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This is a discussion on Home Built Air Compressor. within the Home DIY Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello folks. I have been reading a lot og articles on building home built Air Compressors but have yet to


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Old 07-08-2009, 12:21 AM   #1
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Hello folks. I have been reading a lot og articles on building home built Air Compressors but have yet to find a design that suits me. I think I have some ideas about how i want one built, but I am not sure if I am right in my thinking. So if you could, look at what I have so far and please give helpful and possably inexpensive sugestions.

Mainly I want to use this for sanding and painting motorcycle gas tanks. I would like for it to run with a gas motor and an air conditioning compressor from a car.

The motor I have is a 5 hp Briggs and Stratton that I would like to work with the air conditioning pump. I am not sure what I am going to use for a tank yet, but I am still thinking on that part. I need it to turn on the pump and off at the right pressures. Here is what I was thinking if it will work. I believe that the air compressor turn on and off electically. In that case would a pressure switch from a home water pump work to turn the pump on and off. If som is there a way that I can make it work with a gas motor. If not I can change my plans to an electric motor. Mostly I need to know if I can make an air conditioning pump and a water pump pressure switch work.

I am basically trying to find the cheapest way to build this with parts that I can find around the garage. I plan on buying tubing and connectors and most likely a tank unless something suitable comes along. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time,
Jim

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Old 07-08-2009, 01:21 PM   #2
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Part of tinkering is having parts and making them work together. If you don't already have a tank, pressure swith, oil and water separator, power for the clutch, your are going to have to buy them.

I would get a really old York AC compressor, newer on are to small as far as
"volume" they can put out. Newer ones lots of pressure but no volume.

Instead of a pressure switch, to cut off the switch, use a un loader type valve, no electric required, if you want to power it by a gas engine.

Unless you have a bunch of parts laying around, buy one.

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Old 07-08-2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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Confused

i believe that I have everything that I need to build it except the tank and the shut off switch, but I am not sure that I can do this myself the more i look at plans that other people have done. So for curiosity when you mention an unloader valve are you talking about the same unloader valve that is used for water? In which case, i think i could handle that.

Jim
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:57 AM   #4
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I should have called it a pressure valve, not unloader. You need a "Valve" to bleed off excess pressure.

A safety valve off a hot water tank will not work, as it non adjustable.

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Old 07-12-2009, 08:12 AM   #5
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I dont think that the water pressure switch will work.
You can get a pressure switch from a lot of places. I think mine cost about 15 dollars and it has the necessary electrical connection.
As for the AC compressor you wont get enough air flow for sanding. The size of the piston is about the size of a dime.
You would be better off getting a old 3.5 hp motor, piggy back it to the running engine and use the air from the exhaust to fill the tank but I dont know how much pressure you would get.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:41 AM   #6
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I was actually thinking about an idea like that last night. I believe i have another motor around here that I could use to try it out. Thanks for the comments, If i get a chance to try it out, I will let you know how it works.

Jim
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:04 PM   #7
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Good luck on your "tinkering" :)

But I am sure that I don't have to warn you, the wrong pressure valve, the wrong/old air tank, you could be building a "Bomb"

Please be careful.

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Old 07-12-2009, 07:16 PM   #8
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Oh yeah, I am making sure to be careful with what is being added and what isn't going to be used. I wont use a valve unless its new and I wont work with any old tanks that may be unsafe. I think this project is going to be on hold for a little bit. I have been cleaning out my grandpas shed to make myself a workspace, and I just found a gas powered air compressor... no tank though. I am going to see what I can do about getting this one going first. Who knows this may be the answer to many of my issues. Thanks again.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:51 PM   #9
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Nice find :)

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Old 07-13-2009, 11:15 PM   #10
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Whats the chances of this. The compressor that I found happens to be a project that my granpa threw together back before i was even born. Its just what I was thinking about doing, only not completely finished. Its a gas engine running an air conditioning compressor from an old car. It runs and pumps air, but has no tank or hookups yet. All it has is a male connector on an outlet tube, so its just pumping air all the time. So this is what I have to start with... now the fun begins of getting the rest going.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:02 AM   #11
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Keep us posted

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:37 AM   #12
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My grandpa also built his own compressor, also without a tank. It was cobbled together with some old Chevy engine parts and was good for most tasks where a constant and steady stream of air was needed. He had to sneak away from mom and grandma to show it to me. :)
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:01 PM   #13
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Compressors are quite cheap.... I have a few that are <$100 brand new-out of the box. It is nice to accomplish something worthwhile and beneficial, but without a complete understanding pneumatics and the consequences of system failure only puts you and others in jeopardy. The pressure-relief valve protects the user in the event the pressure regulator fails. The regulator shuts the unit off at the prescribed pressure... if the unit does not shut down when the desired pressure is achieved, the "blow off" or pressure relief valve allows for excess pressure to be released. Tank failure is the last thing you want to see.... in some cases it will be the last thing the user ever sees. Do not put yourself or your loved ones in the path of peril. There are safeguards implemented with most types of equipment and you need to be aware of the reason/s why they are there.

You have taken on a noble task and admiration is very well due to you on what you wish to accomplish. Give consideration to what you trying to do and put safety as first priority. If you wish to pass knowledge on to the next generation, you have to survive your own education.

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