Saturday, February 8, 2020

LIME - The Stray 1HP Compressor

I Adopted A Stray Compressor Today

While walking around in one of the most famous second hand goods markets in Hong Kong, Ap Liu Street, I spotted a small air compressor sitting alone in the middle of the road.  At first, I ignored it because it looked like it was someone else's and wasn't going to be there for long - but when I circled back to the same place thirty minutes later, I realized that nobody was interested in this little guy.

So I made an offer - a ridiculously low offer.  And got laughed at.  I then pointed out that I was willing to take the unit immediately and nobody else had shown any interest.  At that point, I got a bunch of insults thrown my way, all along the lines of "you no good cheap-o, cheapskate, skinflint, etc...).  So I then pulled the money out of my wallet and offered up the cash.  The insults instantly abated and the transaction was quickly consummated.  God I love Hong Kong.

For obvious reasons, I christened this little compressor LIME.  It arrived with a multitude of problems that seemed to need immediate attention (goody!).  

The many problems afflicting LIME fell into two groups: Broken Parts & Missing Parts.

Broken Parts


The Cowling was badly cracked, making it ugly and probably a safety hazard:

My intention is to try to repair it with super glue, and then (maybe) paint it a different color.

Main Coupler

The Main Coupler was broken, making it impossible to plug in an air hose and therefore rendering this compressor useless.  This may have been the primary reason why LIME was discarded:

Air Filter

By the look of it, Lime had an air filter at one time, and that filter had been snapped off, leaving only a stem remaining.  To protect the unit, a new air filter would be needed.

Missing Parts

Crankcase Cap

LIME arrived without a crankcase cap.  Instead a plastic cap that is popular in Hong Kong to help recycle used quart beer bottles as containers of popular solvents (alcohol, acetone, turpentine, etc...) had been jammed in the hole:

Compressor Oil

It appears that LIME is the kind of compressor that likes to have compressor oil in a sump at the bottom of the crancase.  The oil lubricates its bottom end, where the crank, push rods and bottom of the pistons do their work.  Lime has a sight glass, but that glass shows no sign of any oil:

Rubber Feet

Unlike most compressors, LIME has no rubber feet, which help to prevent the transmission of the vibrations of the compressor into the floor.  At the moment, there are only four badly bent steel fittings into which rubber feet should have been attached:

Replacement Parts

Looking around online, I found the following repair, replacement and upgrade parts:

Not only did I buy a bunch of parts for LIME, I also recorded a series of videos about how I refurbished, repaired and upgraded LIME in an effort to get it into tip-top shape.  Enjoy!

Help a Maker Out?

Did you see anything in this video you want for yourself?  If the answer is yes, consider using one of the link(s) below to buy it directly from  When you do, I get a small commission that keeps me going!

Bill of Materials

GLOVEWORKS HD Industrial Black Nitrile Gloves - 6 mil, Latex Free, Powder Free, Diamond Texture, Disposable, Large, GWBN46100-BX, Box of 100

WD-40 Multi-Use Product Non-Aerosol Trigger Pro Spray. 20 oz. [1-Pack]

Disposable Chopsticks, pack of 40 pair

Mazbot 6" Cushion Comfort Foam Grip Beading Awl

15 pieces Scratch Brush (Stainless Steel + Brass+Nylon), AFUNTA Curved Handle Masonry Wire brush Set Bristle for Cleaning Welding Slag and Rust,5 pcs Per Type

Dawn Professional Pot and Pan Detergent Regular Scent 1 Gallon

40 Pieces - EPAuto 1/4-Inch & 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Set with 72 Teeth Reversible Ratchet

Utopia Towels 12 Pack Dish Towels, 15 x 25 Inches Ultra Soft Cotton Dish Cloths, Blue

FIXKIT 7-in-1 Portable Workbench, Multifunctional Folding Work Table Scaffold/Dolly/Platform with 4 Wheels for Garage

Best Value 24-Piece Master Combination Wrench Set with Roll-up Storage Pouch | SAE 1/4” to 1”

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