Ultra Quiet Refrigerator Air Compressor Upgrade Build

if you subscribe to this channel there’s a good chance you’ve seen this video about this ultra silent air compressor.


if you subscribe to this channel there’s
a good chance you’ve seen this video about this ultra silent air compressor
it’s time for an upgrade we’re gonna upgrade to this 15 gallon tank we’re
gonna take a look at some of the mods that I’ve done to the compressor since
I’ve built it and the whole reason I’m building this is so that I can build a
bigger pressure tank for resin casting so let’s go ahead and upgrade this bad
boy my name is Eric Strebel I’m an industrial designer welcome to my
channel about product design and making I hope that you like and joy and become
a subscriber make sure you give the video a thumbs up and then you hit the
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you’ll be notified every time I have a new video don’t forget to check out the
design and making merchants just below the video on the shelf t-shirts hoodies
stickers leggings and phone cases I’d been searching for a long time for a 15
gallon a vertical air compressor and I finally found one on Craigslist and I
bought that locally for about 30 bucks in this video I’m gonna cover basically
tearing down this compressor we’re gonna try to use whatever parts that we can I
kept everything intact without hacking it up because I didn’t know what I was
gonna use and we’re going to basically take the old compressor and put it on
top of this thing this is what the motor looks like on one of these things pretty
cheap nothing special first thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna clean up the
tank were to take the old graphics off and we’re gonna put on some new ones I
want to let you know that at the end of this video I’m gonna address something
that is asked all the time it’s like how loud this compressor actually is and I’m
gonna have some actual footage of that so you can hear that I’m gonna put it on
some bots and design graphics and of course it needs a Motorhead final
sticker as well so the number one thing of course is getting the compressor onto
this tank and need an adapter plate to do that and I
make one out of cardboard there really quick and we’re gonna make that
ultimately out of steel I got a piece of steel here that’s pretty thick and would
lay out some primer on it and we’re just gonna laser etch what we’re gonna cut
out of that steel onto the spray-paint so much easier to just lay it out on the
laser and then cut it out so I have access to some amazing equipment where I
teach and this is a shear and so we’re just shearing down this piece to the
right size and you know gotta have sheetmetal born yeah baby
alright we’ll cut the corners and round them off a little bit here I believe
it’s called a throated shear I’ll take that over to the center and it will sand
off those edges those corners make sure to keep the hands away from the disc
since I’m wearing gloves I don’t want to hear about it the comments and we’re
gonna drill the holes with the drill press notice there’s a piece of wood
underneath of it so that we can drill a nice clean hole through the sheet metal
and then I use a stepper bit here to drill the bigger hole and this is
actually for the cabling and it will also use this step bit too on the
backside of the sheet metal just to deburr the holes if there’s anything
you know stick it out and make them nice alright if you haven’t already
subscribed make sure you subscribe to hit the BAL should get notifications
another thing we’re gonna cover in this video is how much oil this compressor
loses if it loses any oil at all and some of the other things that I didn’t
quite do correct on the first build that I’m gonna address in this one so we’re
gonna go here to the break and we’re gonna fold the bracket now one of the
Bombers about that machine is that it didn’t have a small enough flange for me
to bend the second one so I needed to do this kind of old-school I heat it up
with a rosebud tip here and then just fold it over so not the cleanest break
ever but it’s gonna get me what I want now on the tank we need to be able to
remount that bracket so we’re gonna drill a couple of holes on the top and
I’m gonna thread them using a five millimeter socket cap screw here and so it’s just super easy
now because I couldn’t break or fold the sheet metal the way I wanted I got a
little bit more play in my piece with that
Bend I need to just widen these openings where the bracket gets mounted onto the
top of the tank you know you use the tools that you got and you make the best
of it with the time that you have allotted so I needed a little bit of
adjustment there couldn’t make it quite the way I wanted to when it come back
and throw some primer down on this adapter plate here so thin light coats
build them up same as you’re gonna do with the final paint I’m using a
semi-gloss black here so light strokes you don’t want to climb on that paint
let it dry in between coats build it up get a nice finish on there so you don’t
get any runs or drips or anything just take your time alright so this is the
old compressor many of you may write recognize that we’re gonna take that
apart the first thing we’re gonna take off is the silencer and I’m gonna
address that as well in this video because I really don’t cover that very
much in the other video so we’re gonna disassemble this tank take all the
components apart so we can transfer them onto the other one those are the
electronics now we’re gonna lift off the compressor here there you go and there’s
the old adapter plate that we had to build to get it to adapt to the old six
gallon tank that’s the pressure switch right there and let’s remove that now
two years of water and the bottom of this tank filling up this cup that’s
amazing the drainage hole was not on the bottom bottom of that tank rather a
