Air Tools

Brooke Clarke 2009 - 2012

Compressed Air
Bostitch CAP2060 Air Compressor
Quick Connect Fittings
Portable 11 Gallon Air Tank
Gravity Feed Blast Gun
CSV17 Tennis Ball Line Launcher
Brooke's other Metal Working web pages


To fill the tank on a tennis ball line launcher (used to put up wire amateur radio antennas) compressed air was needed, hence the need for an air compressor.

Bostitch CAP2060 Air Compressor

Rated at 2 HP(peak 1.6 HP running) and 6 Gallons and seem to be on eBay all the time.  The shipper did not properly pack it and the seller sent replacement plastic parts, but that made for a month delay.
For some time I've had an eye out for a vertical tank compressor that might fit into a corner of the garage.  But they are rather pricey for the amount of use it would get and still take up a lot of space.  The beauty of this model is that it's (almost or just?) light enough to pickup can carry.  It's very noisy when running but only runs for a short time before turning off.

Rated at 3.4 SCFM @ 40 PSI and 2.7 SCFM @ 90 PSI
The regulator turns on at 95 PSI and off at 125 PSI.
Weight 51 pounds.

April 2012 - went to use compressor and when powered up there was the sound of leaking air.  The output fitting was broken off.
The pressure gauge looks OK so only a new regulator is needed.
Bostitch CAP2060
                  Air Compressor Broken Regulator Casting
Bostitch CAP2060
                  Air Compressor Broken Regulator Casting
Bostitch CAP2060
                  Air Compressor Broken Regulator Casting

Bostitch CAP2060
                  Air Compressor Broken Regulator Casting

Bostitch CAP2060
                  Air Compressor Broken Regulator Casting

Bostitch CAP2060
                  Air Compressor Broken Regulator Casting
It looks like the 1/4 NTP fitting is in a 1/2"to1/4" reducer
so that the new regulator can have either 1/2'or 1/4" pipe inputs.
But needs to have 1/4" output to match the couplers.
It is sold as a "Air Regulator w/160 PSI Gage" on eBay.
With the input at the left the gauge reads the input pressure,
so it needs to be installed with the input at the right in
order for the gauge to read the regulated pressure.
                CAP2060 Air Compressor Replacement Regulator
Next:  Install with the input at the right or get a better regulator.
While using the nozzle to clean leaves from my car the hose became kinked and the air stopped.  To fix that I whipped the hose and that snapped off the nut from the air regulator (the one just to the left).  It turns out that only a very small ring of metal was holding the nut.
                  Regulator w/160 PSI Gage with broken line

The lesson learned is DO NOT BUY one of these that has a very small cross section.
Husky Air Regulator
Note 1/4" elbow was needed because the Husky is too tall to fit in a straight line, can not rotate it past tank.  Also needed to add FF and MM couplings to get it to clear the pop-off valve.
You need to pull the tall black knob in order to turn it, then
push back to lock setting.  It can also be mounted in a large hole
using the supplied large plastic nut, but if that's done then the
pressure gauge would need a separate line.
Husky 401-931
                  Air Regulator


To go with the compressor I got the  Grizzly H5530 5 piece Spray/blow Gun Kit and the H3263 Quick Coupler, 5 piece Set.
The H5530 Includes:

High Pressure Paint Spray Gun

 Now old fashioned replaced by the High Volume Low Pressure type.  This type of gun creates a lot of overspray that tends to get on everything nearby.

Cleaning Gun

Goes for about a minute then the can is empty.  It may be possible to put a hose on the dip tube so a larger container can be used.  This will only work if the feed is a suction type rather than positive pressure above the fluid.

Tire Inflater with Gauge

Blow Gun

The nozzle is 1/4 NPT thread so can be replaced with a pipe.  That might be handy to blow the floor.

Coiled Air hose

PVC with 1/4" male NPT fittings both ends.
Note:  Air hoses are specified by the I.D. of the hose.  Common hoses seem to be 1/4",  3/8" and 1/2".   A 1/4" hose would typically have 1/4" fittings, a 3/8" hose would have 3/8" fittings, etc.  Larger hoses can carry a larger amount of power (probably related to air pressure times volume). 

Tire Inflator &

It turns out that all the tools come with a nipple fitting so the tool itself has a female 1/4" pipe thread.  Removing the nipple allows the Fig 3 fitting below to be installed.  The nipple has short threads on the tool side and an O-ring.  I'm guessing that it costs less to do it this way than to use a normal pipe thread and apply teflon tape.

In order to install the Coupling (Fig 1) that came with the H3263 set onto the air hose a nipple is needed, so the one removed from the Blow Gun came in handy. 

