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Finally Pulled The Trigger
14 replies to this topic
Posted 05 July 2011 - 09:47 PM
I got my airbrush and compressor hookup going this afternoon and spent 4 hours slingin' paint. I learned one thing for sure........this ain't nearly as easy as it looks! Working as a painting contractor for 30 years, I'm somewhat accustomed to paint guns. This lil booger is a whole lot different than a Graco airless that spews 2 gallons of paint per minute. My problem is not that the paint doesn't go where I aim. My problem is pressure adjustment and the amount of paint I'm putting out. On my Iwata, there is an adjustment knob on the bottom of the gun and one on the very ass end of the gun. Which one is which? What psi should I be working with?
P.S. My compressor never turned on.
Posted 05 July 2011 - 10:10 PM
I leave my basic paint pressure at 35psi.
It would be helpful to know what model Iwata you have.
Assuming you have a dual action gun, it comes with trigger control of both air flow and paint flow.
Moving the trigger back will allow more air flow, and pushing the trigger down as you move it back will allow more paint flow.
If your brush also has a valve under the nozzle, that's for additional air pressure control, so you can turn the pressure down there at the gun for fine detail work.
The knob at the ass end of the brush is to control the amount of paint by limiting how far the needle can be withdrawn, so you can reduce the amount of paint if you're doing detail work.
It's no Graco gun, for sure. But it's a lot more fun.
Fill the cup with water, and practice spraying on a piece of newspaper, so you can see how it works without wasting paint, or having to clean the gun afterwards.
Once you feel relatively comfortable with the mechanics of the air brush, you can move to trying some test painting with real air brush paints, like Createx, to see how the paint covers, how heavy a coat you get before it runs, and how to actually clean the gun afterwards to get the paint out.
Learn how to heat set your paint, and keep the coats light.
And set up a cleaning station next to where you paint, so you'll incorporate a cleaning routine between colors, and a thorough cleaning after each paint session.
There are a ton of threads here with "how to airbrush" as the subject. Try the search feature.
There are also some good free "how to" videos on some of the sites that sell air brush products.
Posted 05 July 2011 - 10:14 PM
Thanks, Mark. My gun is an Iwata Hi-Line. Is there an adjustment for the fan size? I think I was sprayin' with waaaay less pressure than 35psi. Maybe that's whay I had such a devil of a time.
Edited by saltshaker, 05 July 2011 - 10:16 PM.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 12:46 AM
About 2 months ago I started to thin down my paints about 50% paint, 25% water, and 25% future shine. The blending has gotten 100X better and is much easier to shoot out of my gun at a low air pressure. I shoot my basic paints thinned down at 15 - 20 psi and then detail work is at about 5 - 10 psi depending on the paint. The regulator on the air compressor is junk so I got a new one from tcp global and that is the best thing I ever did. I screwed up a lot of baits before I made any descent ones so just be patient it takes a lot of practice to get good. Hope this helps and good luck.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 01:20 AM
Very nice brush! The MAC screw on the front controls how much air pressure is sent through the tip of the brush. The adjustment screw on the rear barrel controls how far back you can pull the trigger, thus controlling the maximum amount of paint released. The pressure you shoot at is pretty much up to the individual but many shoot at 10-15 psi for detail and fine shading and move up to 20-35 psi for more general work. It all depends on how well you can control your airbrush at different pressure. Some guys peg it on 40 psi and never change. Iwata recommends a maximum of 45 psi. You can shoot most unthinned Createx airbrush colors at 30 psi through a .2mm tip. However, many prefer to thin the paint. It shoots easier and blows fewer errant paint particles over the surface of the bait, plus it saves paint costs. Createx can be thinned as much as 50% according to Createx. You can use plain water, Createx reducer, or a home brew thinner. One popular formula is 50% paint, 30% water, and 20% Pledge "Tile and Vinyl Floor Polish" with Future (it's an acrylic based floor polish). I measure my airbrush paint by the number of drops I drip into the gravity feed cup and many shots are using 3-4 drops of paint. Yep, that's different from an airless paint gun! BTW, you system should have a pressure regulator, a moisture trap, and an oil trap if it is an oil lubricated compressor.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:24 AM
The Hi-Line is a great brush and you will be even happier with it as your airbrushing skills progress. The MAC valve (Micro Air Control) is a great feature in my opinion. Some of your professional artists say it's not needed, but for guys like us who aren't professionals it's a very useful feature. One misconception is that it regulates the air pressure at the brush. It actually controls the amount of flow of both air and paint. This is different than controlling pressure. Only a regulator can control air pressure. The MAC valve is exactly that. A valve. By screwing in on the valve you are creating a smaller opening through which the air and paint must pass through. The air pressure is still the same as what it reads on your regulator. It's just flowing through a smaller opening which results in less air and paint flowing through the nozzle. It's still spraying at the pressure set at the regulator. There's just less of it.
