View Full Version : Show Us Your Plumbing Pictures For Your ShoeBox Compressor and Air Compressor

03-19-2011, 04:09 PM
Getting my new shoebox compresser soon and need to see some pictures of your plumbing setup. Also if you could let us know where you purchased parts at.

I do know with almost 30 years of working around industiral compressors there is allot of water in tanks. The use for water traps is a must. Would not think it would be any different with the shoebox compressor and tanks. I am sure it can be worse in areas where humity is higher. And where you have your system set up at.

Thanks in advance.


03-23-2011, 09:57 PM
Home depot water seperater(off compressor) long hose(coily from Harbor Freight) and dessicant filter and re-fills( Harbor Freight)- the further from Compresser, the better the dessicant filter works; and drain main tank regularly

03-23-2011, 10:24 PM
Hey thanks for the info

04-13-2011, 04:33 PM
My Shoebox arrived on Monday (my birthday - how good is that?) and I set it up but didn't have time to give it a run.

Yesterday I did.

One of my 66 cu ft tanks was down to 3,200 psi so it was the test tank. I ran the box for an hour at a time then let it rest for at least 15 mins. to allow the cylinders to cool down. I figured heat kills the seals so why not. My original plan was to put it on a timer so as not to run it for more than 2 hrs. to be sure I lubed it in a timely manner but didn't use it being I was right there paying attention. Brought the tank up to 4,000 psi and stopped. Total time under 3 hours including the cool down periods and fixing a leaking connection on one of the hoses. I'm quite pleased.

Here's my layout. Compressor to a 25 ft hose with a Moisture trap from Harbor Freight to another 25 ft hose with a desiccant filter from Harbor Freight leading into the box. I have 50 feet of hose on my big shop compressor and in the summer muggy weather I know how much moisture I filter out of it so I went with alot of hose to allow time for it to "distill". (Both filters only cost a combined $12) I also followed another posters idea and glued a magnet on each side of the cover for easy on and off. Great idea. Works great. I was going to use studs and wingnuts but I like this better.

This isn't where it was setup. Just for picture purpose. (Timer wasn't used)

Being I'm still going to use 2 of my tanks in a cascade setup I see no reason to fill them up to 4500 psi. and put the higher pressure load on the Shoebox. When one gets down to around 3,000 I'll top it off. An easy few hrs on the Shoebox to 4,000 psi and it's done.

Snapped the high pressure hose onto the Shoebox and just opened up the valve on the tank on the right. Gauge showing around 3600 psi.


Now I have to use up the air in 2 of my 4 tanks in order to sell them so I guess I won't need to run the Shoebox for a while but at least I know that it's there and ready to go.

Thanks, Tom. Good Stuff.

04-13-2011, 10:49 PM
Finally got mine set up. Works fantastic for my use.http://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/Untitled-1.jpg

04-25-2011, 07:41 PM
Now I have the water trap and the 2 desiccants. Cheap enough so why not?


04-26-2011, 12:24 AM
Pretty clean I think...


04-29-2011, 03:16 AM
Very nice! BTW what is the long yellow tube?


04-29-2011, 03:35 AM
Thanks. The yellow tube is a moisture trap from Harbor Freight... 30 bux. Filled with a couple pounds of desiccant. Needs to be mounted vertically to work right.... drain valve on the botom. Also a HF dryer/filter on the input to the shoebox, & 100 feet of coiled tubing along the way.

Rack was $13 at lowes.

10-27-2011, 02:13 AM

The cart is to big, but I want the system together on wheels.
I started with 2 disposable desiccant filters, but have already purchased a reusable type.
It will be attached to the cart frame.

My first fill took the 17ci Guppy to 4200psi. I'll refine the setup from here, but other then
both desiccant filters being completely used up on just 1 fill, I'm happy with the concept.

01-17-2012, 12:37 PM
OK...I have been trying to find this yellow filter on the Harbor Frieght web site and can't find it. How about a link to the product so we can find it.

01-17-2012, 12:38 PM
Bikerscum, Please give me a item # or product code....something to go by. I cant find that wall mounted filter on the Harbor Frieght site anywhere. I want this same set up.

01-17-2012, 03:41 PM
I just put up a link to Luis Ruiz's super filter on our links page. Its available through McMaster Carr


02-03-2012, 02:14 AM
Hey Guys,
Well I have had my Shoebox Compressor for a week now and I wanted to show everyone what I have done to solve a few concerns.
After confering with Tom and getting suggestions I decided to install a cooling fan and a dessicant water trap on my compressor. I have a background in professional auto racing and avaition so I know heat is usually your enemy in most applications. After seeing what another shoebox owner did, I decided that it was a good idea.

