Compressor mod

Before we go on, let me acknowledge that this will NOT take the place of a good 240 volt, 60+ gallon, oil clubbed compressor! That's not the intent here. <G>
I have a PC 2 HP 6 gallon pancake unit that came with my brad / finish nailer kit. It's a handy tool for nailing, blow guns, and other small draw devices, plus it's very portable.
Looking for a cheap alternative to buying a portable mid-sized compressor to power a touch up gun, I had an idea. I added a brass tee fitting between the pressure switch and regulator. To the tee, I connected an extra quick connect, so that I can connect my 11 gallon air tank. For regular nailing, I can leave the extra tank disconnected.
It works GREAT! I use a small regulator set to 40-50 psi at the gun, set the compressor regulator to 75-80 PSI, and I can pretty much spray all I want without waiting for the compressor to catch up! The initial charge does take quite a bit longer than without the extra tank, and I know I'm adding extra wear to the machine, but it's a lot cheaper than a decent 20-25 gallon portable. Inserting the extra capacity between the switch and first regulator makes the system behave quite differently than if the tank were after the first regulator.
Now I can use the big compressor for regular spraying, the PC, in two versions, for portable applications, or even the 11 gallon tank alone for nailing.
Since I already had the spare tank, the total cost of the mod was under $10.
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have a monstrous IR T-30 compressor; was supposed to be 5HP, but the 5HP filter won't come close to fitting - it needs a ten inch diameter filter. The motor I put on it to replace the 5HP 3ph motor is a 5HP TEFC 220/25amp single phase unit. I suspect 15HP would be closer to was original.
Anyway, due to my own lazyness, I added an automatic drain to the tank. These units are available at Grainger or MSC, and will open a 1/4 inch valve for 2-10 seconds every hour. The output on mine goes to a small hose barb with 25 feet of 1/4 inch tubing on it. It ends up outside. Now I never have to worry about "Did I drain the tank?"...
A final piece of maintenance - I checked the safety valves (overpressure valves) and found one solidly stuck closed. Grainger had several different replacement units for about $10. Cheap at ten times the price! A stuck-on compressor with a frozen safety valve could blow your house to small pieces if you have a large tank. Mine is eighty gallons and the people in sci.physics claim the energy storage at 200 psi is about the same as a pound of TNT.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just a word of warning, I have the same compressor and I like it also. However, the unit is not meant to exceed a 50% duty cycle (the motor should not be running more than 50% of the time while in use). If the larger draw air tools are causing the motor to exceed the 50% rating, then the life of the motor will be greatly reduced.
Frank
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 30 Jun 2004 02:04:36 GMT, "Frank Ketchum"

Agreed. It's not. Extended run times would probably also raise the air temp and moisture content considerably.
I like to charge any compressor at the very beginning of a spray session to allow the air to cool, and moisture to settle out. This is the first thing I do, before I even take out the gun, prepare the finish, or prepare the work area.
It takes 10-12 minutes for the initial charge on this thing, and things do not get overly hot. I could probably spray a typical vanity, end table, or maybe a nightstand, without the compressor kicking in until I'm cleaning the gun. In reality, It might run 5-10 minutes of 30-45 minutes of work time, exclusive of the initial charge.
Remember, I have a larger unit, this is for quickie touch up gun, or extended Critter use, with portability in mind. I'm not looking to power a conversion gun and spray wall units or kitchens with it.
If the thing eventually toasts, I'll replace it with a 20-28 gallon portable.
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.