Why Is the Needle So Inky?

*MRC*

Double Actioner
Greetings and hope everyone is well.
It's cold where I am and tomorrow may end up being a snow day for my daughter - we'll see!

At the completion of the last two practices I have noticed a whole lot of ink on my needle.
Brushing with 4 drops black Illustration and 5 of 4011. I've heard backflushing can send ink to places it shouldn't be so I do not backflush at all.
This image is from last night. Tonight there was a similar amount, if not a bit more. I am thinking this is probably not normal.
Why is this happening and should I close the living room curtains in embarrassment? ;)

Cheers!
 

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Night,
Always pulled the needle through the front of the brush, sir.
Will look online to educate myself about needle seals.
If you or anyone else would care to offer any tips on the subject to a newbie, that would be wonderful.

Thank you!
 
From the looks of the needle, if the front section is clean after cleaning, and you pulled the needle from the front, it looks like you still had paint behind the paint cup.
paint.jpg
So when you pulled the needle from the front, it left a trail of paint on the needle.
 
Thank you, Silver.

I blasted cleaner and water through pretty thoroughly. How does the paint get back there?
Is there anything I can do to prevent this from continuing?
Don't mind cleaning after each use, but the less work involved the better!

Brushing with an Eclipse HP-CS, if that makes any difference.

Thank again!
 
I never pull the needle from the front, I always flush the remaining paint out with water then then use a paint brush with more water to clean any that's left and dump that out, then refill cup with fresh water and backflush that and dump it out, then refill with more water and then spray that through till its clear, hope that makes sense. I don't spray any of the dirty water through the brush until after I have removed the majority of the paint, less chance of the odd bit of dried paint clogging the needle :)

You could also follow the videos here :)
 
First try this. Spray some paint with the Airbrush then clean as usual but this time remove your needle through the back. If your needle is full of paint like in your picture you have a Probleme with the needle seal. The Eclipse has a Teflon needle seal which sits centered right in front of your trigger in the Airbrush. To get to it you have to remove the complete needle guid and trigger. When you look in the body from the back you should see the slot from the needle seal screw. If you see any paint in the trigger area inside you have a problem with you seal. Either it is loose or damaged. When you push the needle through the seal there should be a very light resistance. If the needle slides with no resistance through the seal it’s to loose. Take a fitting screwdriver and tighten an 1/8 of a turn clockwise and check with the needle. Repeat till you feel the slightest resistance. If to tight back up counterclockwise with the screwdriver check with needle again. Put everything back together and try out the brush.
 
Capillary action and surface tension will draw paint into the needle path behind the paint cup. If your needle packing isn't adjusted correctly, those same forces will draw paint through the seal, and back into the trigger area of the brush, as well.

Couple things here - it is an absolute 100% myth that back flushing will force paint back through a packing seal. The only way this could ever happen is if you cover the cup to be air tight, and then back flush. Air is not magic, and can not keep any pressure on/in the paint once exposed to the interior of the color cup - it is going to escape, not spend energy trying to get through the seal.

Second - the Eclipse is one of very few brushes that will allow the user to pull the needle through the front of brush. As none of the other brushes that exist become damaged by removing the needle from the back, it stands to reason the Eclipse can probably survive the abuse ;) . So, no need to go from the front, other than if you simply feel more comfortable doing it.

Lastly, in the post about cleaning, I mentioned doing spray outs, then loosening the needle, and working it back and forth by hand rather than trigger- cleaning the area between the back of the color cup and the front of the packing seal is the reason I suggest this practice. If you put clean water or thinner in the color cup, loosen the needle chucking nut, and pull the needle back until you can see the tip in the cup - you can then work the needle back and forth and actually watch the color billowing out of the rear channel into the color cup. Do this a couple of times, and you will see it clear up...
 
Thanks, everyone.
I'll put these tips into practice for tonight's session. Your feedback is invaluable and appreciated. :cool:

Found this video on the topic of the needle packing screw.

Cheers!