First, I went to my local Fry's Electronics and purchased a 120 MM, 120 volt computer cooling fan (cost=$17.99) and two (2), 120 mm fan screens (cost=$ 1.99). Next I went to home Depot and bought a 4-1/2" hole saw and arbor. This is where the cost for this modification got a bit more expensive. The cost...almost $50.00 for the saw and arbor. In retrospect I should have bought the 4" size since the saw has a tendency to "walk" while using it on steel (its also less expensive!!) so it makes the hole larger than 4-1/2". This did not cause a problem though since even though the hole was a bit larger, I was still able to mount the fan with no problem. The fan moves roughly 85 cubic feet of air per minute which creates a lot of air flow. That's what you want!!!
When you use the saw be sure to use oil to help the saw cut the steel and TAKE YOUR TIME!! The steel case of the Shoebox is about 3/32" and even though it is a "mild" steel, it will still take some time to cut the hole. In addition, you will want to put a rag around the inside parts of the Shoebox to keep metal filings from getting into the case and parts. I also put a 1/4" piece of light plywood under the area I was creating the hole to keep from damaging the compression cylinders. The best way to do this whole process is to lay the compressor on its face with the front cover removed, and elevated off the table about 1/2" (use two pieces of 1/2" x 2" wood) and then use a couple of clamps to hold it down while you cut the hole.
Once you have the hole cut, you will need to clean up the edge since it will be rough and SHARP!!! Use a grinding wheel or a heavy piece of sandpaper to smooth the edge. I also bought 8-32 x 2" stainless steel screws with locknuts to mount the fan. Once the hole is cut and cleaned up, lay the fan over the hole and line it up. Use a drill bit that will fit through the mounting holes and with the fan held in place use the bit to mark the location of the mounting holes. Drill the holes and make sure you leave the rag inside the compressor to catch the metal filings. To hook up the fan to power, you will need to wire it into the on-off switch of the compressor. There are 2 wires coming form the fan and it doesn't matter which way they are hooked up. Just hook one to the black lead and one to the power side of the switch (white wire).

more to come

02-03-2012, 02:18 AM

04-30-2012, 07:09 PM
I recently purchased #933 with the polished hard piston upgrade and belt drive. I used it to top off my Guppy tank and was very pleased with the sound level and the performance of the Shoebox. It filled the tank from 1000 to 4600 psi in about 3 hours. Being a performance improving copycat, I was intrigued by Eagleone622's fan mod posted above. Since my upgrade was being performed on a model which already had belt drive, I was interested in getting the fan installed with the least amount of teardown possible. There is 4.3" of clearance from the belt drive large pulley to the left side of the case. I bought a 92mm x 38mm 115V AC high speed fan and screen online through Amazon for $21 shipped. It requires a 3 5/8" hole saw for the opening. Be patient in your planning and layout as you only have one chance to get it right without damaging anything. I am fortunate to have a friend who has a shop with lots of equipment and who likes to tinker. He has a large drill press which was invaluable in cutting the holes cleanly. I will not repeat Eaglone622's excellent instructions above, but read them and follow them closely. I clamped the motor in place on the outside of the case and used it as the template for the drill press to drill the mounting holes in exactly the right position from each other. Be patient and think ahead so you don't have regrets later. I used the 2" long 8-32 stainless screws with lock nuts as Eagleone622 recommends. I also used fairly stiff wire with minimum flexibility since I mounted my fan internally and the wires are piggybacked to the on-off switch and the negative connector by the fuse. I soldered two alligator clips to the wires and clamped them to the terminals. I did this because I'm not adept at soldering in tight spaces. I don't anticipate any issues with these clips working loose but I will check on them from time to time to be sure. I highly recommend using a drill press instead of a hand drill for cutting the case holes if you can get access to one. I stuffed the inside of the compressor with rags while drilling to keep debris from getting near the pulley and pistons. You want to avoid any sort of contamination getting near the O rings, belt drive, and the drive motor itself. I found the 3/32" steel housing to be hard to drill through. Take your time and wear eye protetion from the metal shavings. As you can see in the photos, I made a cutout in the cover with a Dremel tool. This gives clearance for the fan with the cover in place. With the fan installed internally it adds nothing to the sound level and the air is blowing directly at the cylinders. This fan puts out 47 cfm of air, which should be more than sufficient to keep the cylinders at room temperature during all running time. I bought 4 stainless steel 10/32 x 1/2" socket cap screws for a buck and finger tighten and remove the cover without using an allen wrench. I expect the fan to markedly extend the time between rebuilds. Cooler is better! Thanks, Eagleone622 for the idea and the installation tips.