H3263 Quick Coupler 5 Piece Set

Where Used
Fig 1
On house with nipple from Blow Gun
Fig 3
On Hose
Fig 3 On Cleaning Gun (spare nipple)
Fig 3 On Blow Gun
Fig 4
On Tire Inflator

Paint Gun needs fitting

Quick Connect Fittings

Note:  There are two families of air couplings.  Industrial and automotive.  Harbor Freight carries industrial fittings.  Home Depot carries both kinds and most of them come with a thread sealer already applied.  Also Home Depot has a universal coupling that will work with either family, but all the plugs are either industrial or automotive.

The coupling with a sleeve also is an air valve.  The compressor came with this type of fitting so that when you open the joint almost no air is released.  This type of fitting should be on the supply side of a joint.  When Quick Connect fittings are used it's very easy to change tools without loosing air which would happen if you just used pipe fittings to make the connections.  i.e. every time you opened a pipe fitting all the air in the tank would escape or you would need to close a valve, but even then air will escape from the hose or plumbing.

The fittings shown here are "Industrial" type.
There is also an Automotive type that has a wider ridge on the male fitting.
These fittings were from Harbor Freight.

Home Depot sells both types and they are color coded, yellow for the automotive type.
Home Depot also has a "Universal" female coupling that will work with either Industrial or Automotive male fittings.
Exploded view Air Quick Coupling The fitting at the left traps the valve sprint, washer and valve to the core.
The snout of the valve faces to the right and the small bump keeps the spring centered.
The core has three balls that hold the plug.
When installed the plug opens the valve.
The sleeve spring holds the sleeve forward (right).
The sleeve is prevented from coming off by the snap ring.
Plug has 1/4" NPT as does the inside of the fitting a far left.
Air QUick Coupler Drawing
The valve is closed (spring not shown for clearer view).

Sleeve pulled back allows ball to rise.

The tip of the plug (gray) compresses the washer (green) to make an air seal.  The force from the washer also locks the plug aginst the three ball bearings (red).

1/4" NPT
Quick Connect

Air Supply
Fig 1
Fig 2
Fig 3
Fig 4

Fig 5
Hose Barb


The compressor came on at night (it's very noisy) calling for powering it down.  Didn't check the pressure often enough to tell how fast the tank emptied itself, but it's now at 0 psi.
Reading the label on the Teflon tape is says "100 psi max" and mentions propane, butane, oil, gasoline, but not air.  Web surfing turns up Loctite 567 and "the" way to seal compressed air lines.  Now trying to locate a local source.

Ideas for leak detection / location.  The stereo ultrasonic bat listening device seems like just the thing.  Liquid soap that forms bubbles is another way.
2 March 2009 - no sound in Ultrasonic Bat listening device.
After about 12 hours the pressure of just the compressor (nothing connected) has dropped from 125 to 114 PSI.
6 March 2009 - 90 PSI.
8 Mar 82 PSI.  The Ultrasonic sensor had a low battery and was not hearing the leak so turned on the compressor bringing it back to 125 PSI, but still did not hear the leak with the new battery.


Air Hose with Hylomar sealing fittingsTo extend the distance where compressed air is available an additional hose (Harbor Freight 42184 3/8" x 25' with 1/4" NPT fittings) is being added.  Googling on sealing compressed air fittings turned up a number of related Loctite sealers, but they are not easily available.

 The use of Teflon is questionable.  There are a couple of problems with it.  First, if applied improperly fragments of the tape can enter the air line and might plug up or damage equipment down stream.  Second, Teflon tape may not be rated for the line pressure.  For example using tape rated for 100 PSI when the line is at 125 PSI.

Harbor Freight had Hylomar (97824) at $4 per 35 ml tube so that's what's being used. to attach the fittings to the air hose.  AFAICR Hylomar (Racing Blue) was developed by Rolls Royce for the RB-211 jet engine to form a high pressure seal between two metals with very different expansion coefficients.  It's a plastic that does not set so a joint can be opened then re-closed.  That's very different from Loctite that sets.  It's also rated for hydraulic pressures in the thousands of PSI so can easily seal this air line.

Portable 11 Gallon Air Tank

The motivation to get the tank was so that I could use air tools in my office to blow dust out of the computer and in the work room to drive a screwdriver.  A side benefit is the possibility of increasing the compressor tank size from 6 Gal to 17 Gal.  With the 6 Gal tank when you start using any tool the tank empties very quickly and then the compressor starts but can not keep up with most tools or the spray washer.  So this tank triples the tank capacity.  Note that the compressor is rated for some intermittent duty cycle simply adding a larger tank may cause the compressor to run longer than it should which may cause damage.  So I used the red knob on the 11 Gal tank to close the line after it has equalized with the compressor to allow the compressor tank to fill and the motor to stop and cool off.

