«Previous    Next»
Home-Built Air Compressor
Lonnie Wallace, who runs a tractor and combine repair shop in Jerico Springs, Mo., needed an air compressor to run an impact wrench and other air tools, but couldn't justify the cost of a big compressor.
"The cheapest I could find was $350 so I decided to build my own. I took an old pressure tank and mounted a GM air conditioning compressor on it, together with a 1-hp. electric motor. I mounted the motor so the compressor turns the same direction it turned on a car engine. That's important because there's a small oil pump in the compressor that lubricates the compressor and, if you run it in reverse it'll burn out. I welded fittings and brackets onto the tank.
"I bought a commercial air compressor switch with a release valve, hose outlet, and air gauge. I filled the compressor with SAE 30 oil and dropped some oil down the suction hose. Whenever the compressor gets noisy, I just add more oil.
"The compressor pumps to 400 psi, but I set it to come on at 100 psi and go off at 150 psi. I also use it to vacuum air conditioning systems. To keep the compressor from free-wheeling, I had to spot weld the clutch shut.
"The total cost was $130 for the motor and $32 for the pressure switches. The compressor came from a junk yard and I used the original compressor manifold with hoses.

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
1984 - Volume #8, Issue #5