Portable DIY Air Compressor

Rural ingenuity at its finest with a riding mower converted into a portable DIY air compressor.

DIY air compressor

Shane converted a riding mower into a mobile air compressor.

Photo courtesy FARM SHOW

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“I can drive it around anywhere on my farm where I need air, or drive it onto a trailer and operate air tools away from home,” says Shane Myrick, Pleasanton, Kansas.

Myrick does custom welding out of his shop, and uses an air storage tank to power all air tools inside the shop. “I can roll the self-propelled compressor outside the shop, start it up, and use it to fill the tank. The tank can hold enough air to run my air tools for two to three days,” says Myrick. “By moving the compressor outside, I don’t have to listen to it run or breathe diesel fumes as I work inside.”

He started with a Sears Craftsman riding mower equipped with a belt-driven transmission, and stripped it down to the frame, keeping the transmission, steering system, wheels, and axles. He remounted the steering wheel on the right side of the frame, and mounted a small gearshift lever beside it. Then he attached a pulley to the starter motor off a Briggs & Stratton welder, and bolted the motor under the frame. The push-button-operated, battery-powered motor is used to belt-drive the transmission. A metal rod runs from the motor to the transmission and is used to make the machine go forward or backward.

He bought a 2-cycle compressor powered by a 13-hp Kubota diesel engine and mounted them onto the frame, along with a hose reel.

“It works great and is easy to operate,” says Myrick. “I push the button on the starter motor to engage it and put the transmission in gear. Then I walk alongside the compressor, keeping my left hand on the steering wheel and my right hand on the button. When I let go of the button, the machine stops moving.”


Reprinted with permission from FARM SHOW Magazine, www.FarmShow.com.