05-09-2012, 05:02 AM
Damn; I'm going to have to rework my setup now; ya'll gave got me thinking.

09-11-2012, 09:07 PM
Bikerscum, Please give me a item # or product code....something to go by. I cant find that wall mounted filter on the Harbor Frieght site anywhere. I want this same set up.

For other people like me that stumble onto this thread and NEED TO KNOW.
I found this thread about the (no longer available) Harbor Freight filter, with the dead part number but still working link to the manual.

01-25-2014, 10:02 PM
This is my latest setup. I sold my Shoebox Max setup in the post above dated 4-30-12. I liked the idea that the Shoebox Freedom 8 has an adjustable electronic shutoff that adds no noise factor when pressure builds. I combined it with acquiring an equally quiet running first stage compressor, the Rolair JC-10. Filling my 66 cubic foot carbon fiber tank now only takes an hour and a half from 3000 to 4500 psi due to the increased fill speed of this combination. The photos of the F8 pictured are to show the water separator and Wilkerson X06-02-000 desiccant filter setup I added. For convenience I also added an input pressure gauge so I can monitor the first stage input pressure going into the Freedom 8 at eye level. The water separator and Wilkerson both remove moisture from the first stage compressor in different ways and are somewhat redundant. It can't hurt to have as much moisture removal as possible. Dry air in means dry air out.
180 181 182 183

01-29-2014, 04:48 AM

01-29-2014, 08:48 PM
Added thumb screws for removing cover to make lubing the pistons easier.


02-18-2014, 01:31 AM
Just thought I would post picture of my temporary set up of a new SB Max sitting on top of a Calif Compressor. Its fairly quite till 3500 to 4500 psi, when the mechanical cut off assembly starts hitting the switch.
The small Calif compressor runs every 5 mins for 30 seconds. (Its only a 2 gal holding tank). When I top off Joes Guppy tank from 3000 to 4500 psi, it takes about one hour. When I first received the SB last week, I looked it over and turned the pulley using finger pressure and noticed it took quite a lot of force to turn it. So I placed some white Lithium grease on the 3 main mechanical pivot points and then the force needed to turn the pistons through one cycle was considerably less. Like half as much force. I'm using the Ace Hardware lithium recommended here on this forum -- not the Multi purpose but the plain White Lithium with a dropping point of 393 deg.
Something else I do is after topping off the Guppy tank is clean any excess Lithium grease off the piston rods. So that they wont collect any dirt or lint -- and that also keeps the lithium from congealing on the rods if its not used for several weeks.
So the set up is working great and is portable with the tiny Calif Compressor. As you can see in picture. I added an water/air filter using tie wraps. 188
Frank in Molson

02-20-2014, 08:55 PM

03-13-2014, 01:34 AM
Received the Shoebox Max today. I just have the Guppy so I don't think I would need the F8. I have the Shoebox above my compressor with the line going through the desiccant filter. I figure the water that isn't trapped will drain back to the compressor to be purged after filling the Guppy. I had just had the Guppy filled to 4500psi yesterday so, to test my setup, I drained 1000psi out of the Guppy. Setup, plugged in....30 minutes for fill from 3500-4500psi. The KOBALT came on about 7 times, I think. Noisy? Just noisy enough to offset the pool pump in my neighbor's yard...

03-15-2014, 02:57 PM
Here's what i did



03-27-2014, 09:06 PM
I set up a plumbing system for my new Shoebox Max that will likely never need any maintenance no matter how much I use it. I decided to buy the big Wilkerson dryer from the Luis Ruiz post in the "Links" section (model # X03-02-000). While these are around $200+ from Grainger and others, it was only $109 from Zoro tools, and they also had a coupon code for $15 off your next purchase over $75 (code WELCOME1) which worked even though I had a new account - and they even had free shipping. Bottom line price was $94 (there is one that is about a third the size at $49, so a thought this was a better value). It has 1.5 pounds of desiccant in it, and is rated to work for 11,000 cubic feet of air, so I may never need to recharge it. The shear size of it guarantees very dry air on the output side.

