I was originally going to blame this on "a friend," but this one is
mine all mine, and I shouldn't hide.
I have a Bostitch twin tank air compressor, and over the weekend the
drain valves started leaking air.
So, I decided that now would be a good time replace those pain in the
butt valves with something a little friendlier to use. I tried to
remove the worst of the two valves first, but I got the thing so
boogered up that it was worthless for anything other than cutting
myself on. So I took my Dremel to it and cut it flush, then tried to
drill it out, except that my drill bits jump from 3/8" to 1/2", and
the valve opening is somewhere in between.
So I stopped doing that, and now I'm left with a brass-plugged hole
with a 3/8" hole in the middle of it.
1) How can I recover from my screwup and get the drain valve plugged
2) How can I remove the other valve without completely screwing up
I admit that I got hasty, then stubborn, and finally mad, but I'm
hoping I can either fix this or get it fixed. It's been a good
compressor, and I'm stuck in the middle of a project that I'd like to
You've made this pretty difficult. If you don't have a drill
index, I'm sure you don't have easy outs and taps. I suspect that
you wouldn't know how to use them if you did (not a pick, just an
observation based on your statements) and breaking them off would
only make the problem worse.
Your best bet would be to find a tool repair shop or machine shop.
No idea what they would charge. The best choice would be to go to
an outfit that works on compressors, they will be prepared to deal
with the issues and the new parts.
If you insist on trying:
Buy a full drill index.
Buy an assortment of easy outs - I prefer the square ones.
Buy the correct tap, but be prepared to need to drill out for the
next size and the next larger tap.
Try the easy out first. Tap it in firmly. Try to unscrew the
broken nipple. There are nipple extractors, but I've not ever had
much luck with them. If you succeed at this point, you're done
other than buying and installing a ball valve or whatever you
If it doesn't work (when it doesn't work), drill out the nipple
but do not hurt the threads. There will be the old threads
themselves hung in the hole that will require cleaning up the
threads with the correct tap. Make sure to be VERY careful with
the tap, they are very brittle and if you break it off in the hole
it is much to hard to drill.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
I guessing the plug is a tapered pipe thread. How much metal is left
between the hole you drilled and the threads?
Do you have a small triangular file that will fit in the hole well
enough for you to cut a v-groove in several places? Or maybe a mini
hacksaw blade? Or you could take a piece of a regular hacksaw blade
and grind the back down until it fits in your hole. If you cut or
file a pair of parallel grooves in the hole on one side (being careful
not to go into the tank threads--they're closer to your drilled hole
the deeper in you go), you may be able to use a cold chisel or an old
screwdriver to pound a slice of the brass plug into the 3/8 hole.
That will usually remove enough stress on the sides that you can turn
it out. You might need to collapse the rest in some after you remove
a section. At least brass cuts easily. Even if you can't cut deep
enough to get the plug to collapse, you might still be able to cut a
notch on both sides of your hole deep enough to get a big screwdriver
to jam in there, and then turn the screwdriver blade with a pair of
Apply a good penetrating oil, like PB-Blaster, not WD40. Let it soak
in for a while. If
the threads are sealed with some sort of pipe compound, this probably
won't make a lot of difference. You could also try heating it up a
little with a paint stripping gun, it might soften things up enough to
release whatever putty or thread sealer they used.
Take your dremel and cut off just the valve handle and stem, but not
the rest of the valve. You should now be able to get a good fitting
socket on the rest of the valve and apply enough force to remove it
(otherwise, the valve style limits you to using either an open end
wrench or some form of pliers, which as you found will only mangle
It will be worth your time to buy a six-point socket that size if you
don't already have one--the brass will be soft enough that a 12-point
socket could still mangle everything up on you. None of this is
guarateed to work, it just improves your odds.
If you still end up having to drill things out, try using left-hand
drill bits. Harbor Freight has them. That way, if the drill catches,
it will at least be applying force in the direction you want it to go
(though I think my set only goes up to 1/4").
=======I have seen these before and even used them a couple of times. But I have
never heard them referred to as a nipple extractor. I instinctively moved
my hands to a protective position over my chest when I read it. Looking at
the link, I was relieved that it was referring to the pipe type of nipple,
not the organic kind. Whew!!
When I was a kid, my Grandad worked for "Crescent Tool" in Jamestown,
NY. We had at least 2 of every size cresacent wrench, including a
30"er. Of course, this was back when most things were srtill made farm
style with square head nuts & bolts.
On Thu, 9 Apr 2009 19:26:37 -0700 (PDT), email@example.com wrote:
Wow, another coincicdence. My aunt worked for them, too.
I think I might have mentioned her and my uncle once. They lived in
Busti. He was some kind of foundryman at Ellison Bronze in Falconer.
I wonder if you granddad might have known my aunt, even though it
sounds like there might have been an age gap--one generation
difference. I have no idea how many employees they had. Might have
been a big place.
We don't hear from you much. How's life on the road?
Actually a Crescent wrench does accomplish one task remarkably well,
absolutely not what it was intended for.
In the tire business you often see steel wheels with bent rims. I am
talking the part of the rim that the wheel weight clips on to. Hitting a
curb will often bend this part of the wheel/rim and it can easily be
straightened out if you adjust the wrench up snug on to the bend and then
simply bend the rim back out. Works like a charm.
Note, this only works well on standard steel wheels.
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