Air Compressors

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I have been toying with the idea of getting an 18 or 16 guage nailer for some time. Yesterday, while walking through the tool department at Sears, I saw an air compressor on clearance for $99. They had several nailers (craftsman and bostich) to choose from between $100 and $150. I started to buy the setup on the spot. However, when I starting reading the specs on the compressor, I realized that I hadn't done my homework on exactly what size, power, etc. I need. I think the use of the compressor would be limited to the nailer; although I *may* want to buy a paint gun sometime down the road. Does this dramatically change what compressor I would need to buy? What would be sufficient just for the nailer? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Kirk
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Snip.
I'm not an expert by any means, but here is the short answer:

Yes. Spraying requires several times the CFM of nailers, particularly conversion/HVLP. Although I am not an expert, some reccomend 220V 60 gallon monsters for spraying.
Look at some tools that you would consider. Check the CFM @ xx PSI requirements of the tool. Compare that to the specs of your compressor. You should also consider the duty cycle of the compressor, because most/many are not designed to be run continuously.

Just about any compressor will do. Nailers are at the bottom of the spectrum for CFM requirements. What you have should work just fine for just about any nailer. You may want more oomph if your a contractor who has the need/skills to fire of 80 rounds per minute, but I don't think that is what we're talking about here.
Any help would be greatly

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Nail guns are very LOW volume users. Just about any compressor with an tank will work fine. These small compressors are ideal for nail guns.
Anything past that may require a larger compressor for better results.
I can usually get 30 or so shots fired from my Senco finish nail gun from an 11 gallon portable tank. Note the 11 gal tank is not a compressor. I use this tank for taking into a customers home for quick repairs.
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I use my 15g and 18g nailers with a Sears tankless! (I suppose the hose acts as a sort of tank - point being, I haven't had any problems firing either gun to sink the nail.)
I agree on the larger compressor for other tools - sanders and full-size paint guns require a *lot* of air. Something on the order of 10-14 cfm @ 90 psi. To get that rating you'd have to go with a large compressor. The newer HVLP paint sprayers use even more air but less pressure and require their own air generators but are well received due to less overspray, pollution and material waste.
On the other hand, I use a generic touch-up paint gun with my tankless with no problems as it supplies 4.5cfm @90 and that works just fine.
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
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wrote:

tank
Wow... How long is your hose?
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That's a pretty personal question there Leon... But since you asked, I get these emails...
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Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
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I decided my primary use of a compressor would be for nailing, and the portability was important in a crowded shop. If I need to spray in the future I'll either rent, or get a bigger one at that time.
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KirkH wrote:

Drastically.
You could run a nailer with a bicycle pump plumbed into a small tank.
Off the top of my head I think a nail gun is the least demanding tool to attach to a compressor.
Marks rule of compressor sizing: How bigs your wallet?
--
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You may want to make sure that the pressure will be high enough for you. I very briefly owned a little compressor that was advertised as "100 PSI." Well, it would pressurize the tank to 100PSI, but it wouldn't cut back in until like 80PSI, leaving 2" 18 ga. brads a good bit proud of the surface of some red oak I was testing. Took the little guy back to Lowe's and swapped it for a somewhat larger, but much higher 150 PSI pancake compressor. It cuts in at 125PSI, so I'm guaranteed to have enough pressure to sink the brads into whatever I'm working on.
Charlie
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On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 12:08:57 -0500, "Charlie Mraz"
......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
This is a very important point. this can happen with even the lower end 125 PSI (8bar) compressors with tank. They have heaps of CFM, but you have to actually bleed air every minute or so to get them cycle back up to 90/100 PSI and run your tool properly........or pump up truck tyres...DAMHIKT.
Most of the cheaper ones do not have an adjustable kick in pressure, just the cutout for msafety.

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On 16 Jun 2004 08:16:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (KirkH) wrote:

I have a Porter Cable 2 HP, 6 gallon compressor that's great for nailing, inflating, and blowing dust out of crevices. It'll power the Critter spray gun decently, but that's about it. The Critter is great for spraying wash coats, stains, and small finish jobs.
Keep the following in mind:
* Portable compressors are actually pretty handy to have around.
* To REALLY spray, you'll need a 60 gallon 220v compressor that will not be portable.
*When you get around to seriously spraying, you may find that a turbine powered HVLP rig best suits your needs, so you still won't need a big compressor.
That said, I would not buy anything less than a 2HP 6 gallon pancake model.
Barry
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I have the same PC compressor. It works great with both nailers (finish & brad) that came with it. Wouldn't recommend it for any spraying jobs though. I kept it pretty busy blowing up a few rafts for our pool, even w/turning the pressure way down.
Check it out on amazon.com. $299 - $50 until June 20th + free shipping. Pretty good deal.
Ron
(KirkH) wrote:

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Funny you should mention a pool. One of the other things I want to use a compressor for is to do my own pool closing; which means blowing the lines at the end of the season (no comments necessary...) I don't think that would take too much pressure; but it would mean evacuating approximately 70 feet of waterin 2" pvc pipe. I've watched the pool company do this for the last few years, but never noticed the specs on the compressor they bring. Since pool closings run my around $350, I can justify buying the compressor on just one season if I do everything myself.
Kirk
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Wouldn't a wet/dry shop vac work better for this? I am building a pool as we speak and I am using my shop vac to suck the crap out of the plumbing. It seems to work pretty well.
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KirkH wrote:

I think blowing out 2" lines would require volume more than pressure.
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RE: Subject
Compressed air is a lot like the Peter Principle.
Translation:
Your needs will grow to exceed your resources.
If you ever even think there is the remotest chance you may some day want to sand blast, do body work or spray paint, then don't send a boy.
Get a 5HP, 2 stage compressor with an 80 gallon vertical resevoir and get on with life.
Lew
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You mean I'll start getting spam about my compressor's peter?
GUYS! Act Now! Is your CFM too small? Not enough pressure where it counts? We know how you can please your spray gun! Call Ing*rs*l R*nd today! Don't get caught SHORT in your shop again!
Guaranteed confidential. All products shipped in plain brown crate.
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"DJ Delorie" writes:

Ya gotta love it.
Touch.
Lew
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Very little. I'm not sure what the exact ID of 2" PVC is, but lets take 2". piR2h 1*1*3.1416*840/1728= 1.53 cu. ft. Even a pancake compressor can handle that in a very short time. Yeah, too much pressure could possibly blow out something in the system though. Ed
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The 1HP Sears unit I inherited handles a touch-up gun as well as the Critter without problems for mostly small stuff. Currently spraying a 42" round coffee table with Target USL, no problems.
On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 19:46:48 GMT, B a r r y

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