Also, since desiccant beads can throw off dust during use (they do slowly break down), I then put a filter after it that is rated at 0.01 micron (not a typo) rather than the typical 1 or 5 micron units - that one is made by SMC and I got it from Amazon for $46.

I topped it off with a valve to close at the entrance end (so the desiccant does not suck moisture out of ambient air when not in use) and a regulator I had available is installed on the output end so that I can dial in the exact input pressure that I want (because the SMC filter causes a few PSI of pressure drop across the filter). Then I set it up on a handy rack made from leftover plywood, and having if free from either a ridgid mount on the wall or being piped directly to the Shoebox lets me use if for any other purpose that would call for extra dry, clean air (although the SMC 0.01 Micron filter only has a mximum flow rate of 9 cubic feet per minute).

My first stage compressor (with a 20 gallon tank) is in my garage, and is plumbed into my workshop off a manifold in the garage, and through a long line that allows for plenty of cooling and condensing of moisture before it gets even gets to the coiled connection hose to the shoebox (the manifold in the shop has a oil and water separator with a 5 micron filter in it, as does the manifold in the garage; that set up has been in place for years).

So it cost a bit up front, but I know I have very dry and clean air entering the pump, tank, and guns for years. Here is what it looks like:


03-31-2014, 10:23 AM
Forgive the Cross-Post: this fill station has been bulletproof:


A couple of simple gravity debris traps, and a Harbor Freight Desiccator/Air Filter to handle the final run to the Shoebox. I have to renew the desiccant after about every 4-6 hours of running: It's pretty humid here.

05-10-2016, 09:34 PM
Here is my ShoeboxMax with my Tiger Shark tank and Lowe's compressor:


I use two dessicant gizmos from Harbor Freight..

10-03-2016, 06:53 AM

I'm running several dryer/filters. I have seven pellet rifles. Two Benjamin Marauder .177 & .22 , and one Jkhan Krosa Noblesse B PCP.

10-04-2016, 09:45 PM
I fill my tank at my shop. I have a tall compressor with auto drain. The air goes into a pre-filter than into my refrigerated, than into a post filter. After that, I hook up a hose to my F10 and fill my 4500 tank. Never have a drop of water come out of the air lines in my shop. My refrigerated dryer cools the air down to 50 degrees. Anyone think I need to add another filter between the F10 and my tank? I than fill my Thomas Air Rifle. See attached photo.207


10-05-2016, 12:32 AM

Several air leaks but tighten everything up and problems resolved. Filled my first 90cu 4500psi Air Venturi Carbon Fiber tank. Took about 3.5 hours.

01-28-2017, 03:53 AM
UPDATE (2/12/2017): Last week my Brand New MAX box stopped putting out with 4.5 hours on it. Some how some where I developed a leak.
Not sure where it happened but according to the flow chart I was instructed to rebuild upper cylinder. In the process of trying to remove it, it somehow got stuck.
I emailed support and within 24 hours my email was answered and I was advised my upper cylinder was galled.
Tom instructed me to remove my motor and some other parts and a return label was issued the next day.
Two days later they shipped my replacement.

I NEED to give a huge thanks to both Tom and Carol for how fast and easy this was. I really thought I was going to have to jump through hurdles over this.

Having some down time, I decided to add another high speed to the front of the box to PUSH cool air in and the rear fan would PULL hot air out.
Here are the new pictures.

<<<<<<< Well, for some reason my pics uploaded but I have an exclamation next to them and they don't show up?? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I modified my Shoebox with a highspeed Fan and hour meter
After the mods and first time use I was able to achieve 3000psi to 4500psi in 0.4hrs on the meter with 90psi input.

02-15-2017, 11:45 AM
Here are the new pics
The air flow on this is awesome. No more worrying about the pistons and heat.

UPDATE: My first SCBA 30 min 4500psi carbon fiber bottle fill. (45CF)
I have my compressor and shoebox connected to an IP switch so I can remotely control it via the web and also set timers for on/off run times.
I program my run times for 2 hours and it shuts them both down, then I perform maintenance of oil/lube before initiating another 2 hour run time.
The bottle was placed on the shoebox with a meter reading at 5.5 hours. Here are the following results with 90 psi input:
5.5 = 0 psi
7.5 = 1000 psi
9.2 = 1750 psi
11.2 = 2400 psi
12.5 = 3000 psi
14.5 = 3600 psi
16.6 = 4500 psi

Laser temperature reading on upper and lower cylinders indicated 80 degrees F. while running measured toward the end of the 2 hour cycle.