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Clogging issues?

Discussion in 'General Airbrush Discussion' started by Tull, Jun 22, 2018.


  1. Tull

    Tull Young Tutorling

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    Hi there folks.

    I got a little fed up with the tip guards of the Steenbeck Ultras getting full of paint and having to clean then out all the time so I sprang the wallet open and picked up an Infinity CR Plus. I love the extra features and the more open tip guards are very useful.

    I'm still having some 'noobie' problems though. I've been studying the art of real fire, I have the general practice worked out and I can lay some very nice lines, mixing over the colours is going to take a bit of practice and learning, but it's great fun.

    One think I notice with the Infinity is it seems to use so much less paint, or maybe it's atomising the paint better. But, I do get clogged up quite often and I need to know how to work out what the problem is.

    Am I getting paint sticking in the nozzle, is it tip dry, what do I need to look for?

    I've been playing around A LOT with thinning percentages, not overly scientifically but I've found a mixture that doesn't spot or splutter at all, and covers nicely. But I'm wondering if it's still a bit thick.

    I'm using Vallejo Air and V RC paints, using the Vallejo thinners and I've been adding a couple of drops of tip flow. I decant paint into small 'vape' bottles I found on ebay so I can mix up small amounts at a time. I'm currently running approximately 20 psi.

    When I get one of these clogs I can sometimes clear it with a couple of quick flicks of the trigger, sometimes I have to flush through the bowl. If very unlucky I have to remove and clean the needle and flush through the nozzle.

    This all tells my common sense the paint is still too thick, or it's drying up in the needle channel.

    But, I don't have the knowledge of months of practice to tell where the problem in. Any advise would be very much appreciated, without this sorted out I don't feel confident to move away from the cardboard and onto the lexan.

    Many thanks.
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  2. Zackod

    Zackod Artist of the Month! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    Hey mate. Have you tried running at lower air pressures?
    What pressures do you have your regulator set at?
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  3. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Very Likeable!

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    Its only tip dry when your paint starts to build up on the top of the needle, this is usually due to the paint being "air dried" by the air coming out around the nozzle.

    I would suspect that you need a bit more thinning, but also, assuming you stir your paint well, if you are not straining your paint you should be, I usually cut a little square out of old panyhose/stockings and place it over the neck of my bottles then screw the lid back on so I strain each time I fill my cup.

    Vallejo and other model paints are generally too thick for smaller nozzles, if you got the 0.4 needle/nozzle with your new brush try that to see if you get better performance.

    Another thing to consider, darker colours including black, umber and also white are generally a bit iffy with smaller nozzles due to being heavier pigmented.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
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  4. Zackod

    Zackod Artist of the Month! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    My apologies i didnt read it properly. By the sounds of it it might be that the pigment in the paint might be too course. Maybe try different paint. I would reccommend to try createx paints. I love them and havent had anywhere near as many issues since using them. They have lots of different paints eg autoair, illustration colors, wicked etc.
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  5. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    I also think it is a pigment issue. What size nozzle setup do you have in the gun? If you do not need super small detail then go as big as you can. If you are 0.15 you can go 0.2 with just a needle and nozzle change or 0.4 with needle, nozzle and nozzle cap change.
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  6. HellBird

    HellBird Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    @Tull , I've had similar issues with my H&S Infinity. If you are using the .15 needle and nozzle and thinning the mix a bit more of your Vallejo Air is still giving you issues, then definitely switch up to the .4 set (or .2 if you have it). The .4 needle/nozzle/air cap set is much more forgiving paint-wise.
    As Andre pointed out, it could be a pigment issue and your Vallejo Air colors are just going to clog your .15 nozzle no matter how much you thin it. Different colors have different pigment sizes and transparent versus opaque types also come into play. Black and white, especially opaque, are difficult IME with small nozzles.
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  7. Tull

    Tull Young Tutorling

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    Ah ok. I had wondered if the paint was 'too think' I hadn't boiled that right down to the pigment particles, this would make sense as this was with the .02 that came installed, I haven't tried the ./04 in it yet, but I have had less issues with the other brush I have with the larger nozzles.

    I'll take a look at those paints. I'm really just finding my feet with this sport at the moment!

    Many thanks.
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  8. HellBird

    HellBird Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    lol Who isn't?!? I'm right there with you on finding my feet. Want to just sit down and paint/practice, but my futility room is all tore apart until Monday afternoon (if I'm lucky:sus:) waiting for a replacement dryer and the guys to stack it on the washer. Too crippled up, and old, to do that any longer. :(
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  9. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Everybody just wants the gun with the smallest nozzle to do detail but never think about the paint. Or think they will just reduce it more. Reducer/water only thins the binder. Nothing will change the pigment size. And too much reducer "breaks" the binder and paint wont stick.
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  10. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel!

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    Going outside today is like that ending scene in Total Recall... where they end up out on the surface of Mars?
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  11. HellBird

    HellBird Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    o_OAllergies?
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  12. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel!

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    lol no... the scorching heat! I cant believe how hot it is here lately. The AC can barely put a dent in it.
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  13. HellBird

    HellBird Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Yeah I can believe it. I'm more like the Wicked Witch of the West (I'm melting! melting!) For me, it's not always the heat. It's the humidity that does me in. :eek:
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  14. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel!

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    Youre from the Finger Lakes right? I know the humidity is killer up there!
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  15. HellBird

    HellBird Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    It certainly can be later in the summer although the lakes help moderate the temperatures at least. Better than "Hotlanta" Georgia in mid August! That was Hell's sauna for sure when I was there for a trade show. Want some hot water? Just wave a handkerchief in the air and wring it out over a glass.
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  16. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    I'm currently sitting with a wet towel on my head to try to cool me down.. Anyway we digress. @Tull have you tried upping the psi to 25, it might make a difference. But if not i agree with what the others have said. The only time ive had issues like that was with paint that had lumps in it. That was through my hp-b+ 0.2 and after adding a bit of reducer and straining the paint it was ok.

    Lee
  17. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    It's middle of winter here and our morning low is 42F and mid day high is 68F. We're freezing our arses off. I have the heater on in the studio and I can feel how it is affecting the paint.

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