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My Airbrush Cleaning Routine


Bill Welch
 

As we have witnessed, painting our models is a very personal choice. With the advice of a plastic modeling magazine editor about 56 years ago, I purchased a Binks "Wren" airbrush and a small compressor with no way to control the PSI or know what it was. However the combo worked well with the paint of the day, in 1964 probably Patra or Testors, but definitely solvent based. I opened my bedroom window and sprayed into a cardboard box. I remember even then struggling to keep the airbrush clean. Some of my problems were from a lack of discipline to clean completely after each paint session.


In 1992 when I began modeling freight cars I decided to go "water based Acrylics" only because they are not toxic, secondarily because of ease of cleanup, but by then I had learned to clean as I go. I have been pretty disciplined with this. BTW I Paint w/Badger's Modelflex paint


The greatest assist in keeping my airbrushes clean is 91% Isopropyl Alcohol. My routine after painting is to initially flush with Distilled water, including back-flushing, and then spraying/flushing w/the Isopropyl. Then I pull the needle out and wipe it w/a paper towel wetted with Isopropyl to remove any paint buildup. That is all the "disassembly" I routinely do. Once the needle is back in place, I spray more Isopropyl and finish with more water. My cleaning station is a brown paper bag with crumpled paper to catch the water and Isopropyl.


Bill Welch

 


Clark Propst
 

I’ll put myself at the opposite end of the spectrum from Bill  ;  ) After spraying enamels or whatever I just squirt brake cleaner through my Paasche H3. If I used acrylics I hold it under the faucet and run water through it. I do break it down a couple times a year.  Important to have a sink near your paint booth.
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


Douglas Harding
 

I’m with Clark, I paint acrylics and prefer to set up my spray booth next to a sink. I keep a bottle of window cleaner handy. After painting I run hot water through the airbrush, then some window cleaner, then flush with more hot water. Since I started this routine I have not encountered a clogged airbrush.

 

I saw in a recent video that Ken Patterson mounted his spray booth fan motor outside the building, eliminating the noise inside. That idea intrigues me. As I have to go through a window in my new home (brick house I do not own) I may consider that idea. For now as I use acrylic, the outside exhaust is not a requirement, just the spraybooth with a  good filter. I use the pleated filters from the furnace.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 


James SANDIFER
 

I still have a stock of Floquil. I have two jars of lacquer thinner. When finished painting, I use the "dirty" one to flush the airbrush, then I use the clean one to flush the airbrush. That's it. I have not taken it apart in a year or more. When the "clean" jar becomes clouded, I throw out the "dirty" thinner and replace it with the cloudy clean, the refill the "clean" one. If the needle is stuck when I start, I I just run put it in the clean jar and blow bubbles for 15 seconds and it frees up. 

 

__________________________________________________

J. Stephen Sandifer

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2017 9:31 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: My Airbrush Cleaning Routine

 

 

I’m with Clark, I paint acrylics and prefer to set up my spray booth next to a sink. I keep a bottle of window cleaner handy. After painting I run hot water through the airbrush, then some window cleaner, then flush with more hot water. Since I started this routine I have not encountered a clogged airbrush.

 

I saw in a recent video that Ken Patterson mounted his spray booth fan motor outside the building, eliminating the noise inside. That idea intrigues me. As I have to go through a window in my new home (brick house I do not own) I may consider that idea. For now as I use acrylic, the outside exhaust is not a requirement, just the spraybooth with a  good filter. I use the pleated filters from the furnace.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 


O Fenton Wells
 

That too was my routine.  One word of caution is that the "O" ring in my brush after a while (year or more) bonded to the nozzle and I had to buy a new nozzle.  Now I remove the "O" ring about every 10 to 20 uses and clean it.  
Just say'in

--
Fenton Wells
5 Newberry Lane
Pinehurst NC 28374
910-420-1144
srrfan1401@...