convert old compressor tank to portable air storage tank?


subject says all, I was given an old air compressor minus the compressor and motor - would like to use it as a portable compressed air tank. McMaster-Carr sells schraeder valve to NPT fittings for cheap, but don't I need some kind of pop off valve to make this legit? Also will a standard radiator petcock suffice as a drain valve or do I need something more substantial? I guess my lack of finding the pop off valve on a quick web search (maybe I'm not using the right keywords?) is keeping me from hacking this together.
thanks
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

For little more than the cost of the fittings, fill valve, safety relief valve, etc. to put it together, you can buy a complete new portable air tank from Harbor Freight in your choice of 5-10 gal sizes and in either steel or aluminum.
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Pete C. wrote:

shipping is a b*tch though. The fill valve is something like $5, and I probably have most of the fittings laying around, I just need to find a source for the relief valve. Plus, it offends me to throw out a bit of useful kit and then turn around and buy the exact same thing.
I was going to buy one last year when I ended up with a bunch of Sears gift cards after Xmas (it's like people think I'm a tool junkie or something I guess) but my local Sears didn't have any. Nearest HF store is something like 50 miles away, not worth it for an air tank.
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I do know what you mean, about throwing out an otherwise useful device. Please look for an old auto parts store, and ask the oldest counter clerk for a freon tank conversion kit, to convert it to hold compressed air. Might find one dusty old package in the back. That should have a manifold, air hose, air chuck, schraeder valve, and pressure relief valve.
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wrote:

But his is quality and HF may be lo-quality. (Note that I spelled it lo and not low, so I can't be accused of libeling them.)

Me too. Good for you.
As to the drain, look at some of the compressors with tanks in the store. Mine by the famous hyphenated brand I forget the name of is so small they call it an air pump or something, but it has a tank bigger than a football and I think it indeed uses a radiator petcock. But I haven't looked at it for a couple years.

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The auto parts stores used to sell conversions, to make a freon tank into air storage. Not sure anyone still has them.
I have a 3 gal compressor from HF, and someday will find a way to put my 5 gal portable tank into the system. So the compressor doesn't run as often.
Like Pete says, you can get a portable tank for what the parts would cost.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumbere594 Thirty bucks, watch a while, and it will go on sale.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumbere595 Forty bucks, and 11 gal size.
Can you cut the top off, drill a couple holes, and make a rolling flower planter?
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On Sat, 26 Sep 2009 19:27:32 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Maybe, but if he included the compressed air element, he could have a flower launcher.
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I really like that idea. That's why he needs a pop off valve. To activate the flower launch.
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Nate Nagel wrote:

I'd not sweat it -- the old Air Force surplus air bubble doesn't have either and it's been (and continues to be) fine for 50 years and counting...
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Just have to make sure the source compressor doesn't have too much pressure. An old compressor tank should hold 100 PSI easy enough. If there is no visible obvious rust, that is.
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Just add a gauge on it and don't fill at more than 125 PSI. That is what I have done. WW

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wrote:

Tanks rust with time and should be replaced after several years. A portable tank does not cost that much, maybe $25.
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wrote:

What happens if a compressed air tank leaks? Do you get air all over the place?
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I agree with Phisherman. Compressors rust from the inside out, so you're not going to be able to tell anything about how much metal is left in an old compressor tank. Typically they develop pin hole leaks in the bottom. But could one fail catastrophically and injure someone? I've never heard of it happening, but why take the chance?
Plus if it did injure someone, it would be bad enough being sued without having the plaintiff pointing to a homebuilt piece of crap.
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It's almost impossible to get out of a cement floor. Put a sheet of plastic under the tank. And some news papers to soak up any leaks before they get to the cement.
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Nate Nagel wrote:

I don't think you need a drain - just turn the tank upside down and open the valve.
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On Sat, 26 Sep 2009 17:40:00 -0400, Nate Nagel wrote:

http://www.tools-plus.com/coilhose-sv165-dl.html?utm_medium ed&utm_source=froogle&utm_term=COISV165-DL
NAPA used to sell a kit with a pop valve, to convert steel refrigerant tanks to air tanks. When they rust through it starts with a small hole and the air leaks off. The damn thing is not going to explode. The hole just lets the air escape. Kept it in the trunk till it leaked.Didn't find another tank. SO:
I have a large old aluminium LP fuel tank off of a lift truck that I have converted. Used it for a long time as a pressurized water tank to wash my hands on the road. Now use it just as an auxiliary air tank on a smaller compressor with a small tank to help the volume for air tool use.
I kept the NAPA kit and added it to the LP tank using bushings. With the quick disconnects, I can charge(fill) it with air and through it in the trunk to help a friend with a spare that is never checked and low when needed. Or just to run an impact to loosen the lugs on the road.
Go to "horrible freight" online catalog and get quick disconnects and a short air hose, air chuck, and inflation guage, be done with it.They will send it in the mail for less than the gas to drive to one if you are located far from a store.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberF788 http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber923 http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=air+coupler&Submit=Go http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=Tire+guage&Submit=Go
Hope this helps.
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