Tooling Up: Air Compressor

Well, the hurricane/tornado did more than just get things wet and cause a fair amount of remediation work . . . It really messed up delivery schedules for a bunch of equipment I ordered weeks ago. Thankfully my 80-gal air compressor –which was supposed to be delivered a week ago– finally arrived!

I’m seriously trying to get out the door for a nearly 3-week trip out to the west coast to visit friends and family, capped off by a trip to this year’s Rough River Fly-in. I’ve had to wait until the very last minute to book my tickets until I was able to confirm delivery of this air compressor since I don’t know anybody capable of dealing with this delivery… and it was a good thing too since I needed to do some heavy lifting (or rather tilting) to get this thing stored into the garage. More on that in a bit.

The big truck arrived mid-morning.

Although I paid for the liftgate service, the air compressor vendor stated that the truck driver would only drop it off curbside. Even more reason for me to hold off my trip out west to ensure I could get this very top heavy (and just plain heavy) compressor rolled up to and into the garage for storage.

Well, the air compressor bubbas were wrong and the delivery service guy was as helpful as could be and rolled it right up to my garage door.

Unfortunately though, the container was just too tall to get into the garage. Thus, this is where his journey ended and my mini-drama began.

The problem as you can see a hint to above and definitely revealed below is that the air compressor manufacturer mounted the compressor on a smaller pallet, that was then breaking apart, so they merely cobbled that onto a larger pallet. There’s a term for all this, but I’ll attempt to keep this post PG-rated!

After getting the big outer box removed, I went to work carefully removing all the large lag bolts that held the top pallet to the bottom pallet. If you look at the front right corner in the pic above, the top pallet actually had no support on that corner. So, when I went to remove the top pallet and compressor off the bottom pallet by tilting and walking it off (it was a tad bit heavy!) … it kept snagging on this corner.

I had to both intentionally break parts of the bottom pallet off and get my leg around the compressor to kick the bottom pallet away while leaning this mammoth compressor significantly to the side.

[Note all the Long-EZ boxes piled up at the front of the garage. This was the pile of “dry” boxes that I removed from the hangar.]

Needless to say, with a lot of grunting and a stream of colorful expletives I got the top pallet/compressor extracted from the lower pallet.

Since I expected to have to move this bohemoth from the curb to the garage, and will eventually have to get if from the garage to the workshop (about 50 yards), I used a 20% off coupon at Harbor Freight to buy a pallet jack. Keep in mind, the milling machine will eventually make the same trek from garage to workshop as well.

Even with all the drama and machinations to get this thing off the bottom pallet, it still only had a couple of inches of clearance to get it into the garage.

Another shot (below) of this beast being stored away for a while in the garage. Again, note the bare minimum clearance at the top.

Here we have a closer view of the control panel and specs on the air compressor. Note that it is rated at 17.9 CFM at 100 PSI, so it will have enough output and volume to do pretty much anything I’ll need ‘er to do!

Ok, mark this task off the list and now I’m cleared hot to fly out to the west coast!

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