An older brush in need of some TLC

Lance Whitford

Triple Actioner
A friend asked me to have a look at this old brush for him as it is not performing like it used to. I’d never heard of Powermax as a brand, but it had a quality Japanese feel about everything. After looking at the instruction sheet it turns out that it is a badge-engineered Olympos HP-101. When I had a play with it everything was very stiff in the way it worked. I’ve pulled it apart and everything looks serviceable to me so the first task will be to do a deep clean.


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I've not heard of them either, lets hope a deep clean will get Her back to former glory :)
My first time working with an Olympos and I can appreciate the craftsmanship that went into it. Just hoping that it doen't need any new seals. The metal parts look pretty good and should scrub up nicely in the ultrasound cleaner.
There are quite a few odd ball names available mostly in Japan that all come from the same place as Olympos. It didn't take much of an order to have them branded. Most everything will be compatible with some sort of Iwata brush if you need spares. Only parts that may be difficult to match 100% will be the nozzle, needle and nozzle cap. Even then, if any of those need replaced, you can find the three parts from an Iwata compatible piece, and change then as a set, and be good to go.

I've got a 101, and it is a workhorse.
That's good to know. You are not wrong about the ease of rebranding here. All they did in this case is put a Powermax sticker on the box. All the enclosed paperwork says Olympos.
That's good to know. You are not wrong about the ease of rebranding here. All they did in this case is put a Powermax sticker on the box. All the enclosed paperwork says Olympos.
My first Iwata Micron was an Olympos MP200B in Olympos packaging/case/paperwork with an Iwata hang tag and Medea flier included ;)
I've done the deep clean and now reassembled the brush. It was sputtering a little but a touch of Chapstick on the nozzle and nozzle cap threads fixed that and it now seems to spray nicely. I am wondering whether the needle is original. The rear just looks like it was just snipped off by hand. The needle doesn’t seem to protrude very far forward and I’d like to know if that’s normal. 20231123_100710.jpg20231123_100642.jpg20231123_100748.jpg
The needle does not look like it has a long enough tapr for the model brush - I am out of the studio until maybe Friday.... I will check then.
I've been playing around with a few things. Results were not greate with the current needle. Paint would spray out when I depressed the trigger so the seal between needle and nozzle is not that great. I tried the needles from my PS-289 and HPC. The 289 worked best, It protruded the furthest out the front and seemed to give a lot more control and finise. Then I discovered that I may have a problem with the needle packing as I noticed that paint was collecting around the trigger. I checked the diameters of the needles and the one on the brush has a diameter of around 1.58 mm while the other 2 are 1.48. I need to do another deep clean and see if the leak occurs with the needle it came with. I suspect yes as the air valive had paint inside it before my initial clean. Fun and games. I won't have much time to do much more for a few days and will try and get some more background from the owner.
pretty sure the original hp-101 needle would be a 1.4mm diameter wire (like the 289). Check the packing, as it may be a rubber o-ring. At any rate, you should be able to get it to close down around a thinner needle by screwing the packing screw in. Just go slow as to not over compress it... If you need a new teflon packing, the one from either an Eclipse, or HP-C style brush should work.
This funny I just picked up an Olympos HP-101 in its original case and with what looks like light use
Needle, nozzle and cap look good
And for only $29aud or $19usd 😚 this is the first time USD made me feel better😂🤣😂
But I have not spray checked it yet either so fingers crossed


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