Compressor hose reel
Agood, reliable, high-capacity air compressor is a musthave item on every farmer’s wish list of workshop equipment, and here’s how to get the most out of it.
While most think of using them for pumping up tyres and cleaning filters, the well-organised operator also uses air pressure for cleaning down machinery at the end of each season.
Spray painting and sandblasting also feature, but my favourite is operating the ever-increasing list of air-operated tools.
Virtually every tool that was traditionally powered by electricity now has a compressed-air-driven equivalent. In most cases, air compressors are heavy and awkward to move around, and seem to have a tendency to want to tip over on uneven ground.
Unfortunately, the wheels are often way too small to effectively carry the load with any sort of stability and while you may get away without incident on the smooth cement floor in the workshop, it can be an absolute nightmare outside on rough ground.
With that in mind, the most sensible place to position your air compressor is where you can get most jobs done without having to move it.
That sounds simple, but in reality it isn’t so easy to put into practice. Most compressors only come with about six to 10 metres of hose, while the job could be 20 or even 30 metres away from the workshop.
My tip to solve this issue is to buy a retractable air hose reel, mount it on the outside wall of your workshop, and attach it to the compressor to provide an instant source of pressurised air.
Most hardware stores stock a variety to select from. Prices appear to vary from around $50 for a 10m model up to around $350 for a good quality 30m-length reel. Check to make sure the kit includes a good quality wall bracket and is manufactured from UV-resistant materials.
Obviously the longer the length the better, so you can clean up machinery or blow dust out of filters or tractor cabins a good distance away from the shed to avoid filling the workshop with a cloud of dust.
Mount a box on the wall next to the hose reel to store all of the air compressors accessories for easy access. It should include a good quality tyre inflation nozzle with built-in pressure gauge and various dust-blowing nozzles.