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Clean/lube after sitting for 10+ years

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by Mikej2, Apr 25, 2017.


  1. Mikej2

    Mikej2 Young Tutorling

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    this airbrush has been stored away for maybe a decade or more (I really don't recall how long ago it was, a looooong time). It felt stiff as would be expected after sitting for so long, at least it was in the original box and not sitting loose with other stuff.

    I got it mostly apart and was able to carefully clean some paint residue using a bit of water soaked paper towel. I don't recall what paint I last used, either acrylic or possibly Testors model paint. I'm pretty sure I cleaned this by at least running some thinner through it before storing it away. I didn't want to get too agressive toward the needle tip but the main part of the shaft feels smoother but still a bit gunky.

    The air valve portion feels thick (for lack of a better term). I don't know if the core unscrews like a tire valve. I gave the knurled portion a firm attempted twist but stopped short of forcing it or messing up the knurl with my multitool pliers. I don't know if it needs a drop of oil or water, or just needs some use to get it limber again. It feels very sluggish when compared to my other airbrush.

    I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to pick up an airbrush cleaning kit, or if I need a new needle and/or tip nozzle, or if I just need to buy some paint and thinner and start practicing with it.

    I did pick up an air hose today that will work with my little diaphram airpump so I can at least practice with this airbrush if I get it working well enough, otherwise I'll use my other one while I get this one sorted out.

    I'll see if I can attach a pic
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  2. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    After that amount of time the things that might give issues are all the seals and o rings. The older ones didn't have Teflon packing seals I believe, and its possible some of those rubber parts might have perished. Using any kind of solvent on them will damage them too. In theory if the needle and nozzle was good when it was put away, then they still should be.

    Maybe try spraying water through it first, and seeing what happens. See of the spray pattern looks good, if there's any bubbling in the cup, anything getting into the trigger area etc.
    JackEb likes this.
  3. Mikej2

    Mikej2 Young Tutorling

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    Sounds like a good plan, thanks, I hadn't considered rubber orings.
  4. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    its an original HP-B
    I'm not sure when the HP-B+ was introduced. I know the Nozzle and needle differ, not sure about anything else. You'll need to specify it's a B not a B+

    I agree with Squishy, likely the o-rings are shot
  5. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    It's classic version of Iwata High Performance (not Plus).

    You should change Packing Air Piston O-Ring Ring (part 14 on the exploded view) part code I-145-1. It will make the air valve to work normally, actually not the air valve, but air valve piston that sticks inside old rubber o-ring. http://www.coastairbrush.com/partsairbrush/plusparts.asp

    If you intend to use this AB with solvents you should change for HP Plus version needle packing, part code I-125-7 http://www.coastairbrush.com/partsairbrush/plusparts.asp
    If with waterbased than change only rubber needle packing, part code I-150-1 (part 5 on the exploded view) http://www.coastairbrush.com/partsairbrush/hpparts.asp

    I don't think you need to change for a new nozzle and needle as they seem like to be in a good shape, at least the needle. The nozzle can be examined through the magnifier or if it sprays well you need no magnifier.

    I'd polish the needle for better performance.
  6. Mikej2

    Mikej2 Young Tutorling

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    Thanks for the replies. I put it back together and connected it to the diaphram pump and ran some water through it last night into a plastic tub. Appeared to spray okay but hard to say for certain since the water beaded up quickly when sprayed onto the plastic tub. I picked up a bottle of opaque black acrylic paint and some thinner today at lunch and will see how it does on some paper tonight.

    I've also got an HP-C airbrush and it appears to be a non-plus version as well, so I'm thinking I'll just stick with water based acrylics for now while I learn how to use an airbrush.

    And thank you Vladimir for the links to the parts options, I'll print those out for future reference.

    Side question, while at the store at lunch I saw they had a small pistol grip filter from Iwata (p/n FA450), do these little filters actually do much more than make one feel good? I'm kind of thinking an in-line moisture trap attached to the pump might be better than the mini-filter hanging off the airbrush, but it might be worthwhile to use with the diaphram pump, not sure though.
  7. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    They are pretty good, and some people use both a water trap and this in line type together. Some people prefer this type because they find its helps with a comfortable two handed
    grip.
  8. Mikej2

    Mikej2 Young Tutorling

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    I took the set outside to the picnic table tonight along with a sheet of printer paper, used the diaphram pump, and a bit of Createx opaque black straight out of the shaken bottle (got the paint during lunch today). I'm thinking maybe the paint needs to be thinned a little bit, I'll have to read up on that and watch some videos. I didn't get any thinner liquid and didn't try thinning the paint with water. I then sprayed some airbrush cleaner liquid through the airbrush until it ran clear. There was a little back-bubbling at one point but then it didn't do it again.

    There is the tell-tale puffpuffpuff of the diaphram pump, and it looks like there is a little spattering either due to unthinned paint or just the airbrush and pump combination. Anyway, this is the first time I've used an airbrush in maybe 20-30 years or so.

    I think I'll go ahead and order some rubber orings and packing as suggested above. In the mean time I'll keep picking up some stuff at lunch (HobbyLobby 40% coupons, one per person per day) and will test out my other airbrush and experiment with that one a bit while waiting on parts for this one.

