Much to my disappointment, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to play with the new Campbell Hausfeld air compressor recently. A very busy work schedule at a new job, combined with a looming birthday party at my house, left little time for playing around in the shop. The downside of power tools is that they are noisy so it is hard to discreetly play with them when I am supposed to be cleaning the house. But I digress…

With little going on in the shop, I thought I would take a step back and touch on my “go to” tools a nail gun and glue. More specifically – polyurethane glue, such as Gorilla Glue. I have a couple of different bottles of good old yellow wood glue as well as a few varieties of epoxies. I even have a glue kit I bought at a boat show. (This is one of many oddball purchases I have picked up at boat shows. It would appear that I am physically unable to resist a live infomercial sales pitch. Luckily, I haven’t run into the ShamWow / Slap Chop guy or who knows what I would buy.) But again, I digress…

Different glues have different characteristics but more often than not, my go to glue is polyurethane glue. If the project involves joining pieces of wood together, the combo of a nail gun and Gorilla Glue is what I always look to first. I like this sort of glue because is sticks to virtually anything. It foams up as it cures so it can make a mess but the dried foam is pretty easy to clean up with a chisel or cabinet scraper.

Despite having used it for a number of years, I inevitably end up getting it all over my fingers. The glue has the consistency of maple syrup and is just as sticky. The worst part is that it gets on my fingers and then dirt sticks to the glue so I end up with black patches all over my hands. Once this stuff dries it is impervious to water, and pretty much anything else, so it is great for outdoor projects. But that means it is not so great for washing off of your skin.

My grumbling aside, it is a great product and I still use it. Those concerned about the mess could wear latex or nitrile gloves to avoid the issue. Or, unlike me, maybe you just aren’t a slob.

What I like about the nail gun & glue combo is the speed and the “complementary” factors. When gluing pieces together, the glue can act almost as a lubricant that allows the pieces to slide out of alignment. A nail gun gives you the ability to hold the pieces exactly where you want them and quickly shoot to lock them in place until the glue sets.

Using an 18-gauge brad nailer means you are only left with a very small hole to fill. Also, one of my favorite tricks is to initially cut pieces longer than needed and then shoot nails into waste areas that I will eventually cut off. In other words, I can use this waste area as a sort of nail clamp and then cut it away so I don’t have to fill nail holes.

In situations where strength is very important, I will also use screws. But rather than trying to hold pieces and screw them together, I will glue & shoot them. Then, after the glue is set up, I can quickly come back and drill holes and run the screws.

On the bright side, I should get a chance to fire up the Campbell Hausfeld air compressor this weekend. I had an emergency request from a family member to quickly build a TV stand before a big Thanksgiving dinner so I have some woodworking in my future. Now if I can just keep that pesky day job from getting in the way…

Note: The Campbell Hausfeld air compressor series was originally posted on Posterous in 2010 and uploaded to this site after Posterous was shut down. Please see the Free Product Disclaimer.