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.