Air compressor adivce: Too cheap?

I've got molding to put up. Just in my kitchen, I hope. Baseboard chair rail and around the ceiling. I like tools but I don't find myself really pining for a nailer, so I'd like to get off cheap. Really cheap.
I found a place to get a refurbished Porter Cable finish nailer. That leaves the compressor. I've been looking at this tiny 1 gallon Campbel-Hausfeld model, 100psi max.
http://www.campbellhausfeld.net/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId 001&storeId051&langId=-1&productIdg145
I saw a review in a magazine that suggested it could be used for nailing. I think that I understand the consequence of the tiny tank;I'll only be able to shoot a few nails in quick succession. I don't imagine that will be too much of a hardship for my use.
But what about the 100 psi? The nailer specs say it works from 70-120 psi. Will I have enough oomph?
As I wrote above, I'd like to be cheap about this, IF it doesn't result in too much frustration. Can I?
Greg Guarino
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wrote:

What's wrong with a hammer?
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Well, that would be cheaper. If it was just the chair rail that's probably what I'd do. But I'm afraid that creeping age and lack of optimal physical condition make doing work at floor level a real chore. Hammering nails in that position would be difficult for me. And hand nailing ceiling molding might require a level of precision that would stretch my rather average skills.
Greg Guarino
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Greg Guarino wrote:

>>http://www.campbellhausfeld.net/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId 001&storeId051&langId=-1&productIdg145
I wouldn't worry about having 100 psi. that is typically what you run a nailgun at. it will cycle more often than a compressor that goes up to 140, but it should be fine for a little finish nailer.
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I think this compressor will be perfect for your needs. You don't need much CFM for driving nails. The other posters are correct, if you want to add tools in the future, this compressor won't help you much, but only if you're trying to run tools that require higher CFM - sanders, impact drivers, die grinders, etc, all require serious compressors.
I've even run a framing nailer on a 2 gallon cheap compressor, and only run out of air if I'm moving quickly. For brad nailing, you'll be working pretty fast if the compressor can't keep up, and given your "creeping age" (good euphemism, I'm going to use that), I don't think you'll have any trouble.
good luck!
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One important spec is CFM,or cubic feet per minute,the volume of pressurized air the compressor will supply at a given pressure. (it's not just the tank size)
Nailers require more CFM than that cheapo C-H compressor will supply. Too low a CFM rating,and the compressor will not be able to keep the tank up to pressure while nailing.
The home improvement stores often have sales on Porter-Cable compressor/nailer kits;everything you need.Maybe on-line stores,too. Then you get a reasonably good compressor along with a good nailer.
--
Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

I will agree with this

I wont agree with this. I thought 18 ga nailers were one of the lowest CFM tools you could buy, with things like sandblasters and impact wrenches being in the highest ranges. but it is sort of a moot point, if he only needs a min of 70 PSI (which i think is true, he is only doing trim) the CFM will be supplied by the tank, not the compressor.
now this means he'll have the compressor kick in every 3 nails he shoots, or maybe even more often, while I'll shoot a whole strip of them with my 5 gallon unit

I like my other post to solve this better, either get an electric nailer cheap, or get a really big compressor and start investing in more air tools.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

I agree (to a point). I have a "cheap" Porter Cable 6 gallon 135PSI unit. It's fine for the nailers I have. I'm doing some siding now and it has been fine for even this. I bought a framing nailer and it'll likely keep that going as fast as I'm about to use it. The 16 and 18 ga. nailers are a piece of cake.

Yeah, I'd still recommend a bigger unit. They're not all that expensive.

