2011 - Volume #35, Issue #4, Page #43[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Big Air Compressor Fitted With Hydraulics
"Most big compressor units are designed to provide enough air for multiple tools, but I only needed enough for one," explains Bedard. "I figured I could use the extra horsepower for a hydraulic pump."
He bought a 185 psi, 1995 Chicago compressor complete with trailer. There was more than enough room under the hood for the hydraulic pump and valves where air tools would normally have been stored.
The key to sending power to the hydraulic pump was a specially-designed, double-groove pulley for the driveshaft and a matching double-groove pulley on an electric clutch. Bedard had the pulley fabricated at a local machine shop to piggyback on the single-groove pulley that powered the compressor.
"The clutch lets me transfer power to the hydraulic pump with the flick of a switch," says Bedard. "The hydraulic pump is capable of 2,500 psi at 2,000 rpm's with 17 gpm flow. The 18-gal. oil reservoir handles flow without any heat buildup, so no cooling system is needed. However, even when using both the compressor and the pump, the engine runs at only a high idle."
Hydraulic power is channeled first to a pressure and flow control valve that splits flow between two outlets. Flow ratios can be as much as 100 percent to either outlet.
Flow from one splitter outlet goes to a valve designed for use with a hydraulic cylinder. It springs to center when released.
The second splitter outlet directs flow to a variable speed control. Here flow splits again. Twin controls on the speed control can adjust flow on a scale of 0 to 10 to their respective outputs to valves intended to control hydraulic motors. Both valves have forward, reverse and detent positions.
All three valves have dual lines going to spools with quick disconnects mounted on the front of the machine. The air spool and hose are mounted on top of the machine.
Bedard can use the air and hydraulic lines independently or together for a variety of tools or jointly on the rock drill.
"No company makes one, and everyone said it couldn't be done," chuckles Bedard. "I did it, and it works great."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Paul Bedard, 173 Tibbetts Hill Rd., Goffstown, N.H. 03045 (ph 603 497-8189).
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