Homebrew Tire Inflator Pushes The Limits Of PVC Construction

Let’s just clear something up right from the start with this one: there’s literally no reason to build your own tire inflator from scratch, especially when you can buy a perfectly serviceable one for not a lot of money. But that’s missing the point of this build entirely, and thinking that way risks passing up yet another fascinating build from PVC virtuoso [Vang Hà], which would be a shame

The chances are most of you will recall [Vang Hà]’s super-detailed working PVC model excavator, and while we’re tempted to say this simple air pump is a step toward more practical PVC builds, the fact remains that the excavator was a working model with a completely homebrew hydraulic system. As usual, PVC is the favored material, with sheet stock harvested from sections of flattened pipe. Only the simplest of tools are used, with a hand drill standing in for a lathe to make such precision components as the compressor piston. There are some great ideas here, like using Schrader tire valves as the intake and exhaust valves on the pump cylinder. And that’s not to mention the assembly tips, like making a hermetic seal between the metal valves and the PVC manifold by reaming out a hole with a heated drill bit.

We’re not sure how much abuse a plastic compressor like this will stand up to, but then again, we’ve seen some commercially available tire inflators with far, far less robust internals than this one.

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Extinguish Squeaks 24/7 With Refillable WD-40

It’s 10:34PM and you’ve just run out of water displacement formula #40. You could wait until tomorrow to get a new can, or you could spend the rest of the night turning an old, empty fire extinguisher into a refillable and re-pressurizable WD-40 dispenser like [liquidhandwash] did. The part count is pretty low, but it’s awfully specific.

And the emphasis is on empty extinguisher. Part of the deal involves twisting the gauge off, and we wouldn’t want you to get blasted in the face with any last gasps of high-powered firefighting foam. In order to make the thing re-pressurizable, [liquidhandwash] stripped all the rubber from a tire valve and removed the core temporarily so it could be soldered into the fitting where the gauge was. The handy hose is from a large can of WD-40, which is also where the label came from — since it’s no longer a fire extinguisher, it needs to stop bearing resemblance to one, so [liquidhandwash] removed the sticker, painted it blue, and glued the cut-open can to the outside.

To use it, [liquidhandwash] fills it up about halfway and then pressurizes it through the tire valve with a bike pump or compressor. (We think we’d go with bike pump.) Since [liquidhandwash] goes through so much lubricant, now, they can just buy it by the gallon and keep refilling the extinguisher.

Is WD-40 your everything hammer? Variety is the spice of shop life.