Sunday, December 26, 2010

Words Fell

Here are nine words that I never thought I would utter in my lifetime.

I'm thinking about buying an air compressor. Any advice?

I have miles of wood trim to install in the inside of my house.  Crown moulding in the kitchen. Base shoe in my dining room, living room, kitchen and upstairs. Wood chair rail and medicine cabinet in my bathroom. And I have a stairs project coming up one of these days that will require finish nailing. It dawned on me one day that spending a few hundred bucks on an air compressor and finish nailer might actually save me money (and time).

I have two requirements at this point: 1) it needs to be small and compact enough for me to actually carry around my house; and 2) it needs to be easy to use. I don't want to lose an eye while trying to figure out where the nails go.  Keep in mind that up to now I have been using a miter box, hand saw and hammer.  Think low(er) tech.

I'll also mention I am not looking for the top of the line model. I want something solid that will last but reasonably priced.

What do you think?

9 comments:

Joe M. said...

PRACTICAL! good idea SH, you could use it for other things. Just remember, the smaller it is, the more frequently it (and noise) will kick on. BTW,I'm in the other deep South house for x-mas & don'tknow what is worse; a DC snow storm or freezing in Fla!

Reuben said...

Well I'm a total noob when it comes to air tools. I've never used them, but my in-laws just bought me this 3-piece kit. I expect it to be WAY easier than trying to pre-drill holes, hammer in finish nails, use the end-punch, etc....

Mike said...

Go to a rental place and get the smallest one they have for one of the jobs you listed and try it out. Then you can decide about whether or not to purchase? I don't own one but borrow Pete's when I have a sizable job...

-Mike

Karen Anne said...

If noise is a problem, you can get industrial strength ear protectors for like $20.

I got those when houses were being built on either side of me in California over the course of a year and were being worked on not just on weekdays but at all odd hours in violation of the local noise ordinance. The ear protectors saved me from being arrested for murder :-)

StuccoHouse said...

Joe - I think FL wins. It looks like the storm out east is going to hit hard. In FL, at least you have fresh orange juice. Is sound a big issue?

Reuben - Oh, that looks like it has definite possibilities! Yea, the whole drill & hammer approach gets old very fast.

Mike - Good tip. Ha, I figure once I'm done with my house projects (if that ever happens), I can use to to fill my bike tires. (and save myself a buck at SuperAmerica)

Karen Anne - Now I'm curious about the noise volume. I don't imagine my projects will require running the thing very long. I could use those ear protectors on summer mornings when the overly ambitious get up at the crack of dawn to mow their lawns...

Scott Hofer said...

I've gone through several air compressors and currently have two. If you are concerned about noise, I would highly recommend the Makita MAC700 compressor. It is significantly quieter and easier to carry (although a little heavier) than the oilless pancake compressors you will find in the combo kits from the big box stores. That being said, the combo kits are a good value for a light duty user that isn't concerned about noise.

If you go the combo kit route, I would suggest the Bostich package. I like their 16 gauge finish and brad nailers and, in my opinion, Bostich is better than Porter Cable and store brand nailers. The pancake compressors in the combo kits are pretty much all the same across brands since they are almost always contract manufactured for the brand. They will be relatively light, but they can be awkward to carry since they are fairly wide. They won't stand up to heavy use (I burned out a Bostich-branded pancake compressor installing maple flooring), but should be fine for what you're describing.

Derek said...

I have a small one, and it's still heavy. If you get a long hose, you can probably leave it in the basement, although you'd probably need more than 50' of hose. I have a craftsman compressor, and a porter cable brad nailer. It does up to 2" nails, which is long enough for trim. I haven't attempted crown yet.

portlandfoursquare said...

Great idea. I personally am a fan of the DEWALT D55140, 1 gallon compressor. It's ideal for trim and easy to use. I'm not a huge fan of the kits as they tend to include cheaper guns that you probably don't really need. I've found that a 2" 18 gauge gun and a pinner will do just about everything you need. I like Senco guns myself. Good luck and love your blog!

Old House Lover said...

What about an electric brad nailer instead?

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