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Completely new to airbrushing....

Discussion in 'Introductions!' started by mejmea, Feb 19, 2019.


  1. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    Thanks JackEB, you have shed some light on this for me! Andre's photos and measurements prove to me that my valves are not correct (and perhaps more importantly that I'm not completely losing my mind!). The first image below is my valve in the closed position. The second image is from Andre's page. The third image is straight out of a H&S brochure. Notice the distance from the bottom of the knob to the top of the valve body; mine is much greater than either of the other images (which I believe to be in the closed position also). Measurements show that my knob is simply not screwing in far enough to actually allow the valve to close. Now I just need to figure out why and see if I can fix it! It needs to screw in another 2.5-3mm in order for the valve to seat.

    02275159_resize.JPG
    all_three_side.jpg
    H&S mac qc.jpg
  2. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    Certainly no problems at that end. This is a strange one. I’ve never used those Mac’s before, so hopefully someone who has will be able to help.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    @AndreZA , your knowledge would be appreciated here.
    Does your H&S mac valve, fully shut off and does the dial fall out when fully open or does it lock out?
  4. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    GOT IT FIGURED OUT/FIXED!!!:laugh:

    The problem was that the valves were not assembled properly. In addition to the tip from JackEB to look at Andre's page ,where I saw the visual difference described above, it had also caught my ear that people talked about how their knob would hit a stop as you got to fully open. Neither of my valves ever did that. I could unscrew the knob/needle right out of the body aside from the friction from the o-ring seal. There was a definite "stop" as I tried to screw them to closed but as we've been discussing that wasn't actually fully closed. After studying things under a microscope for a little bit I figured out two important features of the design:

    1) There is a small silver "disc" right above the o-ring (i.e. between the o-ring and the bottom of the knob). See first image below.
    2) In the ID of the valve body boss (where the needle inserts), there is a lead-in chamfer and then internally there is a very slight internal shoulder. See second image below.

    To assemble the knob/needle into the valve body you insert it, push slightly to get the o-ring started and then start screwing it in. When the little silver disc hits the chamfer it stops screwing in and feels like the valve is closed. That's how mine were, but the problem is that at that point the needle isn't in the body far enough to actually act like a valve and control the flow. If you keep screwing it in however, the disc disc pops past the little shoulder and voila! you have a working valve.

    It takes some effort to do this, you can do it by hand but you have to grip the knob about as tight as you can and it feels like you are going to break something. Even though I was pretty confident in my hypothesis, it was tight enough that when I made the decision to go for it I accepted that I might be trashing a valve. I can't test them on an airbrush until tonight but I can blow through them now and stop the flow with the knob like I'd expect, when closed the knob position looks like in Andre's photo, and now when I start from fully closed and go to fully open, about 3 1/2-4 turns, I actually hit a stop so the knob won't go whizzing by my head again!

    Whoo hoo! Thanks again all, and especially JackEB for pointing me towards Andre's pictures and measurements, those were key.

    02275158_2_resize.JPG 02275160_resize.JPG
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  5. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Awesome. I suspect your background in engineering helped problem solve too. That logical brain helped in this scenario.
    When you get chance have a scan through Andres’ blog, it’s very informative:)
    Thanks to @AndreZA for his time to test and review all sorts of things airbrush related :)
  6. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    It probably did, once I saw the pictures/measurements and realized "Hey, mine's not like that." the right brain kicked into high gear. Taking things apart and figuring them out doesn't terrify me nearly as much as contemplating trying to create something with an airbrush that doesn't look like a two year old did it with crayons!

    I definitely plan to do that, it looked very interesting!
  7. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    I'm sure you'll be fine. Take it from someone with zero art background (creative yes, artistic no ! ) this group will assist you without you even realising it. You'll remember snippets of information once you start putting paint on paper and there will be a little voice in your head talking you through it.
    Your brain sounds a bit like mine... very logical... 'others werent born with an airbrush in their hand, so if they can do it then so can I. . . . . Follow the instructions '
    I still cant draw for peanuts, but I can produce something worth looking at with an airbrush. I suspect that my learning to airbrush may give me some skills with drawing too but I've yet to try lol

    The free tutorials from the airbrush tutor site will help, do 'the eye' date it and do it again in 6 months, you'll be surprised how different it looks. The cameron diaz tutorial is not as daunting as it first looks.
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  8. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Glad you figure the Mac valve out. Good info too
  9. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    PS: I've embedded the images rather than thumbnails, who knows, this may help someone else in the future.

    @mejmea, are you going to let SprayGunner know ? he may have a faulty batch that can be sent back to H&S
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  10. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    Ok, thanks. Quick question about thumbnails vs. images. You can always click on the thumbnail to get the full image, right? Even so, would you guys rather have the full images enabled just to make it easier for people? I'm happy to do it either way, just just wasn't sure if there is a preference.

