I have to admit that I am a garbage scow. I find use in all kinds of discarded stuff. This gives me a huge advantage when it comes to building things on the cheap. This is a good case in point.
I found a curbside pile that had all kinds of goodies in it including an outdated 24Oz paintball CO2 tank. I had no use for it off the top, but how could I leave it? I also make my own fizzy water, I drink a lot of fizzy water. When I first got into that, I got a great deal on a CO2 regulator on eBay. A week later I got an even better deal, a 20 pound tank, mostly full (I got a couple of years out of the gas in it) and a regulator and some beer taps that I still haven't found a use for.. Doing a dump run for a guy I got a nice air hose, with quick disconnects and all. It leaked he said. I got some extension cords on that one as well. The hose leaked right at one of the connectors as I figured it would. I was able to cut the sheathing off grind the crimp clip off, and pull the barb out, cut a couple inches off the hose and put the barb back on with a hose clamp. All I needed was a way to get from a paintball CO2 tank to a regular CO2 regulator. Amazingly enough they make an adapter that lets you attach a CO2 regulator with CGA 320 thread to a paintball CO2 pin valve cylinder for about $8 on eBay.
My shop is already littered with gas cylinders and I figured my little tank would not go super far on a fill up, convinced me to pop another $25 and get a manifold for refilling the paintball tank from a 20 pound dip tube CO2 tank on eBay. Over the years I have gotten to know the guy at the local compressed gas place and he was happy to swap me even up for a spare oxygen cylinder I had kicking around. I had been playing with oxy-propane torches for a while.
You can learn all about how to fill up the paintball cylinders on YouTube. I won't go into that here. The only other thing you may need are a few O rings for the paintball tank. I got a lifetime supply of them for a buck or two.
Putting everything together is beyond simple. The first step is putting some teflon tape on the male end of a quick connect and screwing that into the output port of the CO2 regulator. Next, screw the CO2 regulator into the adapter. Turn the pressure adjust screw down a few turns on the regulator. It probably has a jam nut to keep it from drifting, you will have to loosen that first. Now hook up the regulator to the charged CO2 tank. Watch the gauges. The input gauge should have at least a couple hundred pounds of pressure on it, and adjust the output screw until the output gauge reads right around 100 PSI or whatever you run your nail gun at.
You should now be able to use a regular hose with quick connects to plumb up your nail gun. Depending on the wood I am going into (the pressure I have my regulator set to) I can get between 200 and 250 3.25" nails fired from a full paintball tank. Not enough to build a house but enough to frame in a wall. It is nice not having to screw around with a compressor on a small job. I can fire in more air staples and brads than I can count. I tend to adjust the output pressure on this much more often than I do on my real compressor. The least pressure I can use the more nails I can drive in.
This setup works really well with air nailers. I doubt it would work well with thing that take a large volume of air. It is cool being able to go from one framing nailer to another and use it on the air stapler and brad nailer as well. You can't do that with a paslode.
Now that I have had this and have been using it a while I like it more than ever. It is so nice being able to go out on a small job and not screw around with a compressor. And while it is true even a small compressor can run a nail...Read more »