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Homemade Air Pump

Subtract the check valve, and you have an effective Super Soaker pump.
homemade airgun parts

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#1 Buffdaddy


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Posted 28 November 2013 - 10:31 PM

As the second part of my DIY blaster project, I made a working air pump that can efficiently pressurize the tank of your choice. The pictures are lacking; however, the construction is relatively simple.



  • 1/2" OD tubing for pump shaft (aluminum round, 3/8" CTS copper tubing, 1/2" brass - the first two are the cheapest options)
  • 1/2" CPVC rings (with an ID under 1/2", they do not slide easily on the 1/2" OD tubing. Which is ideal)
  • 1/2" ID, 11/16" OD rubber o-rings
  • 3/8" CTS copper tubing cap
  • Vinyl tubing - 3/8" OD x 1/4" ID, and 1/4" OD
  • Tiny spring (<1/4" OD)
  • 3/16" ball bearing


  • Make a rough check valve by placing your spring and ball bearing in the 3/8" vinyl tubing, and gluing 1/4" OD vinyl on either side. A tight fit against the spring and bearing is not needed.
  • Goop the check valve within the end of your pump shaft, with the ball bearing side AWAY from where your pump head will be.
  • Use a drill bit to put a hole in the middle of your copper cap.
  • Use goop or other strong adhesive to cap your tubing with the copper cap.
  • Slide one CPVC ring around the tube, up to the cap. Follow with two o-rings and the second CPVC ring.
  • Test your fit in the pump tube; either SDR 13.5 1/2" PVC or 3/4" CPVC. Since the ID of plastic pipe can vary, you'll have to experiment a little.
  • If the fit is too loose, push the second CPVC ring up slightly more - in effect, squeezing the orings.
  • Roll he o-rings off, then spread a thin layer of goop on either side on the second CPVC ring to secure it in place. Replace o-rings after the adhesive cures.

I will update these instructions over the holiday weekend, but they should give a good idea of the process.

One last note: if you skip the steps involving the check valve and drilling the hole in the cap, you can use your pump for water instead. Just a side benefit for those who like making homemade Super Soakers!

Edited by Aeromech, 23 November 2015 - 07:45 AM.

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#2 Draconis


    I am not Lord Draconical

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 02:15 AM

3/8" PEX is readily available at Lowe's, Home Depot, ACE, and others, and is substantially less expensive than either of the other options listed.
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[15:51] <+Noodle> titties
[15:51] <+Rhadamanthys> titties
[15:51] <+jakejagan> titties
[15:51] <+Lucian> boobs
[15:51] <+Gears> titties
[15:51] <@Draconis> Titties.
[15:52] <+Noodle> why is this so hard?

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