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  • air compressor for framing nailer

    I bought a Porter Cable framing nailer from HomeDepot today. I need an air compressor for it. I was told two different comments about the Porter Cable 6 gallon, 2.6SCFM at 90psi air compressor. One told me this compressor is ok for my Porter Cable framing nailer in my basement framing work. Another told me it will be too weak, need to wait frequently, and recommended other powerful ones.


    Anybody has experience using this air compressor with Porter Cable framing nailer? or what's minimum requirements of the air compressor for the framing nailer?

    thanks,

    EDIT:

    What's the minimum requirement for a paint sprayer? I am sure I need to paint my interior walls few yrs latter. It may be a good idea to buy an air compressor which can help me paint the walls as well.
    Is this oil-lubricated 8 gallon 4CFM Husky air compressor a good product? it is more powerful than above Porter Cable compressor and it is cheaper ($99) at HD.

    Last edited by thisnewowner; 04-21-2012, 11:54 PM.

  • #2
    Re: air compressor for framing nailer

    Either one of those compressors will run your framing nailer as long as you don't try and shoot too many nails too quickly in a row. As far as spray painting goes, neither of those compressors will make you happy if you try and use them for spraying. Unless you're willing to play the "spray a tiny amount, let the compressor catch up game" I'd suggest at least a 25-30 gallon compressor for sraying.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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    • #3
      Re: air compressor for framing nailer

      Originally posted by thisnewowner View Post
      I am sure I need to paint my interior walls few yrs latter. It may be a good idea to buy an air compressor which can help me paint the walls as well.
      Unless you want to be cleaning up overspray for the rest of your natural life, I would strongly suggest a dedicated airless paint sprayer for interior work. I know that there are air powered sprayers that are reported to work well, but I've never seen one in action, they're expensive, and require vastly more air flow than you're going to achieve with a Home Depot air compressor.
      "HONK if you've never seen a gun fired from a moving Harley"

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      • #4
        Re: air compressor for framing nailer

        I completely agree with the replies from Badger Dave and Doctordeer.

        Almost any of the compressors on the market will serve your nailer requirements, as nailers have about the lowest CFM demands. But, as Dave pointed out, you can't use your nailer as if it was a machine gun. Primary need there is for the 90 psi, but displacement of the nailer piston is minimal. However, one consideration that you should take into account is the type of compressor... oil-less or lubricated. Every oil-less compressor that I've seen is excessively noisey and though it may only come on after several "whacks" from the nailer, it may still cause you considerable discomfort from the noise it makes. High DB-rated earplugs or phones are highly recommended! Personally, I would recommend an oil-lubricated small compressor for "nailing". They usually have a cast-iron cylinder (or cylinder liner), are significantly quieter (though still not "quiet"), and will generally last longer.

        Regarding "spray" requirements, I'm afraid you're looking at a significantly sized unit. Typically a siphon-feed spray gun with a 1.8 mm (or larger) air cap will require 10 cfm or more at 45 to 50 psi. An similar size HVLP will require slightly more CFM, but at slightly less PSI; but both, will suck a 33-gallon compressor into activation within a manner of a minute or two and then that compressor will run in a loosing attempt to keep up with the spray gun. For a 12 - 16 cfm @40 psi, your talking some serious $$ and probably a sizeable, stationary tank of 40 to 60 gallons. (You may want to note that just one cu ft of air is about 7-1/2 gallons... so requiring 10 cfm or better is a heckuva lot of tank capacity.)

        Now, I have used my 33-gal, 150 psi oil-less Craftsman to spray finish.... but, that requires no more than a 30 sec burst, hesitate, spray, hesitate, etc. Even then, after a couple of minutes the compressor is going to activate and I've got to make sure I have on both ear-plugs and muffs and the neighbors have been forewarned. Of course, MY older Craftsman has higher output than most, which today sacrifice performance in and effort to minimise the noise.