Portable 11
              Gallon Air Tank
Portable 11
              Gallon Air Tank
Harbor Freight 65595 Air Tank as received
Harbor Freight 65595 Air Tank with new hose and 1/4" Coupling
Filling Fitting & Manifold

Gravity Feed Blast Gun

Got this for a friend who has a Chicago Pneumatic compressor with enough CFM to get it to work.  My compressor only has 3.something CFM and this blaster needs 7 CFM.
Harbor Freight has another of these guns that runs with less than 2 CFM (HF 93221) but that means it's much weaker.  This one is HF 95793.  Note both of these guns will work with all the media including baking soda.  It's not clear of the other blasters will work with baking soda.  The metal nozzle has an opening that slightly larger than 1/4" (0.257")

Note the shipping for the gun and two 50 pound sacks of blast media (100 pounds total) was under $7!

Note: the Blast Gun comes without a quick coupling.

Harbor Freight 95793 Gravity Feed Blast Gun
WARNING:  Do not exceed 90 PSI &
do not use sand as blast media.
                  Freight 95793 Gravity Feed Blast Gun
Harbor Freight 95793 Gravity Feed Blast Gun
                  Freight 95793 Gravity Feed Blast Gun
Harbor Freight
Extra Large Grade Baking Soda
50 pounds of Blast Media 65931
                  Freight Extra Large Grade Baking Soda 50 pounds of
                  Blast Media 65931
Harbor Freight
Coal Slag Media Fine Blend
50 pounds of Blast Media 61532
(back ordered)

5505749 Abrasive coating remover - includes soft and hard abrasives and an anti caking compound.
5083402 Blasting Apparatus, conventional sand blast equipment doe not work well with baking soda, this blaster does.

5081799 Blasting Apparatus, "
5439493 Abrasive coating remover and process for using same, - more abrasive than baking soda to add texture for painting
4878320 Abrasive feed system - specifically for baking soda

CSV17 Tennis Ball Line Launcher

Uses compressed air as the propellant.  For use with Wire Radio Antennas
CSV17 Tennis Ball Line Launcher The 90# test stainless steel fishing leader has been installed into a slot cut into the tennis ball to hold the 90# test line held on a special reel designed to deploy a thrown line.

This hopfully will work better than the slingshot type line launcher that's just a little too weak to get a line over the top of a 120+ foot tall tree.


Looking for patent on quick coupler
Class Numbers:
137 Fluid Handling
    560 Combined Systems
        613 Flow path with serial valves and/or closures
           614 Separable flow path section, valve or closure in each
251 Valves and Valve Actuation
    142 with Correlated Flow Path
       149 Valve operated by joining flow path sections

3873062 Air Hose Quick Coupler, Johnson, Mar 1975, 251/149.6 ; 285/317 - Plastic version
1599998 Tube or Pipe Coupling,
2327611 Coupling -  replaces balls
2952482 Coupling with Automatically Activated Cam Sleeve
3028179 Self-Sealing Locking Coupling with Manipulator and Pivoted Latch Means
3628812 Removable Pipe Connector - spring level with notch
3684321 Coupling for Tubes, - Garden Hose type
2727759 Hughes
2877437 Connector - coaxial electrical
2951713 Couplings - fluid
3435848 Fluid Line Coupler - check valve both sides
4546956 Compressed Air Coupling, 251/149.6 ; 251/149; 285/316; 285/377
3112767 Quick Connect Coupling, Dec 1963
3423063 Jan 1969
3613726 Oct 1971
3791411 Feb 1974
4060219 Quick disconnect coupler and safety check valve Nov 29, 1977
4437647 Quick connect-disconnect coupling for fluid lines Mar 20, 1984

Brooke's other Metal Working web pages

12" Bench Top Hand Shear
5C Tool room lathes when working in the Microwave business the shop was full of them
8" Mini Shear Break
Active Storage - shelving and box sizes
Air Tools
Drill Press used with 5C collets
Electric mains power Generators
Farm Hi Lift Jack
Geodesic Dome Connector Plates
Hints & Tips What Goes Wrong
Lathes for < 1" OD parts (5C collets)
Mini Machine Tools (Lathes and Mills) One of my dreams
Fasteners A page made for my own use with dimensions of common fasteners used for product design and for looking at new ideas for products
Measuring Tools Used mainly for reverse engineering
Pocket Tools


8" Mini Shear Break 
Drill Press
Mini Machine Tools
Compressed Air Plant for Mines by Roberet Peele 1908

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