PS: as per my first post on the topic - today is a snow day! My 11 year-old is so sad to have to stay home! ;):)
 

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I never pull the needle from the front, I always flush the remaining paint out with water then then use a paint brush with more water to clean any that's left and dump that out, then refill cup with fresh water and backflush that and dump it out, then refill with more water and then spray that through till its clear, hope that makes sense. I don't spray any of the dirty water through the brush until after I have removed the majority of the paint, less chance of the odd bit of dried paint clogging the needle :)

You could also follow the videos here :)
Great videos KingPin, would you like to find somewhere appropriate to put them in the 'airbrush foundations' section ?
 
I could put them in a thread in the beginners help section, the Iwata site has a lot of useful info on it, which can be sued to troubleshoot most makes of brush :)
 
Hey guys.
After this subject is complete I'll post all my questions in the Beginner's Section. I had overlooked it previously, my apologies.
Anyway, after practice I withdrew the needle through the back. The photo shows ink has stayed up front in that one particular area. Should this be cleaner than it is? Seems like a lot of ink tome.

Additionally, after cleaning & re-inserting the needle, for the first time there was NOT that little bit of resistance as it slipped into place.
Perhaps this means the needle packing requires tightening?

Also, during the practice the airbrush started acting up. I've shared a photo of the lines I was getting: quite spotty. While practicing lines tonight the tip did lightly clip the paper's surface, so perhaps a bit of debris got into the nozzle and was causing this problem. Sometimes I'd have the trigger almost all the way back and no ink was flowing. The locking nut at the back of the needle was tight, so I don't believe that contributed to the problem. I've cleaned it, so will find out tomorrow if it's still misbehaving.

Another thing, (so many observations, sorry!) as ink sits in the cup, its surface seems to congeal slightly. I have taken a brush and given it a little stir. If this improper? Could this contribute to the heavy ink appearing on the needle?

Anyway, another fun hour of brushing. Sadly, it was cut short with the brush acting up. 😫
 

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I will try backflushing tomorrow to see if that helps clean up the needle. I will also experiment with your method, Dave.
 
The staggered line could be because the paint is too thick and if its drying out more in the cup then that would explain how it gets worse as the session progresses , try thinning some more and see how that goes.

Do You pull the needle out before cleaning the cup or after?
 
King,
I've been using more or less the same mix every session: 60:40 reducer to paint.
Believe I pulled the needle out beforehand, sir.
 
That could be why You are seeing more paint on the needle then, try cleaning the brush with the needle in place (I always do) You could also try a bit more reducer to paint.

How long do You have the paint in the cup? do You fill the cup up or just use a few drops at a time?
 
Ten minutes before brushing I drop 4 black and 5 or 6 drops of reducer directly into the cup. Gently stir with a brush.
Wait ten minutes then start brushing. Sometimes if the mixture in the cup seems a bit congealed, I'll stir the ink a bit.
I brush til the cup is almost empty, but not completely so.
Pour in water mixed with Windex, brush the inside of the cup, spray out.
Pour in just a bit of isopropyl alcohol mixed with Windex, spray out.
Disassemble the front bit, pull out needle & clean the lot.

Not sure if this seems like overkill, but I wanted to get comfortable handling the brush and taking it apart.
 
Additionally, after cleaning & re-inserting the needle, for the first time there was NOT that little bit of resistance as it slipped into place.
There definitely should be a bit of light resistance resistance. So you'll likely need to tighten the packing just a bit.

drop 4 black and 5 or 6 drops of reducer directly into the cup
Would recommend doing this in another cup instead. If you want to do it in the airbrush, reducer always comes first.

Pour in water mixed with Windex, brush the inside of the cup, spray out.
Pour in just a bit of isopropyl alcohol mixed with Windex, spray out.
I would recommend using water to clean for water based acrylics. I found that using IPA to clean is more likely to cause paint to dry inside the airbrush. I'm not sure about Windex but I've read some people saying it's bad for the airbrush. But your choice of cleaner entirely depends on what paint you use.
 
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