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What To Do With An Old Air Compressor

January 18, 2021

If you’re ready to replace your air compressor with a longer-lasting Quincy compressor, you may be wondering what to do with the old one. It might seem like an unneeded hunk of metal taking up space. Thankfully, there are plenty of uses for an old air compressor tank. You can turn it into a portable air tank or restore it to create something altogether new.

With a little creativity and effort, your old air compressor can live a second life as something fresh and useful, rather than contributing to piles of waste in a landfill. Discover a few ways to reuse your old air compressor below.

Why Should You Reuse an Old Air Compressor?

Repurposing old equipment has a positive environmental impact. If you turn your old air compressor into a clever do-it-yourself (DIY) project, you’ll help decrease waste, limit the sourcing of new material and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Every seemingly small choice makes a difference to our planet and its residents. Additionally, reusing old equipment as a backup for your new machinery gives you more reliable operation. If one machine breaks down, you can turn to your older equipment without experiencing significant downtime.

Besides its environmental and productivity benefits, reusing an old air compressor can result in some fun and unique projects. What was once a useful yet unexciting piece of industrial equipment can become an eye-catching work of functional art.

Other people’s DIY projects are a great starting point, but the only boundaries you have are your imagination. Create a planter, barbecue, fire pit or sculpture out of your old air compressor. You can also do a few alterations to create a portable road-trip-ready tire-filler. You may even think of a repurpose solution never done before. Explore the possible uses for an old air compressor motor and choose one that works for you.

What to Do With an Old Air Compressor Motor

If you’re willing to put in a little time and elbow grease, there’s no reason to junk your old air compressor. Here’s some creative inspiration to help you decide how to repurpose your air compressor motor:

1. Make a Portable Air Tank

With little more than a standard toolbox, you can take a broken air compressor and turn it into a portable air tank. You’ll never run out of uses for it — you can use it to fill the tires on bicycles, cars or trailers, add power to a nail gun or even inflate pool toys. Take it on a road trip in case you pop a tire. You never know when you’ll be glad to have an air tank on hand.

To create a portable air tank, you’ll first have to disassemble your old air compressor using different-sized wrenches. You’ll then have to install an automatic anti-vacuum or snifter valve. You may also have to replace other fittings or valves, depending on the state of your air compressor. Make sure to test your portable air tank and wear safety equipment when you do so. You can also add wheels to the bottom of the tank for a truly portable end product.

2. Create a Simple Planter

Here’s where you can start thinking outside of the box. When you look at your old air compressor, you might not picture a flower pot. But with a few minor alterations, you can bring life to your old machinery — literally. This will take a few steps and a little expertise but will result in a beautiful, functional planter to be proud of.

Determine the orientation you want your planter to have. It’s more effective to leave it as is so the existing legs will support it. Then simply cut a hole into the side of the tank, clean it out and fill it with soil. From there, you have free rein to determine what to do with it. Leave it unpainted for a rustic look, or give it a white coat of paint to freshen it up.

Fill it with colorful flowers or delicate greenery, or turn it into a produce or spice garden for cooking purposes. This is one of the easiest ways to repurpose an air compressor motor, yet it can make a strong impact as a minimalistic, steampunk-esque decoration. Make sure to choose plants that thrive in shallow soil and place your new planter where there’s appropriate sunlight.

3. Turn It Into a Barbecue

Believe it or not, you can turn your old air compressor into a barbecue. This project will take a bit more time and effort, but the end results will be worth it. Once you’re finished, you can serve deliciously smoked meats straight from your old air compressor tank. Keep in mind you’ll need to do a bit of metalwork to make this come to life. Thankfully, expert crafters have shared their process for this project in

Follow along with an instructional video and use your imagination. You can spin the old tank either vertically or horizontally for your preferred grill shape. You can add wheels to the bottom of the compressor to make it portable. You can also use stencils to spray-paint decals onto the side of your new barbecue to make it your own. 

If a project like this seems too daunting, send your used air compressor to a welding professional who will do it for you! A barbecue like this would make a great piece for a yard — imagine entertaining guests by cooking meats on what used to be an air compressor. 

4. Design a Fire Pit

This will also require a bit of metalwork, but you can turn your old air compressor into a fully functional fire pit. Since fire pits need to be durable and fireproof, an old air compressor tank is the perfect starting material. Repurposed this way, your old air compressor tank will take on new life and last for a long time.

A fire pit will elevate any backyard or outdoor dining area, making this method a great way to reuse the machinery. There’s something calming about gathering around an outdoor fire pit — it can serve as a source of warmth and soft lighting, or you could use it to heat food for a delicious, smokey flavor. You can save yourself a decent bit of money when you repurpose your tank this way since it’ll keep you from buying an expensive new fire pit.

Be sure to use all necessary safety equipment when welding or cutting. Make your new fire pit fit your aesthetic taste by spray-painting or adding other elements for personalized decoration. 

5. Create a Sculpture

The most fun and least technical solution is to turn your old air compressor tank into a sculpture. With a few bottles of spray paint and some imaginative elements, you can create anything from a cute piglet to a “Despicable Me” Minion. It’s easy to create a sculpture that onlookers will love, and the finished product will make your yard or storefront memorable.

A sculpture made from an air compressor tank will stand the test of weather and time. These bulky metal tanks are made to be durable, so you can rest easy knowing your art project will fare well outside.

This is a great option if you have no experience with metalwork since your sculpture can keep the tank’s original shape. Use spray paint to add vibrant color, and block off areas with tape. Use wires, pipe cleaners or other discarded pieces of metal to add 3D elements to your design.

While you could easily copy someone else’s sculpture project, you could also come up with something clever and new. You can even use this as an advertising opportunity for your business. For a farm, you can create a cow sculpture. For a mechanic shop, a truck sculpture can work wonders. There are no limits to your imagination!

Replace Your Old Air Compressor With a Quincy Compressor Model

When you’re ready to replace your old air compressor, choose a reliable option with industry-leading warranty protection. With unique extended warranty options, compressors from Quincy offer peace of mind concerning repairs or maintenance. Our True Blue Warranty covers our QGD and QGS packages and provides different coverage options, which helps you rest assured that your compressor will last for many years.

Browse our wide selection of models to find the best fit for your unique needs. Once you’ve decided on one of Quincy’s long-lasting air compressors, your days of repurposing an old or broken compressor will be long behind you. Use our sales and service locater to find an authorized Quincy Compressor representative in your area who will answer all your questions about purchasing a new air compressor.