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  • Air compressor for woodworking

    Looking to get an air compressor for my woodworking hobby but dont know much about them. Its going to be used mostly for brad nailing, finish nailing, and using bursts of air to clean off sawdust. Eventually I may use it for HVLP spraying but not sure on that yet. I dont forsee it being a heavily used item but after getting one who knows, I may end up using it a lot more than expected.

    At the moment I am considering the porter cable pancake model that comes with 3 nailers (brad, finish, and staler) or something from Craftsman. I am trying to keep it under $300 for the compressor and at least two nailers, would like a stapler but not as important.

    Any tips, advice, recommendations?

  • #2
    Re: Air compressor for woodworking

    In that price range you will not get a compressor capable of HVLP spraying (requires 6 SCFM minimum)
    If possible I suggest you plug in your perspective compressor to get a feel for the noise it produces. In general oil less compressors are very LOUD

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    • #3
      Re: Air compressor for woodworking

      I have the Porter Cable compressor combo that you're thinking about. It works great, and it has handled everything that I have thrown at it. I even used it for a framing nailer when I built my deck.

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      • #4
        Re: Air compressor for woodworking

        Originally posted by TheChucker View Post
        I have the Porter Cable compressor combo that you're thinking about. It works great, and it has handled everything that I have thrown at it. I even used it for a framing nailer when I built my deck.
        BUT, Can you stand the very LOUD noises it makes?

        Please run this video. No way would I want one like shown. It's not limited to one brand or model. It's the high speed direct drive compressor which has no manor of a silencer.
        url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArE15p4qFpI[/url]
        Last edited by Woussko; 11-06-2008, 12:43 AM. Reason: crazy little goofs

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        • #5
          Re: Air compressor for woodworking

          That's the only compressor that I have owned, so I don't really have a benchmark to measure the noise against. I wear earplugs anyways, so the noise doesn't bother me.

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          • #6
            Re: Air compressor for woodworking

            I have the Porter pancake, it's loud, I don't think as loud as the video shows. I'm very happy with it and the price for the combo pack was good. Got mine at HD on sale for about $220.00 with a brad nailer and a stapler. I am going to build the November 2008 issue Family handyman wall mounted Air Compressor Station and enclosed the compressor to reduce noise.(sorry no photo) Pat

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            • #7
              Re: Air compressor for woodworking

              Originally posted by Pez View Post

              At the moment I am considering the porter cable pancake model that comes with 3 nailers (brad, finish, and staler) or something from Craftsman. I am trying to keep it under $300 for the compressor and at least two nailers, would like a stapler but not as important.

              Any tips, advice, recommendations?
              I picked up the 3-gun combo a few weeks ago at the BORG...$280 but I had a coupon to drop the cost to $252. They also had the same model with an additional pin nailer for $299...might have gone for that but I have too many guns already...just sold a PC finish and brad combo that I had for a year unopened. Notice that there may still be some 135psi models on the shelf...the new ones are 150psi(so they say).

              BTW, mine is in a cabinet most of the time...still plenty of air in there when I run it...might need to be careful with an enclosure if it's too 'air tight'. I also added some foam pad under the 'feet' to cut down on vibration...no biggie.

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              • #8
                Re: Air compressor for woodworking

                I bought a PC combo several years ago and I am very pleased with it. Have even used it for impact guns and small sandblasting jobs. Noisy, but earplugs cure that stuff.
                info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

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                • #9
                  Re: Air compressor for woodworking

                  Thanks for the info. I will probably go with the PC kit but am going to wait till next week when sears has the craftsman club sale, might be able to step up to a larger compressor just in case I decide to try out HVLP spraying.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Air compressor for woodworking

                    One more thing, what about an oil vs oil free compressor? A friend of mine, who is very knowledgeable about power tools, said to stay away from oil free compressors, is that good advice? I guess oil free means less maintenance but I would have to think its at the cost of something else (longevity maybe?).

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                    • #11
                      Re: Air compressor for woodworking

                      Well, I use a 20-gallon HF model, oiled. The noise on any compressor is annoying, so I installed the compressor down in the basement, ran an airline from basement to the hose reel and to a regulator in the garage/shop for spraying paint, etc. In the basement, where mostly clean work is done, I still have air available.

                      Very pleasurable to use this way. I only hear the noise the tools make.

                      I wore out a HF 18 guage brad nailer, so I'm moving on up to something of a better quality.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Air compressor for woodworking

                        I originally bought a 2 gallon Dewalt combo (brad,finish & stapler). I was a noob and I didnt realize how useless a 2 gall compressor really was.

                        What I wish I would have done was kept and just for the three guns. I took it back and bought a 15 gallon Dewalt D55168 , Which can easily handle anything I throw at it. I really like it, I find it to be loud but since I mostly use it for nail guns it doesnt run that often.

                        OP I would get the porter cable Compressor if that is still the best deal you can find. LAter on if you decide you want a bigger one then you might consider getting an oil one.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Air compressor for woodworking

                          Thanks for the tips everyone, much appreciated!

                          I ended up with a craftsman panacake compressor, oil free that comes with the typical 3 "guns". There was a good deal on it due to the craftsman club event and I had some gift certificates to Sears. Used it tonight to help a friend build a simple organizer for a junk drawer in the kitchen. I was very pleased and it wasnt as loud as I expected.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Air compressor for woodworking

                            I have the Bostich 6-gallon pancake and have been very happy with it. Sure it's louder than the ones you have to oil, but it's a compressor. Has no problems running 2 roofing guns or a framing nailer if needed. The only compressor I've used that's "quiet" is an ancient belt driven shotgun tank model at our shop. No markings defining the make, and it's HEAVY.
                            You only live once, so play with your tool often.

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