybe).
If you plan on using an air tool continously, you need to select a compressor with 25% to 50% more continuous duty output than the tool to keep the motor from running constantly. And get a vertical tank, they are a lot easier to store than the horizontal- they take a lot less floor space, and the gauges and regulator are easier to read at stomach level than knee level.
1955 Willys CJ5 Buick 225 V6 160HP 270ft-lbs, T90 trans, Warn OD, PTO winch, Spicer 18 T Case, RS9000's, Dana 25F/ 44R,
5.38:1 gears, 11" brakes, Bestop Supertop, Hurculiner