Build Your Own Low-Cost Air Compressor

"I make them for myself and as gifts for friends. They work great," says Ian MacCuaig, Dalhousie Station, Quebec, about the home-built air compressors he makes out of old refrigerator compressor pumps.

"We've been using them on the farm for the past 15 years to pump up tires. They're not real fast but they get the job done and they're cheap. Maximum air pressure is about 160 lbs.," says Mac-Cuaig.

He simply removes the compressor from a junked refrigerator and cuts off the freon lines leading into and out of the compressor. Then he clamps an air hose to the output line and mounts the compressor -- which measures less than a foot across -- on a small frame made with square tubing. No air tank is needed to pump up tires but MacCuaig says you could easily rig one up if desired.