A Story of Rebirth
The Riveting Conclusion to Our Two-Part Series Chronicling Dive Shop Appliances!
When we purchased West End Divers, going on nine years ago now, we made a brand new compressor part of our upgrading of the dive center. Our choice of equipment at the time was the Airetex W-32 Vertical Air Compressor with post-compression air-cooling, and nitrox blending.
Brand new, quiet, and dependable it was the backbone of the business. We had great air, and lots of it.
However after a couple of years of heavy use in a very salty and corrosive environment the compressor started to succumb to its burdens, and Turkish manufacture. After a few years of babying, and improvised repairs involving material washed ashore, the crank spun a bearing and Bugs threw in the towel.
We purchased a new, larger, and more respected compressor and discontinued offering nitrox, which arguably has detrimental effects on air compression machinery.
Living on an island will teach you not to throw stuff away because it could come in handy, so we found ourselves tripping over rusting piles of our once proud compressor. Then outta the blue one day Bugs mumbles; "think I'll turn that junk into a nitrox compressor.....but don't rush me."
Eventually his friend, and high-priestess of Volkswagen mechanics, Laura arrived for a visit, and left with the crank in her baggage. Arriving in the states the crank underwent regenerative therapy involving journal spray-welding, turning, grinding, and the pressing of bearings. Taking a tour of the United States of America via United Parcel Service routes, it was booked on a United Airlines flight back to Roatan, and united with us in the baggage of a guest who will think twice about offering to "bring anything you need" in the future.
Shrink-wrapped and languishing around on "island time" it was obvious that the 'no rush' clause in the compressor construction contract was in full effect. Yet slowly there were changes in the shapes of the piles in the compressor room, and blue stuff started showing up.
Like a Phoenix arising from the ashes......(ok, I agree, a bit much)...Like an old pair of shoes getting a shine, familiar shapes started to reassemble with new paint and parts. In no time at all (actually a short eternity) we have another piece of noisey blue machinery in the back room.
Compressor Construction Slideshow
(Exciting, edge of your seat stuff, for sure)