101 uses for an air compressor? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-21-2010, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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101 uses for an air compressor?

Slowly building my tool collection the idea of an air compressor has crossed my mind. I did think about getting the $300 porter cable compressor kit with the 3 nail guns (stapler / finish / brad nailer) and the tank but I would probably want to get into framing. A deck is on my to do list, I don't think the $300 doller kit would be up for that task. I have recently thought about making boxes. We just put in some new kitchen cabinets that need finished

I figured I could get a larger compressor, like maybe 150-200 dollar one and then buy a nailer but right now I am not sure. I don't want to buy a one trick pony so I thought I would ask, besides nail guns and painting, and impact drivers, what else can you use an air compressor for?
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-21-2010, 11:27 PM
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Cleaning out small crevasses and topping off my tires?...oh and aggravating my dogs. There are a lot of different air tools out there not mentoned.. sander, grinder, riveter, greaser, scraper, punch, chisel, mini jack-hammer, cutter, and shears that I can think of. They are pretty useful depending on your needs.

I was in the same predicament and ended up getting the small tank kit to start and just plan to get the larger setup once I find myself needing it more often. You may find it useful to have the larger setup in your shop/garage as well as a smaller portable compressor for projects not on site or as a backup
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-22-2010, 06:50 AM
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"You may find it useful to have the larger setup in your shop/garage as well as a smaller portable compressor for projects not on site or as a backup "

Yes, I have a large 30 gal. 5 (rated) hp compressor and a smaller portable 3 gallon. Unfortunately when I bought the big compressor I was not aware of the noise from an oilless motor. Way too loud and annoying. Whenever I can I use the small compressor, but it will not do all of the jobs around the house.

When I needed to take up old ceramic tile I needed the air volume from the big compressor. Almost all paint/finish spraying needs the bigger volume.

G
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-22-2010, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajtool View Post
Slowly building my tool collection the idea of an air compressor has crossed my mind. I did think about getting the $300 porter cable compressor kit with the 3 nail guns (stapler / finish / brad nailer) and the tank but I would probably want to get into framing. A deck is on my to do list, I don't think the $300 doller kit would be up for that task. I have recently thought about making boxes. We just put in some new kitchen cabinets that need finished

I figured I could get a larger compressor, like maybe 150-200 dollar one and then buy a nailer but right now I am not sure. I don't want to buy a one trick pony so I thought I would ask, besides nail guns and painting, and impact drivers, what else can you use an air compressor for?
I've got the older version of the $300 PC kit -- three nailers and a stapler, but the same compressor -- and based on the specs it will run a framing nailer, although it would be pushing it. It's definitely loud -- if you get one, make sure you've got good ear protection!
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-22-2010, 12:58 PM
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Yeah those oil-free compressors are rough on the ears for sure... earplugs work well.. plus they filter the wife's yelling in the background. =P
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-22-2010, 07:13 PM
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I have a 4 gal Bostitch pancake and a 60 gal 6HP 220V (old cast iron oil bath), I've owned the 60 for over 10 years and it has only 105 hrs of use on it (I installed an hour meter the moment it came off the truck and was wired). I use the small compressor more, it,s portable and can handle 95% of what I need air for, when it comes to high consumption air tools the 60 is the only way to go. Check what the tools you will be using require, I can make my 60 run non-stop when I'm using a couple of my automotive usage designed air tools, and I can use a brad nailer all day without it kicking on.
I would also recommend you screw your deck together instead of nailing it, the weather will work those nails loose in a year or 2 (expansion and contraction), won't happen if its screwed.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-23-2010, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like a lot of tools need a 30 gallon compressor to run properly. A 6 gallon may run a couple small things but sanders and painters bigger is for sure better. Not sure I would be ready to drop over 400 bucks on a tank right now. Perhaps the porter kit to get a feel for things
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-23-2010, 01:24 PM
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Lowes has a similar setup in the Stanley Bostitch brand for $280. Not sure if you think you need all three guns, but they also have a set that comes with just the Brad Nailer for $210.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-24-2010, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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I am also wanting to build some shelving / book cases. What size / type of nail gun would you recomend?

Also building boxes
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-24-2010, 07:45 PM
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seal the end grain to on the deck

Old wood workers never die thay just get dry rot
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-24-2010, 09:31 PM
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I am also wanting to build some shelving / book cases. What size / type of nail gun would you recomend?

Also building boxes
Based on personal experience, don't count on the nails to do anything other than hold the wood in place while the glue dries. I recently build a set with dados for the shelves to fit in, and rabbeted joints top and bottom, and then used a brad nailer (18 gauge, I think?) to hold everything together. I used a few clamps as well, but I didn't have any long enough to go top to bottom.
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-24-2010, 10:28 PM
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If you plan to run any tool that needs a constant flow of air, a small compressor won't work. I have a Makita 4gal, 2.5hp. It's great for nail guns, but won't run a 3/8 impact. It'd also never run a spray gun. any tool that uses the air wide open requires a lot of volume- not a huge motor necessarily, but a huge tank. basically any compressor that is portable is for guns only.

That being said, you should evaluate what guns you really need. None of the guns in those 3 gun kits would be on my list. If I were starting over, I'd have either a PC or Dewalt compressor that runs up to 150-200psi. Thats because I have a Grex 2" 23awg pinner and it likes 110 psi all the time. You don't need that gun, but you'll definitely want a 2" 18awg brad gun. the ones in those PC kits are sometimes 1 1/4" brad guns, which is stupid, just get a 2" and not think about it again. Beyond that, a 15awg angled finish nailer would be nice- the 16awg straight nailers in the kits are a waist IMO, a 15 will do a lot more, why have both? And then, as you said a big framing gun for decks...etc...

FWIW, I haven't picked up my 18awg brad gun since I got my 23awg pinner- it does everything the 18 will do and better...

jeff
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 12:24 PM
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Yeah I just use the brad nailer that came with my kit for trim work. If you are building anything that will have some weight on it you will need something bigger or make use of screws, brackets, and/or groves/joints, none of which would be greatly dependent upon a compressor.

Also, I've heard that LP sprayers will work with the smaller compressor kits. I ordered one from harbor freight to try this out. Will let you know if it holds up.
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