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Improving The Airbrush...

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by Vladimir, Dec 12, 2018.


  1. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    From my first days of airbrushing I started to think what to improve in the tool, not because I new exactly what and how to improve in the airbrushes, but just for the simple reason of having chinese airbrushes that just needed improvements for normal work of the tool because of their poor quality.
    So, I started to do some modifications that would make the tool’s performance better.
    After I bought my first japanese airbrushes I realized, that to these well made tools it was also possible to make the improvements and the modification was making better performance of the airbrush, thus more convenient work.

    The first thing I ever did to the AB was making the needle better.
    Chinese needles have very rough surface for the reason they do not give at the factory to the needle final sanding with very fine grits abrasives, not saying polishing the needle’s surface.
    Japanese needles are better, but not the best. In the booklet of micron series airbrushes is stated that needles are polished. I don’t know what and where they polish there, but polished needles look totally different to those microns come with from the factory. So I polish all needles no matter if they chinese or japanese.
    I’ll cover my way of polishing maybe even in special thread for that. Anyway, the post will appear here in this thread later for the reason I need to take SBS photos of the processing. All my needles installed in the ABs are polished, so I have to treat new one. My way has some special features, I think you all would be interested to see it.

    Then, after some time of ABing I realized that metal top of the trigger makes my finger ache after allday long freehand work. So my thought went towards finding the solution on this problem. I came up with making the trigger pads made with the polyurethane. The process I’ve covered in this thread https://www.airbrushforum.org/threads/diy-ab-trigger-pad.12859/
    The pads have totally solved the issue with finger pain and fatigue, but they definitely made work more convenient, besides have improved the control over spraying.
    How the pads looked at the beginning of the journey you could see in that thread. I’ve come to another design for the time that suits me greatly. Maybe I’ll make some other modifications in future. I like experimenting. Now my trigger pads look another way compared to those in the beginning.

    Another good improvement that can be made is modified needle protection. Long ago I’ve read @AndreZA thread https://www.airbrushforum.org/threads/needle-cap-mod.6833/
    and wanted to do that since then. Not long ago I finished my first attempts in this kind of modification. These are just trials to understand what type would fit my needs best. I’ve come up with two major types of the protection. One is for detail ABs 0,18 and 0,2mm nozzle setups, another one is for bigger air caps with 0,3mm or bigger nozzles.
    The result you can see below.

    1.JPG

    Even at this point I’m pleased with the outcome. I think now how to make the parts more precise.
    One thing I don’t like is that making this kind of the protection requires tons of manual work and time. But the results are worth having that.

    At some point of the improvements an idea on modification of the air caps came. I’ve come up with two types of the mods. One is to fit new design of the needle protection I got, another one is totally different. You can see the results.

    2.JPG
    3.JPG

    4.JPG
    4a.JPG
    I like both new designs. One with the needle protection looks better than the stock one and can be cleaned within seconds with the piece of the napkin (cloth, whatever) soaked with the thinner. Try to do that fast to stock ones!
    Another type is designed specially for the close up detail freehand work. I work on the details while painting always with the needle protection off, but also worked with the protection off for backgrounds also. In both cases I need to remove the tip dry.
    For background painting I can now use custom made needle protection, so the problem with normal tip dry removal is solved.
    Another story is detail work. Here we need constant access to the needle for tip dry removing. What I’ve came up with gives best possible shape for tip dry removal that can be made. Besides this shape of the air cap gives better vision over the close up detail work. This type also gives second fast cleaning.
    I’ve done this to all of the air caps starting with the detail ABs 0,18 and 0,2mm and above. It works just great for all the types of the caps.

    5.JPG
    6.JPG
    7.JPG
    These photos are good illustration of how easy the tip dry removal can be and how the look over work could change after some minute improvement of the parts.

    8.JPG
    9.JPG
    I’ve mentioned in other thread how well the new needles we expect to appear on the AB market could fit to this detail work air caps. This would be real sweet couple to have in the airbrush.
    Great features we have with this detail work air cap, but big disadvantage (especially for newcomers in ABing) is here – unprotected AB needle that can be easily bent. Having the needle that is not bent is the solution. It moves the airbrush to the next level of use.

