Can Pan Cake Air Compressor Refill a 5-gal Air Tank for a Brad Gun?

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I want to know if a small/cheap pan-cake air compressor is powerful enough to fill a 5-gal air tank with enough pressure. I intend to use the air-tank to power a brad gun (or a pinner) to shoot brads (let say 20 brads a day).
Because my garage workshop is near the property line, I want to keep the noise down when I am doing woodworking. One of the thing that I want to purchase is a brad gun. But my understanding is that those cheap/small air compressor (oil-less and direct-drive) are very noisy, and the relatively quiet air compressor (oil-lubed and belt-driven) are expensive and big. I want to be able to (1) keep the noise down in the workshop, (2) limit the space requirement, (3) reduce cost.
One way to do this is to use an air tank that I can fill it up in gas station. But according to messages that I come across in this newsgroup, I get an impression that this will not work because the air pump in a gas station cannot fill the air tank with enough pressure, and the pressure in air tank will drop to unusable level after shooting a small number of nails.
Another way to do this is to place a small/cheap air compressor in the basement, and run a long air hose to the garage workshop. But this is impractical for me because I don't want to keep the door or the window open to let the air hose out, and I don't want to go through the trouble of adding an air hose connector outside my house.
I am thinking of buying a small/cheap pan-cake air compressor, leaving it in a corner of my basement, and using it to fill a 5-gal air tank. Then, I can bring the air tank to the shop to shoot brads. I "think" the noise from the pan-cake air compressor should not be a problem if I leave it in the basement. One more benefit is that the air compressor will not use the very limited power supply available in my garage. Another benefit is that I can get the air tank first, try to fill it in a local gas station and see how many brads I can get from it before I buy the pan-cake air compressor.
Does my plan make sense? Will this work? Any down side that I may have overlooked?
Thanks in advance for any comment.
Jay Chan
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Jay Chan wrote:

You'll need to purchase a regulator, as most air tanks don't have them and you can't supply unregulated tank pressure to the brad nailer (unless you want to max out your tank pressure at the highest pressure the nailer can handle, but that would be silly). If you get an air tank rated at 150psi (and larger, say 10gal), and a compressor than can put out 150psi (a lot of them stop at 125-135psi), you could shoot a large number of brads before the tank pressure dropped below 70psi or so. If your brad nailer will do the job at 70psi, you're all set. However, if you're shooting long brads and/or shooting into hardwoods, it will take more pressure and you'll drain the tank more quickly.
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Can you keep the air compressor in a corner in your workshop and build a frame around it, then insulate it heavily to suppress the noise? Set it on a rubber mat for additional noise suppression.
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I have one of those pancake compressors that came as part of a nailer/compressor combo kit (Porter-Cable). Admittedly, the compressor is pretty loud when running and it IS annoying, but for the amount of nailing I do at one time, which sounds similar to you, the thing rarely has to recharge while I'm there. I usually let the air out when I'm done and drain the condensation, but the less than 5 minutes of noise it gives me when I plug it back in isn't that bad. So, I'm basically telling you to just use the pancake compressor itself because at your usage needs it won't be that big a deal.
Mike

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On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 21:27:11 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

