Author Topic: Airstak innards  (Read 1029 times)

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Offline phase3

  • Posts: 15
Airstak innards
« on: March 16, 2020, 04:37 PM »
I didn't find anything on the Internet showing the inside of Rolair's Airstak, and I bought one recently so I'm hoping this is useful information for anyone thinking of getting one. Though I haven't used it yet on a job, my current job's still at demolition stage, I've run it through some test work, and it's been fantastic so far. I bought Cadex 18 gauge and Cadex 23 gauge nailer/pinner at the same time, and its performance seems perfect for that. I'm not planning to use it for anything larger than my 18 gauge, and its capacity seems perfectly suited for that purpose.

Getting to the point of this post... I seem to be someone who can't leave "good enough" alone, so I sorta tore mine apart. One of the reasons for this is that mine arrived with the gauge faces recessed at least 1/2" deep behind the green insert panel. That made it difficult to see the gauges, so I wanted to fix that. Second, I couldn't easily turn the pressure adjustment knob and didn't want to break it, so I wanted to figure out if there was a lock engaged (there wasn't; It was just very stiff and needed some initial screwing & unscrewing to loosen it up.) I took a few photos along the way, of parts I thought were interesting. If there's anything else someone's interested in, please let me know and I'll go do that too.  In the process, I added some inexpensive closed-cell carpet pad foam beneath the unit, between the metal base and the Systainer. That made a noticeable difference to the tone of the pump, and perhaps made it a bit quieter.

The whole compressor is built in a sheet metal frame that is simply placed down into a fairly standard Sys 4 Systainer. There are cutouts on one side for the motor's fan exhaust and for the power cable. (Mine came with a 6' cable, by the way, not 4' as in a popular review video). There is enough space for the power cable, but not enough for a 25' air hose. I am thinking of replacing the Sys 4 with a Sys 5 so I can store everything together.

Here's the unit resting right-side up, outside its Systainer, with the motor's cover panel partially removed. In order to lift out the unit, the green panel with cutouts needs first to be unclipped from the front of the Systainer. The clips are molded into the green part, so unclipping can be done with a plastic wedge and a little persuasion.

And here's a view of the motor and compressor:

Flipping the unit upside down, we can see the tank, tank condensate drain, the (male C13) power connector, and the motor's fan.

On my unit, the screws holding the tank to the base have been installed into holes that are about 3/4" back from the other set. This goes partway to explaining why my gauges were too far recessed behind the green panel. Later I discovered that moving the screws to the front set of holes fixed the gauges so they were at least flush with the panel, but then the front side of the motor cover wouldn't allow the Systainer cover to close. (I later decided to sacrifice part of the Systainer cover reinforcement, sanding that down so I could read the valves.)
There were even marks looking like the screws had originally been placed in the other set of holes. At this point I was thinking maybe the Airstak is really more of a prototype-level production volume, and Rolair is still figuring out how they're going to fit this thing.
A more clear view of the base:

Spinning the unit 180 degrees, and still upside down, we see the pump's tube feeding the tank, and a pressure gauge of the front setup.

Looking down into that rectangular opening in the base, the power and regulator components are visible:

Then, turning the unit right side up, and spreading open the panel that wraps the side for the power switch, here's that part and the actuator valve:

I hope these photos are helpful. I recently saw an Airstak on display at Woodcraft store near me. Its gauges weren't recessed, so maybe I just got an oddball. I'm too impatient to have sent mine back, and I was more inclined to take it apart and "fix it".

« Last Edit: March 18, 2020, 08:31 AM by phase3 »

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Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 432
Re: Airstak innards
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2020, 05:47 PM »
Thanks for posting the “inner truth” - Me too like to tear things apart when there’s obvious improvements to be examined  [blink] AirStak is not available here, but It looks suspiciously the same as another brand marketed here. Although I haven’t seen the inside thoroughly yet. It seems like a quality unit nevertheless, nice fittings and arrangements.

I’m gonna build a “RevolutionAir” unit into a systainer, I have dismantled it to check wether the air tank fits inside the systainer or not, and it did. I really like the whole concept of doing a compressor into something boxy like this.
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline phase3

  • Posts: 15
Re: Airstak innards
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2020, 06:42 PM »
And it'd fit into your MW 1000 when you're done.  ;)


At this point I'm wondering how much power the pump needs, since the newer brushless motors in even a cheapo drill seems to deliver quite a lot of torque, and a battery-powered compressor could be a fun project.

Offline morts10n

  • Posts: 239
Re: Airstak innards
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2020, 09:00 PM »
Took mine apart to replace the regulator....fairly easy to do...also added some insulation for sound/ vibration

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 636
Re: Airstak innards
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2020, 06:46 AM »
That Airstak looks identical to Senco and Schneider branded compressors-in-a-systainer (just DuckDuckGo "Rolair Airstak" - the first three images are just those). Minor cosmetic differences. But are the innards the same?
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline phase3

  • Posts: 15
Re: Airstak innards
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2020, 09:22 AM »
I imagine they're all largely the same, except maybe the motors. I could imagine there'd be various versions to handle 240V, or maybe just the U.S. version got a slower motor so it wouldn't overwork our relatively lame 120V, 15A power, when running at our faster 60 Hz cycle. I didn't investigate a specification sticker on the motor. I'll post it here after I have a chance to check it out.

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 432
Re: Airstak innards
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2020, 12:28 PM »
It looks at home in the MW 1000 [wink]

There’s also the ABAC brand, in systainer form it’s called Multibox.
In our country it’s marketed with assy sys on top, and a cart, for approximately $600 [blink]
Link to Dutch site, others are French..:

Also: It would be very interesting to hear about sound proofing, what your experience is if you add your self.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 12:34 PM by FestitaMakool »
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”