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Using the reaper Vex, Stynlrez primer (primarily black) and a Badger TC910 Aspire air compressor.

 

Whenever I run primer (Stynlrez) through the Vex, the brush will start to become intermittent within 3 minutes, and then completely clogged within 5 or so. I know this has to be user error, so here are my ongoing hypotheses.

 

1) I was told Stynlrez doesn't need to be watered down, true or false?

 

2) My air compressor seems to not have a lot of stamina and will kick back on and stay on for a long time. Is it possible that I have an air leak somewhere? 

 

I know I clean this thing enough because I swear I am cleaning before and after every use AND I have replaced the brass tip a few times. I've only been cleaning with a water/IPA mixture though, not sure if this is good enough?

 

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You should be using the Stynlrez right out of the bottle at 30psi. Runs fine through my badger patriot. What needle are you using? If it is the fine needle, it may be too small for the primer? As for your compressor, if it is tankless, staying on should be okay, but if it is tanked, I would have it checked out. Take some soapy water and check all the connections for leaks.

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Posted (edited)

Use the larger needle, 30psi sounds about right.  It may still gunk up at the tip, you can just pluck that off like Aaron Lovejoy does and keep going.  If it still gives you grief, you can thin stynylrez just a little with a suitable acrylic airbrush thinner and it won't lose any robustness in the primer coat.  If you do find you need to thin it, it should only be by a very small amount.  

 

For cleaning the airbrush, my go-to is Vallejo airbrush cleaner.  In my experience, few things can clean out the innards of an airbrush as fast or as well as this stuff.  It's not expensive and it's made to work, so I don't see the point in messing around with a home recipe to do the job.      

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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I try to thin things down at least a little bit for an airbrush.  Especially vallejo.  I even thin stynylrez about 4:1 water and a drop of flow improver.

 

This page:

https://myairbrushcompressors.com/10-airbrush-problems-and-solutions/

 

has a really good "why is my airbrush sucking" cards.

https://www.myairbrushcompressors.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Airbrush-spray-pattern.jpg


if you look at what's coming out of the airbrush and moderate accordingly to the suggestions on the card.

 

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Thanks for all of the replies! Definitely using the large needle and my PSI is around 40. Also, my compressor is not tankless. My first thing I'll do when I get home is spray it down with soapy water and try to see if I have a leak and look at the other suggestions as well!

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40psi and a large needle could just about move peanut butter through an airbrush (hyperbole).  something is up either with the brush or the paint/primer.

 

the soapy water for leaks is a good place to start.  take the brush apart next time it's clogged.  where is it getting clogged?  my guess would be you're getting drying around the head cap and the nozzle.  try some flow improver.  you need very little (like 1 drop per cup full of paint).  it's like jet dry in your dishwasher -- it makes the paint less likely to stick to the airbrush.

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So update from this morning. Sprayed some soapy water on my compressor and airbrush. Compressor is clean but my airbrush came up bubbles around the nozzle and the connection point.

 

I cleaned the airbrush, with Vallejo AB Cleaner, did the test again, got the same results. I'm assuming this is not normal, so what am I doing wrong? Am I missing an O ring or something?

PXL_20210609_121721224.jpg

Also, when I tighten my nozzle down, I used pliers just to make sure the the brass tip was secure

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Yeah, that's a lot of bubbles.  It looks like you're losing pressure on the quick release.  That's not a huge surprise.  If you remove the quick release, you'll get rid of that pressure loss.

 

You do have pressure loss around the nozzle.  Assuming the needle is in and engaged, that does seem to be a lot of pressure loss there.  Though, with the trigger in that position, you shouldn't have any air going into the airbrush.  Did you run air through the brush before taking the photo?

 

Pliers though is probably overkill.  Usually you should be able to just finger tighten things and then the gaskets take care of the rest.  Overtightening can actually be detrimental.

 

Will the brush eventually fail even after spraying just water?  If that's the case, it's definitely pressure loss.  If it's just paint/primer causing the fail, you have a needle drying issue.  I suspect it's a little of both.

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If the Vex is made and designed like other "BADGER" brushes, definitely DO NOT use pliers, FINGER TIGHT only (I cannot tell you how many times Ken has stressed that)

Might want to contact reaper on this, not sure if it is like badger, but since it was made by badger, I would assume you'll get the same great customer service.

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Thanks for the replies guys! Definitely won't machine tighten anymore.

 

To answer some questions:

 

Yeah I sprayed some air before I took that photo, the bubbles did appear, but did not continue when I stopped spraying, even at the quick connect point. I can spray water through the AB all day with no pressure loss. On my next test, I'll ditch the quick connect and use some flow improver to see how that works!

 

Thanks for all your help and continued help!

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With that info, it definitely sounds like paint issues.  Tip drying is fairly common - I think it's been mentioned earlier in the thread.  If when you're clogged, you have goop on your needle tip, try adding some flow improver to the mix (sparingly - 1 drop per cup full). 

My advise at this point would be to shake the crap out of your stynylrez, then (using a mixing cup), cut it 50-50 with water to start with.  Try sending that through the brush.  It's likely to come out watery.  Then, adjust for thicker paint in small steps until you get something that goes through your brush easily yet provides good coverage.

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Update!

 

Flow improver definitely helped expand the amount of time I could use the Vex before I started to clog. Unfortunately, when I clogged it was again pretty bad. Removed the quick connect, definitely helped. Bubbles still at the nozzle. I'll try the chapstick and see it works, but I'm assuming that the pressure loss at the nozzle is still a big issue

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