• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Airbrush advice for...

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

scooby

Established Member
Joined
23 Mar 2006
Messages
794
Reaction score
130
Location
Greater Manchester
..someone who knows absolutely very little about airbrushes.

I want to get into a bit of airbrushing on small turned objects, probably with spirit stains to start off. I'd appreciate any advice on brushes, compressors, etc. Basically, anything and everything.

Regarding the compressor, all I will be using it for is the airbrush (no nail guns, sprayers, etc) so the smallest size, whilst still be suitable for airbrush is my main priority. My home workshop is minuscule (8'x7') and I'm already low on space.
thanks
Jon
 

Gordon Tarling

Established Member
Joined
25 Apr 2021
Messages
90
Reaction score
27
Location
S. Lincs
I'm no expert, so take my advice as you see fit. It's not worth buying a cheap airbrush, so go for a reputable name like Iwata, Badger etc. I've always gone for one that'll feed from either a jar or a cup - sometimes you only want a little bit of paint and sometimes you want quite a bit - that option saves you buying two airbrushes. Compressor - make sure you buy one with a tank - many cheaper compressors don't have them - ensure it has a decent pressure regulator and moisture trap on the output - cheaper ones tend to be noisier, you pays yer money etc. No doubt others with much more experience than me will be along shortly.

G.
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,891
Reaction score
368
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
This has been discussed on here in the past, several times, so worth doing a search.

My own experience, which is FAIRLY extensive, but I'm NOT an expert:

1. A "cheapo" airbrush is OK if you just want to put a fairly wide "fan-shaped" but nice and even spray of a single colour (or a colourless varnish) over a complete - or a wide area of - an object such as a bowl (NOT that I'm into turning in any way);

2. A "decent cheapo" (like the cheapest Badger for e.g.) will happily handle your stains, etc, and comes with a pair of separate size nozzles which allow the spraying of reasonably fine lines, etc;

3. If you're really sure that you don't need the compressor for anything else, then IME you don't need a compressor with a tank. My Badger diaphragm device is almost silent and PROVIDED you fit a long flexible line from compressor to airbrush, then any "pulsing" which you'd feel through the line in a compressor without a tank just disappears - the hose (NOT the cheapo plastic one, but the neoprene/cotton braided, at least 2M long) will "soften" all the pulses you'd otherwise feel/see on the finish. BUT you definitely DO need a moisture/condensation trap in the line;

4. Only if you get into "airbrush art" (e.g. custom cars, bikes, helmets - with skulls/crossbones, sea shores, sunsets - you get the idea) do you really need a single-action or even double-action airbrush (such as my Badger 150). That's my opinion anyway. BUT they ARE very nice to use, BUT also need a LOT of practice to get best results (but even cheapo airbrushes need some practice before you start off on the real job too);

5. Cleanliness, and especially cleaning after use (even using water-based materials) is VITAL for good results. You'll know if you haven't cleaned thoroughly the 2nd time you come to use the tool!;

6. Agree with the above - an airbrush that will handle both a cup feed (side, below, or above, your choice) plus a small screw-topped glass jar(s) - get several - is well worth having. Especially as if spraying turned bowls, etc, the liquid quantities you'll likely be spraying are - in airbrush terms anyway - pretty big;

7. Be prepared to accept that unless you'll be spraying a large number of items (more than 3 or 4 at a time), you'll actually spend more time in prep (masking, possibly getting the correct viscosity colour, and altering pressure, etc), plus cleaning up afterwards, than you will actually spend doing the actual spraying!

As you can probably tell from the above, most of my stuff is Badger. That's not only because it's a good brand, but also because I bought most of my stuff in the 1970's/80's, when apart from Badger and DeVillbiss, there were little other decent quality choices available. I understand that these days there are other brands around, cheaper certainly, and I've heard (but had no experience of) just as good. One name that springs to mind is Ikaywata (or similar - check spelling if searching please). From last series of posts, there also seem to be some decently-priced package deals available too, but again, no personal experience here.

As above, some time ago several of us discussed this subject and the tools favoured at least twice. Included in those posts I uploaded a description of the various types of airbrush and compressor available to help with choice, plus some practice exercises (scanned from the Manual I got with my Badger 150). If you can't find those posts after a search give me a shout and I should be able to find them again - "eventually"!!

Good luck & HTH
 
Last edited:

Ollie78

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2011
Messages
808
Reaction score
300
Location
Wiltshire
Get a bigger compressor than you think you need, with a tank and moisture filter. Smooth airflow is nicer.
I have an Aztek airbrush which is great and has single or double action, very user friendly. It has short tips with different options as opposed to a traditional airbrush where you are stuck with one needle size or little adjustment. Also different sized jars or cups on the same unit.
It's probably the most versatile option.

Ollie
 

Gavlar

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
16 Dec 2020
Messages
59
Reaction score
13
Location
Suffolk
I have an Iwata Neo, which is budget but very decent quality and has served me well. It's double action (i.e. the air and paint flow are controlled separately). Another piece of advice - I avoid acrylic paints as they tend to dry in the nozzle and cause clogs. It may be me, but I find spirit based stuff much easier to work with.
 

Johnccc

New member
Joined
6 Jun 2021
Messages
1
Reaction score
1
Location
York
About a year ago I got a Fengda FD-186 for around £80 off Amazon. Dual action with moisture trap, pressure regulator and tank. Works just fine. I got this for painting model tanks and found a load of advice on military modelling sites and YouTube vids showing what the various features do, and as noted above, how to take it apart and clean it. Any regrets? Not really, the actual airbrush on the business end could be a bit better quality but I think I need a lot more practice before that becomes a factor you'd notice.
PS If you do go down the acrylic route, Windowlene is a far better and cheaper cleaning solution.
 

scooby

Established Member
Joined
23 Mar 2006
Messages
794
Reaction score
130
Location
Greater Manchester
No, I haven't got anything sorted yet. Hopefully, I'll get some equipment sorted very soon.
The advice from everyone has been a great help.
 

pe2dave

Established Member
Joined
2 Oct 2007
Messages
1,050
Reaction score
280
Location
Peterborough, Cambs, UK
No, I haven't got anything sorted yet. Hopefully, I'll get some equipment sorted very soon.
The advice from everyone has been a great help.
I've one to sell, decent quality, largely unused. Which are you looking for, one with a cup or a bottle to hold paint?
I'll pm you
 

Lonsdale73

Established Member
Joined
21 Feb 2015
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
75
Location
Lincoln
No, I haven't got anything sorted yet. Hopefully, I'll get some equipment sorted very soon.
The advice from everyone has been a great help.
I was asking the same questions Jan/Feb time and bought a complete set up. Then came to the conclusion that I needed to sell the house and the kit is still sitting in the boxes it arrived in, completely unused.
 

scooby

Established Member
Joined
23 Mar 2006
Messages
794
Reaction score
130
Location
Greater Manchester
I was asking the same questions Jan/Feb time and bought a complete set up. Then came to the conclusion that I needed to sell the house and the kit is still sitting in the boxes it arrived in, completely unused.
Thanks for the offer but I've decided to delay purchasing any airbrushing equipment for the time being as I've decided to get a new bandsaw first. It'll also give me some time to digest all the advice.
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,891
Reaction score
368
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
@ scooby: You MAY find that any band saw makes a lousy job of any sort of painting :dunno:

(Sorry mate, couldn't resist and all that)!

But please keep us posted when the time does come though.
 
Top