banner Ad
banner forum link

Search Our Site


Tools Q's & A's

Air Compressors | Tape Measure | Minor Repairs | Drills
Pop Rivet Gun | Yard Tools | Maintenance
Can't find a solution to your problem?
Post a question in our Forums.

Air Compressors

Air Compressors

Can you explain the difference between air compressors?

All pnumatic "air" tools are rated by volume = cfm "cubic feet per minute" and an operating = psi "pressure per square inch". Air compressors are also rated in the same way, as to what they can deliver. The more psi the less cfm.

Check out the tools that you will or may be using and then select a compressor accordingly. Keep in mind that using spay gun the pressure is may be lower than other air tools however cfm is much higher and it is used for a continous period of time, there for you may be concerned with tank size at least 25 gals. Although a smaller tank size will work, if the item you are painting is sizable e.g.,(a car)you will have to stop and wait for the compressor to catch up. This would leave overspray "dry dull areas" marks on your work piece.

PUMP The pump "compressor unit itself". It consist of pistons simlar to that in a car engine. Keep in mind there are two type of two cylinder pumps. (1) Is a twin-cylinder which is two cylinders of the same size which operate in oppositon cycles and (2)there is a twin-staged pump, this consists of a one large cylinder and one smaller cylinder (This pump is designed for a higher operating pressure). Either one would be fine for most use however if all things were simular I would pick the 2-stage.

DUTY CYCLE "The duty cycle is an operating cycle in % how much work to how much rest the equipment need, 30% is not uncommon. It sound like you are NOT going to be using this equipment all day everyday so the duty cycle is not a major factor.

MOTOR If you select a shop model, a compressor with a 5hp (min) 240v. If you select a roll around type 3hp (min) 120v (NOTE Use a dedicated circuit to plug in and keep your extention cords "if used" short as possible and heavy as possible 12ga.(min). Onelast thing, there are direct drive and belt drive. Both seem fine.


Can I use a hydraulic cylinder as a air operated cylinder? How would I figure out how much it would lift safely? theory....
However, realize that with hydraulics you are counting on the hydraulic fluids near incompressibility to move the piston. With air, you are pressurizing the cylinder, which will take much longer for any movement. The cylinder may leak by too much for air, while the fluid sealed the piston. And safety? I would say.. if you are not using it as it was designed.. you are taking safety in your own hands.... entirely.

The force generated is the air pressure you will use time the surface area of the piston. Basically.. Pounds /inxin X inxin = pounds of force...

Another answer:
Yes, you can use a hydraulic cylinder for air service assuming the cylinder if of recent vintage (10 yr. or less). Seals in a hydraulic cylinder are heavier duty then those for air so there might more force required to move the rod. This subtracts from the force you can exert on your load. The formula to calculate the cylinder push force is the diameter of the piston (in inches) squared X .7854 X the air pressure (in lbs. per sq. in. The pull force = (piston diameter squared - the rod diameter squared) X .7854 X the air pressure.

NOTE; be very careful with any cylinder using air! It the seals are tight or sticky and you start to pressurize the cylinder, the rod will not begin to move right away. When the pressure builds to a point that the rod begins to move, it will fly out (extend) at a very high velocity sometimes fast enough that when it reaches the end of its stroke it will jerk the rod out of the piston! Again, be very careful!

Tape Measure

Tape Measure

Am I alone in that I'm fairly handy, but I find the tape measure the most difficult of all tools to use? It seems like every time I have to cut something, it's either too short or too long, and I end up doing it 2 or 3 times. That makes for a lot of wasted lumber. Are there any common mistakes with a tape measure made by amateurs such as myself, or am I just not careful enough?

You must have heard the old saw, "measure twice, cut once". It is a popular saying because through the ages we all make that mistake.

My own history teaches me to recheck my measuring in proportion to the expense of the piece of wood I am cutting.

You can try keeping a small pad in your pocket and the pencil behind your ear, and write it down, rather than remember it. Also think about the mistakes and see if there is a pattern. For instance, do you reverse numbers.. then you can be extra special alert when dealing with that measurement.

Contact me to place your ad here

Minor Repairs

Essential Tools

I'm sending my daughter off to college next month and want to make sure she's prepared with the necessary tools for minor repairs. What would you say are the most essential tools to send beyond screwdrivers, hammer,and a crescent wrench? Also, is there a simple fix-it book that might help her?

