I must be Desperate!

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funnelfan

Member
A couple weeks ago my air compressor I used for air brushing started acting erratic. Of course it was already several years beyond the 2 year warranty so I tore it apart looking for the trouble. Turns out one of the brushes on the electric motor wore down to almost nothing (other one was only half worn). I ordered a couple sets of new brushes, but delivery time was quoted as 6-8 weeks!!! I have a number of projects lined up that will require painting to one degree or another, and it was going to be a long wait. On top of that it's been a constant rain storm since the start of March so there isn't much use in going outside. So I bought a couple of generic brushes from a local machine shop a few days ago, and just sanded them down to fit. Despite a lot of sanding on all sides and some other issues trying to make the brush work, it does work. While I was in there I also did some other work and cleaning, including polishing the piston bore, and now it's running stronger than before. Now it's time to let the paint fly!!!
 

flh80

Member
Good on you!
I had to buy a new Comp last fall, mine was 30+ yrs old and had a cast iron pump but the reed valve broke inside. Too old to find any parts or gaskets (I already replace the tank years back), so I got a whole new one at Harbor Freight.
 

haphall

New Member
But that raises the question...can anyone recommend an affordable, relatively quiet compressor specifically for air brushing? I already picked up a Paasche and Badger spray gun on ebay, but they're useless without a decent compressor.
 

flh80

Member
But that raises the question...can anyone recommend an affordable, relatively quiet compressor specifically for air brushing? I already picked up a Paasche and Badger spray gun on ebay, but they're useless without a decent compressor.
Most are pretty noisy. Some of the small table top hobby units aren't bad but have to run all the time. A larger portable with a tank is better, once it's pumped up, you can spray a while before it will kick in to refill.

Here's a few, the 1/3 hp, 3gal's are good for air brushing but noisy. http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/air-compressors.html
 

flh80

Member
About thirty years ago, my friend didn't have a compressor, so he used a truck inner tube, he'd fill it up at a gas station nearby and hook his air brush hose to the tube.
 

fast_ian

Member
Hey,

Another nice quiet alternative that some of the car guys use is a tank of compressed air. It's also very "dry" air, which is good. You've gotta have a good regulator, but one tank lasts forever apparently.

Cheers,
Ian
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
modifying brushes is a good thng to know how to do as they often become unavailable.

For very quiet airbrushing, the compressed air cans are the best. But brutally expensive. Air tanks or bottles are also good, but refilling can be tricky. To get the most usefulness from them you need a vey high pressure pump. If you have it refilled commercially, you'll likely have to have it inspected routinely as these hold enough pressure to become bombs. They are often subject to regulation for transportation, you can't just have them in the trunk of your car!

The lower pressure tanks you buy at autoparts stores don't hold high pressure air (legally or safely) and so don't last very long. But they work.
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
But that raises the question...can anyone recommend an affordable, relatively quiet compressor specifically for air brushing? I already picked up a Paasche and Badger spray gun on ebay, but they're useless without a decent compressor.
I have one of these:

http://www.iwata-medea.com/index.php/products/smart_jet

More expensive than the HF cheapies, but the quality is very high. I use it for demos and it runs all day on demand. You can find it in the $230.00-280.00 range. It's also very quiet. I'd recommend it to anybody. It's been doing a heck of a job for me.
 

funnelfan

Member
If the compressor doesn't have a tank, you will get a pulsing effect on the air output. My compressor was one of the HF ones with the 3gal tank, and it works great, but a tad bit on the noisy side. But it will run up to 60lbs pretty quick, and I'll shut it off until it drops to about 30lbs.
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
If the compressor doesn't have a tank, you will get a pulsing effect on the air output. My compressor was one of the HF ones with the 3gal tank, and it works great, but a tad bit on the noisy side. But it will run up to 60lbs pretty quick, and I'll shut it off until it drops to about 30lbs.
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. The Smart Jet I use does not pulsate. The moisture trap dampens out the pulses completely. Pulsation is also less an issue than with the older diaphragm compressors. In the long run a tank is better, but if you live in an apartment, or have issues with how noisy those HF compressors are, a hobby compressor might suit your needs. I do have a big 5 HP 30 gallon belt driven compressor in the basement, but the little Smart Jet is great when I need to be quiet or am on the road. :)
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
I'm using a small compressor sold by Badger specifically for airbrushing, and the pulsing is not noticeable but i do have a moisture trap installed and have since day 1.

It is loud tho!
 
Most compressers are loud so I bought a 8hp 100 gal that i put in the garage and ran a line into the shop space in the basement.
I have a water trap at the compresser and a second one mounted under my work bench.
Not only do I use it airbrush I use it to work on the cars and lawn equipment.

Michael
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Being able to service your own tools earns you a gold star on your Man Card.

Congratulations! :)
My Dad felt the same way about his tools, and that's how I feel about mine. He was a general carpenter, but I never knew of anything he couldn't build. He built forms and such for big concrete pours for dams, buildings etc. He could also build some fine furniture for the house he just built for you. He had, and I own it now, a Black and Decker 9" circular saw from 1957. Every couple of years he would tear that thing down and service what ever it needed. When he passed on, I got it, and used that thing up until about 8 years ago. All it needs now is a new power cord, cleaning, lubing, brushes, and I could still use it.
 
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Good on you!
I had to buy a new Comp last fall, mine was 30+ yrs old and had a cast iron pump but the reed valve broke inside. Too old to find any parts or gaskets (I already replace the tank years back), so I got a whole new one at Harbor Freight.

What kinda pump did ya have? Youd be amazed at what parts are still available. I just rebuilt my garage air compressor pump cause the reed valves broke and get down in the cylinder and made some nasty grooves. So I had it sleeves, all new gaskets, reed valves, ect & its from 1955
 




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