    With regards to Spraygunner you raise an interesting question that I've been internally debating. They were very pleasant and cooperative, and very quickly sent out the second valve. When I questioned the fact that it operated the same way as the first however, they said it wasn't supposed to shut off all the way and that they had tested it prior to shipping and found it to operate properly (they said it nicely but definitively). That answer surprised me (and I disagree on first principles so to speak) but since they have way more airbrush equipment experience than I, I wasn't sure it was worth getting into. Now that you asked and brought it back to mind however I think I will send them a follow up email with the pictures and just suggest that they may want to double check. If no other reason, someone else could have a valve stem come out and it would not feel good in your eye...
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  11. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Sorry, I'm only seeing this now. I'm not getting notifications on my phone.

    @JackEb Mine does not fully close. If I had to guess it must be less than half a PSI that gets through.
    @mejmea I'm glad my page helped and you sorted the problem. But you should not be sorting out the problem yourself but I guess If you can do it, it is cheaper than sending for a replacement.
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  12. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    See, now that strange that you both have ones that don’t fully shut off. Mine does and now you have me curious.... I have a 2nd one still in the packet so I’ll go and test that one on the weekend (late Wednesday night here) to see what the verdict is on that one.

    @AndreZA, your blog is a great source and I quote it /link it often for the compressor parts and paint comparisons :)

    If you aren’t getting notifications then you may need to clear your browser cache and log back in
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  13. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    I think there's a potential answer for this conundrum.

    I checked my valves again in their current condition. If I stick an open male QC into them (or else just pop the QC open with a toothpick or the like) and if I close the knob fully and put them right up to my ear (and it's quiet) I can hear that there is indeed a very small amount of air getting through (regulator set at 35 psi). Is that what you are observing AndreZA? It's so little that I hadn't noticed it before but technically they are not closing fully (which I suppose could explain Spraygunner's perspective too). In any event it now behaves like I remember JackEB describing hers earlier; the flow control takes place over perhaps the first 3/4-1 turn even though fully closed to fully open is approximately 3 1/2-4 turns

    In their original state mine were not providing any flow control, they flowed air like they were wide open all the time. If you look in the end of the valve opposite the QC you can see the valve stem going across the opening. If I open my valve fully (in its current "fixed" state) and look carefully I can just barely see the tip of the stem in the opening, just at the bottom edge of the field of view opposite the knob. Before I fixed the valve that tip only protruded halfway across the opening when the valve was fully closed. i.e. originally it was more open when fully closed than the current valve is when fully open! (if that makes any sense....)

    I understand what you are saying AndreZA When I found the first valve to be bad my first instinct was to contact Spraygunner, which I did, and they provided a second. It was only after I got the second and then they said they had tested it and believed it was behaving normally that I decided it wasn't worth the "argument". I don't have any hard feelings towards them at all, I'll buy from them again, I just didn't have the confidence in my airbrushing equipment knowledge to argue the point with people who are much more experienced than I. From an engineering perspective I knew it didn't make sense so I just made the decision to pursue it on my own instead, and if JackEB hadn't pointed out your blog I doubt I would have figured it out. I am enjoying reading your blog and learning - so thanks!
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  14. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    Message sent to Spraygunner....
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  15. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    Follow up. Spraygunner determined that the batch of valves that they received from H&S were defective so they are following up with them. I really can't say enough good things about Spraygunner's responsiveness!
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  16. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    just think, if it wasnt for this thread then spray-gunner wouldnt have known he has a defective batch :)

    I've dealt with spraygunner for an order of a H&S infinity and additional parts/needles/seals etc etc etc as the H&S are not easily sourced here in Australia, (and the few odd places that do think they've got licence to print money. ) He sorted me out and was in constant communication with me. Nothing but praise for him

    with the valve, I will test my 'spare' one on the weekend and I will also test both to see if it is infact closing off totally..... I'll throw some black paint in it and aim it at some white paper, that should tell me if its not shutting off properly.
    On the one I tested early, I had it against a black background and couldn't see or feel any water spray, nor hear any sound. that was at ~25psi so I'll up the psi and retest both the H&S and may as well put my Grex through the same test
  17. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    sorry, I thought i'd answered this one, but obviously hadnt.

    my personal guidelines are:
    If its trying to show detail of a small object (like nozzles / needles or these valves) then I'd go with a full image if there are only one or two pictures. If you posted more than a couple I'd go through and pick the most 'informative' picture and insert it as a full image.

    For artworks that have been completed I would insert the full image of the finished piece if there are mulitple WIP pics.

    For Paint Pals I automatically make them all full size,

    Hope that helps :)
  18. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    Sounds like good guidelines!
  19. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    I thought this info may be of interest to you. It's a chart explaining Createx's different paint options and their use with Iwata airbrushes. At the very bottom of the page it shows recommended applications for each line of paint. All of their technical data can be found at:

    Creatextech.com


    image.jpeg
  20. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    That's great information - thanks Joooseph!
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