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Air brush compressors

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Air brush compressors
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 13, 2001 1:18 PM
I`m going to purchase a compressor for air-brushing. I would like to get one thats not too noisy and will keep enough pressure to keep it from pulsing too much. I`ve narrowed it down to Badger or Paasche. Which make and model is best suited for this? Gerald
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 13, 2001 7:51 PM
Hi Gerald,
Either brand would be fine. When I bought my compressor (a small one from sears), I looked for one that was portable (no wheels),had a tank and a pressure regulator. All I added was a moisture trap and a longer air hose.

Have fun
Dave
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 14, 2001 12:19 PM
If you're looking to avoid noise, stay away from both the Badger and the Paasche. I've had a Paasche compressor for years and have endured the noise it cranks out. Not only that, it doesn't have a tank or any kind of regulator. In fact, I paid more for that so-called airbrush compressor than I did for a Campbell-Hausfield 2 gallon tank compressor at Wal-Mart. The C-H compressor has the tank, the regulator, and I already had a vapor trap, so it makes a fine airbrush setup. Not only that, it comes with an extension hose, an on-off switch (which is really nice) and it's less than half the noise volume of the Paasche. Noise is a very important factor to me, too, because I live in an apartment. But this compressor does the trick, and it cost less than $100.

Whatever you do, stay away from the compressors sold by the airbrush companies. Buy their airbrushes, but buy a compressor from a company that specializes in compressors.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 14, 2001 1:12 PM
Thanks Guys! You`ve talked me out of the little compressors and I`m going to check out Wal-Mart, Sams Club, Costco, and Harbor Freight. Others have suggested the bigger compressors or an air tank which can be filled at a gas station. I`m going to go with a good compressor since it can be used for other applications too. I greatly appreciate the input, otherwise I would have made a costly mistake. Keep on railroading! Gerald
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, October 19, 2001 8:01 PM
I am glad I read your reply. I too, am in the market to buy a compressor soon and constantly see adds from the airbrush companies. It sounds like you have the answer, but I just have some questions? How well does your C-H compressor keep pressure consistant? I've read you need at least 20 lbs to do any average job. And last, where can I get a vapor trap and is it necessary if you live in a dry climate (like me). Thanks in advance for any help. John
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, October 19, 2001 11:00 PM
I have found that I like to fill the tank up to about 75 psi and start spraying at about 40 psi. I'm sure any pressure you'd like to fill the tank to will work, but the more you fill it and the lower the pressure you spray at, the longer it will last. It will spray at 40 psi for several minutes (about the time it takes me to spray a coat over a locomotive shell). It maintains the pressure you set until the tank itself begins to fall below your set pressure. At that point I just turn it back on (the on/off switch is wonderful) and let it fill back up.

I've found that being able to regulate the output pressure of a compressor is another useful and effective control to augment the air and paint volume controls on your airbrush. I haven't had satisfactory results below 25 psi and I can't really control the paint above 50 psi. But within that range, I can really tweak my control of the brush.

I haven't had any bursts of water come out of the brush yet, but I usually limit my painting sessions to just a few minutes in length. That used to happen pretty frequently with the Paasche compressor. It was drastically limited with a vapor trap though. I haven't had a need for a vapor trap with this compressor, but if you wanted to buy one, they have one in the same spot at Wal-Mart as the compressor itself. It should work fine. I live in Colorado, so I'm used to working in pretty dry conditions (compared to Georgia or Texas where the humidity is unbearable).

I should mention that the main reason I'm so quick with my painting is that I live in an apartment and I'm paranoid about noise. However, it's probably just paranoia because this compressor is about a tenth the noise level of the Paasche.

I don't know if I mentioned it in the previous post, but I think I paid around $150 for the Paasche compressor and my new Campbell Hausfeld cost under $100. If that doesn't say it all, nothing will.

Happy Painting!