Well just giving her this url should take care of the book she may need. (joking ok?) I think the readers digest book on home repairs is very good.. but it is probably way more than she needs. I will look around on that one. (Take a trip over to Amazon... their is a link to there in our Mall... they will probably have some good books available). As for tools? Well, she may well have to fill nail holes in the walls.. so a small putty knife and a little can of spackle may be good. She may have to paint (or want to) so.. you can supply some painting tools, brush, roller, pan... Definitely a pair of pliers. And a utility knife. small tape measure, Picture hanging nails to hang up pictures. DUCT TAPE... no one should leave home with out it. Just some ideas........


Drill chuck stuck

I have a power drill that I'm having a problem with the chuck sticking. I have a hard time loosening it to
change drill bits then tightening it up. what can I do?????

You are using the chuck key to loosen and tighten it, right? To help loosen it, you can put a small metal tube over the end of the rod that you grip to turn. A small piece of copper tubing, or anything to make it longer, will help.

Black and Decker Drill

I want to replace the chuck on my B&D 1/2-inch drill. There is a screw down inside the chuck that I have been told is left hand threaded. I have unscrewed it to the point that it now just spins, but I still cannot remove the chuck from the drill itself. What do I need to do to get the chuck off of the drill??

Some of the chucks are also threaded on. I have chucked up a 3/8 Allen wrench, then tap it with a hammer. I believe most of the chucks are a right hand thread.

Pop Rivet Gun

Pop rivet use

I have been trying to find any information on the installation of pop rivets. Having never used the Pop Rivet Gun before I need to know how it works and how the fasteners work.

Well it really is not that hard. Let me try.
How the fastener works: A rivet is a fastener that stressed to the point that is goes into the plastic deformation stage of the rivet material. That is the engineering term for "you pulled the rivet so dam hard that the metal bends". OK so the rivet fastens two pieces of metal together by first drilling a hole
into both pieces. What size hole? Well that depends. What is the application? How much weight is this thing trying to carry? and so on. Post a here and I will try to help you answer that question.

Anyway, pick a hole size, now make sure that you have the correct rivet for that hole size. Take the rivet and put the log end ( the end with a small rod of metal ) into the hole at the end of the rivet gun. Holding the rivet flush against the head of the rivet gun, place the rivet in the hole. Now squeeze the hell out of the handle. Keep squeezing until you hear a pop. You will think that you have broken something, then the small metal rowdily break off of the rivet head and your parts will be fastened. Remove small metal rod from rivet gun and throwaway. that's it. Hope I helped.

Yard Tools

Leaf blowers

Could anyone recommend a good leaf blower-vac to buy? I think I would prefer gas model.

Toro and Weed Eater manufacture good yard products. Gas models are typically more expensive, more powerful and last a long time if you maintain them properly (they require pre and post season oil changes, cleaning etc.)They are the only option if you have a large property (who wants to roll out a long electrical cord?)

On the other hand, if money is an issue (and it always is in my house)an electric blower would suffice, given the amount of use a typical leaf blower would have each season.

Lawn Mower

I own a Weedeater lawn mower with a Tecumseh 4.5Hp engine. I t has been sitting idle for about two years, I have changed the oil, replaced the air filter and spark plug but it does not want to turn over. The fuel lines are clear and I've cleaned out the carburetor. Any tips.

First, be sure you have spark. Remove the spark plug, connect it to its wire and make the threaded part touch the engine then pull the rope while observing the sparkplug gap for a blue spark as you are pulling. If you have no spark, check that the throttle (speed) control is not at minimum because that grounds the magneto. If you have spark, obtain a can of spray starting fluid from an auto parts store, remove the foam air filter and spray in a shot or two of fluid . See if it fires a few times when you pull. This may be enough to "prime" your carburetor.




If they are that bad, have you plugged them in to see if the motors work yet. If they are belt -driven, remove the belts before trying the motors. If something else is frozen up, you may think the motors are bad when they aren't.

I guess if you really want to restore them, there is no easy solution like spraying them with something. You can do that first, to see if things will move, but if you're not in a rush, and it were me, I'd just start taking things apart one by one, wire brushing, sanding, repainting if necessary. If you have a bench grinder with a wire wheel, that would be handy. If you have a use for them and they are worth it may as well do it right.

Click here for our Tool Tips Article
Click here for our Score And Snap Review Article
Click here for our Saw Horse Plans Article
Click here for our Build A Workbench Article

Experts | Email Us | Disclaimer | HandymanWire home
Articles | We welcome your feedback. | Privacy
Handyman Wire
your resource for advice on home improvement and repairs.
Copyright ©1999-2019, Handyman USA LLC.
All rights reserved.