    In any case here is my first work in progress (so to speak) :)
    [​IMG]
  9. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    If you are going to be using Createx then I strongly recommend getting the Createx 'restorer' and 'HP reducer - 4012' (Make the most of your Hobby Lobby coupons)
    The restorer is reusable and that makes it economical. I keep some in a small Tupperware type condiment pot, the lid seals well, and I just drop nozzles / aircaps in there to soak once in awhile for an hour or so, use a long bristle artist brush to help dislodge any paint. remove any non Teflon seals

    Don't use water to dilute the createx. . . it will clot and cause issues not dissimilar to what you are experiences.

    depending on which species of 'Createx opaque' you are using it may be to thick for the needle size you are using without reduction.
    Createx airbrush colour is opaque but designed primarily for textiles and for .5 needle
    Createx wicked is opaque and will need to be reduced anywhere from 20 to 50% depending on the airbrush.
    Createx Illustration now also do an opaque (just released)
  10. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    I'm glad for you that you have old HP-C. It's great brush! I like how comfortable it is with old type cup and how it sprays.

    That filter is good option, especially in your case. Both for convenience and air cleaning.

    For learning your compressor is good at the beginning, though in future I'd recommend to buy the compressor with the air tank as in this case you will not have pulsation of supplied air flow as you have now using your diaphragm unit (as I understand it has no air tank). BTW piston type compressors without tank provide the air flow with pulsation either, so I think it's always better to have the compressor with air tank. Certainly, moisture trap is a must.
  11. Mikej2

    Mikej2 Young Tutorling

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    I got the Createx Airbrush Colors and just saw it says on the label to use a .5 needle. Oh well, I figured the bigger bottle would last longer to practice with, live and learn.

    I'll start with figuring out the needle sizes I have then figure out paint options. Thank you for the input.
  12. Mikej2

    Mikej2 Young Tutorling

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    Vladimir,
    My current plan is to either set up a second regulator and water trap to tie into the garage compressor, or else pick up a smaller quieter air compressor with a smaller tank to use in the basement, just depends on how the budget adds up. Thank you, I've got a lot to learn and everything helps.
  13. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    You can still use the paint, but you'll need to reduce it - with reducer, not water.
  14. Mikej2

    Mikej2 Young Tutorling

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    Thank you. I did some searching and it looks like the hp-b is probably a .2 needle, and the hp-c is probably a .3 needle. And I also found an older thread on this site that mentions using a .2 tip (?) with the .3 needle.

    Time for sleep, then more learning tomorrow.
  15. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel!

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    If you reduce it, it'll last even longer now ;)
  16. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    It's a better way to connect with your garage compressor and to install filtration system near the place for painting. It's a cheaper way and not a sound of compressor work would be heard. Just don't install small tubes if the distance between the compressor and your place for painting is long, as there are loses of pressure depending on the internal tube's diameter.

    HP-C is basically 0.3mm setup unless the nozzle was changed. What do you mean by saying "using .2 tip"? If air cap (air nozzle) then it's impossible as A, B, SB models caps are not interchangeable with C model. If 0.2mm nozzle is meant using with 0.3mm needle then it's no good as the needle, I suppose, will not come off from 0.2mm paint nozzle properly.
    I don't see any reason for changing for 0.2mm nozzle using C model, as C sprays great and more forgiving for paint reduction. If I were you, I'd use C model rather then B for practicing, especially if you already have one.
    And HP-B model has 0.2mm setup (also A and SB).
  17. Mikej2

    Mikej2 Young Tutorling

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    Here is the link to that .2 nozzle with .3 needle discussion:
    http://www.airbrushforum.org/threads/iwata-hp-c-plus.6172/

    I'm going to get some reducer and maybe a moisture trap today or tomorrow (selling some old golfclubs on craigslist today which should get me some paint supply money). Then I think I'll set up a temporary workspace in the garage along with an easel to start practicing with the hp-c.
  18. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    I've looked through the thread. Conversion is possible but you need to change nozzle, needle and needle packing for each setup 0.2 and 0.3. I've read somewhere here on the forum that it sometimes good to have HP-SB with 0.3mm nozzle. Maybe I'll try this myself...

    What moisture trap are you going to buy?
    I got one great from FESTO off e-bay for funny price. It's very good German quality product. It consists of two filters 5 and 0.o1 micron cartridges. Model is Mini, there are also Midi and Maxi models. Mini is pretty enough for an airbrushing needs, but if you need to clean the air for the spray gun, you should buy Midi or Maxi.

    Here's some explanations I've given to one of the art shops concerning conversion kits for Iwata. The same situation is for classic High Performance as air caps, needles and paint nozzles (except nozzle threads) are the same. Difference in body shapes of HP and HP Plus doesn't matter here.

    convertion matter_resized.jpg SB_C_air_caps.jpg
  19. Mikej2

    Mikej2 Young Tutorling

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    I think I'm going to start with the little Iwata (p/n FA450) pistol grip trap.

    Looks like those FESTO traps are available locally so I think I will look into one of those for the garage compressor.
  20. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    Mind that the filter should be installed at your ABing area either.
    I use one filter setup installed on my compressor and another right before AB manifold.

    FESTO is great product you will not be disappointed. If you know FESTOOL products then the name speaks for itself. FESTO is a division of the same corporation for air equipment. Their products are for industrial use.
    BTW I got my filters from the US, so it's not that locally:)

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