The Summer Of Compressed Air Madness

Ever think about some of the big projects you got involved in when you were younger? That’s ok, I hardly ever do either. Today was an exception because something reminded me of what at the time was a really big project. A friend of mine had a paint sprayer, the kind made for working on models and such. It was made to either use cans of freon-12 (yeah, I know, bad for the environment. blah blah blah. This was in the early 70’s before the global warming fiction was invented.) or compressed air by way of an adapter that you could screw onto a bicycle tire.

We came up with the brilliant idea to improve on the compressed air option. We got had gotten hold of a five gallon freon12 tank at a city dump. What was cool was that there was actually still quite a bit of freon in it at the time. When it was finally empty, we decided to re-use it by filling it with compressed air instead of trying to come up with more of the freon. Oh and No, I am not a hamster, this didn’t have anything to do with the environment, it had to do with what we could afford.

The funny thing about this is that after a while the original reason for the whole thing, using it to operate a paint sprayer that there wasn’t needed nearly as much as all that effort would have led you to believe. Though we did use a lot of that compressed air for bicycle tires & such.

Nonetheless, we ended up cobbling together an adapter that allowed us to fill the tank using the air hose at a local gas station. It didn’t take long for us to get tired of that. Then I believe it was my dad that came up with the final solution. It was car ac compressor that had been mounted on a wooden box along with a washing machine motor.

We spent a while cobbling together more ways to adapt the connections and ended up using it for all of the compressed air needs for quite a while. It was capable of quite a bit of pressure too, which we found out the hard way one day when filling that 5 gallon freon tank, the pressure got high enough to blow out the overpressure safety in the bottom of the tank. I think we figured out that it had built up over 130 psi before it blew.

Not long after that school started again and the summer of compressed air madness was a memory.

[Tags]freon12, freon, compressed air, paint sprayer, painting models, summer, 70s[/tags]