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opinions on welding on air compressor tank

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  • #31
    Got her up and chooching. I'll post some pictures shortly. Probably after I mount it in place. Took me forever to search for and find this thread...confusers are really my strength. I'd like to figure out how to post a video clip. We shall see.


    • #32
      At work we use something called a baker pump for hydro testing. Its just a metal can that holds water and the pump end is kindof like a grease gun. You can easily presurize large volume as long as theres no air in the system. You could probably modify a grease gun to hydro test. Maybe as simple as holding it upside down so the water doesnt leak out. Minimum hydro test pressure is 1.5x design pressure. Id probably go 2x for your tank myself.

      I would want to hydro the tank after. You never know if there was a defect in one of the fittings you welded on or something. It has been know to happen. The larger the volume the more energy you are dealing with. Just think of how much energy went into presurizing that tank from the compressor. All that energy is released in an instant if a fitting or something lets go.

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      • #33
        I couldn't get any of the various joints around here interested in my project to hydro test it. I knew that would be the case. Places around here generally only like to deal with industry. For example, local compressor shop, just yesterday, here told me that I should just go to grainger for components instead of buying from them because they only deal in "high end" compressor parts, even though they have the 1" npt regulators, filters and fittings I need, which I am willing to pay more for to get them from a local shop instead of amazon or grainger. Pretty typical for this area.

        So, best I could do is what I did, sat it out in the yard on a trailer, ran the pressure up as high as my portable compressor would go, so 150, and let her sit a while. Bled it down, did it again. 150 is the max pressure on the tank anyway, according to the original manufacturer's plate, the Sarraco Tank Company out of San Francisco, made in 1931.

        The pressure switch I put on this compressor is set to open at 125, close at 95 or less and a pop off valve at 135.

        Run what you brung, as they say here in southeast Texas.


        • #34
          Wasn't fun moving into position by myself. Gave her a couple of battle scars on the way in.

          1931 air tank salvaged from a scrap man's trailer (had a monster Quincy compressor head in it too) for $50 or $80 or something like that.

          1969 Saylor-Beall model 703 compressor head. Pretty much just cleaned it up, sort of, drained the 50 year old oil in it and let her chooch. Had to bypass the centrifugal unloader because it wasn't working right and used the electric unloader in the pressure switch, to save time mostly.

          Most likely has the original motor on it, a marathon something or other, old, power hog I'm sure.

          New paint job and she's ready to go back to work. I'll plumb the shop at a later date, but hopefully sooner rather than later.
          Attached Files


          • #35
            Making old stuff work again in our disposable world isn't easy, sometimes isn't fun, but you have embrace the suck from time to time. She's leak free save for the 3" access port on the back. I Teflon taped the holy **** out of it AND pipe doped it. Still leaking but it's slow. Sitting for over twelve hours it leaked down to about 30 from 125. Nothing to lose your mind over. She's a neat addition to the Arsenal here.
            Attached Files


            • #36
              Well done Ryan.
              paint job she's wearing
              is a over the top classy & from my perspective, I'm giving extra bonus points for the theme and the creativity you've shown!


              • #37
                Thank you, sir.


                • #38
                  I love it and am somewhat jealous

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                  • #39
                    Great nose art !
                    Miller Dynasty 350, Dynasty 210 DX, Hypertherm 1000, Thermal Arc GTSW400, Airco Heliwelder II, oxy-fuel setup, metal cutting bandsaw, air compressor, drill press, large first aid kit, etc.

                    Call me the "Clouseau" of welding !


                    • #40
                      very cool ryan, nice work!
                      West coast of Florida


                      • #41
                        Thanks guys. Some of the details in case anyone of you have never built such a contraption and for those in the future that wish to tackle such a job...

                        The tank is mounted on rubber pads then affixed to wood blocks.
                        There is a slight rise as the nose is elevated just a skosh so majority of the water will run to the rear, where the automatic drain will live.
                        To isolate the tank vibration from the hard lines plumbed through the shop, I'll be using a braided steel flex joint to make that tie in.

                        Here is a link to a very basic air plumbing guide:


                        I'll be using 1" galvanized pipe for the plumbing. Probably (most certainly) overkill, but that's style.

                        When I retire and move off, someone will certainly appreciate the amenities in this shop.


                        • #42
                          Just now got to look at the pics in detail! Love it! Great job, Ryan. Now, if my wife were still here and saw it, she would say, "Does he have too much time on his hands"...with a big smile, because if she had an air compressor, she would probably do something like that. Artistic outlet is sometimes necessary!


                          • #43
                            I'm glad you like it. She's been working hard already.