McMillan Air Compressor

After doing all this work to set up the shop with a good compressed air distribution system, having a source of compressed air would be kinda handy.

I have been using a 40L GMC AC up to now, and although it has kept going and going for many years beyond any possible designed end-of-life, I am becoming wary of it. The pump does not always trip out when it reaches full pressure, and keeps going until the safety valve releases. And I have no idea how the structural integrity of the tank is. I have visions of the tank rupturing, tearing a good portion of the sheds apart.

So it will be off to the steel merchants with it.

In the meantime, I had an offer from a friend I couldn’t refuse – a low mileage 3HP Australian-made McMillan C16


The C16 is a W-triple belt-driven compressor, delivering 328 L/min free air (it has a displacement of 453 L/min if that makes sense to you). A 58L tank is 50% larger than the current tank on the GMC, and it can deliver over twice the amount of air the GMC’s 150 L/min was capable of.

It was meant to have capacitor issues, but I found once I plugged it in, it started perfectly, both at no load, and with the tank near full. Bonus!

So with that, and the few remaining parts I needed to finish of the air system (which have now arrived), the system is about ready for commissioning.

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