mark poulson

Cleaning Iwata Airbrush

14 posts in this topic

I have an Iwata gravity fed airbrush.

I wash it between colors, and clean it out every couple of days.

I seem to have a coating of paint in the needle slot.

How can I get it out? My airbrush has teflon seals.

Do I need to do a complete teardown cleaning everytime I paint?

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I bought a kit that has tiny brushes that fit up inside the airbrush body much like a pipe cleaning brush. First though I soak the airbrush for a couple of hours in airbrush restorer which breaks down the paint.

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a small piece of 24-26gage wire is the only I've found to clean the nozzle. I use a small brush to clean the inside of the brush. Dixie art has a brush set for cleaning.

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Don't know which Iwata you have but the Dixie Art brush sets are all too large to fit an HP model. Between colors, I shoot water through the brush and clean out the cup with a Qtip soaked in acetone. After painting, I shoot a cup acetone through it, disassemble the front of the brush, soak the tip parts in acetone, and use the needle reversed to clear any paint remaining in the barrel while running cool water through the trigger slot. The nozzle on an HP is so tiny only the needle is small enough to clean it out. You can usually wick the paint out of the nozzle with a Qtip soaked in acetone.

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I have the C+.

Bob, I think you're right, the needle is too thin for any other tool to actually fit in the hole.

Do you clean your gun completely after each use?

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I don't always soak the parts but I do shoot acetone thru it, clean out the cup, and disassemble the front of the brush and clean those parts (including the itsy bitsy nozzle) with acetone. I get a little lazy with my Badger but the small tip Iwata just won't abide neglect. It's a case of "pay me now or pay me lots more later". Takes 5 mins.

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I take my Iwata apart and clean it after every use. I use cleaner and water. That way it is always clean for the next time when I am ready to start doing more baits.

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I do the same as jim. You can buy some tiny brushes in the dental section of any store in the same place you buy dental floss and they work to clean some parts of the brush. I rinse with hot water between every color and run hot water through it before I quit. I also carefully remove the needle and clean between colors as needed and after each use. The tiny nozzle tip I clean again with water and one of those tiny brushes I mentioned above. I don't use any kind of cleaner on it other than water and have painted hundreds of lures with this brush. The key is to never let it get dirty. I do all this over the kitchen sink so be careful you don't drop the tiny nozzle or any other parts down the drain! I put a towel over the drain to prevent this from happening.

This is important, learn what your airbrush sounds like. When it's working correctly it will be a shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh sound....when it has some kind of clog it will sound like shkkkkkkkkkkkk.....it's just slightly different but it sounds "scratchy"........if this happens, pour out the paint, run hot water through it and listen to the brush. Look down into the paint hopper. Is there paint stuck on the needle? Does it sound ok? If not, pull the needle out, clean it off, put it back, try again. If it still sounds wrong, the problem is in the tiny nozzle.

Be very careful re-inserting the needle, dont' force it!! If it won't go, wiggle the trigger gently and keep pushing. Go easy. If you bend that tiny tip on the needle you will be buying another one.

RM

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Riverman, I started inserting my needle from the front. That way the tip is never in danger of touching anything. I will pull the needle tip back and far enough inside the front of the brush to allow me to screw on the front hardware and then gently push the needle back into the tip of the brush after you have installed the front. That way everything is lined up and the needle goes right into the tip with no problem. I found out it is better than putting the needle in from the back and going all the way through.

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If you use super lube, paint will not stick to the needle, the trigger will not stick and your tip will clog less. I use it after each session when cleaning my brushes.

Rod

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It's a heavy duty non-staining clear-whitish grease - 100% synthetic and contains PTFE (teflon). Comes in a 14 oz can for $6-7 or you find it in small plastic tubes for around $3. Buy the can. It's used for greasing wheel bearings, sports equipment, etc. Daiwa uses it for fishing reels, for which it is excellent. I'd check auto supply stores, especially NAPA. Any grease will work - Super Lube is just the best and it can be used for many purposes.

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