The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

5 in 1 portable power pack update

portable pump in action

I finally got a chance to give the 5 in 1 power pack a workout the other day.

It's not got quite enough gusto to air up a tubeless wheelbarrow tire, but the onboard air compressor inflated the above lawn mower wheel with no problem.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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To get a tubeless tire to seat you need to get the beads tight against the rim so the air can finish seating and seal the tire. Then the air pressure can inflate the tire. Put a tourniquet around the tire tread and use a stick or screwdriver to tighten it. This will make force the tire beads against the rim so the air will work for you instead of just leak out. Using a bit of dish soap on the beads will help it to seal initially and lube the tire so it will pop into place at a lower air pressure.
Comment by vester Fri Oct 29 20:55:06 2010
Good idea! We were thinking of just taking the wheelbarrow to a gas station where, hopefully, the high pressure would be enough to get the wheel back on. But that sounds like a trick that's a lot more fun!
Comment by anna Sat Oct 30 19:54:02 2010

Heating the beads to the tire makes seating it easier. A well-known trick is to spray on some WD-40 or starter fluid and light it.

But the least dangerous way indeed is to use a sufficiently big air compressor and some lubrication.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Oct 31 07:12:03 2010
Don't suggest fun tricks with fire! :-) Mark might get excited. :-) (At least there's no dynamite involved....)
Comment by anna Sun Oct 31 09:17:18 2010

Now you're giving me bad ideas!

I'm thinking a piece of detonation cord wound around the rim might be the fastest way to inflate a tire. Of course there's a delicate balance between inflating the tire and blowing it up or destroying the rim. That would make a fascinating experiment. :-)

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Oct 31 13:38:53 2010
We definitely won't be trying that. :-)
Comment by anna Sun Oct 31 17:24:39 2010

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