I should have known better than to leave a suggestion in the air like
expecting readers to make their own web search. The article I saw
was some time ago and I had not kept the reference. At the time I
read the article the details checked out with the silent compressor I
had so here goes an attempt to explain it.
The refrigerator compressor is hermetically sealed in an egg shaped
canister so that the Freon refrigerant circulates within the system.
There is a high pressure out tube, which goes to the condenser coils
(under the fridge to evaporate the water in the drip tray) then to
that network of evaporator coils at the back of the fridge. These
two coils dump the heat from compression. The Freon is close to room
temperature by the time it enters the expansion evaporator coils in
the icebox. The energy for expansion extracts the heat from (cools)
the icebox. The low pressure Freon is then returned to the
compressor canister to complete the cycle.
There is another sealed tube with a crimped end next to the power
breaker switch. This is the Freon refill tube.
To recover the refrigerator compressor about all you can do is to cut
off the Freon out and return tubes and unbolt the mountings. A more
Ozone friendly refrigerant may be used now but there are
environmental regulations on the disposal/release of Freon if you
care to look them up. Do not tilt the compressor canister as there is
a pool of motor oil at the bottom. The purpose of this oil is the
same as crankcase oil, to lubricate the compressor motor and help
keep it cool. There will be dissolved refrigerant so replace it with
fresh 10/30W motor oil if you wish.
You have a complete silent compressor now. What then are we paying for
when the same compressor is sold at the art shop?
Well the art quality compressor�s canister�s top cover is not welded
(but is strapped) to the bottom bowl so that one can open the
canister to see what is inside. The mechanism consists of a simple
single cylinder compressor whose crankshaft is integral with the
electric motor shaft. The unit is mounted on rubber grommets
recessed into coiled springs welded to the bottom of the bowl. The
spring suspension and the unit�s total enclosure within the canister
is what gives it its silent operation.
The high pressure out tube is the only part you need to add the
regulator and air connections to. Leave the return tube open and cut
open the crimped refill tube so that your canister can �breath�, that
is draw in air from outside for the compressor.
For anything else go look at the catalogues on silent compressors at
the art shops or dental supplies shops to get ideas. Then go to a
welding or air compressor parts shop where there is a larger
selection of parts and fittings that are a lot cheaper to buy.