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Looking for vintage clean air compressor

beezerbill

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01/10/2019
Hi, all. Not sure this is the right forum, but I thought I would try. I am looking for a vintage oil-free or clean air compressor, and I would like to know what to look for in the way of a manufacturer name and model number. I know I can buy one new pretty easily but I have no idea what to look for if I want one that is 60 years old or more. I would actually be using this thing to blow out about 200 feet of hose that runs between the house and stock tank for watering horses. At 9000 feet, we face freezing temperatures 8 months out of the year and I am tired of carefully draining all 200 feet of hose every time I fill the stock tank. I may settle for a modern compressor but I prefer the chug of an antique one over the raucous howl of a modern one, and besides, I wouldn't mind having another piece of vintage machinery that actually performs something useful.
 

dalmatiangirl61

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Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Considering your application I'm wondering why you want an oiless compressor? I'm pretty sure a basic filter would take out enough oil that you would not be coating the pipe with oil. Do you have other needs like shop air, or just the pipe?
 

beezerbill

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01/10/2019
Thanks for the reply. I might have to try the filter, I'll poke around and see what there is for oil removal, etc. This compressor is just for blowing out the hose, I have others on site for pumping up tires, impact wrenches, etc. There are two reasons I am looking for an oil-free compressor. The first is that if there is a problem with oil contaminating the water and if it does cause a horse to get sick, we have no way to get the horse out between November and May - the mile-long access road is about 15 feet deep in snow. I realize it is very unlikely there is enough oil to sicken a horse, but if there is a problem the difficulty of dealing with it is HUGE! The second reason is the significant other would hit the roof if she found I was putting compressor oil in her horses' water.
 

dalmatiangirl61

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07/10/2019
Ok, just wondering, I use a compressor to blow out the pipes in the Nevada place every year, should I be filtering my air better? Its a newer mid quality compressor, no noticeable oil in the air:shrug:.

I used to have some old oiless compressors that would have been perfect for your application, I'm drawing a blank on the name right now, if I remember I'll let you know, but they were pretty obscure:shrug:

For oil removal you need a coalescing (spelling?) filter, that is/was what they used to use to clean compressor air for breathing applications.
 

beezerbill

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01/10/2019
Probably the way you are doing it is fine, given how infrequently you do it. But it might be good to have a dedicated air hose that is used for that purpose only. I have noticed that the air hose that I use a lot (mostly for running the mist coolant doohickey on the CNC mill) fills up pretty quickly with water mixed with a slight trace of oil, presumably from the compressor. But the compressor is running at a 50% duty cycle, moving a lot of air, and so I expect a lot of water and some oil. But I have seen other air hoses (some mine, some belonging to others) that have a lot of oily water emulsification in them. So... if that junk is in the air hose it is probably (slowly) being put there by the compressor, and if it is in the air hose, it will make its way into any water hoses I blow out. And the big long one to the stock tank may need blowing out a couple of times a week.

Mostly, though, I am just paranoid, given the enormity of the problem of a sick horse in December with no way to get it out for 6 months. I take a lot of risks in other areas, but when it comes to the horses that are snowed in between November and May I need to be extra cautious. (Kind of like the difference between getting sick enough to go to the hospital because your cistern got tainted, and getting sick enough to go to the hospital because the fresh water supply on your sailboat got tainted and you are half way across the Atlantic...)

I definitely will look into coalescing filters - I am vaguely aware of them because, as you point out, they are used on clean air systems that use oiled compressors. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

dalmatiangirl61

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07/10/2019
So far no problems with water in the airlines, its dry in Nevada:D. I was looking at oilless compressors on ebay last night hoping something might jog my memory on the units I had. No, nothing like it, but I did find this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Coaire-Oil-less-Air-Compressor-Pump-2HP-suitable-for-Medical-or-Dental-Air/171917447478?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3Dcfabba36a82b4558a45109c3cd153ed7%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D171917447474
Probably more than you want to spend, and not quite the style you want, but it got me wondering what it would take to make an older oiled compressor into an oilless design:shrug:. Sealed roller bearings on the crank mains, maybe a nylon bearing on rod and nylon rings:shrug:.

The oilless compressors I used to have were similar to the bottle shaped steam engines, I remember they were made in England and quite pricey when new, but no one ever gave them even a second look. During the great purge they got scrapped:uhoh:
 

beezerbill

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01/10/2019
I can see how an oilless compressor might resemble a steam engine. Everything up to the crosshead would be oiled or greased, leaving only the cylinder (now double-acting) to be oil-free. If the piston were equipped with a tail rod then the piston proper could be guided by the piston rod and tail rod in a way that it never touches the cylinder wall. Piston sealing could be with graphite rings, graphite rope packing, or even waxed leather cup seals. The piston and tail rods would run in graphitized bronze bushings and sealed with graphite rope packing. A touch of tallow or lard on the rods occasionally might be enough to keep wear down. I am thinking of building such a thing (probably never will) but for the original application I will probably just go with a coalescing filter and an ordinary compressor, which I already have.

