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Cart/platform for pancake compressor

forestgirl's picture

I need to make my Porter Cable pancake compressor easy to move around the shop.  I was just going to make a platform with casters to plop it on, but then I spotted those rubber feet it sits on and remembered:  vibration, vibration, vibration.  Anyone have a design that's worked well for them?

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

mike4244's picture

(post #97293, reply #1 of 43)

I worked for an outfit that put a compressor on a hand truck , with a shelf above that held a mitersaw. Every carpenter had one of these outfits. With a pancake you probably would have to add a wider platform on the bottom. You could put shelves on the frame for accessories and a hook for the hose.


mike

Jamie_Buxton's picture

(post #97293, reply #2 of 43)

..mmm.. Why not get a longer hose? 


With a mobile compressor, you're dragging it around the shop, and you still have the power cord on the floor behind it.  With a fixed compressor, you have the hose on the floor.  Seems similar to me, or maybe even slight advantage to the longer-hose approach.

forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #4 of 43)

It's not that I need to move it to use it -- the hose will pretty much reach the entire working area of my shop.  I just end up shuffling it from Point A to Point B when I'm re-organizing (like now), and then there will be times when I'll want to take it to the house to work.  I'm having enough trouble with my back that I need to cut down on some of the lifting I do, and the compressor seems like an easy candidate.


I have this funny vision of the cart dancing across the floor whenever the compressor is turned on.  Guess I shouldn't have had that Mike's Lite last night, LOL.


forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

Jamie_Buxton's picture

(post #97293, reply #8 of 43)

"there will be times when I'll want to take it to the house to work"


Is it a nice smooth run all the way into the house?   If not, maybe you need large-diameter wheels to get over humps and bumps.   Do you have stairs up into the house?  Then maybe you need something which looks more like a hand truck.   Otherwise you're back into lifting the darn thing --- plus the weight of the cart.


Edited 7/29/2004 8:04 pm ET by JAMIE_BUXTON

nikkiwood's picture

(post #97293, reply #9 of 43)

Jamie asked the same questions I was going to pose.

If it is a smooth run,a dolly type of gismo would work okay. But instead of those cheesy 2" castors, I would consider something more substantial 4-5" ,which Lee Valley sells for something like 12$ each (swivel with a foot brake). do you have some sort of dolly now that you could just try out, before you spend time and $50 on castors?

If you have steps to navigate, then you might consider a two wheeler. I found a really cheap one (about $20) ####few years ago, rigged a little platform on it-- so it could be used to haul tools and hardware in crates for job site work. I would think something down this line might work well to keep your compressor mobile.

******************************************************** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden 1910-
forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #11 of 43)

It's gravel between the shop and the sidewalk, then a bit bumpy sidewalk to the 4 steps that go up to the deck.  I have some spare lawn-mower wheels available.  They'd probably work.


I'm pondering a design that would have it rollable when the cart is tilted backwards, but have feet solidly on the ground when not.


No one seems concerned about vibration being a problem when the compressor is mounted to a cart.  This must be a non-issue?



forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 


Edited 7/29/2004 11:51 pm ET by forestgirl

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

Jamie_Buxton's picture

(post #97293, reply #12 of 43)

A slightly different approach is that when the cart is not rolling, it is sitting on two wheels plus two feet (or even just one foot).   That's fewer feet to make than if the wheels are entirely off the ground.

xcutsaw's picture

(post #97293, reply #14 of 43)

Would something like this make any sense for you?

[Avoid schadenfreude]
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Jamie_Buxton's picture

(post #97293, reply #15 of 43)

TomT --


   Considering moving the wheels further under the compressor.   If you do, you need less force on the handle to lift the feet off the floor.


  And then make the wheels larger diameter so they roll over big obstacles easily.   To avoid the compressor sitting way up in the air, move the large wheels the out to the sides of the compressor, not underneath.


Edited 7/30/2004 11:32 am ET by JAMIE_BUXTON

forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #17 of 43)

Jamie, actually his design is pretty much right on for what I was thinking.  The compressor isn't all that heavy really (just dangerous for me when I'm tired and the back is "on the edge"), and since I'd like the platform to sit solidly on the ground when upright, having the wheels in the back and slightly raised will work great.  I will want, of course, wheels big enough that they handle the gravel well.

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

Jamie_Buxton's picture

(post #97293, reply #18 of 43)

FG --


   I finally realized the model for the thing I was visualizing:  a reel-type lawnmower.   It has large-diameter wheels suitable for rough ground, set to the outside of the engine and blades.  The center of gravity is far enough forward that it sits firmly on the ground unless you use the handle to tip it backwards, but is far enough backward that it doesn't take a lot of force to tip it backwards.   And when it is in operational position, those big wheels are supporting a lot of the weight.   If you were to replace the mower's engine with your compressor, and maybe redesign the handle so it sticks straight up, you'd have what I've been visualizing.


