Mobile Compressor Cart for Under $50




Introduction: Mobile Compressor Cart for Under $50

Well since my garage is a mancave/tinkershop, my compressor and hoses are stored at the rear of my property in my shed and it has been cumbersome to make several trips hauling the compressor out front to my vehicles so I have been wanting to put it on wheels so when I saw a really good harbor freight coupon for a hand cart plus this challenge I thought maybee its time for my first ible. I wanted to stay under $50 so most of the materials I used coupons to purchase at harbor freight and got the aluminum and hardware at work. Please be kind and vote for me. Thanks.

Step 1: Materials

gather materials: I bought a handtruck, manual air hose reel, and electric wire reel for under $50 at harbor freight with coupons and even got yet another free set of screw drivers. I measured and cut 1/4 inch aluminum plates by using the compressor and hose reel foot prints as templates at work and also snagged some 1/4- 20 bolts and a carriage bolt with washers, locks, and nuts. I re-used some of the bolts that were on the compressors rubber feet , but they were too short to go through both the the aluminum all the way up through the rubber feet. Different compressors would dictate what would be needed here and is not that hard to figure out. I already had  the hoses, an electrical extension cord, as well as my tire inflator which is also from H.F.You could spend more and get spring loaded reels for both the hoses and the electrical cord, but I wanted to stay cheap. After I gathered all my materials, the first step was to remove the rubber feet from the air compressor.

Step 2: Drilling Mounting Plate

The next step is to drill holes for the compressor mount plate. To do this, I positioned the aluminum plate on top of the handtruck's plate and placed the compressor on top the aluminum. I eyeballed to center everything up then used a black sharpie marker to mark 4 holes to be drilled. I removed the compressor and marked two more holes toward the front of the hantrucks plate for attaching the aluminum plate to the trucks plate only so there are 6 holes to drill in the plate. Then I positioned the aluminum plate back on the handtruck and marked and drilled 4 holes in the hand truck as shown in the pic.

Step 3: Mounting the Compressor

mounting the compressor: I re-used 2 of the compressors bolts in the middle, but as you can see I needed longer bolts to clear not only the added thickness of the metal, but also up throught the rubber feet which are 1/2 hollow underneath. Not shown: I tightened a nut down first to the plate/s then another nut down with the washers that came installed up inside the rubber feet on top of the nut down to a distance that when the rubber foot was placed on top the washer its bottom would touch the plate. The middle bolts got tightened down first then the compressor was sat on top the feet and tightened down. 

Step 4: Air Hose and Hose Reel

for the next step, I took a coil hose I had and cut the ends off and removed the hardware from the cut off pieces. I cut the hose down so it would reach from where I was going to mount the reel down to the compressor's fitting and would be wrapped around one side of the hand truck down to it. I installed the elbow that came with the hose reel and used some teflon tape to seal it and scewed it onto the reel. I also put back on the fitting that was to be inserted into the compressors's quick connect.

Step 5: Hose Reel Mounting

mounting the hose reel: spring clamps or "C" clamps can be used to attach the aluminum plate and square it up in position and then just drill 4 holes through everything or you could measure up and drill seperately. Whatever works the best for you. I secured with 1/4-20s, lock washers, and nuts.Then, I held the reel into position, placed a small torpedo level on it and marked 4 holes to be drilled and mounted the reel to the plate with supplied hardware. The hose was then wrapped around the left side of the handtruck and connected to the compressor.

Step 6: Electrical Cord Reel Mounting

mounting electrical cord reel: Drill a hole the size of the bolt through the hand hold of the cord reel and also the tubing on the handtruck where the reel will be mounted and attach it with carraige bolt and add an extension cord.. This is where a spring loaded auto winder would be nice! The drawback here is that in order to wind/unwind the electrical extension cord it must be disconnected from the compressor's cord each time.

Step 7: Final Touches

Last, but not least add an air hose to the reel. Next, I want to add a hook to hang my tire inflator on and a small plastic parts container for basketball needles, adaptors, and the like. Hope someone finds this useful



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21 Discussions

Great setup. I am trying to figure if I could make this work with a taller dewalt compressor and my Klutch hose reel.


1 year ago

What isthe aluminum plate measurment for the compressor mount?

1 reply

This is a really awesome compressor cart. It looks so official I would have thought you bought it pre-made like that! It's an efficient and very manly looking machine.

I love using my air compressor for any job that I can but lugging it around can be a pain sometimes. I just put an additional air receiver tank on my air compressor to increase capacity and power so it's even bulkier now. If I could fashion a mobile cart for both tanks and the hoses, that would be sooo amazing. If I get around to it, I'll be sure to come back here and post pictures!

1 reply

Very nice! Am going to make one for myself.

this is great! A guy could use plywood as well for the base and hanger for the reel.

Nice :) in my to do/make list ! Thanks for an idea !

Great design and I am going to make one myself. I would also add an access hole on the bottom before assembly, if my compressor had a drain/vent at the bottom. Thanks again for the idea.

Thanks this was my inspiration for my project today, I had all the material in the garage so zero cost. Pretty happy with end result, great idea and simple design.

Thanks this was my inspiration for my project today, I had all the material in the garage so zero cost. Pretty happy with end result, great idea and simple design.

I am not sure I understand the coil hose use and modification. Why would you not just run a short piece of hose with quick connects from the compressor to the reel?

How much was the hose reel?

Great idea, I like it. I'm giving it 4.5 stars.

1 reply

he simply was making a short hose to do just that. (out of a old air hose he had that was to long for the job, recycled the end bits from it to make a shorter hose)

I decided to do this for my Sunday afternoon project. I had the compressor and hose reel already. I found a pretty heavy duty hand truck on Craigslist for $25.00. I used about $8.00 worth of additional hardware. The extra steel tubes for mounting the hose real are left over pieces from a garage door opener kit. I put hooks on the back to hold an extension cord (on order) instead of a cord reel. I may add some additional hooks and or clips to hold tools and accessories. I used 1/4" bolts with lock nuts to fasten everything together.

The center of gravity is a little further out from the axle than I would like, but I did not want to cut the frame on the air compressor to move it in any closer. It still works pretty well and is much easier than lugging that compressor around.

2 replies

That's awesome. I was just sitting here wondering what this would look like with my compressor...then I scroll down and the first comment is my compressor :)

Great job on the cart!

I have been meaning to do something similar for a while, but alas, have not gotten to this project. Lugging my compressor around is not fun.

This is an incredibly useful and well thought-out hack! I have to haul my little compressor, about the same size, from the garage into the house and back again every so often. Having it mounted to a cart like that would make it much more convenient!