"More power, ar ar ar".
--
Keith

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Oh,in addition,later,you can add other air tools as you desire. Even cheap Harbor Freight airtools.
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Jim Yanik
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wrote:

That is certainly a toy compressor. I bet it isn't really "reconditioned" , just refunded units from unhappy customers. If you really want "air" spend more money.
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http://www.campbellhausfeld.net/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId 001&storeId051&langId=-1&productIdg145
Probably get by, but I'd go up a size or so. You may find more uses for that compressor once you have it. No need to spend a fortune, but for $100 to !=$150 you can have a lot more capacity As it is, you'd get a few pops of a nailer from that tank. Nailers don't use much air at all and 100 psi is plenty for them.
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Also make sure that it can crank out a minimum PSI for the nailer. PSI is over 100 is ok because you can usually set it to go lower with an air regulator (or set the countersink less if you have an adjustable depth on the nail gun). But when pressure drops to under 70 or less, a lot of the nail guns won't countersink the nail very well i.e. there will be part of the nail still sticking out that will have to be manually nailed in to the right depth.
I learned that lesson the hard was while nailing 200+ wooden boards for a fence that I built last week. I didn't have adjustable depth on the nailer, so a fresh charge of air (at 120 psi) made the nails go almost through the entire board because of excessive countersink. Then as the air tank got depleted and psi decreased, the nails would countersink less and less. At about 80 psi, the nails were protruding out 1/4" from the boards due to lack of sufficient pressure and I had to go back with a hammer and manually nail down the heads that were still sticking up. An adjustable depth can make a nail penetrate shallower, but it cannot make a nail go DEEPER if there isn't enough overall pressure to make the nail penetrate the material it's being shot through.
Since you look like you'll be shooting through molding and into drywall, it doesn't look like a lot of minimum PSI is needed. So instead, just make sure you don't overpenetrate with too much air pressure, since it could make the molding splinter or split--plus, filling in massively deep countersink holes is no fun either.

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I have a 2 gal single tank Craftsman Max 125 psi. It also comes in many other tradenames..made in China. They go on sale for $ 99.00 I now see 3-4gal compressors on sale at Pep Boys for under $ 100.00
That said, the finish nailer I bought says MAX 100 psi. I put up 1000 lin ft MDF baseboard and about the same in 1X4, 1X5 VGFir with it 2 yrs ago, compressor set @ 100 psi and it worked great. Cheap gear-worked well
R
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http://www.campbellhausfeld.net/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId 001&storeId051&langId=-1&productIdg145
That compressor will probably be perfectly adequate for an 18ga (and perhaps even 16ga) nailer doing simple trim jobs (eg: thru 1/2" MDF into drywall & studs). 18ga nailers use very little air.
A 4gal compressor will go quite a few 18ga nails before the motor kicks in again - I think the motor fired up three times during a pass of baseboard and ceiling trimming a moderate sized living room. A 1gal would fire up 4 times as often....
However, this small a compressor will be rather limiting if you decide you want more air tools.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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wrote:

If the nailer is rated at 120psi, then that's what you need. A small tank is fine for nailers. Sure, a lower pressure might be adequate, but maybe not. It is frustration city when you have one hand on the molding, the other hand holding the nailer, and it doesn't do the job. Also, be extra careful with nail guns--I have seen nails make a 180-degree turn so you don't want your digits near.
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http://www.campbellhausfeld.net/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId 001&storeId051&langId=-1&productIdg145
100 PSI should be fine.
Can you find a friend or a business to simply rent a small compressor for one day? A lot of people have small compressors, perhaps one of them would not mind sharing.
i
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Greg Guarino wrote:

Steal your wifes checkbook and get a bigger air compressor, you'll be throwing the 1 gallon one away as soon as you walk down the air tool aisle.
I have a 5 gallon air compressor, with about the biggest motor you can get 15 amps into. it will run all the air tools i think i will ever need, although I think it's CFM is a bit close to the low side for large sandblasters.
on the other hand, i bought the compressor, then i bought tools, but i did do research to see what was needed.
also got it on sale for less than what the 3 gallon compressor setup was selling for.
OR... get an electric nailer off of ebay, cheap enough to use and toss, or not to grumble too much if you get ripped off. (I usualy put the word NEW in my ebay searches, solves lots of problems)
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