Shelf life of air pump to build my own compressor?

by Milosh
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Hi Bill,

Great site. A lot of to read and learn.

Friend of mine has an air pump. He got it at one garage sale. He said it is brand new. Never used.

I would like to use it to assemble a compressor. But, I am afraid that after who knows how many years some of the internal parts are rusty and there will be a problem to run it. Am I looking for trouble? Any idea what to do before first run?
I found locally a 60g compressor tank with motor, but without pump. So, I thought this is good opportunity to match them. Is it good idea to save some money.


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Jun 26, 2015
Still undecided
by: Milosh

Hi guys and thanks for the response.

I have not seen the pump but soon I can find out the make and the model, assuming that it is written somewhere. Also, would like to try to manually turn the shaft. Is it possible to do that?

Bill, I agree with you regarding the tentative time spent on assembling, but for $200-$250 to get compressor with two cylinders and 60g tank. I think it is good deal, though I am still not quite sure am I going in this direction, but it is good to learn something.


Jun 25, 2015
old new pump
by: Doug in

You don't say whether you've checked the pump -

Be sure it has oil before you crank it up, and that you can turn it without a lot of bad noises.

More info on the pump might help, as we don't know what type of valves it has.

But, as Bill said, if wasn't subjected to weather, it's got a good chance of being good out of the box (it's in a box, right)?

Jun 25, 2015
Shelf life of compressor pump
by: Bill

Milosh, if the compressor pump was stored properly, and assuming it is a lubricated pump, had some oil coating the piston and cylinder, you may have no problem, or the darn thing may not work at all.

You probably want to tear it down and have a look, or, fire it up with the new motor and see what happens. Your call.

The thing about building a compressor from components is that this is a labour of love. You want to do this for the satisfaction of doing it, and ending up with a compressor that you have bragging rights for... "I built this sucker from used parts... " or the like. :-)

Is it worthwhile? If you really want to do it, then sure. Will it ultimately cost less than a comparable compressor costs new, no idea? Probably not by a lot, though.

Good luck and thanks for the positive feedback on my site.


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