Bare pump units

  1. howardm

    howardm Yorkshireman in exile

    Who makes the best compressor pump units.?
    I am trying to calculate if any savings can be made by building a compressor myself.

    All I see from googling is clarke, which definately aren’t quality.

    Also does anyone have experience of Air Industrial Equipment Co. in Harlow.?

  2. brightspark

    brightspark Member

    not worth making unless you can get a good second hand pump and motor at the right price and score a 75kg gas bottle for nothing then factor in pressure switch plumbing fittings contact starter and pulleys and belts
    rtbcomp and Hopefuldave like this.
  3. armalites Member

    I would say it's very unlikely you'll make a saving building a compressor unless you already have some of the components.
    slim_boy_fat, 8ob and brightspark like this.
  4. 8ob

    8ob Forum Supporter

    moscow on thames
    Quite possibly but could one build a better more efficient compressor ? I was reading a thread on here a while back about CFM and HP requirements with the associated constraints of a power supply, its a bit of a derail but wondered if less HP per cfm could be achieved with CVT type drive pulley system . As in the pump/leccy motor would spin up faster as pressure and load dropped off to produce more cfm at less pressure :dontknow: Its late :)

    slim_boy_fat likes this.
  5. frank horton

    frank horton V twins are great but 4"s rule.........

    Soon 2 B Crete
    Ben trying for 50 years on and off and on and then proper pumps were the only ones available...240 volt is the deciding factor.....
    If u got 3 phase go small industrial other than that just get what suits....I'm lucky to have 3phase at home and have a huge industrial unit....
    2 schools of thought, I pref the iron pumps (less noisy and I'm an ol git)
    The ally pumps r more heat efficient..BUT extra noisy....
    Better to get a recommended comp unit....
    Clarke’s are just rebadged, diff colour to most of the others out there but 30% dearer....
    I bought a cheapo oil less comp from Aldi/Lidl 15 years ago, used for remote tire inflation and nail/stapler guns...Still perfek after all these years...
    Think u kinda need to c them as consumable these days I'm afraid....
    To prolong their life run them in then change the oil and change it at least once per year for diy least this way the oil level will get checked....
    After that the best thing is to make sure it gets an adequate air supply for cooling...not stuck in a cupboard etc...
    Heat and low oil kill's them....
    Out of preference I'd go for a V twin (more cooling and they tend to be better made) often the parallel twins have only 1 main bearing......
    So get lucky, ask a friend....
  6. CompoSimmonite Member

    Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent
    I've bought a couple of 3 phase compressors for a fraction of what a 240v version would cost and even after fitting a new single phase motors the still worked out cheaper than buying individual parts
  7. merryman Member

    Lancaster, England
    I have had an Air Master for circa 15 years, not used a great deal but some blasting which has caned the capacitors a couple of times. Those vertical twin pump units used by Clarke, Air Master, etc seem to be very good. I suspect the Chinese V twins that have come in recently are not going to last as long. As others have written, making your own is going to cost as much as buying ready made.
  8. brightspark

    brightspark Member

    the second compressor I made was a 90cfm broomwade v twin run with a twin lister 20hp diesel engine. I paid 150 quid for the motor virtualy new and the pump was 90 quid in good nick I ran it for blasting for 3 years and sold it for more than I payed for it :laughing:
  9. fizzy Forum Supporter

    Nothing wrong with Clarke. I have had one for 20 years - I know plenty even older.
    Some Machine Marts have a return s section in the back. I have often seen large compressor pump units and been tempted.
    brightspark likes this.
  10. timgunn1962 Member

    Lancashire UK
    It'll be a real struggle to build a compressor to the same standard as an off-the-shelf unit for less money.

    The Air Industrial Equipment compressors are good.

    At work, we have quite a few of the AIE HW16 3HP, 150l with 7-10 years of running 24/7 at 20-35% duty cycles. They are boring, which is the highest praise I can give to any piece of equipment I am responsible for keeping running.

    They are heavy and slow-running, which makes them relatively quiet for a reciprocating compressor. If I'm being really picky, the guards are a bit thin and tinny and they can develop a bit of a razz.

    We have a number of sites around the country where we have containerised plants that need control air. The plants are remote and it's a real pain getting the receivers inspected. A good few years ago now, we decided to swap out the compressor every 2 years and avoid the need for on-site inspections. We also decided we would do no compressor maintenance, beyond oil top-up, over the 2 years. The plant consists of a shipping container divided into a control room and a plant room. The compressor is in the control room, which is normally unmanned but which has a desk in and might be occupied for an hour or so a couple of times a week. We wanted a compressor that could provide an average of around 3 CFM of continuous (24/365) air demand with occasional brief periods of heavier demand. We needed minimal risk of it failing within 2 years and quiet enough that a guy spending a couple of hours in the control room would not have to wear hearing protection. We narrowed things down to 3 HP on a 150l receiver (or thereabouts) and a reciprocating compressor (mainly because the variation in demand meant that we'd be continuously cycling and experience showed recips coped with this better than Hydrovanes. Screws were just too expensive to life at 2 years). The 3 compressors we found that fitted our needs were AIE HW16, the long-discontinued Stenhoj B-line and an also-discontinued Fiac (Air-Main?). All had Iron pumps and ran relatively slow. To keep the noise level down in the wood-floored, steel-walled shipping container, we found we had to use Paulstradyn AV mounts (the amount of movement these allow can be quite alarming the first time you use them).

    When the regs changed to require a written scheme of inspection several years ago, the swap-out-every-2-years thing stopped (and so, sadly, did my supply of free secondhand compressors). Most of our installed compressors stayed where they were and most are still running. We change inlet air filters and the "pastille" in the Non-Return Valve every year or two and top up the oil when needed, but otherwise just run them until they fail, or get too noisy to ignore.

    Some of the current models from Clarke use an iron V-twin pump which looks a lot like the one fitted to the old Stenhoj B-line units. As far as I could tell, Stenhoj used a far-East pump on the B-line and it's possible Clarke's is the same unit. If so, it could be excellent value. It could also be a poorly-made lookalike with lousy Quality Control. If anyone has one, I'd be interested to hear their opinion of it.
    Dcal likes this.