RC
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 20, 2001 2:37 PM
Hi guys, Checked with Home Depot and a water trap for the compressor is twenty bucks. This is a one- quarter inch trap which should hook right up to the fittings Campbell-Hausfield has,unless adapters are used. The three-eights is somewhat less,about fifteen dollars. Trap is always recommended when using oil based paint. I live in mid Texas and definitely need one. I also used water traps on our commercial spray equipment in Las Vegas NV. Water traps or vapor traps eliminate most water vapor caused by putting oxygen under pressure which is in the air the tank has compressed. In dry climates the performance is ok but the water vapor that does go through is hard on equipment. One word "corrosion". Water and oil just don`t mix. Water base paint is easier to use without a trap,though corrosion is at work there too. If anybody tells you stainless steel does`nt rust don`t beleive them. It too rusts without care. For the price of a trap it`s worth the extra protection. I used a brass sprayer made by Binks and was the best spray gun I ever used until traffic paint changed from a good leaded oil base to water base for safety reasons. That gun got corroded shortly after even with traps because you clean with water. For best results I`ve found oil base is preferred with vapor trap and clean with thinners and oil. Drawback is more involved to clean and to safely dispose of solvents and health hazards if safety equipment isn`t used. Hope I didn`t bore you to death. Good luck. Gerald
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 20, 2001 7:11 PM
Gerald's points about moisture are well made, but I must point out that the oxygen content of the air has little to do with the moisture content - air is mostly nitrogen (78%). You can have a tank of "pure" nitrogen gas and still have a major water moisture problem - I have encountered this too often in the lab!

I don't want to go into a chemistry lecture(actually, physics as this is a physical, not chemical effect - but I teach college chemistry) about the problem here, but DO want to point out that you can have moisture problems if you buy ANY tanked gas to paint with - UNLESS the supplier has stated on the tank that the gas is "dry" !

Like gunpowder, keep it dry - and happy painting !

And ALWAYS use a fume hood (ok, "spray booth" for the non-chemist) - you do NOT want to go into the biochemistry of what breathing in the organics and particulates can do to you - NOR do you want to experiance it !!!!

- George

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 21, 2001 12:23 PM
Thanks George, It`s been a long time since I`ve been in a chemistry class,and all I can remember at this point is water is the universal solvent! I was on the receiving end of the wonders of chemistry when using spray equipment. Which were the drawbacks as mentioned in previous letter. I should get my tail back to class to learn exactly what I`m breathing these days! I agree a spray booth should be used,and to be safe, a respirator of right type. In hazmat courses I took in the past,the general term for the chemicals that are harmful was always "methyl ethyl bad stuff". Now that term even I could understand. Please dispose of solvents properly,it is sometimes poured down drains which causes more damage than realized. This stuff is dangerous. Hey,be careful out there,you need to be around a long time to promote the hobby! Thanks again George for rattling those chemistry cobwebbs lose! Gerald
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 28, 2001 2:06 PM
I found a Coleman unit very similar to the C-H at the local Menard's on sale at $89. It has a 1-gallon tank, power switch and regulator. It charges to 100PSI and kicks back in at 80psi. One charge of the tank gives me enough air to paint an entire car and still clean the brush. Plenty of capacity for an air brush here.
I use Testor's Aztek air brushes and shoot at 20-40psi depending on the paint (usually Scalecoat, Floquil, Poly-Scale or Model-Flex). I also installed a moisture trap as I shoot in a cold Minnesota basement and the warm compressor air generates enough water condensate to interfere with the laydown of all of the above paints.
I use 1/4" quick disconnect fittings from Home Depot on the unit so I can switch to a blow-off gun or pump up a tire without having to re-plumb the feed line. This is a very portable unit with plenty of air supply. My old five-gallon Moose now sits unused and will be entered into my wife's next garage sale.
Jim
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Posted by MRRSparky on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 5:57 PM
I purchased a C-H compressor from WalMart and recently returned it. I found that the compressor would shut off on high temperature (compressor won't run but its cooling fan does) after maybe ten minutes of having an airbrush connected, such as in painting or weathering an HO bridge or a G-scale piece of equipment. An airbrush rapidly uses what air is in a 2- gal. tank. I am assuming my C-H was defective, so don't be bashful about returning yours if you experience the same problem. I bought a Paasche compressor at a 1/2-price sale and found the sound level no different than that of the C-H.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 6:54 PM
Just read a modeler had overheating problems with Campbell-Hausfield compressor and took it back. Does your Coleman unit have any drawbacks and what is the model number? I recently saw one at Home Depot,and it was over 135.00. Might have been a different model. I didn`t know Coleman was in the compressor business and would be curious what the rating was at Consumer Reports. Guess I`m still looking. Gerald
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 2, 2001 10:38 AM
I have to apologize if this seems like a stupid question, I have not done any air brushing. But if I understand correctly One could connect an airbrush such as testors Aztek to any compressor?

