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Help with Airbrush Malfunction

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Trapper2016, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Hello everyone,

    I wasn't exactly sure what thread to place this under, but since I am painting some fish/reptiles, I figured I would get the best replies here. I recently encountered a problem with my airbrush setup that I have never experienced before and was hoping someone out there may have some knowledge that I can benefit from.

    To begin, my airbrush setup is simple, and I use 2 brushes. I use a Paasche VL for most airbrush jobs, and also have an Iwata HP-B that I use for detail work. My compressor is fairly generic, and is a Professional Master TC-20T single-piston compressor. I typically have no problems with either brush in general, but after sitting unused for about 4 months or so, I ran into some problems with the Paasche.

    When using my old Passche VL I began to get sputtering. Not just with paint, but with water as well. I have tried all kinds of various pressure, and still the same result. Ill get a good stream, and then suddenly some sputters. I did the normal things: breaking down airbrush and cleaning everything, checking o rings, looking for obstructions, changing needles/tips, etc). And still I experienced the same sputtering. I even tried a few various new needles and tips of larger sizes, and still I experienced sputtering. So i figured my problem may just be the brush. The VL is a fairly cheap model and I have used it hard for 3 to 4 years, so I bought a brand new Paasche VL kit, with new hose, etc. So i got it in, and connnected the new brush with the new hose, and I'll be dag on if the same exact problem isn't occuring on the brand new brush. Still the same sputtering.

    So, at this point it seemed obvious that the problem is not in the brush or hose but I suppose in the compressor. I did some trouble shooting, made sure the tank was cleaned, etc, to no avail. But here is where it gets fairly interesting, at least to me. When I switch to the Iwata HP-B, i have no sputtering at all. Just a nice even stream. So I am at a loss. I would appreciate any advice on the matter. I have been looking over various websites about troubleshooting, but haven't found an answer that I haven't alread tried.

    Have a great day!
    Chris
     
  2. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

    418
    201
    Do you use a moisture/oil trap in the air line?


    ~S
     

  3. aweiss44

    aweiss44 New Member

    43
    1
    Ditto on the moisture/desiccant trap. Get your compressor to 20 or 30#s of pressure and open the drain valve. Probably gonna spew out a bunch o nasty black water...which if you don’t have a water trap, is going to your airbrush
     
  4. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the replies. Yes I do have a moisture trap on it, and always make sure to clean it/drain it after each use. Do you think I should maybe buy a new one just to test that angle out?

    Thanks again
    Chris
     
  5. aweiss44

    aweiss44 New Member

    43
    1
    Got a filter on it as well?
     
  6. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    I believe that it does have a filter. I am not terribly knowledgeable on compressors, but I have this compressor, with the same water catch/pressure adjustment. I
     

    Attached Files:

  7. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Those paint bottles for the Pasche have a seal and a vent hole.Get rid of the shields and make sure the vent holes are clean. Since your other brush worked well and you used the same compressor with no problem this is not where the problem starts. Everything seems to work well until you get to your Pasche airbrush. Since you cleaned everything in the brush the problem must be elsewhere....the bottles or the paint. Thin your paint 50% and try what I mentioned on the bottles. Hope this helps.
     
  8. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Trapper did you solve your problem with your air brush??
     
  9. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Wish people who ask for and get answers to problems here would share their results. It just might help someone else with the same problems. Also those who answered wonder if their suggestions worked for these particular problems. Just venting...JL
     
  10. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Hey JL,

    I haven't had a chance yet to test out the suggestions given. Ive been working alot and just haven't had time. Im hoping that I will be able to get the brush out this weekend and try some suggestions out. I will let everyone know how it turns out. Thanks for all the suggestions

    Chris
     
  11. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Hey JL,

    I got a chance to get my airbrush out tonight and played around a little with it. I took your advice on the Paasche bottles, but too no avail. It still is puzzling to me. I have 3 different types of cups/bottles to us eon the brush, and the problem is the same for each. The same consistent sputtering. I use water based paint and have tried just acetone, just water, paint, and thinned paint, and the result is the same. I agree that the problem can't logically be in the brush. Especially since the brand new one has the exact same issue. I am at a loss.

    Thanks for all the replies and any new suggestions would be appreciated. I just give up, lol

    Chris
     
  12. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    What pressure do you have going to brush. Siphon feed need higher pressure to operate compared to gravity feed.
     
  13. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Hi Pescado,

    I normally am doing really small work, mostly reptile replicas, so i normally operate at around 8-10 PSI. I have been using the paasche at this pressure for at least 3 years with no problems, but I did try some different pressures as you suggested. I have turned it up virtually as far as it willl go, and i still get the same sputtering. It really is fascinating to me that this started out of the blue with the paasche, and even occurs with a brand new brush, but when switched to the iwata hp-b, i have no problems.

    I also tried the different tips (1,3,5) , needles, and nozzles that come with the paasche. And with each one i have the same problem.

    At this point, although it may not solve anything, I think I am going to purchase a new water catch/pressure adjustment adapter and try it. They are inexpensive for my littel compressor and if nothing else, its a spare sitting around. If that doesn't work, then short of buying a new compressor, i have no idea what the problem could be. But i will continue trying.

    Thanks for the advice
    Chris
     
  14. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    what is the max pressure of your current compressor?
    8-10 psi is very low for a siphon fed brush, more than enough for gravity fed.
     
  15. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Hello everyone, and thanks for the replies. I just wanted to make a quick update. Thanks for the advice Pescado and you are correct. I misspoke about my air pressure. I am normally between 10 and 15 PSI, although i sometimes do go lower. I appreciate you taking the time though to help me troubleshoot, as well as everyone else who contributed. I finally was able to fix the problem and it was actually something simple.

    I ended up purchasing a new pressure regulator/water trap for the compressor, and still experienced the same problem, so at that point I knew it wasn't the compressor. I found nowhere where air was escaping either on the brush, hose, or compressor, but I was still getting sputtering. So just on a whim i tightened down the cap on the airbrush that houses the needle tip. I had never done this before, as finger tight had always been good enough every since I got the brush. I tightened it to the max with a wrench, and low and behold, no more sputtering. What must have been happening, is that the cap being finger tight was just not seating the needle tip properly into the brush, which allowed air to escape around it. Whats odd is that ever since I got the VL years ago, I always have kept the nozzle cap on just finger tight. I imagine that I was just lucky to have not had this problem earlier.

    I want to thank everyone that tried to help me out. Your advice will come in very handy in the future when I run into problems. I am sorry that I wasn't able to give updates faster. I only do this as a hobby, and with work I may only get once a week to get the airbrush out.

    Merry Christmas everyone,
    Chris
     
  16. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Thanks for the response! It may help some of the rest of us in the future. Glad you got your issue solved!