The air pressure you use will be dependent on the thickness of your paint. The thinner it is the less air pressure needed to shoot it. That is up to a point. You can only thin paint so much and you should refer back to the paint manufacturer as to how much you can thin the brand of paint your shooting. After spraying Createx and Auto-Air paints I've decided I like to thin my paints. This is not to say that is the best or only way. It's just what seems to work for me. I both thin and strain my paint and with the cleaning ritual I have it's pretty much done away with clogged needles and tiny blobs of paint being sprayed onto my lures. The airbrush also seems easier to clean between color changes with thinned paint.
As has been said the adjustment knob on the back of the brush is to limit trigger travel. For those of us with less than stellar finger control this is another great feature. On a dual action airbrush the farther you pull back on the trigger the more paint will flow through the nozzle. When spraying small details pulling back too far on the trigger can be disastrous. The adjustment knob can be used to limit trigger travel so this doesn't happen.
The "fan size" will be controlled by how far away your nozzle is from what you are painting. The closer your brush is to what your painting the smaller the fan size will be. Just remember that to get up close to what your painting will require lowered air pressure and less paint flow. And this usually requires thinned paint.
Just keep spraying paint and trying different things to see how each change effects something else. You've got a great brush and it should definitely help make the learning curve easier. You just have to keep practicing. There is no substitute for experience and the only way you'll get that is to spend time with the airbrush in your hand.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:47 AM
The knob on the end of your brush will control how much paint comes out of your gun. The more that you have it turned in, the less your trigger will come back, that means less paint coming out. That was a very useful thing on my Iwata HP-C+, when I first started painting. I hardly ever use it any more, now that I have control over my gun's trigger. I shoot most of my paints at 20psi, except for the pearls and thicker paints, I shoot them at 25-30psi. Good luck with your painting and be sure to have fun doing it!!
Edited by Big Bass Man, 06 July 2011 - 07:48 AM.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 10:26 AM
When you began your airbrushing hobby.....how would you rate your artistic ability on a scale of 0-10?
Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:27 AM
At somewhere around a minus 4.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 12:18 PM
My first few baits was probably 4's, but you will get a lot better, the more you paint. It takes a while to learn eveything about painting lures. Try not to get too frustrated, when you have a mess up on a bait. I use to let the mishaps get to me so bad, I almost gave up on painting. Putting an hour into a bait, then mess up and have to start over, would drive me nuts. I talked to a good friend, that has been painting baits for many years, and he said that he still slips up every now and then. After that I never let a mishap bother me again. The mishaps will get better over time, the more you get used to the airbrush. Beware, its very addictive
Posted 06 July 2011 - 12:20 PM
Ben - good write up, learned some new stuff right there.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:28 PM
Thanks Dave. Can't really take credit for any of it though as every bit of what I know about airbrushing and building baits has been learned right here at TU.
Posted 07 July 2011 - 01:07 AM
One side of the bait will ALWAYS look better than the other.....
Posted 07 July 2011 - 09:48 AM
Posted 07 July 2011 - 11:42 PM
Well, today went alot better than yesterday. Maybe I've finally realized which end of the gun the paint is coming from. I told myself that I have to be patient and it seems I made more progress. I now understand how to adjust the paint and air flow and that, alone, made things a heckuva lot easier. Having a devil of a time with colors, tho.
Thanks to all you guys for your help.
P.S. gunnie is right....."One side of the bait will ALWAYS look better than the other."
Edited by saltshaker, 07 July 2011 - 11:43 PM.