  Of course, your version will work too.  Different designs for different designers... 


 


   Jamie

forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #19 of 43)

Gotcha, JamieB!  That design might give me the best of both worlds -- easy to move around, but very stable when the compressor's running.  Just have to get the right ground contact when it's upright.


My shop looks so good right now (all the "miscellaneous" is outside, LOL!), but I got the feet fixed on my workbench, cleared out the wall space where the lumber rack needs to expand, and figured out what I'll do with the very last place that needs dry-walling.  Yes!  The way things are now, I have added just enough peripheral space (e.g., between the counters and the table saw, 'tween the table saw and the jointer) that walking around is much, much easier.  Plus, there's more central space available for setting up an assembly or clamping table when need be. 


The miscellaneous stays outside until I get cabinets set up to store it, plus some drawer repair done, and decide which misc. gets tossed on its A$$.  This type of "motivation" works well in the Great Northwest, because there's always a rain shower waiting just around the corner.


Cutoff and plywood scrap storage is next to figure out.  EEeeeek, I just got an idea.  See ya.


forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

stancalow's picture

(post #97293, reply #20 of 43)

F-G


You mentioned putting the shop-vac in an enclosure.  I found that it was much quieter if you use batts of fiberglass insulation instead of carpet (unless, of course, you're going to use that leftover '70s green shag).  The insulation is thick, so requires bigger space.  I made my enclosure out of plywood, and made it tall enough to use as outfeed table.


PS  In case you didn't notice,  you get a lot of helpful responses out of respect for your civility. 

nikkiwood's picture

(post #97293, reply #21 of 43)

Amen on the PS..............

More on shop-vac noise.

You remember when all the catalogs were selling a "muffler" a couple of years ago (about $35, as I recall)? At the time, I happened to have a bunch of PVC pipe fittings around, and I took some elbows and straight pieces and fashioned a crude muffler of my own, which to my amazement cut the noise by maybe 50%. Just stuffed them in the blower hole of the vac.

******************************************************** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden 1910-
forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #23 of 43)

I'm trying to envision your muffler, and I think not having much luck!  Can you elaborate??

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

stancalow's picture

(post #97293, reply #28 of 43)

nikkiwood,  unfortunately my shop vac doesn't have an exit port, just a large grated vent on the top.  Maybe newer Sears models are smarter.  When I replace this one someday, I'll keep your solution in mind. 

jackiechan's picture

(post #97293, reply #30 of 43)

Forest Girl,


To build a muffler for your shop vac:


A short section of PVC with a flange at one end can be attached to the top of your vac with silicone adhesive or sheet metal screws.  To this attach a PVC elbow with a small extension (to clear the side of the vac), with another elbow at the end facing the floor.  On the second elbow, attach a PVC reducer fitting to go from the smaller diameter of the elbow to something an inch or two wider.  Finally, attach a section of the now larger PVC pipe to the end of the reducer fitting.  This piece should be long enough to go down the side of the vac and stop before reaching the wheels.


If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!


Dan Kornfeld, Owner/President - Odyssey Wood Design, Inc.

Dan Kornfeld, Owner/President - Odyssey Wood Design, Inc.

nikkiwood's picture

(post #97293, reply #31 of 43)

You asked about the configuaration of my shop vac "muffler" It is about what Dan describes -- nothing very fancy. But the exhaust port on my vac is a 2" hole, so PVC pipe slipped right in there.

I had to dismantle a Fein recently, and I noticed they had built a kind of diverter into the exhaust port -- which is basically what the PVC is all about.

Some of the Craftsman shop vacs I have been around have a pronouced "scream" to the sound; I would bet that if you could figure out a way to attach something to the exhaust shroud as a diverter (even some sheet metal or cardboard with duct tape), that would help a lot with the high pitched part of the scream. A couple of bends/angles/baffles would probably help too.

******************************************************** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden 1910-
forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #35 of 43)

"Some of the Craftsman shop vacs I have been around have a pronouced "scream" to the sound" -- NO KIDDING!  It was the main reason I went from ear plugs to headphone-style hearing protection, LOL!  This thing was made in the early 1980's and it screams to beat the band, so-to-speak.

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #37 of 43)

Thanks, Nikki.  My step-son has alot of car parts laying around.  Maybe I should just cut to the chase, and pick a muffler, LOL!  Seriously, though, thanks for the info.  Between you and Dan, I bet I have enough tips to quieten the beastie down.

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #36 of 43)

Hi Dan, how's things?!  I'm reading your reply to s.t.m. and have made a crude drawing.  Questions for you.  My vac has two exit points.  One is the side "blowing" hole, opposite the vac hole, where I can hook up a hose and supposedly use it as a blower (doesn't work real well).  The other is on the top, just above the motor.  It's a ~3" hole set within an 8x4" grid. 


