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I've Bought a Job Lot of Gear!

Discussion in 'Airbrush Compressors' started by efunc, Jan 1, 2017.


  1. efunc

    efunc Young Tutorling

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    Greetings all! Apologies, but this is my first post, and it's picture heavy. The reason being is that I'm a complete novice and have just purchased a bunch of gear from a tanning salon that they fished out of their back room, and neither I, nor they, know exactly what it is or much about it! I've figured out the main device is a Sparmax MB-620 Airbrush compressor and HVLP gun, and then there's the smaller Sparmax compressor too. The first point is that this kit is clearly filthy and neglected. I'd like to clean it up, so how should I go about this? Can I fully soak the airbrushes in hot soapy water overnight and then loosen up the dirt and dried tanning solutions with a brush? Is this wise, or should dismantle them? Are there better cleaning solutions for the job? Would white spirit be safe to use? What about the compressors? Anyone know how to remove the big compressor and tank from the wheeled flightcase? And just soapy water to clean it?

    Secondly, I'd like to use this to paint and touch up my car and alloy wheels. Not really big panels, but more detailed touching up. Would these airbrushes be suitable or are they really for tanning and broad spray patterns?

    Also, I just 'power tested' the compressors and ran some air through the airbrushes, and with both of the compressors I noticed an initial burst of good pressure and then the needle quickly drops to fairly low psi after a number of seconds. Is this normal, or do I have to spend some time setting these up and fixing them?

    Finally, would either of these be up to the job to topping up my car tyres to a pressure of about 32psi? Or is that unwise? If so is it just a case of purchasing the correct air hose for the tyre valve?

    thanks in advance for any much needed advice!

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  2. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    Things to do...
    1. Dust and vacuum the compressors, not sure if this one is oil less but if it has oil, change it. Clean any inlet filters. Make sure the air tanks are empty of water, should be a valve underneath to do that. Download an operating manual form their site.
    2. Guns, get a parts breakdown before you strip it down, make sure you can get new seals if you need them. There are plenty of instructional video's on youtube. Don't need to soak anything. Make sure the needle, nozzles and air caps are clean. Start with warm water. A bit of detergent won't hurt. See if you can find out what was put through them and use a suitable cleaning agent for them.
    3. If you disassemble the guns, make sure you can get seals. Use a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the needle packing during reassembly.
    4. Dust and wipe down everything else.

    Once you've done that, show us what it looks like.

    Then a final step (one that you could do a little sooner if you like) go along to our introduction section and say Hi. Where are you from, what do you paint, how you got interested, that sort of thing.

    Thanks, Mark
    MeeshellMP, Ricky Spanish and JackEb like this.
  3. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    the compressor in the flight case is secured from underneath,( maybe the fixings are hidden by a panel)
    Dismantle one gun at a time and as Mark has said, only once you get the breakdown diagram for it and are sure you can get seals if needed..
    with seals removed use acetone to remove anything the detergent can't move, just remember to wash everything thorough after the acetone

    Just ask the salon if it was used for tanning spray- if so then cleanup should be more elbow grease than chemical
    Ricky Spanish likes this.
  4. efunc

    efunc Young Tutorling

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    Thanks very much for the replies. I'll just use common sense and caution cleaning the compressors. I'm not sure about the airbrushes because I don't know what they are yet or how they're constructed. One is (I'm guessing), the original HVLP gun that came with the Sparmax kit. The other is an Italian made ES Asturo. I'll see if I can dig anything up. The orange residue in the cup certainly suggests tanning solution, and the bronze overspray covering the compressor seems to confirm that. It's not really an issue for me, I just like things to be clean, and also well-maintained.

    What is the specific characteristic of a High Volume Low Pressure airbrush? Is it well matched to the compressor/s I have, and is suitable for my purpose of spraying my car parts?

    Finally, is the 80psi rating really something that could cope with pumping up my car tyres every now and then?
  5. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    All spray guns are about the same as far as components go so if you can't find a specific one then something similar will give you an idea what you are looking at.

    Now, terminology, those are spray guns, not air brushes...

    To be honest I'm surprised the compressor would run a HVLP gun, might be a very small needle and likely run at very low pressure. The high volume refers to the amount of air required. That is why the pressure drops really quickly. If you are setting an operating pressure always do it with air flowing.

    The one with the tank would work better for pumping up car tires but it's likely to be slow... not the worst in the world but not really what it's intended for. Just becasue you can doesn't mean you should... :)

    I'm curious, what did you pay for them?
  6. efunc

    efunc Young Tutorling

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    I wasn't really going to make this a thread gloating about my bargain... but since you asked.. £20!!!

    It was offered on ebay with next to no information, and pictures taken on an iPhone in the back of a practically black room. I noticed the flight case in the edge of the picture and immediately realised it might be a sparmax worth up to £700. But I didn't realise there was another compressor in the bundle too until I got home after collecting it! I offered a paltry £20 because the seller was just a couple of miles from me in NW London, and he seemed glad to be shot of it. The only reason I was apprehensive was that I want this, primarily, for painting and touching up my car panels and alloy wheels, but it's mainly designed for the salon industry. That said, the items are just generic sparmax compressors so they could obviously be used for anything.

    On the (minor) matter of inflating my car tyre, why do you warn me away from it? Is it potentially damaging to the compressor? i.e. too high a load on it?

    thanks again for the advice.
  7. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Not sure about blowing your car tyres up, however the compressors are pretty good quality, I have a Sparmax which is exactly the same as an Iwata PowerJet Pro, i think Iwata use Sparmax for their compressors and re-badge them. The one with the tank will be the best, not sure how well they work with a spray gun, although i got one with mine too but i've only run my airbrushes through mine. The smaller compressor will be ok for short light use because they get hot pretty quickly but it's good as a backup. If the cups on the guns are really bad i would get replacements, they're only a few pounds off ebay, you should be able to clean them up pretty well.

    Lee
  8. efunc

    efunc Young Tutorling

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    Hey, thanks Lee. I may just hold on to the spray guns as spares and get a simple single-action type to use in the meantime. Something like this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KKMOON-0-...brush-Kit-for-Art-Painting-A4M6-/401142175430
    I'm not too worried about inflating my tyres either because you can buy dedicated tyre inflators that run off the car battery for just £5 anyway. I just didn't want other device to chuck in the garage if I already have 2 compressors. I'm really looking forward to getting started with these though. Maybe when the weather gets a bit drier.
  9. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    We like to celebrate wins and that is a killer win! Well done. Yes that sparmax is a variation on the one I want to get... Pricey little suckers. The compressor is packaged for the industry rather than built for it. They use the same bodies/motors in about 3 of their top end ones. Car tires... give it a go, I suspect you'l find it will get the pressure up there but will struggle volume wise. Probably won't break the compressor as such, probably make it work hard, be quicker at the petrol station... :)
  10. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    And what is this "drier" weather you refer to in the UK... You know it's summer over there because the rain is warm! :)
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  11. Basstrack238

    Basstrack238 Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Not sure if them compressors will have enough cfm to run those detail guns, but I'm sure an airbrush would run fine. Nice find.

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