        I hope this helps,

        CWS
        Last edited by CWSmith; 04-22-2012, 12:28 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: air compressor for framing nailer

          I've had the 6-gallon Porter Cable compressor and their round-head framing nailer for about 5 years. I've never had a problem with either, and both have been through a lot of tough jobs. I've shot numerous decks, working as fast as I wanted, and the compressor has always kept up. I'm reluctant to say that everyone who buys this nailer and compressor will have the same experience that I've had, but I've been completely happy. I wouldn't suggest spray-painting interior walls with air. If you can't go airless, go roller.
          -Dan

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          • #6
            Re: air compressor for framing nailer

            Unless your painting cars or similar, an airless would be a better choice, (and on the airless don't get a cheepie unit), if you want a sprayer,

            but for interior walls, brush, a roller, extension handle and a paint screen for a 5 gallon bucket will do it quicker and less mess, by the time one masts ever thing off, and prepares for spray painting, you will be much farther ahead to roll it on and cut the corners with a brush, on a house about the only time the interior is sprayed is possibly the first time, before floors and trim is installed,

            and if your going to do painting with a AIR gun and do house painting doing a quart at at time will be miserably slow, and air siphon guns do not like most latex paints,
            about the only way to get the latex paint thought the sprayer is with a paint pot and a hose,

            (I went through the same thinking process and one of my first compressores was bought to spray paint a barn, the compressor was to small, and the gun was cheap junk, it took a long time to paint that barn, I later bought a used graco airless, with a pole gun now it is nearly fun to paint, (I do not do a lot of painting but I have ran over 300 gallons of paint thorught that graco sprayer,
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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            • #7
              Re: air compressor for framing nailer

              Hi....I am looking to buy an air compressor to aid in a project basement finishing of a 12’ x 12’ room. One tool I would like to use is a framing nailer with an air compressor to frame the partition walls. I really don’t want to spend a lot of money on a compressor. Can anyone help me by suggesting an appropriate compressor ?
              Vacuum Systems | Industrial Pumps |Centrifugal Pumps

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              • #8
                Re: air compressor for framing nailer

                Originally posted by MarkhamCornoit View Post
                Hi....I am looking to buy an air compressor to aid in a project basement finishing of a 12’ x 12’ room. One tool I would like to use is a framing nailer with an air compressor to frame the partition walls. I really don’t want to spend a lot of money on a compressor. Can anyone help me by suggesting an appropriate compressor ?
                a $4 hammer would be a lot cheaper, (yea I know it is a cheap hammer but on a 12' x 12" room you will not wear it out),

                Most any of the compressors will work, you may have to move slower with some than others, but nailers usaly do not take a lot of CFM, unless your machingunning the nailer, but the bigger or the more of the CFM the better you will be, but your bosh, porter cable, dewalt, makita, Ridgid compressors will do what you are wanting, I would sugest to stay away from the discount compressors, that some of the import companys deal with, (how good can a $60 compressor be) I would get one that the motor pulls about 15 amps running, for a framing nailer and small shop needs,
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                attributed to Samuel Johnson
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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                • #9
                  Re: air compressor for framing nailer

                  Originally posted by moshei
                  The advantage of an oiless compressor is simpler maintenance — no oil or oil filter changes and no mess!!
                  IMO the oiless wear out faster, you still to need to maintain the air filter, or you Teflon piston ring is going in a short time, (few oil bath compressors have oil filters), and none that I know of in the home line, (actually I have never seen one with a oil filter, unless it was a converted engine,
                  oiless and there usually a lot noisier, and there basically a throw away machine when there is a problem, (at least the repair cost is such that replacement is usually the chosen route of repair.) there usaly a little lighter and less aceptable to damage, do to not having the pullys and belts.
                  Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                  attributed to Samuel Johnson
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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                  • #10
                    Re: air compressor for framing nailer

                    I would have to agree with BHD.

                    While the "no oil change mess" is an "advantage", the shortcomings of "oil-less" far out reach the advantages, in my experience. While I do think that we are more and more a "throw-away" society, the operation and repair issues of an aluminum-alloy, high-speed, high-noise compressor shorten the life of such compressor designs by more than two-thirds.

