If you're like me and don't have the scratch or space for a larger air compressor, you're probably stuck with the 6-gallon pancake that I have. With such a small tank the thing cycles on constantly and it is LOUD.
So, here's an alternative: In this video industrial designer Eric Strebel shows you how to make, step by step, an ultra-quiet air compressor using primarily scavenged parts. The rest of the stuff you can get at a big-box store or on eBay. Pretty cool! (And don't worry if you don't have the large metalworking machines, you can surely find handheld workarounds.)