Sunday, May 13, 2007

New Hardware At The Crib

Every once in a while a technical artifact comes your way and you get to go on an excursion into the past to see how much of your mechanical and diagnostic skills are left. I guess old dogs like to be out in the field and smell the gunpowder.
This Speedaire compressor followed me home the other day and it soon became evident why the previous owner had lost faith in it-it could not produce much pressure, perhaps 20 psi. There's little technical information available about these things and my entreaties went unanswered.
I thought about all this and that night I woke up from a dream in which I'd visualized the operating cycle it as it was running. The remedy became clear.
I removed the two round plugs and there I found two disc valves. A good soak in lacquer thinner was enough to soften up the residue of paint that had come in through the intake valve, so that it could be removed with compressed air and a toothpick. After annealing the copper gaskets and applying some gasket shellac and reassembling, the Speedaire is now capable of producing 130 psi in a fairly short amount of time.
Plus, it's cool looking and industrial as all hell.


At 6:32 AM, Blogger G. F. McDowell said...

While the rules of my seminary stipulate that I am not to gamble, I'd like to encourage you to prognosticate as to whether a single BC-17 will ever be built, so that if you're proved correct, I can offer you some sort of prize. I figure you figure the recent headlines are just the Prussians trying to squeeze a few more airframe purchases out of the gubmint. Do the recent headlines change your mind at all?

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

A good question. I'd like to see it happen but there are many obstacles in the path. First of all is that the tooling and the factory is owned by Uncle Sam and not Boeing. I am not sure whether it has a civilian type certificate.
Second of all the C17 is a single mission product-it is built to put an all up main battle tank on the ground ready to fight off a 5,000 foot unimproved airstrip. It's hard to see how it could be an efficient commercial freight hauler, except as a special purpose heavy lifter like the Antonov 225. That would mean the market is somewhat limited and I doubt whether it will ever be built.


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