I have a great HVLP setup, but I'm looking for a better way to finish
smaller projects like scrollsawn ornimates. It just doesn't make sense to
get the whole gun dirty for 2 seconds of spraying, hahahha.
I know nothing about air brushes though. Can anyone recommend where to start
looking, what brands are good and how big a compressor I'd need?
Back in my modeling days, the hot ticket was a Panache or Badger
double action, internal mix airbrush. Just about any compressor will
crank these right along.
For general spray painting of smaller objects, check out "The
Places to start looking. Some of the larger internet vendors:
www.dixieart.com (good prices, poor shipping/tracking notification)
Also look around for local arts and crafts stores. Heck, I've seen
Paasche airbrushes at the local hardware store.
Places to look for general airbrush info:
If you go with an internal mix airbrush, check whether the needle and
nozzle packing are solvent resistant if you'll be spraying petroleum-
based paints. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to tell from the
Iwata makes great airbrushes and their Revolution line is reasonably
priced. You might want to pick up a Paasche VL set, though. You get
three nozzle sizes and it's siphon feed, which you may want to do larger
areas. Note that the nozzle size is related to the "thickness" of the
paint you'll be using; smaller nozzles want paint that's about as thin
Almost any compressor will do. You do NOT want pressure pulsations so a
tank or surge volume is necessary. Pressure should be from about 10 to
about 35 psi, depending on the paint and the airbrush. Moisture
OP might consider the Badger touch-up gun instead of an air brush.
Its a bit larger, holds perhaps half a pint of material. Spray is
almost as controllable as an air brush. A google search will find it,
and they can be had for about $70 (somewhere in New Orleans, URL and
name escape me)
I second the recommendation for the moisture separator, especially if you're
using a very small compressor. I made the mistake many years ago of
getting an "airbrush" compressor and found that in the winter in Ohio it
worked fine, but in the summer in Florida or Georgia it tended to
periodically shoot dollops of water, which did not do good things for the
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
http://www.airbrushcity.com/factsheet.htm will get you started.
You might try one of their dual-action brushes and let us know how
you like it. I have a $5 HF single action which doesn't work worth
a hoot, comparatively (coarse spray, less controllable) so I've
been looking at these inexpensive but guaranteed dual action models.
http://airbrushcity.com/abk1/ #1620 or the interesting #AB105
(They're even cheaper when he has them on Ebay.)
If you have any air compressor now, it will work if you have a
oil/water filter and pressure regulator for it. (10-30psi)
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Whatever brand you settle on, and if you have a Michaels Crafts store
near you, don't forget that every Sunday they come out with a 40% off
the reg price of any one item coupon, sometimes 50%. Makes buying one
well worth it, and they carry Badger for sure, and I *think* Paasche.
Bernie Hunt wrote:
I have a Badger 150 and use it for scrollsaw work. Highly recommended. If
you don't have a compressor, unless you need something really small, don't
bother with the airbrush compressors. They work well for that use but
haven't enough capacity for anything else. This wouldn't be so bad except
they are usually far more expensive than larger compressors. I run mine off
a PC pancake.
I initially tried a cheap airbrush for scrollwork years ago, and it wasn't
worth the effort. After some research on different types, I found the Badger
350 handles higher viscosity materials and is solvent and chemical resistant.
Interestingly enough, it looks nearly the same as the cheap one, but it really
works. The external mix is also less likely to clog (and easier to clear).
I've heard of others using the larger Badger 250 and getting good results. I
believe it has a somewhat larger spray pattern, which is both good and bad.
I've used it for several years with scrollwork, and usually start at angles,
focussing on coating the cutout edges. They can often absorb quite a bit, so I
may give them several passes, each time simply wiping off the face to prevent
any puddles. When the edges are done, I'll make a few passes on the face. With
larger pieces containing scrolled areas I start the same, then use a touch-up
spray gun for the final coats.
Even some of the smallest compressors will work, though I'd recommend one with
a tank. The compressors sold for airbrushes are about the same cost, but
this'll work at least as well and have other uses also (e.g. small touch-up
BTW, you still cannot escape the cleaning. An airbrush may be less to clean
that a larger spray gun, but it also clogs up easier.
But it's much less surface to clean and you waste much less finish. Even
with a small container the HVLP gun burns way more finish getting cleaned
than it actually sprays on the project. Then count all the thinner you have
to spray to get the gun clean. I suspect it will be a big difference.
I feel your points are all quite valid, and an advantage for the airbrush.
However, when doing more than a single piece, or if that item was larger than
maybe 3x3, and if you wanted a film finish on the surface, that a larger gun
was needed. With a number of small pieces, I'd handle all the edges and
crevices first with the airbrush., then clean it and put it away. I'd then
either layout or hang the pieces and use a small spray gun.
Another advantage is being able to easily mask out portions and selectively
coat others. With multiple wood types, this makes it easy to apply a light dye
to areas, or even colored shading. I bought a case of bottles for the
airbrush, which allows me to have a number of different items readily
available, yet takes up little room. Adding two jars of solvents for cleaning
allows quickly switching between them, far easier than for a spray gun, as you
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