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Plasma Cutter & Air Tools on Same Air Compressor

AC-double filters, 1/2 > 1" copper, 2 air taps

I run 110 psi working pressure

The setup

1 of 2 filters - dryers

Complete in Cool carrying case

Not much bigger than a shoe box

Very simple interface, green light means good to go.

Air Tool in-line oiler

Oiler installed

I just bought a new Air Compressor:

Sears Craftsman Air Compressor

HP: 2.0, Running

Oil Free motor

120 Volt/15 amps

33 gallon tank, Vertical on wheels

Max AP: 150

SCFM @ 40 psig: 8.6

SCFM @ 90 psig: 6.4

And I just bought a new Hypertherm PowerMax30 Plasma Cutter> and it requires:

Oil free air supply!!!

Flow rate minimum:  3.5 scfm @ 65 psi

Flow rate recommended:  4.0 scfm @ 80–140 psi

I also bought several new air tools and of course they require some oil in the air that is fed into them.  What I did was to install an "oiler" on a separate air hose for the air tools.  It is a simple set-up and only takes a few moments to plumb.

First I picked up 2 air coils in different colors so as not to get confused in the heat of fabbing.  On one I installed the oiler.  A small clear Lexan and aluminum piece that holds a quantity of oil and is easily refillable.

There are two air hoses, one is RED for air tools and one is YELLOW for my plasma cutter.  The oiler is attached to the hose itself at the point where it attaches to the air tool which keeps my hose from getting gummed up.

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Food For Thought:

Do you use On Board welders, plasma or do you have garage based equipment?  I went back and forth on this a lot and it sorta came down to this:

OB stuff can be and is highly useful, but it does have its limitations.  33 gal air tank at home Vs a few gallons on your Jeep.  Welder, plasma cutter generally lacks all the bells and whistles and often the power.  My welder and plasma cutter are both 220 v rigs and both are in fact small enough to haul with me if I was to juice up my power supply (dual batteries and most likely a second or HEAVY DUTY alternator).

That said the tools are really for temporary trail fixes.  Whereas my gear is really for fabbing or making perm repairs.

This is NOT to belittle any OB equipment, in fact it is excellent and anyone who goes the OB route is most likely not going wrong.  If I thought my wife would stand for it I would have BOTH.


Sears Craftsman AC:  $268

$9.00  Sears Craftsman air tool oiler

$9.95 x 2 Air coil hose from Home Depot

$3.98 x2 Snap in air connectors

Hypertherm Deluxe PowerMax 30 Plasma Cutter:  $1100

The Deluxe unit comes with the carry case and extra consumables along with a circle cutting jig and a line cutter, worth the extra $.

Time to add the In-line oiler:

About 15 minutes to make the connections

Bang For Buck:

Good low-cost investment.  There are other ways of doing this such as a manifold set-up or even a separate AC.  But for the home shop this may be the best overall solution.

Worth It Factor:

Simple way for the home shop to run both air tools and a plasma cutter.

Its the old axiom:  "match your tool to the job".

click here for my product review on the Hypertherm Plasma cutter>

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