How 'bout if I put (on top) a box-like structure, say 8" x 4" x 3" high, with a 3" side-port that joins to a Y-fitting coming from the blowing hole?  Then elbow down from that?


Re: the larger PVC that comes into play after the two elbows -- Technically what purpose is that serving?  If I make the combo-thingie described above, will I still need to make an expansion before going down toward the floor?


This could be fun.  I've done tons of PVC repair over the years, with the horses and their water supply.  This'd be alot more fun.


forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

jackiechan's picture

(post #97293, reply #39 of 43)

Forest Girl,


Things are outstanding.  Regarding your first question (re: the exhaust port and blower port).  The blower port should be able to be closed off when not in use. Unless that port is integral to the exhaust system, close it off.  If it is safe to close it off, but doesn't have a sealing door or bypass - an expandable rubber plug (plumbing section of the local home center) will be rock solid and provide a good seal. 


The purpose of the larger PVC section after the second elbow fitting is to act as a baffle/muffler for the sound.  The muffler on your truck works the same way - a pipe off of the engine/cat. converter going to a canister (the muffler), which is essentially a box with sound deadening material inside of it.


The canister of an automotive exhaust has multiple interior chambers and sometimes additional fiberglass packing inside it that act as a sound break.  If you feel that your vac' is still too loud even with the muffler, loosely pack something into the large outlet chamber.  Be sure that the flow of the exhaust is not being restricted in any way - this could lead to a serious overheating of the motor.


See the enclosed graphic.


If you have any questions, please send them along!


Dan Kornfeld, Owner/President - Odyssey Wood Design, Inc.

Dan Kornfeld, Owner/President - Odyssey Wood Design, Inc.

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forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #40 of 43)

Thanks, Dan.  Great info and graphic.  I'll be browsing the plumbing section soon!

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

badoyn's picture

(post #97293, reply #41 of 43)

I went a different route. I got sick of the huge sound of my old shopvac, so I found a great deal on a Fein Turbo III Vac on amazon some time ago and jumped at it. It's amazingly quiet. May have cost a few pennies more but it's well built and has the tool auto-on plug in.

Michael

forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #42 of 43)

See:  http://forums.taunton.com/tp-knots/messages?msg=18657.27

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

jackiechan's picture

(post #97293, reply #43 of 43)

Let me know how it turns out!

Dan Kornfeld, Owner/President - Odyssey Wood Design, Inc.

Dan Kornfeld, Owner/President - Odyssey Wood Design, Inc.

forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #22 of 43)

Hey, Stan, thanks for the sweet PS.  Glad to say, I don't have any leftover 70's carpet.  I do have, however, 2 or 3 different kinds of insulation laying around.



  • "Pink Panther" type

  • Thinner bats with foil-type layer on one side, from an old remodel

  • 1/2" styrofoam

  • Could buy some of that pink foam-type stuff

Any idea which would be the best for sound insulation?  My big vac is quite old and quite noisy.


Have you noticed that shag is back?  Couldn't believe it when I went carpet shopping awhile back.


forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

Jamie_Buxton's picture

(post #97293, reply #24 of 43)

FG ---


   Instead of building a big elaborate insulated enclosure for your old noisy shop vac, you might consider buying a shop vac which isn't noisy.   Fein's are quite comfortable to use without ear protection, and I believe there are now others.   You'd have to spend some money, but you'd get lots more floor space and a vac which moves around easily.


Jamie

forestgirl's picture

(post #97293, reply #26 of 43)

Great idea, JamieB, but the need for an overhead blade-guard for the table saw and a dust collector are quite a bit higher in priority.  Everthing I've read and heard about the Fein puts it at the top of the list!


For now, I can incorporate a vac-box underneath one wing of the table saw, using scrap ply for the most part, and probably put the outside walls and top to use for storage of some type.


PS:  My old Craftsman big-vac reminds me of a Toyota pick-up a friend had back in the 1980's.  She wanted so badly for it to just die! but it wouldn't!  The darned thing just kept running and running and running.  Last I heard from her, they had a Land Cruiser finally, so who knows, maybe she finally gave up and put sugar in the gas tank, LOL!



forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 


Edited 7/31/2004 3:51 pm ET by forestgirl

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

stancalow's picture

(post #97293, reply #27 of 43)

F-G


I'm no expert on acoustics, but I don't think the styrofoam (or anything that solid)would be best.  I used the big fluffy pink roll of stuff we use in attics around here, mostly because they sold them in short rolls at Home Depot.  Also, because it is so soft, you can go around corners, avoiding un-insulated seams at the corners.  I just stapled it in place.  I did use carpet on the bottom, because the insulation would tear too easily, when taking the vac out.  I never got around to making the exhaust pipe (just a hole) but the plan I had in mind was an upside-down "J", kind of like those vent tubes you see on ships.