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Badger 100-1 SF meets Sotar 20/20

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by DaveG, Feb 16, 2017.


  1. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Assembled another interesting little airbrush to try out - I'll call it a Badger Sotar 20/100 SF [​IMG]

    I purchased a Badger 100-1 off of Ebay, and when it arrived I used Sotar 20/20 fine head assembly to replace the standard 100 head. I took one of my spare Sotar needles, and cut it down to fit inside the handle, as it stuck way out before clipping. I also used a small, short trigger button I had in my parts box from an original generation Sotar, along with a Sotar's longer needle chuck and chucking guide, and handle to wrap up the assembly.

    What a great little airbrush - If you look at the comparison picts (with an Iwata Eclipse) you can see how small, and compact the brush is. It takes a bit of adjustment, as the trigger is so far forward in comparison. I much prefer the very small trigger button I used on it vs the larger, taller OEM of the 100.

    badger sotar20-100 sf1.jpg badger sotar20-100 sf2.jpg

    Two things that surprised me - the first is that Badger has gone to making the 100-1 body ambidextrous, in that there is a hole on both sides of the brush (right and left) to plug the color cup in, as well as a filler plug for the opposite side. The other is that they now supply a larger 1/8 oz color cup - which for me is a draw back. I prefer the smaller 1/16oz cup. A quick look at "webairbrush" - Badger's official web store indicates that the smaller cup has been discontinued. Luckily I found some in stock at another online retailer, and ordered a few. With how short this build is, especially in front, the larger cup will get in the way.

    The other negative (for me, anyway) - it has been quite some time since I had a Badger side feed. But, I seem to remember that at one time I had many - Badgers, Iwata and even Aztek brushes, and all the stems on the color cups were the same diameter. I ordered several Aztek cups in anticipation of building this little ditty - but, they do not fit. The Badger cup/brush has a smaller/thinner stem... I do have the capability to taper ream the hole in the brush to the correct size for other cups, but will hold off till I have some more time under my belt with it...

    Performance in my initial testing has been good to very good [​IMG]. Looking forward to using it more... will follow up with more as I have more time to play with it, for those interested.
  2. J000seph

    J000seph Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I have seen adapters for Aztec cups. Sorry, can't remember where..
  3. J000seph

    J000seph Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    little metal sleeve that steps it down to smaller size.
  4. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Yeah, I can make an adapter easy enough, but if I am going to keep it, I would like for everything to be as compatible as possible - So, I would just ream the hole to accept a more universal cup size. If I don't already have a taper reamer to enlarge the hole (it is only maybe .016 0r .017" different), I can make one easy enough to open up the brass body of the Badger...
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  5. Nessus

    Nessus Gravity Guru

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    I have one of the side feed SOTARs, which is basically this but with a different finish, and I really like it. I feel like this should be the standard SOTAR rather than the gravity version. Original discussion on that from back when it first came out: http://www.airbrushforum.org/threads/sotar-side-feed.14066/

    Interesting to hear that the 100 is now being made with ambidextrous cup holes. Every site I've seen them on, including Badger's own site, still shows them as having R/L variants. Since the SF-SOTAR and the 100 use the same body, I'll bet they started doing the 100 ths way when they started making the SF-SOTAR so they could keep the production lines unified.

    Like you, I think the 1/16oz cup is way better suited to this brush than the larger stock cup. I've got 4 of them now which I mostly got off eBay, and I only use the bigger cup for flushing.

    When I first got mine, I tried modifying an Aztec cup by drilling out the stem on the cup and replacing it with a brass tube of the right size. It worked, but I found it was less ergonomic than the stock or 1/16oz cup. Since it's closer to te body, it get's th the way of your fingers more, and it also comes closer to touching the work surface when doing fine lines.

    Because the front is so short, I'd worry a little about drilling or reaming out the holes for the cup stem, as I sort of suspect the needle bearing is almost right behind the hole. Enlarging the hole might risk cutting into the needle bearing. That's just speculation on my part though, and Badger's needle bearings are basically a press-fitted Teflon bushing rather than a screw-in assembly, so it might not matter if a bit gets taken off the front.
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  6. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Yes, you and I have had a brief chat about these brushes before - As far as Advertising picts and brushes, half the time I see the 100 series brushes, they have the blue heavy handle, sometimes silver, and sometimes silver tapered... I was quite surprised when I opened the box and saw the "plug" looking up at me. Because the Badger does not have shoulders sticking out around the holes on the body, the plug could be made to tuck in closer to the body of the brush, as it sticks out a bit...

    I've got pretty fair shop set up - truth be told, if I wanted to make a new body altogether, it would not be too challenging - so reaming the hole if I choose to do it, will not be too traumatic. I can always offset the hole to the rear, not removing more material past the front edge of the existing hole. The few thousands of an inch that it would need to be really would not effect anything either way...

    I ordered three of the 1/16 oz cups, and that may satisfy my need for cups. I can also use one of my finishing set up's to possibly re-plate the entire brush if it is something I would like to keep around. I plan on making a new trigger for it this weekend to further test the brush - even though I am using a smaller button, I would still like it lower on this little brush. Don't care for the large, round button of stock, and like the high roller even less...
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  7. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Gonna jump the gun a little here, as I have not taken pictures of anything yet.

    I have been chomping at the bit to use this little side feed brush, but have been waiting for some smaller color cups to come in. The one that came with the brush is 1/8oz, and seems huge on this little brush. Also, due to the very short front end of the brush, a large cup will inevitably come into contact with my work surface. The cups I ordered came in today, and turned out to be more 1/8oz. I hopped on line and searched for another retail source for the now discontinued 1/16oz cups, and placed another order. This evening, I received an e-mail stating the order had been canceled, because the cups have been discontinued.

    Well, phooey, that does not work for me! As I had originally thought, I want the color cups to be more universal, so that if I have more than one side feed brush (brand) that the cups will work across the bunch of them. The reason for this will be more apparent at a later time :)

    So, I just decided to go for it, and reamed the holes on the Badger 100 body out, to accept color cups from Iwata, Aztek, and import brushes, which all use the same size stem. Only took a few minutes and saves me a BUNCH of concerns later. Once the holes were reamed, the banking plug that came with the brush to fill the hole not being used (there is one on each side, right and left) did not fit any longer, so I cut another out of Delrin on my lathe. I cut it just a bit shorter, so that it would not stick out quite as far as the OEM.

    I will add info and picts to this thread tomorrow, once I work with the little brush a bit...
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  8. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    A couple of picts for those that enjoy seeing them :) I am glad that I went ahead and reamed the holes to accept the Iwata, Aztek,and import color cups. The brush feels much better with a smaller cup installed. Very cool, little brush that is gonna get a work out on my bench.
    sotar20-100sf3a.jpg
    sotar20-100sf5a.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
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  9. J000seph

    J000seph Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    That thing looks mean!! I want one! Haha
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  10. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Gotta admit, it is a pretty cool, little brush. It puts you right on top of the work, but does not feel like it is in the way. I am working on the trigger a bit, as this is the one area I am not crazy about. Need to change the valve spring, cause clipping doesn't really do it - it still feels stiff even if you clip enough that the spring will no longer close the valve - I'll make a softer spring tomorrow. Also like to see if I can't get it more progressive - The Badger trigger always feels like an on/off switch to me, as I have a hard time regulating it. May even finish making a new trigger button for a more personal feel...
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  11. J000seph

    J000seph Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I like Iwata triggers much better than Badger. I think that's why I sold my 150 and Velocity. I put the older style small trigger on the Velocity and liked it much better. But still didn't care for the feel of it as much as Iwata. I'm interested in seeing what you come up with...
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