little bit on the side and I had a pressure relief valve there and didn’t
cause me any issues it’s brass but the water certainly built up in the tank
over time and so that’s probably the biggest enemy here
now a lot of people ask oh you’re losing oil out of the compressor bald not the
case I pretty much had exactly the same amount of oil in that compressor as what
I put in when I did it originally so I dumped it out and I checked the old
video where the level of the oil was in that same Cup and we put it back in here
into the compressor changing the oil it’s about a hundred and seventy-five
milliliters next we’re gonna put on the electrical outlet which is how we’re
gonna plug in the compressor in the end that’s from an old server PC case I’m
gonna bolt the compressor on to the adapter plate so that we can put it on
to the new 15 gallon tank here we go as you’re watching me bolt down the
compressor onto the tank I want to talk a little bit more about that water that
came out of the bottom of the old tank there was minimal oil in that water so
all of you are talking about these compressors that will spit out oil I’m
not seeing any of that in my compressor I guess it depends on the compressor
you’re using but I had no issue with that I am removing the old supply tube
that came from the compressor that went to the tank and that is switched at the
top they’re basically flared out so that it would fit on to the compressor and
I’m gonna end up we’re using a little piece of that so let’s start putting
some of the exhaust or the out manifold stuff on to the tank this is basically
that once the air is in the tank this is where the air comes out I have added an
additional cross or 4-sided connector there so that I can expand in the future
and put my pressure relief valve in a place where it actually belongs Here I
am attaching the pressure tank gage at the top there and now the pressure
regulator and this is something that I’ve upgraded over time from the
all the tank the original pressure regulator just wasn’t fine enough and it
wasn’t stable and it wasn’t able to get the pressure that I wanted so I
purchased this one on ebay it’s certainly a little overkill for this
unit but it is very precise this is the pressure on and off shutoff valve this
is what turns the compressor on and off to fill the tank that mechanical switch
is literally a switch that allows current to flow to the capacitor which
is what I have in my hand that the original capacitor lasted about a month
and so this is an aftermarket unit much much bigger capacitor allows the
compressor to turn on and off without any issues and haven’t had any any
problems with it it’s not it’s rather unsightly but it works flawlessly now
one of the things that I’m reusing from this tank is the one way pressure valve
that you can see just behind my hand that’s moving back and forth there and
this copper tubing the reason I’m reusing this one-way pressure valve is
that it’s much more compact than what I had before the bummer about is that it’s
metric for whatever reason it’s got an 8 millimeter tube and I ended up needing
to buy on eBay some compression fitting an eight millimeter compression fitting
which I custom ordered from ebay who knows where it came from and I’m using
the old little copper adapter piece here which I’m just cutting off with a
hacksaw so this one end is gonna slip over the compressor and the eight
millimeter tube is actually gonna slide inside of that piece and become my
adapter too but so that I can resore it on to the compressor and then
attach it here on to the one-way check valve so this is something about reusing
from this compressor itself even though it’s a little bit of an oddball piece
here you can see that little adapter copper plate that I made for this tube
and I’m going to solder that on to the compressor the other end is not going to
get soldered because I don’t want to mess up that one-way valve I don’t know
what it’s made of and there’s probably a plastic or a flexible rubber piece in
there so we’ll add a little bit of man what’s that stuff called flux so that we
can solder that together and then we’ll heat that up with the torch here we go a
little bit of solder doesn’t take very much it flows right in there super easy
and we’re done let’s take a quick look at that solder connection pretty clean
doesn’t take very much you want to be careful when you’re soldering on your
compressor so you don’t loosen anything up now on the other side I do put a
little bit of teflon tape on that compression not that little olive that
goes on there I’m sorry I don’t have any better footage of that so I was having a
little problem with those compression nuts leaking and something I found on
YouTube where people were putting teflon tape around the compression nut to seal
that to get them to seal correctly because I want to use this piece this
one-way check valve fits this thing and part of the unit now let’s address the
silencer this is what makes the compressor ultra quiet ow and you can see as soon as I put that
can back on there and that’s an old shaving hand and inside of that can is
filled with brass wool and then a little piece of foam on the end basically the
same way you would build a silencer for a gun yes boys and girls that’s how
silencers are made they basically have a sound absorbing material on the inside
of it you can see when I pull the microphone away from there
it’s it’s quiet that compressor is not loud so new compressor tank 15 gallons
should be plenty for my new pressure tank that I’m building
hope you loved this video make sure you like subscribe continue to follow me
love the support I totally appreciate it and I hope you like this compressor
upgrade video hope you build your own post in the forum down below if you do
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51 thoughts on “Ultra Quiet Refrigerator Air Compressor Upgrade Build”