I already have an Emglo 4 gal compressor I use for Trim Guns and Brad nailers. I am interested in using it to "power" an airbrush for modeling. Any tips for making this a reality
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 2, 2001 6:22 PM
Your compressor is fine as long as you install a water trap to keep air as dry as possible. Yes even in dry climates. You also must have a decent air pressure regulator to keep the air pressure at the range you want to paint by. Connections or fittings will most likely be needed to make necessary couplings. These can be bought from Home Depot,Harbor Freight,and sometimes even Wal-Mart. Also these connections are fairly cheap. Water traps can be bought at Home Depot for about fifteen to twenty bucks. Have fun! Gerald
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 3, 2001 7:32 PM
Hi Gerald,
I believe my Coleman compressor is a competitive model to the C-H unit referenced by others in this forum. I had originally set out to buy the C-H unit but switched when Menard's had the Coleman on sale. Possibly a Coleman outlet may offer an even better proce. They seemed to be virtually equal units.
I do find that I generate more moisture in my air line, making a moisture trap and absolute necessity - even in our cold, dry climate. Otherwise, I have found no real drawbacks with this smaller (compared to my old compressor) unit.
I have been running mine 2 - 4 times a week, on average, and have had no problems with it.
The specs are as follow:
Model - VP 201
Tank Capacity - 2 gallon I mis-stated it at 1 gal. onmy earlier note)
Power consumption - 2 amps @ 115v.
Kick-In pressure - 70psi
Kick-Out pressure - 100psi
Includes air regulator, air gauges for line and tank pressures, a coiled air line and air chuck.
All fittings are 1/4" NPT.
List price is about $100 but can be found on sale. I did not see any C-H compressors on sale.
This unit has been totally adequate for my air brushing needs. I can easily paint an HO car and clean the brush on a single charge. I usually run the tank to 100psi, turn off the built-in power switch and still have air to bleed off when finished.
Hope I have answered your questions. Happy airbrushing - it is the only way to paint and weather rolling stock.
Jim
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 3, 2001 7:49 PM
Todd,
Yes, I believe this is true as long as your compressor can generate enough CFM's of air to maintain the airbrush pressure you want to shoot at. This is a steady 20 - 40 psi for the airbursh and paints I shoot.
I am not familiar with the Emglo unit you referenced, but I'll bet it will do the job. You will need a regulator and moisture trap, if you do not alraedy have these. Otherwise, it's just a matter of finding the right size fittings to tie it all together. I have seen these at Menards, Home Depot, Sears, Ace Hardware, etc. Sometimes you find this stuff in the Automotive Department rather than in the Tool Departmens, though.
Plan to spend some time on practicing how to use your airbrush and to get the feel of it. Stick with a single brand of paint until you master your brush. Different paints have different application characteristics and you will have enough variables to deal with as you get to know your brush.
It's not difficult to get good results - just be observant as to your gun settings and resultant spray patterns.
Jim

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