Was at HD on Father’s Day and saw a small compressor with a nail gun for like$100. Think it was a Porter Cable Pancake with nail gun. Going to only do small jobs, thinking of saving my arm on hammering.

I would recommend the compressor and 100.00 for the combination is not a bad buy. A small pancake compressor will do several jobs and will also give you the option of adding other nailers later on. Not to mention pneumatic drills, impact wrenches and others as long as you aren’t in a big hurry you can do a lot with such a small unit. Of course it goes without saying that you will eventually get so hooked on air tools that you will want to upgrade to a larger compressor, but you will already have the tools you want to use any way. Two items every home should have is a compressor and a battery charger, followed with a 1500 to 5000 watt generator. Portable power can be OH so handy.

I have a 5HP Campbell Hausefield, a finish nailer, an angled framing nailer, sandblaster, paint gun, die grinder, cutoff tool, and 3/8 and 1/2 inch impact wrenches. I love them and am looking for a bigger compressor, I think I found a two cycle compressor for about a hundred bucks, just need a tank and motor, found an old 30 gallon lp tank, I am thinking of using that. also have a battery tender and a starter/charger, and 6.5 KW generator, just throw the generator on the trailer with the compressor and you have air power in the boonies!! Just make sure you have enough air hose to get the generator and compressor far enough away so that you can hear yourself think…

Got to counting the other day and Found that over the years I have accumulated 2 generators a 5kw and 1.5kw neither which I can still use right now since the smaller has a great Honda engine but a defunct regulator which is no longer available, and the 5kw I can’t start because I’m too darned old and tired to crank it. That in fact is how I inherited it in the first place because my Dad couldn’t crank it either and bought another which was electric start, it was btw brand new at the time. I also have 5 compressors, one gas with Honda engine, one 2 horse twin-cyl electric for the shop, one pancake for small jobs, plus a pair of little power pals for inflating tires and real quick finish jobs when I’m too lazy to cart in the larger unit. It will run a small pin or finish nailer if you can stand the noise for a few minutes, I use a long hose to give a little volume since they are tank-less. I mounted the Power Pals on a board wrapped in carpeting and this really cuts down on the vibration and noise. All this has been accumulated over a period of 30+ years. I’m still using the same battery charger with 1,000 watt boost I bought almost 40 years ago. I keep one compressor out at the garden plot to blow up tiller, tractor and cart tires.

You just can’t have too many tools to my thinking. You might find this last one interesting too seeing that you are also a bit of a tinkerer on beer wages. The project I’m working on required a healthy constant DC supply, in the range of 15 volts and 20 to 50 amps, capable of continuous running for periods up to 8 hours or more. My solution was a double 80 amp diode bridge rectifier driven by a Harbor Freight AC welder to which I added a cooling blower and controlled with a 15 amp variac. The welder configuration also allows me to current limit the drive and in a pinch it makes one whale of a battery charger. BTW the whole rig cost me about 250.00 as compared to 1500 for a commercial supply that would fit the bill. I use the variac to also control a couple of pinch spot welders as well and that makes welding thin material a bunch easier.

Ok, Dale, so what in the world do you need 15VDC at 20 to 50 Amps for? and you are right you can’t have too many tools… I have a 15hp Mitsubishi tractor that I use the devil out of, even have a pto driven 3″ chipper for it, looking for a cheap 4′ disc for it right now, and maybe a a single plow, I have a box blade and a middle buster, but really looking to plant a large garden in the spring, that tractor is about 30 years old and is still a stump puller. The tool for my compressor that I neglected to mention was the air chisel, while we were remodeling our Mississippi home, my 72 year old MIL sat on a mud bucket and used that chisel to cut a hole in a cinder block wall for a 4′ set of French doors. Right now I am back to tinkering with an 85 iron head, need to replace the chain Friday, finally got the O2 sensors in the truck last weekend, and now the better half wants me to make some concrete benches for the court yard area, any ideas? I was figuring a simple mold and some small aggregate concrete mix to start…

We’ve spent the last 5 years working on a basic research project that had to be privately funded. Patents are pending and of course there is always that “Next Step” to be taken. As for the power supply, it is just like tools, you can never have too much power now can you?? We put in a large garden last year and another this year as well, though I suspect me and the bride are getting a bit old for such endeavors. We moved into town nearly 17 years ago and my wife mate has complained of not having a garden every year since. Our yard is covered with 12 very large oak trees which make grass difficult let along any type of garden. She queried a friend just out side of town about using some of her acreage and the rest is history. I put down a well for irrigation, picked up a small Ford hydrostatic lawn tractor for $50.00, we were given a very large total cast iron rear tine tiller which I have adapted to fit behind said tractor, I bought a new tiller which has been used maybe twice because it is reverse tine rotation and I hate the way it leaves the ground. Also found that those solar walkway lights (4.00 each at Wan-Mart) keeps all the critters out of the garden as well. We are about 300 yards from the river and did not loose a single melon or ear of sweet corn to either deer or coons which is a miracle in itself. I’m considering putting a tool bar and several sweeps on the back of the tractor which I can use as a fallow master to keep down the weeds in the rows, as I can then get within inches of the plants. The tiller does a wonderful job but I can’t get as close to some of the plants as I would like and I can also fabricate a lift shield which will lift some of the bushier plants out of the way when I cultivate.

Cutting holes through walls: I cut several such holes plus installed several sumps for lift pumps using a Harbor Freight Hammer drill. I drilled the holes about 1 inch apart with a small 3/8 drill and then went back with a 3/4 bit. Finished the job using the “hammer only” function and a spade bit. The cut outs were almost as clean as if I had used a diamond saw. One of the houses I worked on was build in 1908 and the concrete blocks were 12 inches thick with 2 1/2 inch webs, and breaking one where not intended was not an option.

Concrete Benches: If you are going to build a nice body fitting form, why not plan to pour several, but just don’t skimp on the Portland or the re-bar. I would recommend welding the re-bar web for extray strength and durability. If you coat the final product with a poured epoxy coating you will have a beautiful product. Just clean the exposed stone surface with muriatic acid first. A marble or granite chip surface which can then be sanded and polished to finish would also be a classic touch. You do it and I’ll watch. I bought a 1/2 sack mixer several years ago and the paint on the inside of the drum is hardly scratched, so you can see how much I like working with concrete.