Author Topic: Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators  (Read 1287 times)

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C855B

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Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators
« on: February 24, 2013, 12:43:23 PM »
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Unsatisfied with the results to date, I'm overhauling my airbrush toolset, and am curious what the rest of you are doing as far as your compressed air management goes.

Previously I used a small "home improvement" type compressor (nailgun type) with an outboard regulator and moisture trap. #1 problem was when it kicked-in, it would startle me through the ceiling in mid-stroke. Second problem was the regulator wasn't airbrushing-quality, and the 1-2 psi variations would show in the (in)ability to control the pattern.

Current leanings are a portable 10 gal. tank to recharge off a larger tool compressor, and then an airbrush-grade regulator and moisture trap. I've heard of some guys using industrial CO2 tanks, which eliminates the moisture trap, but in my eyes schlepping the awkward, fall-prone cylinders around seems a little clunky even though I have two easily accessible local sources.
...mike

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nscalemike

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Re: Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 09:00:16 PM »
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Mike,

I have a buddy I work with who models/air brushes military models.  Does good work and for years used your traditional airbrush compressor.  Recently, he decided to paint at night while the family slept so he bought Harbor Freights 11 gal tank and uses a 'home improvement' compressor to fill it up in the garage.  He said the tank will last for about as long as he ever needs it, holds air fine when not in use, and is easy to fill when needed.  He put an aftermarket moisture trap and regulator on the tank.

I was going to do the same, because, like you, I was using a 'home improvement' compressor and it would also startle me/wake up my wife when it turned on.  Especially when I forgot to turn it off before bed and it kicked on at 0300 hours in the morning!  However, I was also in the market for a bigger home improvement compressor as the cheap, small one I had was showing its age.  Being cheap and not wanting to buy two items, I shopped around for a while and elected to get a Craftsman 20 gal/150 psi compressor on sale just after Christmas.  It's big enough to run all my air tools and when ready to model I can turn the compressor off and use the 20 gal tank as a silent air source.  I'm going to pipe air into my model room which is right next to the garage sometime soon, just haven't found the time or motivation to do it yet.   When I do that I plan to have a regulator and moisture trap right next to my workbench that I can plug the airbrush into and 'should' be able to spray for as long as I'd ever need to.

Good luck,
Mike

wcfn100

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Re: Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 09:12:29 PM »
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I recently switched to trying one of those small 1/8hp, 40psi type compressors (I happened to have one for some reason) and I've really liked it so far.  I would have to get the exact brand on mine because I'm sure there are several varieties of these, but it's really quiet and with the moisture trap the the right size air line, I don't see any pulsing (something I was worried about).

If you're interested I can take a pic of the exact setup.

Jason

Philip H

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Re: Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 09:48:03 PM »
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I recently switched to trying one of those small 1/8hp, 40psi type compressors (I happened to have one for some reason) and I've really liked it so far.  I would have to get the exact brand on mine because I'm sure there are several varieties of these, but it's really quiet and with the moisture trap the the right size air line, I don't see any pulsing (something I was worried about).

If you're interested I can take a pic of the exact setup.

Jason

I'm interested - please post away.
Philip H.
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C855B

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Re: Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 10:01:09 PM »
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Yes, thanks, Jason. I'd like to see it. I recall one in action from a zillion years ago (a Badger, I think). It had a unique and pleasant pucketa-pucketa-pucketa sound.

We were at Lowe's yesterday (a twice-a-week occurrence), and I picked-up a tank since it was cheap enough. Even if I only use it for the vehicles it won't go to waste. Biggest dislike is having to charge it via a Schrader valve. That's going to take forever. It will need some modifications in the fill and discharge fittings before it will be useful, unfortunately.
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pedro

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Re: Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 10:17:04 PM »
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Here's my 20lb.CO2 setup:






I got mine from a Pepsi bottler 15 years ago for $20, including the regulator. I think the guy just pocketed the 20 after I told him what I needed and why. I've refilled it a couple of times, the most recent time it was $7 to fill. It's usually strapped to the side of my workbench. Silent and dry. Lasts a long time too.

Smike

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Re: Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 10:56:52 PM »
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I'm using a Harbor freight $50 small compressor that has a 3 gal tank. Using it with the stock regulator but thinking of upgrading to a 'finer' control one as it hard to set it to less than 3 psi variance.  Other than that it is compressed air one way or the other, but I do not do any big jobs. 

Chris333

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Re: Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 05:46:40 AM »
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I have a 20# CO2 tank for an aquarium. Last time I had it filled they had to test the tank for like $15 extra.

pnolan48

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Re: Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 11:45:57 AM »
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I use a 1/10 hp compressor that I bought at Sears at least 35 years ago. I should really hook up a foot switch to turn it on and off, but I've been saying that for at least 35 years. When I don't want the vibration, I use a 5 gal tank that I fill with a small nailgun compressor. That compressor is an old German-made model that is surprisingly quiet. These days it will only pump up to 90 psi before laboring intensely, but I'm not framing houses any longer, so I just set the cut-off at 90. It's down in the basement and I can barely hear it upstairs if I forget to shut it down.

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Working under pressure - airbrush compressors and regulators
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2013, 09:35:07 PM »
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I use a 3 gallon, 100 PSI tank from Home depot. I need to get a new water trap as my current one is starting to crack. Other than that? No problems.
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