How to Build a Cheap SILENT Airbrush Compressor Using Refrigerator Parts (VIDEO)

If you’re in the market for a new airbrush compressor, you may be waiting until you can afford one. Many of the top brands are not cheap, though they do create a great product. Those of you who have your minds set on a silent compressor, have even more to consider where price is concerned. Fortunately, this tutorial can show you how to make a cheap, but effective homemade quiet airbrush compressor by using refrigerator parts.

Before Getting Started

WarningBefore we begin with the actual instructions, it’s important you understand that potential risks involved in what we’re about to do. While the best compressors out there (e.g. Iwata, Paasche, Badger, Sparmax) are all safer than ever, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some risk in trying to build your own. Obviously, transferring parts from a refrigerator in retrofitting them to make a silent air compressor is going to involve some components under a large degree of pressure.

It gets worse:

If you make a mistake, the resulting explosion could be deadly. So while this guide will do it’s best to negotiate those dangerous areas, it’s best if you have some mechanical skills already.

Removing Your Current Motor

Let’s cover the basics first and we can circle back to look at things like horsepower, psi, valves, etc. So, first, you’ll need to remove the motor on your current airbrush compressor. This is the one you need to replace to add a silent compressor to your system. On most compressors, this will be easy enough, but others will have a few extra screws or bolts that may be hard to find. You don’t need to be especially careful with the valves or tubing as chances are we’ll be replacing those anyway to get the new refrigerator motor in that we need to built a silent compressor.

Finding Your New Compressor

200_ZEM_freezer_compressorAlright, with your old motor now a thing of the past, it’s time to hunt down the new motor you’re going to replace it with. Obviously, it’s best to locate it before you start removing motors or you won’t be able to airbrush much anytime soon. Now, technically, you don’t need a refrigerator to do this. It’s just easier to find those in abundance on places like Craigslist without spending a lot of money. However, just about anything with a compressor will fit the bill. Other options include propane tanks for a barbeque, fire extinguishers, etc. Again, like we mentioned before, just be careful. Those could cause injury.

Making the Switch

Now remove the compressor from the refrigerator, extinguisher, etc

You’ll want to make sure there isn’t too much pressure being held back or this is where things will get dangerous. No amount of cheap silent compressor is worth getting hurt. So make a small puncture in the tank to alleviate the pressure as quickly as possible.

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Once the gauge shows you it’s safe, remove the compressor. Reattaching it to your compressor will involve a new valve and tubing, most likely, but the exact kind you need will depend on the models you’re using. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to find extremely affordable options so this step won’t screw up our price.

Other Considerations

Be sure your new compressor has the lubricant it needs before you start utilizing it. In terms of horsepower, just about any option from a refrigerator will work. Obviously, you just need to make sure your machine is such that it can handle the psi you’re going to be asking of it.

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This is really all it takes to build a cheap silent airbrush compressor using nothing more than refrigerator parts. The money you save will be substantial. Just remember to be safe.


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