Let's start with some things you are going to need most likely to think about adding pneumatics to your haunt or yard. As I am a yard haunter, most of my thoughts will be leaning towards that sector. If you are a Pro haunter with a big ass haunt and may have a lot of pneumatics, then you better off talking to someone who may do industrial layouts for a living.
If you read down to here, well, thanks and hope I had some decent topics and words for you.
I have been eyeing the 60 gallon, 11.5 cfm one from tractorsupply.com for $480. Would definitely still be keeping my smaller, wheeled air compressor around for other jobs.
Can you get by with a smaller compressor? I am sure you can. How much smaller, I don't know. If you are running a few props, I would likely try and stay at 20 gallons or larger.
Can you build mechanisms without a welder? Am sure you can, but don't ask me how to, because I have a welder ; -) Truthfully, you are going to need a welder IMO if you want to build your own pneumatic mechanisms. So be ready to pony out more $$ to get jump in.
There are a lot of welders out there and am not any brain on all the different makes and models. When I first started to look at getting a welder, Lincoln Electric and Miller were the first ones to come to my mind.
At first, I wanted:
- 220 volt for bigger materials
- Mig type welder (gas)
- Price, going 120 volt versus a 220 volt welder was a couple hundred bucks cheaper from what I looked around locally.
- I have enjoyed the 120 volt version to be able to move it around plug it easily in
- It does a great job with the typical 12, 14, and 16 gauge steel I use. If I was going to be welding a lot of 1/4", 3/8" or so steel, then I would more likely want a 220 volt welder
- GO GAS. Mig welding doesn't take long to get decent at. I used to weld with "stick" welders back in high school and on the farm. Screw that. I haven't welding with gasless migs (flux embedded wire), but not dealing with any flux chipping and cleaning is freaking Heaven.
- Gas bottle, think I got the 80 cubic feet size for mine
- Welding helmet, a good auto darken helmet is so nice
- Welding gloves (I like the Tillman brand personally)
- Maybe square magnets
- Tip cleaner tool
- Wire brush
- T-squares, and other little things add up
- Metal grinder, because at some time you are going to make a mistake and need to separate some pieces
- Welding table, I did build a cheap table for welding small stuff on. The concrete floor works for me when building something bigger
Buying and Cutting Metal
- 1/2 x 1/2 x 16ga square steel tubing
- 3/4 x 3/4 x 14ga square steel tubing
- 1 x 1 x 14ga square steel tubing
- 1-1/4 x 1-1/4 x 12ga square steel tubing (bases)
- 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 x 12ga square steel tubing (bases)
- 1/4 hot rolled rod
- 1/8 x 1 flat bar