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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 recharged. 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).

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A. Coupling.

At the first compressor in the daisy chain, the author uses this fitting to connect a hose leading to the next compressor. 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 SupplyAiry 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. (Rol-Air)

P.O. Box 346

Hustisford, WI 53034

920/349-3281Jet Equipment and Tools

P.O. Box 1349

Auburn, WA 98071

800/274-6848Campbell-Hausfeld

100 Production Dr.

Harrison, OH 45030

800/334-3693Makita USA

14930 Northam St.

La Mirada, CA 90638

800/462-5482Coleman-Powermate

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

800/888-2468Senco Products

8485 Broadwell Rd.

Cincinnati, OH 45244

800/543-4596P.K. Lindsay Co. (E.L. Smith)

63 Nottingham Rd.

Deerfield, NH 03037

603/463-8311Stanley-Bostitch

Briggs Dr.

East Greenwich, RI 02818

800/556-6696Emglo Air Compressors

303 Industrial Park Rd.

Johnstown, PA 15904

814/269-1000Thomas Industries

P.O. Box 29

Sheboygan, WI 53082

920/457-4892Grainger

800/473-3473

for nearest dealer

Tool Crib of the North

P.O. Box 14930

Grand Forks, ND 58208

800/358-3096