  1. Loved the first build love this one too one question can you make it into a vacuum pump as well as a compressor?

  2. Nice build. You may want to review contemporary suppressor design, baffles and fiber have long ago (30+ years) been replaced.

  3. I've been a Subscriber but you just got a lot more respect from me with the Motorhead sticker💪🤘🏿👊👍👂🎸🎼🎶🎵🎤

  4. Really love how you're promoting best practices, like doing preventative maintenance while the machine is disassembled anyway.

  5. IT'S MEANT TO BE! OMG man! Okay so to explain! I've been waiting to do a build like this for the last 2 years. 2 months ago I ended up finding a refrigerator compressor that works 100% – YESTERDAY a old pancake air compressor fell into my lap for free! fridge compressor was free too – old boss was throwing out a fridge! – AND THEN THIS VIDEO COMES UP! I'm stoked!! Thanks for this update video and build!!!! How long does it take to fill the tank with air? Some people were saying on other videos that these compressors take forever – is there any truth to that? Anything specific to look for in a pump/compressor if this is an issue with only "certain" pumps/compressors? Thanks again!

  6. Thank you for the speedy reply , I have one compressor that is an early full , thanks Eric.

  7. Awesome video here as always, well done Eric. May I ask what aftermarket capacitor did you use?

  8. I thought you would have lost oil from the compressor too. Thanks for covering that. I was under the impression that the freon used for AC units had oil in it that was needed to lube the compressor. I guess that was bad info since yours has been working for quite a while now. I enjoyed the video. I'll share this one with the Shop Hacks Facebook group too. I think they are going to love it.

    How's the production going for your backpack hanger? Congrats on getting your Kickstarter funded!

  9. Hexagonal Socket Bolt… a.k.a. Allen Bolt or Allen Head Bolt. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hex_key Great video as always, thanks for sharing!

  10. Great video. Recently got rid of my old Craftsman compressor because it was simply too loud. Thanks for sharing! Cheers! : )

  11. So cool. I've got the fridge compressor waiting, now waiting for a donated tank, but your video inspired me. I may go out and buy one. . . Just awesome work

  12. Hi Eric,

    There are two different styles of copper compression fittings, I don't know which one you are using but, from what I can see, it's not being used correctly.

