Shopsmith Air Compressor Information, History & Review

There have been two Shopsmith Air Compressors. The first one was sold in the 1950's (and perhaps the 1960's) and was a simple diaphragm compressor and is shown at right, called the DM-8 Magna Sprayer. This tool pre-dated the standardization of tubing and fittings as we know today, and Harbor Freight wasn't yet a gleam in a Chinaman's eye, so this tool simply used a garden hose! (See revision below) And why not? Be aware that the diaphragm may be dry rotted on these units, but I understand that this isn't a tough repair. (Click on article at right to Biggie-Size it)

In the 1990's Shopsmith Inc. had a neat little compressor made for them by Campbell Hausfeld called the Shopsmith Air System. (Bottom photo) This tool utilized a piston and could move much more air than the original compressor. The down side was that this compressor couldn't keep up with the demands of a sander or sprayer, and because it didn't have a cut-off switch it just ran and ran and ran. It was also loud. Still, I regret selling mine a few years ago and I'm looking for one myself now that SS has retired it.

I just received the following emai from a reader in Wellfleet, MA:
I own and use a Magna Compressor on my 1960 Mark V "goldie" and wanted to alert you to a misunderstanding in your description of of it. The fittings on both the compressor and the air hose terminal ends are normal 1/4" threaded fittings - what makes the hose unique is that the center of the hose length is equipped with a  common male and female garden hose fitting so that if one wanted to work a great distance from the compressor a section of garden hose can be added to the middle of the air hose. I can't vouch for its effectiveness as I've never added a garden hose to the air hose, but the compressor works well (and is LOUD!!!).

I just repaired the diaphragm in mine - it finally gave up the ghost. I used 3/32" fabric reinforced neoprene available in 12" x 12" sheets from Mcmaster Carr for under 7 dollars. As you stated, it is a simple repair.

I hope you will take this communication in the spirit it was intended - one Shopsmith fan to another! Thanks again for your web blog and God's blessings to you and your family for 2010.

Thanks for the correction Alac!  Scott

Click for Shopsmith Air Compressor for Sale Both Magna and Shopsmith Inc versions (Very light activity on both the old Magna and newer Shopsmith Inc. compressors)