Needle packing O-ring and cleaning?

M

Melbee

Guest
Hi Folks,
I've been cleaning my airbrush body with a small cleaning brush 2.5mm or 3mm. When I push the brush into the airbrush front to back I see that it goes into the trigger chamber. Is it possible that I might be damaging the Needle Packing O-ring by doing this?

I could use one of the bigger cleaning brushes that does not go through the Needle Packing O-ring but then I might leave some paint residue around it. Any one got any ideas or advice on this?

Any help appreciated as my Sotar has to go back to Badger in the US to have its "PTFE needle packing" replaced, it doesn't have an O-ring and packing screw like my other airbrushes which I can replace myself, so I don't want to damage it unnecessarily.
Cheers Mel
 
W

wmlepage

Guest
Many people use the Auto Air restorer, including my self, as a soak for our brushes. This will clean all the junk out, it will be floating or setting on the bottom of the container. Big thing to remember is to only soak for an hour or so and to not get it in your air valve. I use a coffee mug . If you strain the restorer after it's completely reuse able. Make sure you wear gloves. And DO NOT spray it. My Krome and Patriot were acting up, soaked them for an hour, rinsed with regular water, and voila!

I have also heard of people soaking their brushes in warm soapy water. Less reaction possibilities to rubber orings.


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Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
The main thing you need to keep clean is the nozzle ..
The needle packing bearing can be damage by the brush , Soaking that part of the airbrush in restorer or solvent cleaner is a gamble being if it gets into the air valve assembly it can cause the rubber o-ring to swell and break which will cause either no air to get into the brush or not being able to shut the air off.
 
M

Melbee

Guest
OK, so I'm gonna stop with the small brushes, I'm glad I thought of it now instead of (too late) later :)
I presume a bigger brush, that doesn't go through the hole in the packing into the trigger chamber, could still damage the PTFE ring/packing.
Is that so?

Would leaving cleaning fluid in the airbrush via the cup for 10 minutes or so and then flushing a few more times, at the end of a painting session, be enough to keep the body of the airbrush clean? I normally do this anyway and then flush it with water.

I remove the needle, regulator and head/nozzle after every session to clean them, so I'm only asking about the body section and the PTFE packing.

Herb, from what you say it sounds like I've been over doing it with the brushes and if I skip this I should be good. Am I right?
 
W

wmlepage

Guest
I also find a pipe cleaner works if you are careful. Or Q tips.


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Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
OK, so I'm gonna stop with the small brushes, I'm glad I thought of it now instead of (too late) later :)
I presume a bigger brush, that doesn't go through the hole in the packing into the trigger chamber, could still damage the PTFE ring/packing.
Is that so?

Would leaving cleaning fluid in the airbrush via the cup for 10 minutes or so and then flushing a few more times, at the end of a painting session, be enough to keep the body of the airbrush clean? I normally do this anyway and then flush it with water.

I remove the needle, regulator and head/nozzle after every session to clean them, so I'm only asking about the body section and the PTFE packing.

Herb, from what you say it sounds like I've been over doing it with the brushes and if I skip this I should be good. Am I right?

Even on my micron , I only soak the nozzle assembly and the rest I just flush out with either airbrush cleaner By Badger or just some denature alcohol let it set about 10 minutes or so and let it air dry ., Than when I go to use it the next time I just put a few drop of reducer in it put the lid on shake a couple of time. spray it out and I am golden.
I may wipe the needle once a week or month ...LOL but I will add a new coat of super lube to it when I do.
 

AndreZA

Air-Valve Autobot!
I am following Ken from Badger's advise and do not allow those small brushes near the inside of my guns. They are made from soft metal and any small damage will make a difference in spray quality.
 
M

Melbee

Guest
Wow Herb, I'm beginning to feel like a real fussy pants! :)

What do you soak the nozzle assembly in? Same cleaner or alcohol? How long do you soak it for?
 
