Compressors and nailerss

My wife has given me the go ahead to get a compressor and nailer. I have looked them over at the stores (Lowes/Menards) and figured the people here know a helluva lot more than the sales help there. As far as what I want them for: weekend woodworker just making things on a whim. Startng with compressors.......will a 2hp 6 gal. Porter Cable give me enough air? Nailers.......looking at a PC 1 1/4 -2" 18 ga. or a Bostitch 16 ga. 1-2 1/2". Also what size do I need? I use mainly 3/4" pine for stuff like birdhouses and squirrel feeders. By looking at the 18 ga. brads they seem sort of puny to me. I am leaning towards the 16 ga. in the 1 1/2 range. I would appreciate any help given to me.
Thank you ahead of time,
Scott
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For birdhouses, etc there is no doubt you should buy the Harbor Freight 18ga nailer. You should be able to get it for $20-30 depending on the sale the hour you place your order. Most HF stuff is low quality, but the brad nailer gets good marks by almost everyone that has one (including me). 18ga is plenty for that work too.
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA

"Sherfey's" < snipped-for-privacy@mchsi.com> wrote in message
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Thanks Larry.

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I concur w/ Larry. HF's 18ga brad nailer that goes 1/2 - 2" is a great buy. Got mine when on sale for $19 but I've only seen them as low as $25 as of late (still a good buy). I initially bought it until the SWMBO would allow budgeting for a Porter Cable. Well, that was over a year ago and I've never gotten the PC and don't see any reason to. Now as far as air compressors go, sure, buy the PC.
Joey in Chesapeake, VA.

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On Sun, 22 Feb 2004 17:51:24 GMT, "Sherfey's"

plenty for nail guns. if you think you might want to run other stuff as well, like spray equipment, air wrenches, drills and the like you might want to assess your needs a bit more closely.

I have 18 and IIRC 15 guage guns for finish work. works for me...

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I bought the Porter Cable compressor (2hp 6 gal), and am satisfied with it. I have nailed oak trim with no problems. Not to mention inflating the tires on my cars. The PSI rating of the compressor matches that of most nailers.
I have a 15 gauge finish nailer and an 18 gauge brad nailer. They are Senco brand. They work very well. The brad nailer only shoots nails up 1.25". That's a little small. I'd like to upgrade to an 18 ga. that'll shoot 2". The 15 ga. sure made putting down baseboards in my house faster and easier.
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I'm on my second PC 2 hp compressor, They are oilless compressors and have a somewhat limited life but they are Cheap and Lite. Also can be used on roofs etc where the pitch can cause trouble with an oil lube compressor. For hobbist use they will last awhile. I have a PC 15ga angle finish nailer that does all i need it to do 1 1/2 - 2 1/2" I think. The angle nose is nice for getting into tight places and the 15 ga nails really hold well.
Just my 2 cents
Rob

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i bought the pc combo with the 16 ga brad nailer.... the price was right and for the amount on nailing i do...it should last a long time..... i got an 18 ga brad nailer for my b-day after i had gone out and picked up a HF 18 ga brad nailer on sale (for $14). truthfully i like the HF nailer better, as i can actual see where i am putting the brad.... the only downside i have with the HF nailer is that everytime i oil the thing... mind you only 1 drop.... i can't use the gun for about 2 days..... it doesn't catch to *fire* the brad... go figure.... but if it breaks...i am not out much of any outlay... in fact, i would get another one in a flash....
my next acquisition might be the 23 ga pin nailer..... now that is something i could use on a regular basis for SWMBO's sewing projects.....
also i have found that if you can put the compressor in a closet and charge the thing up...it is easier on the ears.... but i am sure there will be those who will tell you to make a shroud out of insulated foam board....the closet works for me....
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Just got my two "daily" HF ads/catalogs last night. They have the 18ga brad nailer for $15 now.
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA

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Larry, after much thought I am going with the Bostitch(sp) 2hp 6 gal compressor and 16 ga nailer combo. This will allow me to get the 18 ga HF nailer and still be under $300. I looked up the 18's on HF's site, but there were so many of them. Could you post the make and model of the one that is all the rage now? Might just buy 2 at that price. Any thoughts on the Bostitch? Really want the Porter, but I am thinking "bang for the buck".
Thanks
Scott

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I just ordered the PC combo with 2 guns from amazon.com for $275 & free shipping. It's normally $300, but they have another promo, $25 off most tools over $199.

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They do have many to choose from and honestly I don't know if there is one that's better than the others. The $15 one is from catalog 8024-B and the item number is 42528-3BJA.
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA

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If you are going to skimp on a nail gun, don't make it your brad nailer. Unless you are a finish carpenter, the brad nailer will get far more use.
Joe

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All of my friends who spent ~$200 on a pancake compressor wish they'd have gotten my setup. I have a $60 used Crapsman 15 gal oil-lube "3hp" compressor that I found in the paper here in Austin. It's 15 years old, well used, and works perfectly.
I urge you to find a larger, used oil-lube compressor. You will save money and end up with a better tool. Oil-lube with belt-drive compressors last much longer and operate quieter than oil-less pancakes.
The ONLY advantage to those pancake compressors is portability. Mine still rolls around wheelbarrow style, so it's not like it's bolted to the floor.
As far as use goes, I brad-nailed a few clips of brads this weekend, and the compressor didn't even start up. When I re-did our fence with a (used) framing nailer, it would start up about once per 8-foot section, which is about 200 shots. It would only take it about 20 seconds to repressurize.
Regarding nailers, I've used Porter Cable, Spot Nails, and Bostitch framing and finish nailers. All these worked fine, so I think the PC and Bostitch price tier is great for high-end home use. Spot Nails is generally a little less expensive, and fewer bells and whistles.
Toolless depth adjustment is a useful feature. Being able to quickly adjust depth will allow you to run your hose at full pressure since the depth is mechanically limited. This means a quicker cycle for your nailer between shots (the chamber refills faster). Without this feature you'll likely adjust hose pressure rather than use wrenches to adjust depth because it's easier, but then you have to deal with longer cycle times. When I was putting up the fence, a short cycle time was very valuable because of the rate I was shooting nails.
Good luck, and enjoy air tools :)
-Mike

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Thanks for all the feedback. Went ahead and got the Bostitch 2/6 with the 16g nailer. I have never used one before, but as soon as I sent that first nail in I was in love. I am going to get the HF 18g nailer real soon. Seems much better suited to my needs than the 16g, but having two ain't so bad for the price. Hell, at around 20 bucks I shold get two, right? Any feedback on how long one would last ? Maybe 100 brads a week................
Thanks, Scott

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