I agree. I also have a 2HP, 6 gal PC compressor When running a brad or finish nailer, it hardly runs at all.
Barry
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Probably overkill but would work. Worst case scenario is to use the compressor as is. If you plan to work late at night, run the pressure up on a tank in addition to the compressor and you are good for a couple hundred brads. I often use the compressor and forget it is even on as it will not run again during my work session. My wife reminds me when she hears it a few day later.
If you go with the tank, look for a gas station that allows you to pump a higher pressure than available for cars. Most seem to be limited to about 35 pounds these day. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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I think that a small compresser should easily fill up a portable air tank. I have just the arrangement in my shop and can easily get 20 or 30 brads per fill, depending on how long the brads are and what I'm shooting them into. If you are looking at getting a small pancake compressor, I would strongly recommend an oil type, rather than oil free. I fill my tank up to a bit over 100 psi and I can drive brads until the pressure gets down to about 45 psi.
Harbor Freight, K mart, KRagen and the like have the cheapos.... I got a fine one, oil lubed, at HF for $90..., depending on your use/needs/budget that might work or you might want to go with a Senco or DW.... I think Senco has a pretty good package for about 150 or 200...
YMMV, other will post their opinions as well... Good luck....
John Moorhead Lakeport, CA
PS:: Here's the link for the compressor that I got at HF.... I think it has gotten pretty good reviews here on the NG (for HF stuff, that is...) One of the few diamonds in the rough...
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber8898
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I have a Delta CP200 that was thrown in for free as incentive to buy a Unisaw instead of Jet at a WW show. Free is good!!! It's 2 gallons, oil free, and VERY quiet. Nice form factor (why can't we just say size anymore), so compact that it sits on a shelf covering the Unisaw mobile base. Haven't tried it to shoot brads yet, so far it's used just for blowing chips, teasing the dogs, <G> etc. But powering a nailer should be no problem. When it runs in the basement, it isn't heard upstairs.                             Mark
Jay Chan wrote:

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I am interested to learn more about your small compressor. I have checked its spec in this web site: http://www.pucketttools.com/decp2gahoair.html Its spec is: Motor 120V 60 Hz. Tank Size 2 gallon Maximum Pressure 100 psi Inflation Car/Bike Tire - 100 seconds (depending on size) Raft/Mattress - 135 seconds (depending on size) Blowing Can be used to clean or prepare work surface on a continuous basis. Fastening 90 Brad nails (before recovery is needed) 90 Staples (before recovery is needed) 23 Finish Nails (before recovery is needed) Air Brush Can be used to spray paint for 300 continuous seconds. Weight 23 lbs.
Its spec looks very good. Actually, I am eyeing on one that has a very similar spec from Craftman. The only major exception is that it is oil-lubed. I have another message thread going on about this type of small air compressor.
My questions are: - The picture doesn't show a handle bar. How do you carry it? Do you need to kind of hugging it with both hands. - You said you use it to blow chip from surface. Will it run out of air very quickly when you use it to blow air? I assume the motor needs to run continuously in order to accomplish this. Otherwise, it will drain all the air from the air tank. Not a problem. I just want to learn more.
Thanks for any additional info in advance.
Jay Chan
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I h ave PC. The "handle" is part of the housing. Well balanced and easy to carry. This is probably similar in that the housing or top shroud is the handle.

I use a blow gun with small tip. I can blow off a couple of parts before it kicks in. It is adequate for cleaning the dust off a few parts, it is not going to clean your garage like a leaf blower. YMWV depending on the orfice size and and durationof cleaning.

When the pressure gets down to about 40 pounds, it is not as effective. They you wait for it to recoup a few minutes. Use some common sense. Clearing chips at the drill press is far different that trying to clean the garage floor.
I use mine to blow off parts before finishing. I do it outdoors and it is very effective getting rid of sanding dust. I don't do it in the shop as it would probably stir up more dust that will take time to settle and I'd have to breath in. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Thanks for the explanation.

