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Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User




Hello all. Getting back into the modelling hobby after a very long hiatus and I'm starting to airbrush for the first time on miniatures and models. Rather than spending the money on a compressor, I already have a 33 Gal 1.6 150 PSI Craftsman air compressor that my Dad left me. I'm wondering if these larger compressors can be used for airbrushing without damaging the airbrush, bad painting or any other problems that may arise. I can't find any posts through the search engine so any help as to additional tips or tools I'll need to get would be helpful as well :-)
   
Made in us
Boosting Space Marine Biker





Decatur, IL

I think it would work, just need some type of regulator so you can turn down the psi to airbrush levels of 10 to 20 psi range. You would for sure have the tank to brush for a long time before it needs to fill that is for sure.

Also make sure it has a moisture trap for the water in the air system.

Other then that, I can't think of anything else you would need to use it as your compressor for your airbrush.

 
   
Made in us
Growlin' Guntrukk Driver with Killacannon





Moisture trap and a good reducer ..and it will work well ..mabey even a 5gallon tank down stream of the reducer and before the moisture trap would make it great ..

'\' ~7000pts
'' ~1000
"" ~3000
 
   
Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User




morfydd wrote:
Moisture trap and a good reducer ..and it will work well ..mabey even a 5gallon tank down stream of the reducer and before the moisture trap would make it great ..


Thanks for that tip. Trying to google a "reducer" and trying to figure out a good one. Any recommendations???
   
Made in ca
Fixture of Dakka






It will 100% work. I use a California Air and Makita compressor for most of my at-home airbrushing.

A few tips to help you make it successful:

1. You absolutely need a moisture trap & particulates filter. Ideally, it's not attached RIGHT on the output of the compressor. Why: the air is hottest near the compressor, and as it cools, moisture condenses. So a moisture trap further away is much more effective.

2. Set the pressure on the craftsman to 60PSI or so.

3. Your compressor probably has 1 or 2 1/4" female industrial style quick connects. The simplest way to hook up an airbrush hose is to put a 1/4" male quick connect that has a threaded 1/4" NPT on the other end. You can just screw your airbrush hose to it that way.

BUT..

That's not a good way to do it, unless it's just a hose to clean out your airbrush. Because where do you stick your moisture filter, in that scenario?

A better way is to hook up your regular hose on the compressor end, and hook up the other end of the hose to a hobby regulator + moisture trap, which kills 2 birds with one gizmo. Or, if you have a spray gun setup already, hook your hose up to the oil & water filters, and then hook a hobby regulator up that.

4. Set the hobby regulator at 20 or so psi.

5. Remember that when you use Teflon/PTFE/thread-seal tape, wind it CLOCKWISE. If you wind it counterclockwise, it will bunch up and shred as you tighten the thread and just make a mess (and leak).

Annnnnnd... that's it


By the way, reducer = regulator. It's just a screw going through the pipe that restricts airflow (like a water faucet). Most regulators will also have a pressure guage, so that you know what your setting is. But this isn't always true -- in the non-hobby world, many (most?) regulator/filter setups separate them, and even some hobby regulators like MAC valves don't have gauges.

Important attribute for a regulator is PSI drop. That is, when air starts flowing through it, some regulators have a bigger drop in the output pressure than others. It's not a huge deal, but 5+ PSI is common in industrial applications, and that's like, half the pressure I might use for a fine-line airbrush.

Generally, you probably want a hobby-style regulator/moisture trap rather than an industrial one. The reason is because they are a LOT lighter making it possible to easily suspend it with a ring, instead of having to have it mounted to a board; and also, they typicially have a narrower range, meaning it will be easier to set low PSI more accurately, or at least, more reproducibly.
   
Made in us
Crushing Black Templar Crusader Pilot





Minnesota

I used to do this occasionally. Set the PSI at like 40 at the tank, ran the hose through the house to the hobby room, then had another regulator at the desk to fine tune what I needed, which included a water trap. The tank I had always seemed to have water in it.

Do note that those compressors tend to get LOUD. I hate turning that thing on if I can avoid it. Now I have a little hobby compressor, just wish it had a tank.

   
Made in no
Guard Heavy Weapon Crewman




Rogaland, Norway

As to the question if you could use a large craftsman compressor the answer would be yes.
It does the same job as any regular airbrush compressor, only on a much larger scale.

The main benefit of using a smaller airbrush compressor compared to an industrial size is mainly that an airbrush compressor is much smaller physically, lower power consumption as it doesn't need to supply a huge amount of air for your use and to fill a large tank, and it is guaranteed to be a lot more quiet.

So an industrial/garage size craftsman compressor would to the job, I would only advice you to attach a proper pressure regulator and a good moisture trap. Not much fun getting lubrication/gear oil on what you intend to airbrush.

OJJ

Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it."
Lt. John B. Putnam Jr. (1921-1944) 
   
Made in au
Grizzled Space Wolves Great Wolf





 Talys wrote:
By the way, reducer = regulator. It's just a screw going through the pipe that restricts airflow (like a water faucet). Most regulators will also have a pressure guage, so that you know what your setting is. But this isn't always true -- in the non-hobby world, many (most?) regulator/filter setups separate them, and even some hobby regulators like MAC valves don't have gauges.
A pressure regulator has a system of diaphrams, poppets and springs that balance the pressure so you should get the same outlet pressure regardless of the inlet pressure and flow rate (within limits).

An airbrush MAC valve or a water faucet style screw reducer is just a screw that restricts the flow, so the outlet pressure will vary as both the inlet pressure and the flow rate varies.

A regulator is something that regulates the outlet pressure to a specific value, a reducer just reduces it indiscriminately. Personally I've never heard a regulator called a reducer or vice versa (but it might just be a local thing).
   
Made in au
Regular Dakkanaut






Been using a 3hp belt drive compressor for years. Works great.
   
Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User



UK

I use a compressor with a 24ltr air receiver, which is pressure adjustable and has a water trap fitted. I find it excellent for my airbrushing.
Martin
   
Made in ca
Malicious Mutant Scum






Yep, absolutely works. As others have mentioned, the regulator on a shop compressor usually isn't precise enough for airbrush work, so having an additional regulator leading into the airbrush for fine control is a good idea. I installed a moisture trap on my line, but the air where I live is so dry there's never any water in it...

In fact, a shop compressor can have a few advantages over a small hobby one - most of the low-to-medium-end hobby compressors don't have a tank, so the line runs straight from the compressor itself and can cause tiny fluctuations in the pressure as the piston/diaphragm moves. If you have the room for it, a suitable shop compressor will be cheaper than a decent hobby model, too.

The noise can be a problem, but since airbrushing uses a fairly small amount of air compared to the capacity of the tank, you can run it for a minute or two when convenient and then have enough air to airbrush for a solid hour or more (just make sure that you turn the compressor off when you start painting, since it will take a while for the pressure to drop and an hour later the compressor will kick back on and startle the living out of you...)
   
Made in us
Terminator with Assault Cannon






Yes it can as said you need a regulator and you need an oil trap because the larger ones will have oil you will need to catch.

The only downside is the noise as well

kill ALL the orks!

1500 pts Legion of the Damned (Salamanders)
1500 point Dewathwings  
   
Made in us
Legendary Master of the Chapter






Hello 2016.

Yeah you can use it with the right fittings and traps. but the noise will be 100% the issue.

but with a long enough line you could run it from your garage to mitigate it a bit.

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Scott-S6 wrote:
And yet another thread is hijacked for Unit to ask for the same advice, receive the same answers and make the same excuses.

Oh my god I'm becoming martel.
Send help!

 
   
 
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