Some years ago I decided I wanted a compressor. I wasn't sure how much use I would get out of it, so I popped about $125 for a big box special; a no-name ¾ hp, 8 gal beauty. My initial interest was in pumping up bicycle tires, as the novelty of hand pumping them (family of four—you do the math) before a ride had long worn off. The experiment was a success, and I acquired a Bostich T-31 brad nailer during its term. A spray gun, touch up gun, and air brush were also incorporated into the inventory.
Then, someone at work advertised a Campbell-Hausfeld 2½ hp, 20 gal unit with some accessories for $250. The accessories included a ½" impact wrench, 3⁄8" air ratchet, jitterbug sander, air chisel, a sand blasting attachment, an extra hose, and some extra fittings. Seemed reasonable to me. I bought it, sold the no-name for $100, and figured I was only into the C-H for $175. The honeymoon lasted for a year or so, and was accompanied by a move out of the garage and into the basement with the addition of some ¾" galvanized pipe with regulator/filters at strategic locations.
As I found sanding eating up enormous quantities of air, I dreamed of more capacity. Soon, Sears ran a sale for a 5 hp, 33 gal compressor for only $399, to that time, the lowest price they had ever had on that capacity compressor. I figured I could sell the C-H and be into the Sears for only about $200. So, while SWMBO was at work I made a run to the Sears store and brought one home.
There was some other subterfuge involved, as some large cardboard and styrofoam panels had to disappear, but the Dumpster at work was convenient. I also had to install another 240V breaker and run the pipe and wire as this unit was 240V only. All went well, and I was quite pleased with my operation.
About a week later, SWMBO was puttering in the kitchen while I was taking a nap. The phone rang, and she answered:
- This is Sears calling. We wish to know if your new compressor is satisfactory.
- I'm sorry, you must have the wrong number.
Tippy, tippy, tippy, tippy, down into the basement.
- This is Sears calling, is this the Peterson residence?
- Coral Avenue in Aurora?
- Well according to our records, you recently purchased a compressor, and we just want to make sure everything is alright with it.
- Just a moment, please.
Now, many people know that the C-H is a fairly subdued gray colored machine. And I'm sure everyone who has even heard of Sears knows that their compressors are…
R E D !
Tramp, tramp, tramp, tramp, up from the basement.
- Yes, everything is just fine.
R O D !
Apparently my stars were in the proper confluence that day, as I was sound asleep and suffered no physical harm.
I'm unclear how long it took before it was a funny family story.
Last updated: 27 January 2009