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Garage Upgrades and Tools

So here is where I will post upgrades to the garage and any shiny new or used tools as well as any tool maintenance I end up doing. Since this seems like it is going to be quite a long page it will be in newest to oldest order.

It’s been a little bit since I got my compressor up and running and I have started shopping around for air tools. First one I’m investing in is a 90 degree die grinder. I’ve been wanting one of these for quite a while now so I purchased one through work made by Chicago Pneumatic. I also got a larger 3″ twist lock adapter for sanding discs since my uncle has recently purchased a new trailer and wants me to clean up some of the rust on it.

So since I got the compressor setup completed I decided to work on adding a door onto the small room built into the garage. I plan on using this as an office area in the future as well as being able to store items where they are sensitive to freezing such as paints and cleaning chemicals. I simply made a video this time around so I’ll post it below.

Well I got it all finished with the final 3/4″ flex line down to my main feed. I don’t see myself changing it all that much for the foreseeable future. It was a lot of work and I even did a video tour of it. I also have a short clip of me breaking in the compressor pump. You can kind of tell what the noise level will be while it’s in operation.

So I was kind of stuck trying to find a dual pole 220v 20A switch with a built in pilot light. So I happened to come across a very low wattage(0.6w) night light LED bulb which I can use as a pilot light. So I got the electrical all set up and I even made a wood mount for the light. Is it to code? Probably not but most of the house isn’t to code either because of its age.

After getting the tank up into place I then had to mount the compressor/pump assembly. I plan to also suspend it from the trusses in the garage similarly to how I have the tank mounted. However, I plan on using some tire tread to suspend it. I figure it will give some vibration isolation and it has steel ply in the rubber to help with strength. I had originally planned on hanging it with heavy duty springs but decided against it because the stability of the unit was extremely lacking. I built some brackets out of some angle iron and welded grippers onto them so that they have some bite into the rubber. I also put up some heavy duty truck mud flaps to help isolate some noise since where I am putting it is the wall up against the house. I also finalized the mounting of the tank.

I got pretty much everything set up and ready to mount to the ceiling trusses. Did I ever mention that this stuff is heavy? It was a struggle to get the pump/motor assembly up onto the top of the office room. I also had to find a way to get the tank up to where I wanted it. I decided to use my engine hoist to get it as high as possible then use ratchet straps for the rest of the way. Not the safest way of doing this but it’s the only way I have access to at the moment.

Since I got the compressor and pump all set up it was time for me to work on the tank. I had to buy some fittings since the tank only came with an overpressure valve and the drain valve. I probably went overboard going with all brass fittings for the inlet. I also went with a 3/4″ check valve to try and get as much flow as possible into the tank. I also painted the tank black so that is more easily blends into where I am putting it.

So after getting a coat of paint onto my bracket I started mounting the motor and pump. One little trick I like to use is taking a trigger clamp and using it in the spreader configuration to tension the belt properly.

I got to say it looks pretty great even when it isn’t mounted in its final place yet. I also took a picture of information sticker on the side of the pump for future reference since I know someday I will need it and it will be worn off or damaged.

Well floor space in just about any garage is at a premium and while my garage isn’t exactly small I would also prefer to not have the 80gal horizontal tank on the floor. So my plan is to suspend the tank and compressor pump to the ceiling of the garage. First thing I will have to do is construct a base that the pump and motor can be mounted to. First I needed to plan out what distancing and size I would need for the motor and pump.

After sizing and cutting the angle iron it was time for me to practice my welding skills which I would classify as average. As you may also see is that I also included some welded nuts for the mounting positions.

It’s like things just keep falling into place. Originally I was just going to use my dinky little 20gal tank with the new compressor but I decided to browse kijiji(a website people can post to buy and sell things) to see how much a bigger used tank would cost me. I know a new one would be around $400-$500 alone so when I happened to see an 80gal tank for $100 I jumped on it. I had a look at it and the interior seemed to only have minor surface rust from mainly just age. The tank also had an extended easy access drain so I know it was more than likely drained quite frequently. I was so excited that I only remembered to take a picture of the tank plate.

