Often, the best ideas are the simplest ones. Not long ago, I
was nailing off a plywood deck and the air compressor I was
using couldn’t keep up. I’d blow through a
clip of nails, then have to wait a minute while the compressor
When we broke for lunch, we talked about what size
compressor we needed to keep pace. I looked in my van and
realized that I had also brought my pancake compressor.
Everybody seemed to agree that the additional storage tank
would provide more reserve air, but I wondered out loud why I
couldn’t hook the two compressors together.
The consensus seemed to be that it couldn’t be
done. Some spoke up about "dangerous backpressure"; others
cited "incompatible regulator settings." But the more I thought
about it, the better the idea sounded. So I rooted around in my
"first-aid air kit" (the one with a dozen or so fittings for
emergency repairs), and cobbled together what the crew now
calls the "double dongle" fitting — a short connector
with two male ends (Figure A).
A. Coupling.At the first compressor in the daisy chain, the author uses
this fitting to connect a hose leading to the next
I plugged the double dongle into the female coupling on an
air hose, and connected the male coupling on this same hose to
my other compressor. This compressor has a tee fitting that
allows me to run two guns at once (Figure B).
I then plugged a hose leading to my framing gun into the
open end of the tee fitting.
I set the regulator on the first compressor (nearest in line
to the framing gun) to cut in at 80 psi (this compressor had a
pressure switch set to cut off at 120 psi). And I set the other
regulator to cut in at about 66 psi (this one was rigged to cut
out at 110 psi). I fired up the first compressor, letting it
come up to pressure and shut off, then switched on the second
compressor. It, too, came smoothly up to pressure, and shut
off. So far so good, and the raised eyebrows from the crew made
me think I might be on to something.
Next, I went out on the deck, and started blasting away. As
I got towards the end of a clip of nails, the first compressor
kicked in. I kept nailing. Soon the second compressor kicked
on. Line pressure stayed consistent. I found I was able to nail
as fast as I needed without forced breaks.Sources of
Airy Sales Corp.
14535 Valley View Ave. #M
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
562/926-6192Hitachi Power Tools
3950 Steve Reynolds Blvd.
Norcross, GA 30093
800/546-1666 for nearest dealerAssociate Engineering Corp.
P.O. Box 346
Hustisford, WI 53034
920/349-3281Jet Equipment and Tools
P.O. Box 1349
Auburn, WA 98071
100 Production Dr.
Harrison, OH 45030
14930 Northam St.
La Mirada, CA 90638
125 Airport Rd.
Kearney, NE 68848
800/445-1805Porter-Cable Professional Power Tools
4825 Hwy. 45 N.
Jackson, TN 38302
800/487-8665Devilbiss Air Power Co.
213 Industrial Dr.
Jackson, TN 38301
8485 Broadwell Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45244
800/543-4596P.K. Lindsay Co. (E.L. Smith)
63 Nottingham Rd.
Deerfield, NH 03037
East Greenwich, RI 02818
800/556-6696Emglo Air Compressors
303 Industrial Park Rd.
Johnstown, PA 15904
P.O. Box 29
Sheboygan, WI 53082
for nearest dealer
Tool Crib of the North
P.O. Box 14930
Grand Forks, ND 58208