Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Airbrushing: Compressor review

After a comment on my last post, I feel like I should add some information on the compressor/tank combo I bought.

I won't lie, it's a cheap piece of hardware, and has it's issues.  It's great as an entry piece of kit, and a lot of people use this, as I found in my research asking about that model on various forums etc.
I'd say if you're looking for a cheap entry into this aspect of the hobby, then this setup is great.  If you are looking for hardware that will last you up until you are an accomplished pro, buy better airbrush and compressor than I did.

The 'issues' I've come across so far are;

Compressor run time - The compressor runs a lot.  This might just have been my naivety, expecting the tank to fill and then being able to use it for a time without the piston working, but as I was informed, the main reason of having the tank as well is to provide constant pressure.  After I learned this, I stopped panicking, but it was quite strange to have it on so often when I had mis-understood the way it works.
Something that will help here (advised to me by the shop I bought it from after raising a few queries), PTFE tape is worthwhile fitting to all joins between the airbrush, cable, and the tank.  If you're feeling a bit more savvy (and wanting to void your warranty) it's also well worth fitting it between compressor and tank.  Basically, this provides a more airtight connection point to reduce air escaping, which in turn helps the compressor to maintain pressure. I'll just be sticking to the external connections.

Heat - The compressor runs hot. Almost too hot to touch. Again, after doing some research, I found that this is normal, and it will cut off by itself if the heat gets too high.  I found that if I'm cleaning the brush after a blockage/going to make a drink between coats of paint, it cools quite quickly so this isn't something to worry a great deal about.

Noise - Not too bad. This was one of my main concerns with regards to getting any compressor at all.  I share a study with my wife and didn't want to be making a whole load of racket and disturbing her as well.  When the compressor is on, it's as loud as a normal conversation, and after being strategically placed, can be very easily drowned out with moderate level music.

That's pretty much it for the compressor, and I'm away this weekend, but i'll continue this with the Airbrush review next week

Thanks

Lofty

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