Daisychaining air compressors

I have two compressors, a one horse two cylinder Craftsman, and a two horse oilless Craftsman. The two horse is NOISY, and I haven't even fired up the
one horse yet, but imagine it would be a little quieter with its belt drive and separate compressor.
I will be getting a plasma cutter soon. I was wondering if I connect the two together if that would handle the requirements of the plasma cutter. In addition, I would like just a little more oomph and reserve for times when I spray paint. Would having two connected compressors have any advantage.
AND, how about if I got a volume tank, and hooked it up with the two compressors? Any advantage gained? Or should I just bite the bullet and go buy the big $600 I-R that I really want? I could sell the two compressors to defray some of the replacement cost, and get a freestanding unit that would take up less space.
Just playing with ideas for in the meantime.
Steve
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If both could handle the same pressure. And both attached to the same line - Have the best one trip point higher than the one you don't like. Have the bad one cut in when the best one can't keep up and the tanks are depleting.
There might be problems - might want to have to have a one way valve to steer the air only out of the bad one...
Martin
SteveB wrote:

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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
It's simple and hard.
How much air, and _at what pressure_ does the plasma cutter you are going to use need?
How much air _at the required pressure_, do the two comps supply?
You should be able to find the rating of the comps in CFM @ 90 PSI. If they supply X CFM at 90 PSi, they will probably supply 5/2X CFM at 45 PSI...as the pressure drops, it's easier for the comps to supply the CFM at that pressure.
To join two comps, you don't daisy chain, you side-by-side them. It should be done before the regulator(s), with the better regulator being the one that you actually rely on for working. That would probably be the two cylinder. Many regulators look good until you start drawing air, then their crappy design makes them drop pressure. If you join after the regulator, they can result in one comp doing all the work. You need to "pool the tanks", so to speak.

A tank will allow longer pauses between pumping, then enforce longer pumping. You don;t magically get more airflow, except for intermitent jobs. It _might_ help to have a huge tank if your plasma cutter was _just_ too much for the pump(s), and you knew that you would only use it for a couple of minutes at a time. then you need to do the math.

The only advantage of the two smaller ones, if they are done with quick release stuff, is if you need to take one with you.
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You will never regret buying the IR. If you have to be in the same space with the compressor, running the air intake outdoors will quieten it down a bunch. A compressor shed is great, though!
Ron Thompson Was On the Beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast, Now On the Beautiful Florida Space Coast, right beside the Kennedy Space Center, USA
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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
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Air compressors add like capacitors. Run each compressor to a common supply pipe via a check valve and you can add as many as you like.
A big deal with plasma cutters is drying the air properly, however. You haven't mentioned how you plan to do that. Air comes out of an air pump very hot, and containing a lot of water vapor. This vapor can not be filtered, as it is gaseous. To condense the water the air stream must be cooled, then the water droplets can be filtered. Some guys have reported success with copper tubing coils in a drum of water. Many pro shops use refrigerated air dryers. Harbor Freight sells a cheap refrigerated air dryer for $299 but I don't know how well it works. If you decide to buy one then please let us know how well it works.
Grant Erwin Kirkland, Washington
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Grant Erwin wrote:

A second inline tank will help alot. Running airline up after the tank , then down to a filter is a good thing to do. A filter immediately after the first tank is almost useless. Run as much line as possible to the plasma cutter with another filter located as close to it as practical. Before getting a large secondary tank I kept a small portable compressor sized one in an old refer. The air went from the 80 gal tank through rubber air hose into the tank in refer and then on to the network. Amazing how much water I would drain from that thing.
mj
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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
And we were all playing at helping you, I guess....

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