Compressor for airbrush?

Hi. :-)
Although I've learned to work around the limitations of my old Tamiya
Spray-Work compressor/airbrush combo, I've decided that it's time to
upgrade to a more potent system ...
Having more or less decided to buy an Aztek A470 airbrush, the only
thing that's missing is of course ... the compressor.
I've found a shop here in Norway which sells a brand of compressors
known as Sil-Air (aka. SilentAire) which apparently have all the bells
and whistles I'm looking for, like an air-tank, a moisture-trap and a
regulator, and I'm told they're very, very quiet too.
Since this will be my first *real* compressor, and since it probably
will be a bit expensive, I thought it best to ask you fine folks if
there's anything I should be aware of, like what specifications you'd
recommend? Or, if you're familiar with this brand, what model I should
buy?
TIA
Reply to
John Magne Stubsveen
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I'd be very interested also to see some of the answers as I'm looking to buy the Aztek airbrush and a compressor as well. Quietness and the ability to do 30psi plus on load are my requirements for one.
Matt
Reply to
Matt Cranwell
Moisture trap and regulator are things that you can add to any compressor, so you should not discard a compressor that doesn't have such equipment. The important features to look for in a compressor are airflow and working pressure. If you want to use nozzles larger than .2mm (and you'll have to, if you plan to airbrush metalized paints, which do not spray well through nozzles smaller than .4mm), your compressor will have to output at least .8-.9cfm @40PSI. The tank is a must, since it helps regulate the pressure and prevents the airbrush from spitting at the start of a spray. The really good ones have a pressure switch that turns the compressor on only when the pressure in the tank drops below a preset level - it helps keep the noise to an acceptable level.
Reply to
[SM04]Serge D. Grun
I don't know the specs, but they're probably available via dixieart.com. That said, I own one of the Eco Air 20 models and am very happy with it. It makes virtually no noise - I live in an apartment and use mine late at night with no issues. An occasional pop when the tank fills and the compressor turns off. I use a badger airbrush anywhere from 6 to 20 psi and have not had any troubles getting enough air.
The only thing I did for mine was to replace the pressure gauge. My compressor was shipped with a small one that goes from 0 to 120 lbs (I think) with markings every 2 or 2.5 lbs. I now have a large gauge with 1 lb marks. It's much easier to read and adjust the exact pressure I want.
Reply to
John McGrail
A big tank, even if you need to add one via a hose is really important as you can pump it to 90 psi and then set the regulator on the tank to 10 - 35 and have a smooth, non-pulsing and non-fluctuating air source. I run a compessor with a moisture trap and regulator into a Sears and Roebucks $50.00 tank with a moisture trap and regulator and it is "wonderful". The compressor regulator is set to 90 PSI and and regulator on the tank is set to whatever pressure is needed by the spray gun or air brush I happen to be using and the paint type (of course). Best of luck.
Jim Klein
Reply to
West Coast Engineering
Well, my choice is fairly limited since most places here in Norway only seems to sell industrial-strength compressors. :-P
It's a good thing that someone tipped me off about that shop.
Ooh, thanks for the tip! :-) I'd love to get a decent NM finish ...
How large should the tank be? BTW, I found the SilentAire website:
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Anyone of these you'd recommend based on the listed specs?
Reply to
John Magne Stubsveen
Funny you should mention DixieArt. I was seriously thinking of buying from them since I had some trouble finding a suitable compressor here in Norway. But it would've been a bit expensive though, since I would have had to fork out an extra $30 for an European-standard 230V/50Hz version, plus $??? in freight, plus 24% in import taxes ... :-P
Oh, I found the SilentAire website, if you'd like to see the specs:
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Hm, loud humming noises really can get on ones nerves ...
Thanks! :-)
Reply to
John Magne Stubsveen
How large should the tank be? The specs for the various models are available on the SilentAire website, and goes from 1.5 gallon all the way up to 26 gallons (OK, the last one is probably overkill.)
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Thanks! :-)
Reply to
John Magne Stubsveen
Did you check for compressed air or carbon dioxyde bottles ? A standard-sized bottle (about 110cm high) used @20 PSI will last quite a long time. No noise, relatively inexpensive, almost no maintenance, you can event get the company to deliver new bottles to your door and take away the empty ones...
[...]
Get as large a tank as you can afford. And keep in mind that the airflows advertised are for 0 psi (ie no moisture trap/tank/filters/airbrush to obstruct the airflow). Usually, the useful airflow @40 PSI will be around 50-60% of the advertised one, depending on how powerful the compressor is. All the models starting at 1/3HP and up should deliver enough for modeling needs.
Reply to
[SM04]Serge D. Grun
I did actually use some sort of bottled air system for my very first airbrush. This must've been well over, oh, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years ago. They weren't exactly large and didn't last very long with the long hours I spent over the workbench and my less than frugal use of air. One thing that did happen on quite a few occations was that I had to run out into the garage and hook up the airbrush to a spare tire so I'd get it cleaned before the paint had a chanche to dry up inside it.
No, what I'm after is a, uh, fire-and-forget airbrush system which is ready for use whenever I need it.
Oh, I don't really think you'd find a company around here willing to do that. It would completely ruin their consumer-hostile image. :-)
Great tip! Tanks! :-)
Reply to
John Magne Stubsveen
I have a Sil-Air that looks like the model 20A on the Sil-Air site. I am very pleased with it, an excellent buy, although not cheap. It contains all the goodies you need: air tank (not very big, I guess 3 liters, but more than big enough apparently), moisture trap, automatic switching on and off (it keeps the thank between 3 and 6 bars IIRC). It's very quiet, like the humm of a fridge, *except* when it reaches the tank pressure to switch off. It then produces a load hiss, like opening an well-shaken bottle of coke. This can be disturbing if you are spraying 1/144 scale mottles on a German aircraft :-) I took my airbrush to the shop to see whether it could keep up with my airflow requirements, and of course it did. It hurts a little when you have to pay, but you will have years and years of pleasure from it. I would say: go for it!
Rob
My models:
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Me 163B site:
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Reply to
Rob de Bie
Thanks! The wheels are in motion. :-)
PS: I absolutely love your Komet page!
Reply to
John Magne Stubsveen

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