Build MOTHER’s bootleg air compressor application these step-by-step instructions.
Sooner or afterwards every home branch needs a acceptable little air compressor. Annihilation fancy, you understand. Aloof a asperous allotment of accessories that will put out air at a burden of up to, say, 80 pounds per aboveboard inch. Something that can handle all those acrylic spraying, sandblasting, air-blast cleaning, carriageable aeriform tool, and “keep the tires aggrandized on the ancestors bus” jobs that consistently crop up.
Everybody with a home boutique knows that. But not everybody with a basement or barn branch finds him- or herself able to carapace out the $100 to $150 or added that a acceptable little air compressor costs these days. And that’s actually why Dennis Burkholder and Emerson Smyers — two of MOTHER’s analysis agents — afresh aching their heads, went to work, and came up with this chic air compressor that any home artisan should be able to whip calm from mostly “junk” for beneath than $60 (Plans for MOTHER’s Bootleg Air Compressor).
Now it should be noted, appropriate in the beginning, that the apparatus you see actuality consists of three basal parts:  duotanks to authority air afterwards it’s compressed,  a pump to do that compressing, and  an electric motor which turns the pump . . . all affiliated with the able valves, controls, air lines, and added hardware.
And it should added be acclaimed that there are untold numbers of accumulator tanks of endless architecture . . . an appropriately all-inclusive alternative of alone air pumps . . . and an absurd array of old electric motors — all of which are acceptable “raw materials” for a activity of this attributes — agilely acerbic abroad in carports, cellars, attics, accumulator rooms, aback yards, clutter shops, and atom bags in every allotment of the country appropriate now.
And yet addition point should be acclaimed too: There assuredly are as abounding means to amalgamate any about called tank, pump, and motor into a advantageous air compressor . . . as there are home shops that can use such a allotment of machinery. There is-in added words-no “set” or “best” way to recycle a abandoned catchbasin or tanks, pump, and motor into an air compressor. But for an archetype of aloof how accessible the job can be done . . . well, apprehend on!
The distinct account best axial to any air compression and accumulator system-the “heart” of the machine-is its air pump. And in this case, that pump is the air conditioning compressor taken from a junked automobile. (HINT: The association in the auto air conditioning business that Dennis and Emerson talked to say that compressors from Fords and Chryslers, or any agent air conditioner bogus by Borg-Warner will be the easiest to convert. They additionally point out that you’ll apparently aces up one of the units for beneath money if you buy it from a atom metal dealer, instead of an auto genitalia junkyard.)
Once MOTHER’S two mechanics had begin a $2.00 auto air conditioner compressor to their liking, they bankrupt the assemblage off and fiddled about with it until they had bent which of its two ports was “intake” and which was “exhaust”. Abutting they activated the pump’s compression (merely by “motoring” its drive caster over by hand) and-finding it soundadded abundant 30-weight oil to the compressor’s crankcase to accompany the lubricant’s akin up to aloof the basal of the pump’s crankshaft.
(SPECIAL NOTE: It is accessible — afore the alluring clamp of the compressor is assuredly bound to the caster and flywheel, as explained in the abutting branch — to handspin aloof the caster and flywheel, beam that the compressor pumps no air, and anticipate the assemblage is abnormal aback — in actuality — it isn’t. Accomplish certain, then, as you conduct this analysis that you grab the pulley/flywheel/clutch accumulation in such a way that you about-face it all . . . including the clutch.)
The pulley, flywheel, and alluring clamp of an auto air conditioner compressor are usually accumulated into a distinct chip accumulation . . . area anniversary of the three apparatus does its abstracted thing. (The caster and flywheel about-face all the time the vehicle’s agent is running. The clutch, however, charcoal able from the added two apparatus until a about-face is addled in the car’s or truck’s commuter alcove and the air conditioner is “turned on”. In reality, this “turning on” consists of annihilation but closing an electrical ambit which activates the alluring clamp . . . thereby causing it to “lock onto” the spinning flywheel . . . thereby causing the clutchand the air conditioner drive shaft absorbed to it-to circuit also.)
That’s all actual accomplished for an auto air conditioner, of course, but you don’t charge or appetite a disengageable clamp on your boutique compressor (it’s far easier and added able aloof to bung the assemblage in aback you appetite it to run and unplug it aback you don’t). Which is the acumen why MOTHER’s advisers actually spot-welded their compressor’s clamp to the blow of the flywheel/pulley assembly. (If you prefer, you can assignment and afresh either pin or bolt castigation together.)
MOTHER’S cadre afresh adapted the air assimilation on their pump with a abecedarian cleaner fabricated of a artificial “butter tub” abounding with some atom boiler clarify actual (a cream elastic blot would accept formed aloof about as well).
The accumulator tanks on Dennis and Emerson’s rig are two Freon burden cylinders they acquired chargeless from a bounded air conditioning and algidity shop. Federal law prohibits anyone from refilling these tanks with Freon and the containers commonly are aloof befuddled away. About — aback the bottles are certified for pressures up to 250 psi (which puts the 80 psi defined actuality able-bodied aural their assurance limits) and the tanks are accessible about everywhere chargeless for the allurement — there’s actually no acumen why the cylinders shouldn’t be reborn as an air compressor’s burden bottles.
The tanks were attached calm with a board “yoke” (see diagram in the Image Gallery) anchored calm on all four corners with threaded rod. This bond additionally serves as a arise for the accomplished compressor’s air pump, drive motor, and added hardware.
On one of the burden tanks (it actually doesn’t bulk which) a half-inch aperture was accomplished as an air aperture and a half-inch aqueduct applicable silver-soldered into the opening. Afresh Burkholder and Smyers deeply accompanying on an “air compressor catchbasin assorted with super-seal ball-valve aperture and congenital assurance valve” which they purchased at a bounded accouterments store.
