Serious paint clogging with Aztec Airbrush

Submitted by Keith Keana on 2/12/01. ( )

I have an Aztec dual action airbrush that always cloggs. I use polytranspar paints but no matter what i do, the paint cloggs within a second of use. I've tried lowering and raising air pressure, thinning with water...this just results in awfull spattering and such. I tried using the bottles with syphon, the little paint bowls, changing tips, but nothing helps. Its quite frustrating, any suggestions? I live in Colorado Springs, could the low humidity be causing problems too? What can i thin the paints with?

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when's the last time you cleaned it?

This response submitted by marty on 2/12/01. ( )

I don't use an Aztec but it seems to me that you may have some dried paint in it. I have a Paashe and I pull the tips apart and swap them out with another clean set every few fish. I soak mine in Acetone. I use hydromist paints. I can't imagine the humidity would be causing this much of a problem. After all, there are other taxidermists in Colorado and I've seen t-shirt air brushing too!

The only other thing I could think of is it may be sucking in some air and this could be causing the spattering. Or maybe the brush is damaged? Has it been doing this since day one or just recently? If the cleaning doesn't work then I would contact the manufacturer for advice...

If you're using hydromist another great thinner is a little bit of windex. It also works well for quick cleaning. I think it contains some of the same chemicals as acetone in it - just to a lesser degree. Watch it with white though, the blue will show up a bit...

Another thought..

This response submitted by Marty on 2/12/01. ( )

I keep doing this - thinking of additions after I've made my post. I'll wait 5 minutes before shipping this one...

Do you have a moisture trap and do you bleed the moisture from your compressor ocassionally? I've also heard of some compressors leaking oil into your lines, but I can't imagine this to be causing your problems. Have you switched to a less fine tip? Maybe the tips too fine and that may be contributing to the quick clogging, expecially if there's a little gumming up. You may need to try some retarder too. The paint may be drying too quickly and thereby clogging up your brush. This would be one explanation for it initially working then immediately clogging up. Maybe try shooting just water through it and see if it clogs. If the water doesn't shoot properly then you've most likely got a dirty or damaged tip or internal part. Try to eliminate as many potential problem areas as possible to narrow down your search. I'll bet if you try some different things you'll be able to isolate the problem. Lastly, have you tried different colors? Maybe you've got a bad batch or old paint you're trying to shoot through? Okay I've waited 5 minutes, here we go! Let me know if you figure it out...

Dry climate, you need retarder.

This response submitted by John C on 2/12/01. ( )

Like Marty says retarder will fix the problem. If your paint is old strain it thru panty hose.


This response submitted by RW on 2/12/01. ( )

I have one and wouldn't change for the world because of how ezy it is to clean. i use lacquer paint and clean with acetone. i do not have a
moisture trap but always planning on putting one in. every once in a while i take the tip off, pull the needle out ;inside the hole thar is a spring, take it out and clean and it will fix your problem

air brush

This response submitted by RW on 2/12/01. ( )

for anyone that wants to tell me to get a good one, i own 5 different kinds but i use what i like, i do not like taking an HR off
every time i have to clean a brush
Keith a new head is only $8.00 you should have a spar anywhay.if in the middle of a fish it clogs unscrew it and put another on

Isopropyl Alcohol

This response submitted by Bryan Hays on 2/12/01. ( )

I have an Azteck A470 dual action and experienced the same problems occasionally. I too use Polytranspar paint and thinned with water. I found a tip on here that worked pretty well. Mix some rubbing alcohol in to thin the paint instead of water. It's a component of the paint anyway, and will help to clean the brush. It seems to keep the brush from clogging as much, helps keep the paint from running, and is very cheap to use.


This response submitted by Frank Kotula on 2/13/01. ( )

It's a common problem no matter what brush you use. It's always best when doing any kind of detail work to thin and also strain your paints. I'm a firm user of polytraspar paints and have had great success with them.

To thin and I have no real measurments here but here goes. The small cup they give with the aztec. ( I use the white gravity flow one) Fill it 3/8 with rubbing alcohol 1/8 with the paint and the rest I may add some distilled water and a few drops of flow aid. Mix this up and you will be surprized on how easy the paint flows out.

The biggest problem is always white. The pigments in white are big and it will clog up faster. Try using the blue tip. This may help some what. Also I have an old tooth brush on hand. I have it wet with some of the alcohol and just lightly scrub off the paint on the tip of the brush, then just a quick spray to the side and then start painting again.

Just a quick note on the clogging. It will hap0pen with any and all water base paints. One color or another will always do this no matter what company you use. It's just normal with water base paints. That's why you thin. It's quite different from laquer paints. And don't go there, you health is worth more than learning on how to thin your paint.

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