About: Freelance Engineer

So you've built something that needs a bit of air to run, you have a few options from your own breath to a full on workshop compressor. Here's a way to build a budget compressor for powering up small air powered gadgets. Here's what you'll need:

1, Bicycle pump
2. Air bed adaptor
3. 300mm of 6mm ID fexible pipe
4. 1/4" x 6mm hose adaptors x 2
5. 1/4" BSP tee
6. Clean petrol can
7. 1/4" BSP Tap
8. 11.5mm drill bit
9. Electric Drill
10. Plumbers PTFE Tape
11. Pipe grips

Please be safe and make sure you use a clean petrol can with NO remaining fumes as you will probably blow yourself up. Also be careful with tools and keep clear when it's all pumped up so a fitting doesn't fly off and hurt you - wear goggles and keep safe!

Step 1:

Step 1 - Vessel Connection

Next I drilled a 11.5mm hole in the petrol can cap and then ran the 1/" BSP tap through it. The actual size for 1/4" is 11.8mm but 11.5mm gives you a nice tight fit for the tee. If you are fro the US you can use NPT fittings instead of our good old British Standard Pipe thread sizes.

Step 2:

Step 2 - Valve & Fittings

In this step I connected up the Valve and fittings. 

The first thing to do is to wrap each male thread with about three turns of plumbers PTFE tape.

Connect a hose tail to the pump side of the tee, push about 100mm of hose on to this hose tail and fit the air bed pump adaptor to the hose - mine just pushed in.

Tip - If you can't get the fitting on the hose warm the hose with some warm water.

On the other side of the tee fit the mini 1/4" lever ball valve, fit the other hose tail to the outlet of the ball valve  and the the remaining 200mm of hose.

Finally screw the bottom of the tee on to the petrol can cap.

Step 3:

Step 3 - Final Assembly

The final assembly step is vey easy, you just simply need to connect the cap to the can, the pump to the adaptor and the delivey pipe to whatever you want to power. In my case it was a simple little oscillating steam engine a built when I first got my lathe.

Tip - I wrapped the thread on the petrol can with PTFE tape.

Step 4:

Step 5 - Using your compressor

To use it you simply close the ball valve and pump away, I just gave it about 20 pumps until I felt a bit of pressure on the pump. When you want to feed air to you machine just open the valve and watch it go!

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