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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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.
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.
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
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
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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