From rLab

Wolf Dakota 100 Air Compressor


The air compressor

Our Wolf Air compressor is a single-phase compressor with a 100L air tank that can reach just under 10-Bar (about 135psi) and has enough power to supply all of the air tools we currently have at the Hackspace. It is also used to provide cooling for Boxford CNC milling machine as well as running the blasting cabinet and the plasma cutter. The tools and acessories for the air compressor are kept on the shelves under the water stone on the far side of the workshop. We've standardised on euro quick-connect fittings for all air tools to ensure compatibility between them.

Current Status[edit]

Date Status Comment
18th May 2022 Non-Functional Damage to motor junction box.

Using the Air Compressor[edit]

Before using the compressor remember you need to :-

  • Check that there's enough oil in the compressor
  • Conduct a brief visual inspection to make sure there's no obvious damage and all the fittings are secure
  • Check the air filter isn't clogged (If it is, replace with a Vax Swift vacuum cleaner filter from the main air-filter store and let Steve know so it can be re-ordered)
  • Make sure the both regulators are wound all the way out
  • Put a tray under the drain valve on the bottom of the tank and open it a couple of turns if it hasn't been left open after the last use, some dirty water may well drain out, and then close it again before use. The drain valve is a left-hand thread, and all the way out is fully closed, all the way in is fully open.
  • Plug the compressor directly into one of the metal-clad mains sockets. Do not use the multi-way extension leads as the compressor draws a high current when running.
  • Turn on the compressor
  • As pressure builds pull on the ring attached to the high pressure relief valve, make sure it operates and releases air then let go
  • The compressor will shut off automatically when the tank is full, and automatically restarts when the tank pressure drops, so make sure that nothing can easily get caught in the pulley.
  • High pressure (50-130psi, 3-9 bar) port supplied unlubricated air for use where oil would cause problems
  • Low pressure air (0-75psi, 0-6 bar) with lubricating oil is available from the port on the low pressure regulator, in order to use the low-pressure outlet the high-pressure regulator must be set to at least 10psi above the pressure you wish to select on the low-pressure regulator. Air with oil added is suited for power tools, but not for painting, use with the boxford, or use with the blow-off guns.

When you're done with using the compressor for the day you should make sure the tank is empty again, either by venting it off through a tool or by opening the drain valve at the bottom of the tank a little. This may be very noisy but is the most effective way of getting water out. If you vented the air though a tool then once the pressure is gone open the drain valve over a tray to let out the accumulated water. The compressor should be put away with the drain valve open, it can be put back under the stairs while the air is still venting.

The compressor must not be put away with air still in the tank, it's potentially dangerous. The air tank with pressure in it is storing a great deal of energy, up to 150KJ in our one, as much as 40g of TNT so it shouldn't be left that way when not in use. Leaving the tank under pressure also means that the tank hasn't been properly drained and may have water sitting it in which can cause rusting and weaken it. This happens because when air is compressed it becomes able to contain much less moisture, so the humidity in the compressed air condenses out on the inside walls of the air tank.

Available Tools[edit]

The following air tools are available for use with the compressor.

Tools are kept underneath the workbench with the Water stone.

Please report any broken or damaged tools on the rLab Google Group.

All air tools require the use of goggles as they can throw chip and debris around from their exhausts. Long-term use requires ear protection as they tend to be loud. Respiratory protection may be called for depending on the job

Tool Name Image What's it for?
Impact Wrench Used to undo stubborn bolts, and re-fasten them. Good for automotive work but can snap/strip smaller bolts
Tyre Inflator Inflating tyres. Schrader (car type) valve only. Take care not to over-inflate tyres, the compressor can be set high enough to burst them which is very dangerous!
Air Oiler Applying oil to parts. Makes a hell of a mess if you're not careful!
Blow Gun Cleaning out filters, blowing swarf and chips away. Do not point at people
Blow Gun Cleaning out filters, blowing swarf and chips away. Do not point at people
Pad Sander Fine area sanding. Sanding discs are kept in the box with it
Air Sprayer Spray painting. Outdoor use only and be very careful not to get over-spray on other people's property/vehicles!
Air Stapler Applying staples. Staple selection is kept in the black drawers on the red desk
Air Chisel Breaking up surfaces, removing tiles etc. Anti-vibration gloves are essential
Air Multi Tool High speed oscillating tool. Fitted with a cutting blade
Cut-off Tool Cutting sheet metal and small pipes and rods
Air Nibbler Cutting sheet metal in difficult shapes where angle grinder, plasma cutter, bandsaw or chop-saw can't get
Die Grinder Removing metal in confined spaces where an angle grinder won't fit.

Air Compressor Caretakers[edit]

Knowledgeable Users[edit]

The following people are able to provide assistance with the air compressor. If you consider yourself experienced at using air compressors and are willing to help others then please add yourself to this list

Name/Contact Notes


These are the people who look after and repair the compressor, they're the ones to contact if there's any problems with it

Name Notes

Recent Changes[edit]

If you make any non-trivial changes to compressor or perform maintenance please note it here, delete records older than 1 yr

  • Fit new pressure switch, check pipework, test pressure relief valve Stever (talk) 12:37, 17 June 2021 (BST)
  • Change compressor oil, old oil looked like glitter, remaining lift-span may be short Stever (talk) 17:50, 29 May 2021 (BST)
  • Replaced faulty low pressure regulator with new regulator/filter/oiler assembly Stever (talk) 17:18, 24 June 2020 (UTC)
  • Replaced all air fittings with Euro styles ones. Stever (talk) 13:46, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Exhaust valve o-ring replaced Jmf (talk) 08:01, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
  • New air filter system fitted Stever (talk) 14:15, 17 December 2018 (UTC)