KikenChiken

Moisture Trap essential or nice to have?

12 posts in this topic

KikenChiken    10

Guys,

This site is great!!! I (like lots of others) got an airbrush for Christmas. Been ruining more baits than anything else so far.

I had a small compressor and am using it for now. How much value is a purpose built airbrush compressor and moisture trap? Just wondering if the lack of either is causing some challenges or lack of practice? :drool::nuhuh:

The Chiken Out - Get It

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reeves    1

I can't comment on the compressor part of your question as I use one like you get in Lowe's or Home Depot (noisy). As for the moisture trap I will say this. I use one. I have yet to see even the smallest bead of moisture in it . . . BUT . . . when I do, I'll be glad it wasn't in the paint I just sprayed. Enough said. Good Luck.

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clamboni    10

I'm very new to airbrushing, like not even a week since the first time I've seen an airbrush in person. So no expert obviously, so I'm just offering what I know about science. Here's my thoughts:

I think it somewhat depends on what kind of paint you're using. If you're using acrylics (water based), I don't think it matters at all, as long as you open the valve at the bottom of the compressor every time you turn it off so there's no water remaining in the tank. Like I said, new to airbrushing, but if you're using acrylics, I would almost guarantee there'd be no problem since there's already water in the paint, and what comes out of the gun is going to be miniscule and easily mixed with the paint at such a tiny ratio that it won't make a difference.

Even if you're using non-water based paints, painting lures, you probably won't be using very high air pressure. I think the moisture that's released is going to be absorbed by the surrounding air immediately and not be an issue.

Remember from high school that expanding gases cool, forcing moisture out because cooler air can't hold as much moisture. While being compressed, gases heat, allowing them to hold more. Most of us, I would think, are using our brushes in fairly warm rooms, in our homes, so the air's not very humid and can absorb the moisture quickly, especially with it being atomized so finely. I don't think the amount that you're reducing the pressure on the air is all that much to cause a lot of moisture release at room temperature. Also, you're really not putting all that much air through the brush. So the air that's compressed into the tank isn't being quickly removed and can cool somewhat in the tank. As the air in the tank cools, water condenses in the tank and falls to the bottom. It's no longer in the air. I don't think the air pressure you're using to airbrush causes enough temperature change to cause a significant moisture release. I think the biggest problem with moisture comes with pneumatic tools and brake systems, where you're either moving a lot of air or using high pressures, not with airbrushes.

I'll say it again, I'm VERY new to the airbrush, but as long as you take care of your compressor, I don't see enough air pressure or volume being used to cause a problem.

With all that said, as long as one bad paintjob doesn't bother you too much, I think the best advice is to see what works for you. If you don't want to buy a moisture trap, keep painting without one until you have a problem that can be attributed to moisture. If that one bad paint job will be a disaster for you, better safe than sorry and buy one.

HOWEVER, again I'll say it, I am by no means an expert, so I'm sure someone with a lot more experience will explain why everything I said is wrong. LOL, I guess if I AM wrong, the best way to learn is to lay it out and have someone explain why.

I think the next few replies should be interesting. I'd like to hear why poeple bought their moisture traps or why they didn't. Did you buy it just because you heard it would be a good idea, or did you buy it because you had a problem? Why didn't you buy one if not? Because you had the same or similar thoughts as I do, or was it because you wanted to wait and see?

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woodieb8    119

we put a moisture trap in because of higher summer humidity conditions. as ststed above also occasionly drain you compressor tank.. if you use a fair bit of air you would need a trap in michigan or ontario due to weather conditions.

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Eastendlu    10

Just because you don't see water in the trap does not mean their is none.As for it not being a problem with water based paint wrong if you get moisture blowing when using the airbrush you will be the first to see how it ruins your paint job.When you compress air you always get condensation so unless you have special equiptment (air dryer) there is always some water in the line and in the compresor .

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fish devil    11

Not only does a trap catch moister but it also helps with small particles. I use a trap on all my compressors. You do not need a compressor that is made for airbrushing. Anything with a holding tank and regulator will work.

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apb    0

I always use a moisture trap. You can pick one up at home depot or lowes that will fit on the airbrush hose right at the tank. I also drain my tank after I am done painting for the day. As noted above, if you get water in the line, your paint will splatter and you'll ruin the paint job, no matter what type of paint you use.

Andrew

ps, Grandpa Lu, what you doing over here, don't you have some milling to do or something :lol:

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Eastendlu    10
I always use a moisture trap. You can pick one up at home depot or lowes that will fit on the airbrush hose right at the tank. I also drain my tank after I am done painting for the day. As noted above, if you get water in the line, your paint will splatter and you'll ruin the paint job, no matter what type of paint you use.

Andrew

ps, Grandpa Lu, what you doing over here, don't you have some milling to do or something :lol:

Just stretching my arms!!

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dlaery    60

I have a 10 gal air compresser. I emty the water out of it sometimes and it accumulates a lot. Maybe 1/2 gallon a month, that is a wild guess.

I have pvc air lines.

Where it comes out of the compressor to the pvc I have a "T", one end is pointing down and I have a shut off there. My line goes up to the ceiling to route to another part of my shop. At the shut off I use as a "trap". It accumlates small amount of water and I open the shut off to get rid of the water. About 15 feet away by way of pvc air line, I have places to plug air lines in and have another "T" with the shut off pointing down to release water there also. This is where I have my store bought aire trap. It has never had any water, but I do have at my "T".

This is where I plugged in the air supply for my fluid bed, 12" x 16".

I was having a lot of trouble and called where I bought the thing and they said, "Oh, you don't have an air dryer?, Well that could be your problem."

So I bought a desicant dryer. It didn't help my problem and my problem was not moisture in the air.

I spray paint a lot, vinyl and 2 part epoxy, and I don't run the air through the dryer (I save it for the powder paint), and have never had any problems.

On the dryer it has these dessecant beads, they are white but have blue beads throughout and when the blue beads turn red, then they are full of moisture. I put them on a cookie sheet and bake at 100 degress for about 2 hours. They turn blue again.

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scoop10    1

Using acrylics is no guarantee at all that you won't have moisture problems. A bead of water shot thru your air hose just as the paint is pushing out of your gun will create a problem no matter the type of paint.

Kiken, I had a lot of problems with moisture using what was a cheaper brand compressor designed for air brushes. Switched to one of the name brand, cheap Lowe's-bought compressors and haven't had a problem with or without a moisture trap.

I would think in Georgia, in the summertime, moisture could certainly be a problem.

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RiverMan    10

I don't have a moisture trap on my set-up...I just make sure I empty the water out of the bottom of the tank after EVERY SINGLE USE. After a couple hours of spraying I will have about a table spoon of water.

jed v.

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