I mainly want to clean filter cartridges of a shop vac or a dust collector. Because a filer cartridge has many folds. Cleaning all the folds probably will take a lot of air. In order to get one that can really clean all the folds in a filter cartridge, I will need a BIG compressor will a LARGE air tank. This likely kills my budget. I probably will have to do this cleaning without using an air compressor (go back to do this manually). Or may be I should use a small low-pressure compressor that doesn't need an air tank for cleaning filter cartridge (instead of trying to get one air compressor to do two different things). We don't want to use high pressure to blow dust off a filter cartridge, right?
Seem like a small air compressor is all I should use -- for now.
Jay Chan
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You have two choices. Use the pancake compressor, but let the pressure come back up once or twice to finish the job. Takes an extra 5 or so minutes. Spend three times the $$$ and do it in one shot. Either way will get the job done. Impatience can be costly. Ed
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A regular pancake compressor has a 4-gal air tank. If I need extra 5 minutes for it to recover once or twice, this sounds OK for my infrequent need of cleaning filter cartridge.
A single hot-dog compressor has a 2-gal air tank. This probably means I need extra 10 minutes for it to recover. This is still OK.
An ulta small single hot-dog compressor has a 1-gal air tank. This probably means I need extra 20 minutes for it to recover. This sounds a bit long. If I go this way, I will need to see whether I have that kind of patient. Oh well...
Thanks for the reference point.
Jay Chan
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Sort of, but you are confusing tank size to the output of the compressor. If you have a 5 gallon tank and a 5 cfm unit, it will take half as long as a 5 gallon tank with a 2.5 cfm compressor. The 5 gallons with a 5 cfm will take the same time as a 2.5 gallon tank with 2.5 cfm, but th e tank will pull down in half the time of use.
The time to refill is directly related to the compressor output. Bigger is better, of course, but you also must look at cost effectiveness for your use. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Thanks for the correction. I look into the spec on the two small/quiet single-hot-dog air compressors that I am interested (Delta CP200 and Senco PC1010). They are both in the 0.35 cfm and 0.7 cfm range (both at 90 psi). This sounds very low as compared to a regular pancake air compressor (something like 2.7 cfm at 90 psi). This means that I will have to spend an extra half hour or longer to wait for the small air compressor to recover before I can finish blowing all the dust from a filter cartridge. This pretty much means that neither of them are good for blowing anything. This means I should use it strictly for nailers.
I probably need to use my shop vac in reverse to blow dusts off a filter cartridge (yes, I will do this outdoor).
Thanks for the useful information.
Jay Chan
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Jay Chan said:

Any compressor without a tank that will move enough air to operate a standard air nozzle is going to be pretty big.
Why don't you use a shop-vac with a washable filter to clean the Dust Collector filter, and a small compressor top run your brad nailer?
A shop-vac in BLOW mode would probably work fine. Just blow the filter outside - not indoors. Besides, too much air pressure from an air nozzle may damage the filter material by blasting holes in it.
Greg G.
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Everything Edwin said below pretty much applies to the PC200. It's a great little auxiliary compressor. The handle is also molded plastic, with the weight well balanced.
Jay Chan wrote:

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What you want to do can be done. Get a regulator for that tank and fill 'er up as much as it'll take and regulate what comes out for the nailer.
But why make all that effort? My pancake, while a little on the loud side but doesn't run very often when shooting brads.
I commend your efforts to be a good neighbor and keep the noise down, but what do you do about the other loud tools? A planer or router makes a hell of a racket too.
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I agree with these other guys - I just got the "El Cheapo" from Harbor Freight - 2 hp, 5 gal - for $89. It's run my brad nailer just fine - maybe it will run once during a 3 hr session. I maybe use 5 - 10 brads, and blow off my machines at the end, before I vacuum.
Why mess with a tank - have to keep it filled, forgot to fill it, have to go to the station to have it filled....? This cheapo seems to work fine for the hobby ww'r.
Nick B

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Thanks for all the great advices that people have shared with me here.
I think I will take the advices and purchase the small air compressor alone without using the air tank for these reasons. Then I can run it in my basement to fill up its built-in air tank, and bring it to the workshop.
As suggested by a couple newsgroup members here, I should be able to shoot all the nails without getting the air compressor to re-start because I don't shoot that many nails anyway. This means noise will not be an issue.
The small oil-lubed pan-cake air compressor from HF that another newsgroup member has suggested looks quite good, and the price is right. After saying this, I may get a small oil-lubed direct-drive 2-gal single-hot-dog air compressor because it looks lighter than the pan-cake version.
Thanks again for all the good advices.
Jay Chan
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