    With an internal ring:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR9cQwnnHXw

    Flared Style:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCr2YTg5mKo

    I've never had a compression fitting leak.

    Regards

  13. Wow.. brings back memories of when we filmed the first 1. How did soldering go.? first time around that was a major pain.. its now a HUGE tank.. omg..

  14. The silencer is a thing of beauty. The last 5 Hp compressor I put together was so noisy I ran a PVC air intake through the shop wall and used a Dodge pickup air filter and housing to strain out the wasps… still a hammering puppy. I envy your new setup.

  15. As always impressive work! I have some questions about this new build: 1.- How big is the compressor in HP? 2.- How long does it take to fill the whole 15 gallons? and lastly: 3.- How many watts it consumes when running? Thanks!

  16. @7:47 in the video- you should totally repaint the compressor tank-head unit as a Boba-Fett or some Android – like the vid- followed you for awhile- like the upgrade! Bravo and Cheers!

  17. Eric, the working pressure for a 1/8 to 1" copper solder joint is about 200 PSI or 14 bar. What is the max pressure you can obtain?

  18. one question, you made a mounting plate for the compressor, but why then glue the power in connector? you could've made a small mounting plate for that?

  19. Great video, and content on your channel. Please stop telling people to like and subscribe 5 times a video, your not a 12 year old you tuber and your audience is paying more attention then most.

  20. Great build mate.👌 👌 👌… One question i has is how much time this compressor take to fill 15 gallon tank to about 200 psi….

  21. Great video but the gun suppressor comment is wayyy off. The vast majority of suppressors use some type of baffle and chamber system to cool the gasses and vent them to atmosphere slower to reduce the pop. If anything a chambered car muffler is closer in design. A suppressor for a firearm using some type of consumable media would be horrible.

  22. Love this video, I got my refrigerator compressor on hand. I wanted to ask you, most compressors have a start and a run capacitor. But you only used one. Could you tell me a little how it is wired up. Thanks Eric.

  23. Nice, I also make my own 10 gallons silent air compressor, for my airbrushing. May I make a suggestion, since I change the oil that came with my fridge compressor for synthetic oil I add it a 120v computer fan that helps to cool down the compressor, since it takes more time to fill up the tank, and it works great!

  24. Whats the CFM?
    I want to make one but thinking I will need about 12 of them to match the CFM I have now so it might not be quiet and worth it.

  25. I've got a window ac compresor that I made to an air compresor do I need to add oil and were do I add it and how much.

  26. I’m having difficulty understanding this and although I know mechanics and I weld, here is the program logic schematics for this? Please confirm friends:

    1. Tank has 3 outlets: bottom purge for water, air in from compressor, air out to accessories

    2. The compressor has three outlets: Air in from room (black silencer Can), air out (compressed) to Number 2 of tank (air in) and number three Oil ??
    I’m assuming the 4th line the Freon Lone gets capped off? I didn’t see that on the 2016 vid

    3. Tank’s compressed Air IN pipes have nothing more than a one way check valve?

    4. The Tanks out Valve seems the most complicated at:
    4.1.: Three Tee
    4.2.: 125 psi relief valve
    4.3.: Pressure regulator
    4.4.: Four Tee
    4.5: Pressure Valve
    4.5.: Switch

    Not understanding where the capacitor came in and why it blew up

    Also: what is the final Emptying ratio compared to the old orange one?

    Took 20 mins to fill up
    And how long to empty

    Vs the new one

    Ok thx great stuff

  27. FYI – refrigerator motors have a low on/off duty cycle. They burn out if the motors stay on too long. You have to be careful using tanks so large that the SMALL piston take to long to fill, the motor will become overheated. They work better with small 1 gal tanks. Thus they work best for things that do not require large volumes of air; like an airbrush.
    You could of course use multiple refrigerator compressors on one tank.

  28. Question: I am in the process of building one, but my compressor dont have the capacitor what would happen if I run it without one?

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