M

Melbee

Guest
Dam AndreZA I wish I knew that before. I've been using those on my airbrushes for months. Why do they make and sell them then? For cleaning other parts I guess. I've only had my Sotar a week, so it has had a lucky escape, from the nasty brushes scrape :) Ooh I feel a song coming on :)

OK that's clear, no brushes in the body section.

Thanks a lot guys
 

AndreZA

Air-Valve Autobot!
Dam AndreZA I wish I knew that before. I've been using those on my airbrushes for months. Why do they make and sell them then? For cleaning other parts I guess. I've only had my Sotar a week, so it has had a lucky escape, from the nasty brushes scrape :) Ooh I feel a song coming on :)

OK that's clear, no brushes in the body section.

Thanks a lot guys

I don't know Melbee. I still use it in the removable cups op my Micron and Badger 150.

What I find more shocking is Harder & Steenbeck makes and recommends a sharp metal pick to scrape out dirt from inside their nozzles.
 
M

Melbee

Guest
I know!! I actually bought one of those nozzle tools. I used it once on my Ultra then put it straight in a draw and forgot about it. It felt like it was going to scrape the whole inside of the nozzle away.

I only ever use a soft, long haired artists paint brush dipped in cleaning fluid to clean the nozzles. Works fine.
 

Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
Wow Herb, I'm beginning to feel like a real fussy pants! :)

What do you soak the nozzle assembly in? Same cleaner or alcohol? How long do you soak it for?

If it is waterbase paint I use restorer made by createx , Work great .. But you can use denatured alcohol .
I soak the nozzle for an hour to ensure it has time to work on the dried stuff out.
If it is urethane which I only use HOK I use RU311.. or what ever reducer it made for the type of paint you use.
Still soak for an hour.
 
K

KenBadger

Guest
Why do they make and sell them then?

To make money - unfortunately they are marketing/selling something that many don't know has the potential to do more harm than good.

I'm sure you all realize that any many airbrushes you have smooth surfaces that rest against each other, the most obvious being the housing of the paint tip against the paint tip on drop in tip airbrushes like the VL, Talon, Eclipse, Anthems/Patriots, Renegades, etc. If these surfaces are scratched or marred in any way they eventually do not seat and seal against each other properly. There are other seal areas - the needle against the inner seal being the next most obvious and being a necessary seal on all airbrushes. Anyhow, anytime you run a bristle brush designed to scrape residue off of a surface over the surface or through the airbrush, you run the risk of scraping/scratching the surface - and damaging the necessary seal. Yes for awhile after the airbrush acts erratically you can use chap stick or beeswax to reseal the surface - but eventually the seal may be damaged beyond repair and the airbrush will not work properly anymore. That's great for me as you'll buy a new airbrush - maybe even a Badger, but it kind of sucks for you because a tool that should last you a lifetime will not.

That's why I do not recommend using bristle cleaning brushes. Use things like makeup application pointed q-tips and normal q-tips. Pipe cleaner is OK, but make sure you blow out the airbrush after using a pipe cleaner so the fuzz is out of the airbrush. Also the only thing that should go through the body of the airbrush is the needle itself. Forcing anything else through the airbrush, whether it's Badger, Iwata, Paasche, H & S, Grex, etc. is potentially damaging to the teflon seal as teflon although effective is relatively soft.
 
M

Melbee

Guest
Hi Ken,
Thanks a lot for your reply and explanation, it seems obvious now and I'm really glad that I asked the question.

I would really like to know what method you recommend for cleaning an airbrush. I only use water based Acrylic paints. I was planning on writing to you to ask this very question.

I really love my Sotar and I can't believe how much more confident I feel about painting when I use it. I'm not sucking up because I speak my mind and if I didn't like it I'd say so. It's not perfect because of the loose rocker and I prefer to take the needle in and out from the front, but apart from that, the more I use it the more I know this is the airbrush I was looking for. I've just finished retouching a painting with it and I can't stop smiling at the result. Brilliant! Thanks a lot.

Cheers Mel
 
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