Putting an air compressor to work in the shop

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Forum topic by tolmeda posted 01-25-2010 12:23 AM 1264 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tolmeda's profile


11 posts in 3202 days

01-25-2010 12:23 AM

My wife and I are buying an older home with a great workshop out back. The previous owner was apparently a plumber and ac repairman and he fitted the entire workshop and three-car garage with metal pipe routed back to two commercial, stationary air compressors.

I’m just starting to invest in my woodworking hobby and I was wondering if there any air tools you might recommend I look at? I’m guessing there are probably some good finishing tools (e.g. sprayers) that would be helpful. Anything else I should consider?

6 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3658 days

#1 posted 01-25-2010 12:32 AM

Nailers. You will find a lot of use for pin nailers, brad nailers, as well as sanders.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4093 days

#2 posted 01-25-2010 12:45 AM

15 gage finish nailer...

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View iamwelty's profile


259 posts in 3111 days

#3 posted 01-25-2010 12:54 AM

Well, there sure are… Air Cut Off tool work great to cut off rusty bolts and pipes, Nailers in a variety of sizes and styles, impact wrenches, sanders with either in-line, dual action or orbitting, hand grinders, air blow guns and paint guns. If you’re going to use the tool on an occasional basis, Harbor Freights may be an excellent source. I have a HF finish nailer (15 guage) that I’ve had forever and it out performs my name brand guns and I’ve had HF nailers that broke the first time I’ve used them… probably the handiest tool and most used would be the air blow gun… I prefer name brand paint guns… Binks being my favorite. If you’re serious about a compressor, I’d get a 5 horse 60 gallon, cast iron compressor… it will be way quiter and will last a long, long time. While not portable, air hose is cheap and it sounds like your air lines are all plumbed. IMO portable, oilless compressor are noisy and disposable as they have a short life if used heavily.

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4073 days

#4 posted 01-25-2010 01:01 AM

Several air tools are on my list of tools I own;
Several Compressors from the 5h stationary and two portables and an air tank for when the hose isn’t long enough.
Die grinder, drill and screwdriver, pneumatic clamps, especially sanders like RO or DA and inline. What about a vacume pump, they have ones that work off a compressor instead of electric?
I have staplers and nailers, 23 to 16 gauge.
Several spray guns. Don’t forget the many uses of compressed air! (dusting off your self or project, I use mine to clean out the worm tracks in the wormy Birch and Alder I use.)

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3657 days

#5 posted 01-25-2010 06:37 PM

First you need to decide how much you want to spend on a compressor, or the noise you can tolerate with a compressor running close to your house. After you know the CFM that your compressor can provide then you can see what air tools you can buy that the compressor doesn’t starve. As for woodworking, I find 23ga pin nailers and 18 ga brad nailers indespensible. 16Ga/15ga Finish nailers I hardly use in the shop but mostly for home reno. Blow gun is a must. HVLP gun is very useful and air sanders is very nice to use also, but watch the CFM it needs. Drills I prefer cordless. Other than that, for occassional use tools, pneumatic are cheaper and stronger than electric so you do save money on that

-- Ed

View jpw1995's profile


376 posts in 4293 days

#6 posted 01-25-2010 08:03 PM

A simple blower to blow the dust off of projects before finishing, or off of your bench for a quick cleaning. Worth it’s weight in gold!

-- JP, Louisville, KY

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