Next — and this was the blow which angry MOTHER’S bootleg air compressor into a rig actually as acceptable as any store-bought assemblage — the boys army a burden barometer and a burden about-face (also bought from the bounded hardware) on the catchbasin manifold.
The gauge, of course, allows its users to accumulate an eye on the psi which builds up in the air compressor’s tanks. And the about-face functions as a academician for the accomplished shootin’ match: As continued as the compressor is acquainted in, the about-face will automatically about-face its motor on whenever the burden in the tanks drops beneath 60 psi and afresh aloof as automatically shut it off aback the burden climbs aback up to 80 psi.
And Here’s an Important Additional Assurance Point: Aloof to accomplish actually assertive that no one can anytime aback abutting off the catchbasin adapted with the assurance valve and burden about-face (thereby acceptance the motor to run the compressor and body up a alarming bulk of burden in the added cylinder) . . . MOTHER’S safetyminded advisers accomplished off their catchbasin accession by actually aperture the valves on both bottles and afresh acid off the handles so that those valves can never be bankrupt again. MAKE SURE YOU DO THE SAME.
MOTHER’s amusing mechanics completed their accessible little rig by application one-quarter inch chestnut tubing to affix the bankrupt ancillary of the air pump — through a one-way analysis valve — to the basin accessories on the burden bottles (make actually assertive the valve “points” from the pump and to the tanks).
(And here’s why you charge that one-way valve anyway: The Freon pump on an auto air conditioning assemblage usually contains a congenital “bleed-off” valve which opens at the end of anniversary operating aeon and releases any “leftover” burden from the compressor so that it can be started easier at the alpha of its abutting cycle. But you don’t appetite this bleed-off valve aural the pump itself to backpack abroad the burden in your air bottles every time your compressor is shut off by its automated switch. And that’s aloof what the analysis valveinstalled amid the air tanks and the pump-prevents.)
Finally — to board “muscle” to run their air compressor/air accumulator arrangement MOTHER’s experimenters angled up a acclimated 1/3-hp electric motor, army it beside the auto air conditioning compressor on the top of their little rig, and accompanying it to the pump with a V-belt.
As a finishing touch, Dennis and Emerson ancient a assurance absorber (of accouterments cloth), army it over the V-belt and pulleys, and gave their under-$60 air compressor/storage arrangement a acceptable covering of acrylic . . . afore putting the assemblage to assignment in MOTHER’s analysis shop.
NOTE: The aperture accomplished into one of the air tanks to board Allotment No. 26 (the pipe-to-flare fitting) should be fabricated as baby as accessible to accord the applicable a above accept to adhesive against.
NOTE: Allotment Nos- 4, 5, and 6 actually are garden corrupt adapters . . . which are acclimated because the aqueduct applicable on the compressor has a beeline cilia (rather than the cone-shaped cilia begin on best pipe).
Here’s a carriageable burden tank, or air bottle, (see the Image Gallery) that you’ll acquisition accessible whenever you charge to backpack pressurized air “out above the powerlines” somewhere.
Just get a abbreviate breadth of air corrupt with a 1 1/4 inch changeable blaze applicable on one end and a annoy abandon on the added and spiral the changeable applicable assimilate a recycled Freon cylinder’s top valve. Afresh buy an all-metal Schrader valve (the admeasurement of its “base” doesn’t matter), assignment a aperture in the burden catchbasin to fit, and deeply silver-solder the Schrader applicable into the opening. (NOTE: You charge abolish the accouterments central the valve afore accomplishing this soldering and afresh adapt it adapt the soldering is completed.)
All right! You’ve aloof congenital yourself a burden bottle. Add air through the Schrader valve (and analysis the burden in the alembic with a annoy barometer activated to this valve), backpack the catchbasin anywhere you like . . . and afresh use the air corrupt to “pump up” wagon tires or do added ablaze jobs bottomward in the aback 40, on alien roads, etc. Simple isn’t it?
1. 5/8 inch elastic grommet2. 3/4 inch aqueduct to 1/2 inch diaphoresis copper3. 3/8 inch changeable blaze to 1/4 inch tubing4. Garden corrupt to 3 1/8 inch aqueduct macho flare5. Garden corrupt elastic washer6. 3/4 inch aqueduct to garden hose7. 3/8 inch collapsed washer8. Garden corrupt elastic washer9. 1/4 inch aqueduct changeable blaze to 1/4 inch tubing10. 1/4 inch aqueduct to 1/4 inch aqueduct macho flare11. 1/4 inch air analysis valve12. 1/4 inch aqueduct to 1/4 inch aqueduct macho flare13. 1/4 inch aqueduct changeable blaze to 1/4 inch tubing14. Artificial margarine tub15. Filling from a boiler or air conditioner clarify pa16. Artificial margarine tub lid17. 5/16 inch hex nut (8)18. 5/16 inch collapsed washer (8)19. 5/16 inch accessible bolt (4)20. Burden barometer (1/4 inch mount)21. Electrical burden switch22. 1/4 inch aqueduct nipple23. Air compressor catchbasin manifold24. 1/2 inch assumption hex aqueduct coupler25. 1/2 inch aqueduct nipple26. 1/2 inch aqueduct to 3/8 inch aqueduct macho flare27. 1/4 inch changeable blaze to 1/4 inch tubing28. 1/4 inch changeable blaze to 1/4 inch tubing29. 1/4 inch tubing “T”30. Auto air conditioner compressor31. 1/3 hp motor32. 1/4 inch cobweb accouterments bolt for assurance shield33. 2 by 4, 23 inches long, lumber, (4)34. 1 by 8, 23 inches long, lumber, (1)35. Electrical cord1/4 inch ascent bolts and nuts, (6)V-beltPaint
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