Burying the line where I am is not an easy option - it would need to be about 5 feet down and it is ALL ROCK! The location pretty much forbids getting any equipment in and so I would need to hack out a trench by hand. And once I did get all 200 feet buried, the significant other would decide to move the stock tank!
 

dalmatiangirl61

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07/10/2019
I can see how an oilless compressor might resemble a steam engine. Everything up to the crosshead would be oiled or greased, leaving only the cylinder (now double-acting) to be oil-free. If the piston were equipped with a tail rod then the piston proper could be guided by the piston rod and tail rod in a way that it never touches the cylinder wall.

Burying the line where I am is not an easy option - it would need to be about 5 feet down and it is ALL ROCK! The location pretty much forbids getting any equipment in and so I would need to hack out a trench by hand. And once I did get all 200 feet buried, the significant other would decide to move the stock tank!
Yes, that is how they were set up, can't quite remember but I think they were 2 stage too. Upper piston smaller diameter than lower piston, both on same rod.


Concerning trenching in rock, here in Texas every rental yard has chain type trenchers for dirt and wheel type trenchers for rock, and if you need to drill a post hole they have augers for dirt and toothed bits for rock. Yet out in Az and Nv, where there is lots of rock, all they have is the chain type trenchers and plain augers for dirt, whats up with that:shrug:. At the big yellow equipment yards in Tx they even have a machine that will grind away limestone and leave you a smooth solid limestone road, contractor in Az wants to use dynamite and jack hammers:bonk:

The neuron just fired, Sulzer oilless compressor!
 
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beezerbill

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01/10/2019
Thanks! Sulzer - that name is familiar. I Googled them, it looks like they make some pretty high zoot stuff. I may look at EBay periodically and see if any of their oil-free compressors show up...

I will have to look into the wheel type trencher - never heard of them. To say we are on solid rock is kind of a general statement - what we really have is a jumble of rocks and boulders in hard contact with each other, with dirt hard-packed between them. I have hand-dug probably 50 yards of this stuff over the years and the ratio of rock to dirt is probably 1:1. The rocks range in size from pepples to multi-ton boulders and every size between.

Even if I could find a trencher to go through that stuff, it still doesn't solve the problem of "I think I want the stock tank over on THAT side of the corral this year..."
 

dalmatiangirl61

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07/10/2019

ronm

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07/10/2019
Mostly, though, I am just paranoid, given the enormity of the problem of a sick horse in December with no way to get it out for 6 months. I take a lot of risks in other areas, but when it comes to the horses that are snowed in between November and May I need to be extra cautious.
And Hell hath no fury like a Horse Princess when one of her babies gets a fart crossways, right Bill? BTDT...:O
Friend of mine has a big Vermeer trencher, & he makes good money cutting utility trenches for high-end subdivisions up in the mountains, in solid sandstone. Charges like 10 bucks a foot, or something like that...Carbide teeth for the thing come in little 1-gal. size buckets, about $500 a bucket, & he has a whole trailer load of empty buckets...That said, I don't know how a trencher would work in the type of rock you have, may be hard to hold a trench w/loose chunks & half-cut boulders that would fall back in.
 

beezerbill

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01/10/2019
I may consider the trencher for sometime in the future but there is no time for it this year - Need to get the hay in before the road snows shut. (14 tons -drafts eat a LOT! and what they don't eat they spread around and pee in.) And a bunch of other stuff, including putting in another horse shed. Probably will try the coalescing filter, or just doing it the way I have been - drain the hose (15 minutes) and leave it lying on the ground. Trouble is, one inch long ice plug from residual water in the hose finding a low spot causes real trouble - next time I go to flow water in the hose when it is 10 below the water makes it about half way down the hose before it gets stopped by the plug and then pretty much instantly freezes solid. Then I drag the whole 200 foot mess inside and lay it around the stove and wait a couple hours. This happens only a couple times each winter but I hate it so much I want it to never happen again! Keep in mind this is all being done in the middle of the night - I have a day job.

I do wonder about the rubble jamming up the trencher as it is cutting.
 

Vanman

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07/10/2019
Haha, that's pretty funny, we must watch similar stuff lol. I just saw that one last night. :D
 

beezerbill

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01/10/2019
Thanks! That actually looks like it might work for us! I already need a big compressor for drilling and splitting some of the larger rocks and am (hopefully) putting together an IR 3R36 for the task. Probably not big enough for trenching, though but I could try it before finding something bigger. I did try blowing out the hose once but with not enough air - I will probably still pursue that approach now that I have a couple of nice clean-air compressors... Didn't get to it this year - winter came in and sucker-punched us before we were ready. So - I am still dragging the hoses up the hillside to let them drain after filling the stock tanks but this year I went out and got some green Flexzilla hoses - those things don't freeze into the consistency of iron bars when it is 10 degrees below zero.

Akuna - just now saw your post - interesting idea but probably not practical for us - and these horses drink up to 50 gallons a day! think of a 300 gallon dog bowl - that's what we have. Keeping that thing from freezing is a different story but this year I actually got the stock tank heaters to where they don't blow out when it is 10 below and blowing 60 miles per hour.
 
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