Will this compressor work?
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Thread: Will this compressor work?

  1. #1

    Default Will this compressor work?

    First of all...hello. Noob here. I am just getting into the hobby and very excited to do so. I have some units in the mail heading my way as I type. I need to get ready to paint.

    I would like to get an airbrush setup for quicker more efficient work flow, especially since I'm looking at about 50 models to paint right off the bat. I've pretty much decided on a Badger 105 airbrush but I need a compressor. Well, sort of. I have a compressor but it isn't an airbrush compressor. It is this unit:

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    It's a .8 hp oil-less compressor on a 6 gallon tank. I was thinking that I could run it as a duel regulator setup by adding this in-line:

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    That way I can set the compressor at around 40-50 psi and use the second regulator to bring the psi down to working pressure. It also adds a moisture trap since the compressor does not have one. I'd probably add a second trap at the gun.

    Is there any reason this setup would not work or be ideal? The biggest issue I know of is the noise. The compressor is insanely loud. But I'm hoping that if the setup works, the 6 gallon tank when filled would allow for a decent amount of working time before the compressor kicks back on.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2

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    Pretty much any compressor will work if you have the regulator to bring down the psi, I was thinking about doing something like this myself but because the place i live in that noise wasn't going to fly for how much I would use it. it's cheap that's for sure, can get one of those pancake compressors for like 50 bucks at walmart. if you got a really long hoseline i guess you could stick the compressor at a place that wont give you a headache all the time.

  3. #3

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    Most people run around 15-16 psi for most work, if you can do that, you're golden!

  4. #4
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    It may be a bit noisier than an airbrush compressor, but it will work like that. I use a 5 HP from out in the garage. Pipe it into the house at 100 PSI, the regulate it at my manifold to what I need. (75-120 for t shirts; 10-20 psi for base coats; as low as 3 psi for detail work)
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  5. #5

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    I'm just wondering how long the 6 gallon tank will last before the compressor kicked back on. If I had it in the same room that I'll be painting in, which is about the size of a large closet, and it kicked on and off constantly, I'd literally have to wear ear protection it's that loud. I guess there's one way to find out for sure...I'd think that for priming and base coating up to 10 miniatures at a time and varnish as needed, the tank would last some time before needing refilled. Guess I'll order the parts and see what happens. Worst case, I end up with a spare regulator and I grab a cheap compressor off Amazon.

  6. #6

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    I have a little Testors brand Aztek compressor, that I use a lot. It has no air tank to speak of and basically does a "constant run". But the hum of it working is relatively quiet, which is necessary because I do a lot of late-evening/night work. I have another huge compressor,.. (10 gallon drum),.. which would last while. But when the motor kicks on,.. it's just slightly quieter then the coming apocalypse, (which makes the neighbors rather unhappy at 3am). So maybe pick up a smaller/quieter unit. The Aztek runs at approx. 35psi,.. and no regulator. But I find that my results are fine, just by making a few adjustments at the gun.
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  7. #7

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    "I would like to get an airbrush setup for quicker more efficient work flow, especially since I'm looking at about 50 models to paint right off the bat."

    That is a myth. By the time you are done getting the mix right and spraying and cleaning you aren't saving that much time because then you have to be careful not to wreck your AB work while painting details and that slows you right down. It will save some time but not up front when you are learning to use it.

    That said: Good move starting with the AB and diving right in! I wish i had done that because the learning curve was brutal compared to the brush and really kicked me around until i got the hang of it.
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

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  8. #8

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    Yes the larger compressor and lower pressure regulator will work. Check the connector sizes, you may need an adapter and don't forget the teflon tape

    I have a small compressor that by the looks of it uses that regulator. It isn't that great a regulator but reasonably priced

    If anyone has any suggestions for a better quality regulator that won't break the bank, I would like to hear it

    Good luck with the airbrushing - let us know how it goes

    Thanks

    John

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLobster View Post
    Yes the larger compressor and lower pressure regulator will work. Check the connector sizes, you may need an adapter and don't forget the teflon tape

    I have a small compressor that by the looks of it uses that regulator. It isn't that great a regulator but reasonably priced

    If anyone has any suggestions for a better quality regulator that won't break the bank, I would like to hear it

    Good luck with the airbrushing - let us know how it goes

    Thanks

    John
    Yeah, I figure it isn't top of the line stuff. As long as it's reasonably accurate and doesn't fail and blow out my airbrush, I'm ok with it. There's a lot of regulators that would probably work great on ebay. Stuff used in the medical field or industrial settings but they aren't cheap. I had a medical regulator, wish I still had it now. I used it on my old fish tank to run CO2 for the plants. You could probably get something used in welding applications or similar for not a lot of money.
    Last edited by Nubster; 10-16-2015 at 09:02 PM.

  10. #10
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Try the big box stores (Home Depot/Lowes).

    Generally you can find a regulator for $20-30 and a larger moisture trap for a little less.
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  11. #11

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    The trouble is you want something that is going to be accurate and easy to set between 5 and 30 psi for painting miniatures.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLobster View Post
    The trouble is you want something that is going to be accurate and easy to set between 5 and 30 psi for painting miniatures.
    I know the compressor won't be that accurate but after running it through the second reg, that one should be. By looking at pictures of a lot of the airbrush compressors online...it appears that many/most use the same cheap regulator that I ordered from Amazon.

  13. #13
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Accuracy may not be the correct word. Consistency is more important. You really don't care if you are shooting at 5 psi or 8 psi, as long as the pressure stays consistent and if you dial it to that setting it will be the same as last time.

    Try the cheap regulator. I use one similar. If it doesn't maintain consistent pressure then it won't work well for airbrushing.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    Accuracy may not be the correct word. Consistency is more important. You really don't care if you are shooting at 5 psi or 8 psi, as long as the pressure stays consistent and if you dial it to that setting it will be the same as last time.

    Try the cheap regulator. I use one similar. If it doesn't maintain consistent pressure then it won't work well for airbrushing.
    Agreed. Also, as a beginner (where I categorize myself) you tend to use higher pressures. An expensive a/b with super-fine tip can be used right up close to the model with low air pressures to get tiny lines and details and the consistency would be important. I honestly haven't seen an inexpensive regulator in the 0-50 range so go with the cheapy like the rest of us.

    Incidentally - the air tank on that pancake compressor is the #1 thing you want for airbrushing so you are ahead of the game !

    John

    John

  15. #15

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    Yeah that compressor should work great. The 6 gallon tank should stay filled for a long while. The other nice thing is if you're painting lots of terrain you could use a touch up gun from harbor freight and easily based coat large areas. You can't do that with an airbrush and airbrush specific compressor. Bostitch is a good brand too. Slap a nice gauge on there with a moisture trap and you are golden.

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