My compressor died, but lives again! is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Loveably weird
Long, long ago, in the early years of the Second Age, I bought a small 2 gallon compressor from Menards. I have used it for a number of tasks around here. When I got into airbrushing it became my airbrush compressor. A new unit is $50, and I know I didn't pay that much for this one! I added the regulator/moisture trap myself.

A few days ago I painted the roof of a kit I'm kit-bashing ( ).
I finished the roof, cleaned the airbrush, and took a break. I got involved in a YouTube video, and then I heard the moisture trap on my workbench open up. It does that when there's no air pressure. This compressor has a small leak somewhere I've never been able to track down. It may be under the cover, I don't know. It's very slight so I just live with it. I went to check the compressor, and there was absolutely 0 air pressure. I toggled the switch on and off. Nothing. I checked the electrical outlet by plugging something else into it. Yup, the outlet is fine. The problem is with the compressor itself. I was kind of bummed out about it, but then I thought "Hey, now I have a good reason to save up and buy a new one!"
I finished up the building kit and put the compressor on the bench about an hour ago. The workbench in the workshop is buried under another project at the moment. I removed 4 Allen screws and pulled the cover off. I made sure all the electrical connections were tight, and checked continuity through the on/off switch. Everything looked good. Then I noticed one of the old style glass-and-metal fuses in a circuit board. Checked continuity through the fuse. Nothing. I think I found the problem!

It's a wet, sloppy day here In Lincoln, Ne. today and I really didn't want to go out and buy a package of fuses. I rummaged through the stuff I have here and looky, looky! A package of fuses the same rating as the one from the compressor!

I popped one of these bad boys into the circuit board, plugged in the compressor, threw the switch, and the compressor came to life! :D
I'm happy it's running again, but now I don't have a good compelling reason to save up for a new compressor! :confused:
In the words of Winston Churchill "Never give up! Never give up! Never, ever, ever give up!"
Sometimes it's the simple things........


Loveably weird
Oops! Made a small boo-boo! The original fuse was a 3 amp fuse, the ones I had were 30 amp fuses! I stopped at AutoZone while I was out and about this afternoon and bought some 3 amp fuse. Took about 5 minutes to put it in. All better now!
I don't know exactly what the fuse is protecting, but a fuse 10 times the amperage of the original may not be the best idea!


Loveably weird
So it died, now it's not dead any more.
Does that mean it's undead?
Perhaps "Un-died" would be better?
How about "replaced"? Yep, I done it! I was looking online last evening at quiet compressors, and saw this one on the Menards website:

It's a 1.8 gallon 3/4 hp two stage compressor. The old compressor is 2 gallon and 1/3 hp, so the new one will take less time to fill the tank, meaning it won't have to work as hard. It's supposed to be portable, but at 48 lbs. I wouldn't want to port it real far! :D
I wouldn't call it silent, but it makes a lot less noise than the old one. The new one is rated at 60 decibels, the old one at 72. There is a noticeable reduction in the noise level.
This is a discontinued model, and there were none in stock at the north Lincoln Menards. I checked other stores and there was 1 in stock at the south Lincoln Menards. I talked it over with the wife, got the OK, and went and got my new compressor. Paid $149 including tax. I still need to do the rebate stuff.
I let the tank fill an hour ago, and the left needle was pegged on the red. After an hour it's only lost this much air:

I have the outlet pressure set at 50 PSI. Due to the fact that I have a regulator/moisture trap attached to the side of my workbench

I don't really need to use the compressor's regulator. If I have it set at 50 PSI that should provide plenty of air for airbrushing, since I usually have the above regulator set at 20 or so. I'll give it a real test Saturday, I have a boxcar I want to paint oxide red.
I look forward to using this. Most of the 'quiet' compressors run in the $175-200 range, so I feel good about getting this one.


Loveably weird
The new compressor is officially in service!
I painted a 50' wood framed boxcar boxcar red. I got this in a box of "broken or un-serviceable" rolling stock at a train show. I got a whole flat of various types of rolling stock for $5. I do not know who made the car, there are no marking on it or the frame. Next to it is my single action airbrush. Got it from Harbor Freight for about $6 with a 25% off coupon. If it ever dies, I'll replace it with a Badger 350, but this thing is like the Energizer Bunny: It just keeps going and going and going.....

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.