9 Things to Do With an Old Air Compressor

You can get more use out of an old air compressor by turning it into something else. Finding ways to recycle large, older equipment can be challenging, but it can also be fun to repurpose something that would otherwise be thrown away.

You can transform your old air compressor and use it for many different things. Repurposing your tank can help reduce waste and make your home more interesting.

Here are nine cool things to do with an old air compressor that you may have never thought of before.

1. Start a Garden

Gardeners hands planting flowers at back yard

You can use old compressor tanks as raised garden beds with the right tools. You can either cut holes along one side or cut the tank in half and set it on the ground.

You’ll need to mount the compressor tank on some wood or bury it in shallow soil. Old compressors serve very well as planters, because you can control root growth and more easily monitor how your plants are doing.

In addition, the shape and material of the tanks makes it harder for animals to get to your plants.

Line your sidewalks with old compressor tanks and plant flowers in them to give your house a different feel. You can also paint the compressors different colors to match your house’s design.

2. Sell Parts as Scrap

If you can’t use it for anything else, you can disassemble your old air compressor and sell the parts as scrap.

First, you’ll need to drain all the oil from the compressor. Then you can break it down and sell the parts to people who need to repair their compressor or who want to try to build a new one.

You can sell the parts on eBay, Craigslist, or other marketplaces. It may take some time to sell everything, but it’s a fun project that will help you learn what things are worth.

You can also feel good about helping other people find the parts they need, rather than just taking the old compressor to the dump.

3. Build an Auxiliary Air Tank

Piston Air compressor used in the factory

If you’re buying a new air compressor, don’t be so quick to get rid of your old one. You can reuse an old air compressor tank by connecting it to a new compressor. If it’s the same size, you’ll get twice the amount of reserve air.

You’ll have to tie a line between your new compressor and the old one. This is a great option for people who need to use a lot of compressed air at work or in the garage.

Homeowners love adding the extra tank because they usually don’t have the space for a large compressor. You can mount the old tank high on the wall to keep it out of the way.

This way, you can move around the garage without worrying about running into anything.

4. Build a Backyard BBQ

A man with a barbecue plate at a party between friends.

Once you remove all the parts from your air compressor, you’ve essentially got a decent-sized air tank.

There are many things you can shape it into, but one idea is to make a barbecue or smoker for your backyard.

If you’re into smoking meats, then the size and shape of the smaller compressor tanks are perfect for what you need.

You can mount them vertically and create an opening in the tank to start a fire. Cut off the top and create a lid.

This barbecue will be more fun than buying one at the store. Every time you cook, you’ll feel a sense of pride knowing that you built it from old scrap.

5. Use It for Storage

Why not use your old compressor as a storage area for your garage? No one will ever guess that your old tank opens to reveal a secret tool stash or other items you want to keep out of sight.

The only thing you really have to do is make an opening. You can then start using that old compressor as storage space.

6. Make a Metal Sculpture

a motorbike artwork using metal scrap

Another interesting thing you can do with your old air compressor is build a metal sculpture. Many people have turned old compressors into metal racecars, statues, small desks, or cannons.

How far you want to take your sculpture will depend on how good you are at metalworking, but even inexperienced people can paint a tank to make it look like a submarine or a missile.

If you have kids, you can turn it into something fun that they can sit on or play with outside.

7. Build a Mini Grill

We’ve talked about making a vertical smoker, but you can also turn your old compressor tank on its side, cut it in two, and make a portable grill.

A small air compressor is the perfect size for a camping grill.

Put the truck tailgate down and place your grill on the bed to cook burgers, hotdogs, or barbecue chicken.

8. Build a Contained Firepit


Another fun option is to make a firepit with your old air compressor.

A firepit can be very useful, as many places around the country restrict where and how you can light a fire. It’s a measure meant to reduce wildfire risk, especially in dry areas.

Take all the parts off the top and cut the tank in any shape you want. Some people like the look of a vertical fire pit that shoots the flames in the air. This also makes it easier to roast marshmallows while standing up.

Others flip the tank on its side and build a lower firepit for the kids.

Use it as a small wood stove or light a fire in the tank to spend a relaxing evening outside.

9. Hang Planters

Vertical garden green ivy in wall hanging wooden pots or racks with warm white color LED lighting

Finally, you can use an old air compressor to build hanging planters for your garage, patio, or any other outdoor space.

Attach some chains to the tank and hang it from hooks on a pergola or your deck. The metal accents will look cool and are very durable.

You’ll be able to tell others that you made the planters yourself. It’s rewarding to get more use out of something that you would normally take to the dump.

When your air compressor stops working correctly, you should come up with ideas to get more use out of it. The nine items in this list are a great place to start!


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