Well my birthday came and passed and I got a used motor as a present. It’s pretty much exactly what I needed for a motor. I tested it and it seems to work fine.

Well I had to go to TSC and pick up a chimney thermometer for a wood stove. I figured while I was there I would walk around and browse what they had. I just happened to walk past something that caught my eye. It was something that I was contemplating purchasing for a while because my current one was quite inadequate.

Yes! It is a compressor pump. My current compressor is a hodge podge of a couple compressors and well it isn’t enough to even do 5 lug nuts on a tire without having to wait for it to build pressure. I’ve been holding off on purchasing one until this one. Can you see that price tag? Yeah, $54.97+tax is what I see too. I thought that the price was incorrect and was just going to leave it but I decided to ask the customer service desk anyways and they confirmed that yes the price is correct. Since it was going to be by birthday in a couple days I decided to buy it for myself.

Obviously I want to turn this into my ultimate garage. So here’s some in progress pictures of it. Also before too many of you go ballistic about the gas containers, let me just tell you this is the best place for them. It is the furthest away from any possible sparks and right beside the garage doors where it is best ventilated to eliminate standing fumes. I will eventually either build a steel storage container or get a larger singe portable container with a pump.

Picked up a fancy new jerry can for the chain saw so I can keep the bar oil and gas mix all in one container. It’s nice that I can just grab one container and go without having to think about it. I also took some shots of it beside the two containers it is replacing.

Someone the other day was asking me how I manage to fit all my wrenches into my toolbox well this is how. A piece of wainscoting with nails driven into it. Simple but effective.

Picked up some more tools in the past few days so I’ll post ’em here with a small blurb. If you want a review of any of these tools let me know on my social media or through my contact page.

Doing enough welding that I should have a few welding magnets on hand.

New digital tire inflator didn’t need it but it was a good deal and comes with a valve core tool.

Precision screw driver set which might actually live in the office instead of in the garage.

Been needing a new pickup tool and got an inspection mirror while I was at it.

Another good deal. Can never hurt to have more sockets.

Picked up a metal covered type-C cable hope it’s durable enough for use in the garage.

And finally I picked up a 750W inverter to run a few things in the garage off the battery bank I have.

So I went to use the jack today and well it didn’t lift as high as I needed. Now this is an old floor jack that my dad picked up used in a yard sale so naturally it’s history is questionable. It actually always had a slight leak and I have never topped it up because it always worked for what I needed. Today I topped it up with some Rislone jack oil with stop leak. It was pretty simple, just pull the rubber plug out of the side of the jack cylinder fill it and then bleed any air by operating the jack without a load.

So I picked up a gas pressure washer from work. It was an old display model and being a display model all the accessories were either stolen or just plain lost. I agreed to purchase the pressure washer minus the cost of the missing accesories. So I nabbed myself a 2600psi Simonize pressure washer for $60+tax not a bad deal. Naturally I didn’t buy the accessories at work ‘cus they are way overpriced. I also replaced the line in on the thing because the stiff plastic is known to snap when being hit during normal transportation.

Just a little snapshot of the shop.

Time for hardware organizing.

Looks like there’s enough room for 2 organizers in a drawer.

So I made a separator to prevent the top organizer from slipping into the bottom one. Just a simple piece of hardboard with some finger holes drilled into it.

Talk about close tolerances. Didn’t have much room after fitting 2 organizer trays in a drawer.

After making sure the trays fit I started filling the top one with 1/4″ and 5/16″ hardware. I also made some dividers out of leftover hardboard.

Sorting and adding the electrical connectors to the filing cabinet.

The Lid on this organizer is a little hard to open when in the drawer so I added a handle.

Here it is pretty much all full. Also picked up a heat-shrink kit from Princess Auto.

So I have this old filing cabinet that I will be using to store things such as small engine parts, nuts and bolts, tapes and glues, etc.

Also added some wheels to it to makes it mobile if I ever need to move it. To be within the caster’s rated capacity I had to use 8 of them. You’ll see I had to shim the wheels due to the floor slope.

Here are some of the oldest pictures I could find of the garage. Now that I look at it there seemed to be a lot of space but there also wasn’t space to work on a vehicle.

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