                    Yes, the oil-less is lighter but the use of teflon-like sealing rings on the piston and/or crank bearings, running at usually higher rpm in an aluminum cylinder results in much harsher wear (and significantly more noise) than conventional steel compression rings running on an oil film within a cast-iron cylinder or sleeve. Likewise the crank bearings are splash lubricated.

                    As far as oil-change is concerned, it doesn't take that much effort and on a small portable compressor as used to drive a nailer or even a small spray operation, you're only talking a few ounces of oil (my little "nailer" compressor requires three ounces). So, how troublesome is that?

                    The biggest disadvantage to oil lubrication (IMHO), is that it is sluggish when cold and you must provide proper filtering when used in spray finishing. It is of no concern though when used with typical air-operated tools however. Of more importance, is that proper filtering and collection is necessary for condensate removal... and that is required regardless of compressor design.

                    I have both an oil-lubricated and an "oil-less" compressor, and I have to say that the oil-lubricated is more more enjoyable to use, as it is significantly quieter and cooler in it's operation. The oil-less sounds (and always has) like it's about ready to tear itself apart.

                    **** Edit - additional comments

                    I should point out that NL (non-lube) compressors in heavy industry are designed somewhat differently than the cheap consumer- and trade-grade machines that most of us are familiar with. NL reciprocating compressors are most often cast iron alloy or aluminum alloy pistons which employ teflon-like rings AND a "rider" band (wear band) with a highly machined (honed) cast iron cylinder or cylinder liner. The frame and running gear (connecting rod, crank, and running bearings) are oil lubricated, but employ some method of stopping oil from penetrating the compression area (cylinder). This is often a series of rod packing rings, labyrinth seal, or other such methods to keep oil out of the final compressed air stream. Such compressors are used for food and drug processing, breathable air, or in applications where oil-type lubricants would contaminate the end product.

                    Our familiar "oil-less" compressors generally do NOT employ any of these features and their designs are simply to employ a low- or no-maintenance compressor machine that is cost-efficient in its manufacture so as to target customers who don't want to be bothered with maintenance and don't particularly care whether the unit has to be replaced in just a few hundred hours of operation. Generally speaking, such units are only used a few hours here or there and may see long periods of idleness.

                    CWS
                    Last edited by CWSmith; 05-08-2012, 02:10 PM. Reason: Type corrections and additional info

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                    • #11
                      Re: air compressor for framing nailer

                      cws, you are right on the money! you couldn't give me an oiless compressor. they are light, I'll give them that, but they are loud and in my experience (brother has one) it condensates faster than my oil lubed unit. I have the wheelbarrow electric unit from ridgid. my only complain is cold starting. if its not warm, it will not start on a 15 amp circuit, and unless its a dedicated 20amp right from the panel, its a crap shoot.

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                      • #12
                        Re: air compressor for framing nailer

                        Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
                        if its not warm, it will not start on a 15 amp circuit...
                        I have the same unit. The problem is the 50w oil used in the pump. Here's what you do...
                        Warm it up good.
                        Drain the oil, and let it drip for a while to get as much as possible out.
                        Refill with 10w30 full synthetic.
                        Cold-start issues solved.
                        "HONK if you've never seen a gun fired from a moving Harley"

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                        • #13
                          Re: air compressor for framing nailer

                          I read that before, I just haven't messed with it. I'm thinking that one of the start caps might be fried though, I can see a small crack in it on the mounting end. bastards are expensive, 24 bucks for one of them. I replaced the thermal protection switch once already as it wouldn't hold, even when warmed up and plugged into an outlet mounted on the side of the panel.

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                          • #14
                            Re: air compressor for framing nailer

                            another trick on some oil lubricated, compressors, for cold starting is to drain them now to 0 psi, and even leave the drain open. and start the compressor under no loads, and after it is running well shut the drain valve and let it build up pressure, and unless it is extremely cold or it is a long sit before restart, usually that is enough to get the compressor running and warmed up,
                            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                            attributed to Samuel Johnson
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                            Comment

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