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Airbrush Compressor Blues


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UGH. My situation keeps getting more and more interesting. This blessed Badger is being more awkward and problematic than I bargained for; after having to remove and clean the needle (AGAIN), it seems that no matter how I put it back together, I all of a sudden am getting air hissing through the trigger area and I'm concerned there may be a leak in my hose where it connects to the airbrush itself? I looked closely on my table top and the tiny little golden trigger bit doesn't seem to have gotten lost (or so it would appear anyway). My compressor is also constantly idling instead of styaing quiet, then idling, then quiet then idling. Either that or I need to yet again deep clean it because even after deep cleaning it and getting performance out of it, and spraying cleaner and water through it afterward when last I used it, maybe it's clogged yet again?! This is ridiculous.

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I only had that hissing and compressor running constantly problem once.  It was also after i did a very big spray project and used some heavy pigment blue that got everywhere.  Jammed up the trigger, needle, and caused hissing.

 

I did a full disassemble on the brush and linked the issue to the needle and trigger assembly.  There was gunk in there that didn't allow the needle to seat perfectly at the end, which caused air to leak, which caused the compressor to run.  Having what sounds like the same issue, all i can say is clean it out... then clean it again to be sure.  I almost hate using the airbrush just for how much i have to set up and have out to clean, swap paint,  clean, rinse... but the advantage is super smooth primer. 

 

Badger 105 patriot is what i use, too.  I have learned to be overly thorough in my cleaning to the point of paranoid before setting it down.  

 

I hope you get it figured out. 

I use 90% alcohol, water, and airbrush cleaner.   Still i get small buildup in places if i don't fully disassemble.  Pain for sure. 

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I never used to be able to get the needle cleaned after a session. I cleaned it and cleaned it again, but there was always a thin coating of paint when I next went to use it.

 

What finally fixed it for me was an ultrasonic cleaner - the sort you get for watches and jewellery. Water and cleaner mix, pop the needle and tip in, run for about 10 minutes and all was good

 

Quote

I almost hate using the airbrush just for how much i have to set up and have out to clean, swap paint,  clean, rinse... but the advantage is super smooth primer. 

 

This is the aspect I hate the most. So much so that I haven't dragged everything out for at least two years. I have several vehicles that I want to use it with, but I'm stalling on them, and leaning towards spray cans for the basecoat. Not as smooth, but not so important with vehicles.

 

It doesn't help that I can only airbrush in the kitchen, which is less than ideal

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Second what cmorse said about the leak.

 

Regarding the cleanup. I was having similar problems and I discovered I just wasn't thinning my paints enough. I found that even things that supposedly are made for airbrush and don't need to be thinned performed much better when thinned. I was always thought that "Thin it as much as it needs, then thin it some more" was hyperbole but it has proved true for me anyway. Now I can do three or four light sessions without having to take the airbrush completely apart. A single light session and all I do is spray cleaner through it, then remove the cap (guard? end thing? I don't know what it's called) and scrape the needle gentle with my fingernail. 

 

Primer was the worst. I would do one mini and have to clean the needle. I was almost ready to send the airbrush back, but I started adding a little thinner and it's way better.

 

Also I called Badger support and in addition to "thin your paints, dummy", he said if I had a stubborn leak I could use teflon tape on the threads. He didn't call me dummy, but it seemed like maybe it was implied LOL.

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8 hours ago, junkbarbarian said:

Second what cmorse said about the leak.

 

Regarding the cleanup. I was having similar problems and I discovered I just wasn't thinning my paints enough. I found that even things that supposedly are made for airbrush and don't need to be thinned performed much better when thinned. I was always thought that "Thin it as much as it needs, then thin it some more" was hyperbole but it has proved true for me anyway. Now I can do three or four light sessions without having to take the airbrush completely apart. A single light session and all I do is spray cleaner through it, then remove the cap (guard? end thing? I don't know what it's called) and scrape the needle gentle with my fingernail. 

 

Primer was the worst. I would do one mini and have to clean the needle. I was almost ready to send the airbrush back, but I started adding a little thinner and it's way better.

 

Also I called Badger support and in addition to "thin your paints, dummy", he said if I had a stubborn leak I could use teflon tape on the threads. He didn't call me dummy, but it seemed like maybe it was implied LOL.

Totally agree with this. Most cleaning problems stem from the paint not being thin enough. I even thin airbrush paints through my Renegade Velocity (a detail brush produced by Badger) and my Badger Patriot. Thinning the paint also allows you to reduce the pressure which makes detail work much easier because you can get closer to your work.

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I have Teflon tape on all the threaded connections on the airhose (hose-to-compressor and hose-to-airbrush). Helps a lot with air leaks.

 

Although I haven't had problems with air leaking up by the tip assembly on my Badger Patriot, it's a persistent problem for me with my Vex airbrush. It seems like I have to seat the nozzle hood (sorry, can dredge up the technical name) just perfectly when screwing things back together. Haven't tried Teflon tape on that bit, but maybe I should. 

 

As far as cleaning: I tend to rinse / run cleaner through between each color, and sometimes pull out the needle and wipe it between each color. That may be a little obsessive, but it does seem to help me not have to do a complete teardown during any individual painting session. 

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I recently ran into a similar issue after disassembling my (offbrand) airbrush to clean it--air constantly flowing through the apparatus even when the trigger was fully disengaged. Took it apart again and it turned out to be an issue with the valve itself at the base of the trigger, where the air hose screws into the airbrush. Unbeknownst to me, you can screw the valve itself apart as well as screwing the hose off and onto the airbrush, and repeated movements had dislodged a part. Whooooooo buddy, that took some patience to put back together correctly and I never want to do it again, but it can be done. 

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