Make Compressor Gaskets

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Why would you make compressor gaskets?

A leaking air compressor gasket, or one that lets go at a certain pressure, is a primary cause of air compressors that run but don’t build pressure at all, or past a certain tank pressure level.

If you have determined that a leaking gasket may be the cause of your compressor problem, you will need to chase down a source. Since there have been dozens if not hundreds of air compressor models for each brand of air compressor on the market, the sources for parts for older air compressors will likely be hard to find.

As a result, you may need to make compressor gaskets.

The gaskets in one such compressor pump can be seen in the following schematic.

Make compressor gaskets - air compressor gasket and valve schematic

Make Compressor Gaskets

Step one: Visit your local auto parts store and obtain some high-heat gasket material. It common comes in sheets. Or, get some online, along the lines of this material:

Mr. Gasket 77 Exhaust Gasket Performance Material

If you don’t acquire high-heat gasket material, the life of your new gaskets may be very short indeed, as compressor pumps get very hot when running.

Step two: With the power cord unplugged and the compressor tank completely empty, carefully disassemble the compressor pump.

If you are undertaking a gasket replacement, while doing so you probably want to take a close look at the air compressor intake and pressure valves or valve plate, and if possible, replace it too, so that you only have to tear down the pump once.

Identify all gaskets, and carefully remove the old gasket material and clean the surfaces.

Step three: Place the new gasket sheet over the pump where the old gasket was, and gently tap around all surfaces with a ball peen hammer, or small headed implement of some kind. This process will score the gasket material, and the score will, if this step is performed properly, be the perfect pattern for the new air compressor pump gasket.

Step four: Using scissors, xacto knife or shears carefully cut from the gasket sheet the new gasket, removing the material from all pathways using the score marks as a guide. Cut carefully.

Step five: Place the new gasket on the compressor pump, align additional pump parts, and tighten down the assembly bolts.


While the process will be complex the first time, once this change out is done, you will probably be able to disassemble and reassemble your compressor pump like a pro from then on, and if you need to make compressor gaskets to replace those in your air compressor again, you will find the process to be quick and easy.

And, if it were us making and replacing the gaskets in our air compressor pump, at the same time we would always change the valve plate to remove them as another possible source of air compressors that run but do not build air pressure.

Good luck. Let us know how you did as a comment here, and we’d love to post pictures of your project too.

By Ashley Pearce

As a passionate manufacturing and mechanical engineer, I've had my fair share of run ins with air compressors and compressed air systems. With over a decade of experience in the industry, I have both a fresh perspective and time-served hands and mind to help you with your compressor problems (along with our able community!)

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June 8, 2017 4:54 pm

I am working on the gasket that seals the oil in underneath the compressor piston. It is not just a gasket around the seal but is flexible rubber, a full piece that goes across the opening with a few specific holes in it. I have no idea of the purpose of spanning across the opening between the cover and the rest of the area under the piston except as some baffle for the oil. Also, the gasket has an edge that fits into a groove in the cover.

I cannot find a replacement for this very old Tool Shop compressor gasket.
Do I need a gasket that covers the whole opening? What material would be good to fit in the groove in the cover?