    I haven’t done good photo-session for the things because of the lack of the time, but what’s done is pretty enough for understanding the concept. Better photos will appear here later:)

    That’s just the beginning. I work on other things now, besides there are tons of the ideas in my mind. So, to be continued...
  2. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Very cool!
    Were these all modded from the original parts and re plated or?

    Would be cool with a space needle.

    I'll get a video of what it takes to damage a .18 size and what kind of damage they take, so there is a better idea of what to expect though. It's not invulnerable especially in tiny sizes but it is way tougher.

    These aircap and needle cap mods look amazing!
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  3. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    Great stuff Vlad. This has been a really interesting read.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    Those all are modded original parts and then chrome replated.

    I don't have my own equipment running here yet to make my own parts. Working on that and thinking on micro precision:)

    That was my first thought when I was testing my upgrades. I even mentioned this in other threads here on the forum, not saying what I was testing, saying only some other new stuff. Here's that new stuff:)

    Would be great to watch! But even that first video is pretty enough to understand what new needles are.
    I really want to have them!

    They work not less amazing, than look;)


    Thanx guys! For me these parts were both amazing and very interesting to use:)

    Forgotten to mention that @DaveG has inspired me to make some parts looking like "the art in other art" parts. But I don't want to replicate what Dave does, that's not interesting. I have my own thoughts, but for that I need the equipment and some tools I don't have. I think, that will happen later.
    And I'm now focused on the improvements of physical characteristics of the tool, can't add art to the parts now as that would take tons of time. What physical characteristics? Those that improve work with the airbrush.
    jord001, V-Twin, DaveG and 2 others like this.
  5. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Those are some good looking mods.
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  6. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Your attention to detail is very evident - I look forward to seeing more of your creations!
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  7. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Thank you for posting your airbrush upgrade
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  8. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    Dave, if you saying this, that means something. I hope you will not be disappointed with the further results;)
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  9. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    The next comes the bullet head.

    P1010007.JPG
  10. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Cool Vladimir. Do you have any mods for the person holding the brush lol? I need to improve my performance big time.
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  11. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    Squishy, I don't quite understand what you mean:) Say in other words, please.

    Concerning to improve your performance... As I remember you've got CM-C. There's not much to improve there, good brush, I like that design. Two micron line brushes I like are CM-SB and CM-C. But to be back to improving the performance...:D Again, in other words, please:) Maybe straight questions, I don't know.., then I will try to answer:)
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  12. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    @Squishy is asking for upgrades/ modifications to herself, not her airbrush :)
    She thinks she needs improving lol
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  13. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Yes, Jack has it right. I love my cm-c, it just the person using it that needs upgrading lol!lol
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  14. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    Ahh, OK! Than you're at the right place;) I mean TOABF:D Right place for the upgrading:thumbsup:
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  15. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Yep, this is the place to be! When you said in your original post "what to improve in the tool", I thought you must have been talking about me. I am a bit of a tool after all lollollol
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  16. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    Who knows, maybe!:D It all depends on what angle we look at the things;)

    Perfectioning is the thing I consider equal to The Eternity, which never ends, and if to consider this thing, I was talking about everyone and everything. You, me, anyone watching this thread and anyone haven't seen this, airbrushes to improve, thing will come and go just anything:) So, the perfectioning once been started, never ends. Never and nowhere:D
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  17. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    I do like the shape of the airbrush once you have modified them, sort of a retro look but space age at the same time. I personally wouldnt know if anything was perfect, just "it does what I need" Carry on doing these, I love the look.

    Lee
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  18. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    Thanx Lee!

    Actually, the last mod "thru bullet head" has been done by inspiration of old UK made Conopois and Conograph. They had some kind of bullet head design of the air cap, but with the prongs. I don't find those prongs to be convenient, that's why did what I did:) So, you're completely right it's kinda retro-space combination.
    In back years they manufactured many different ABs, some things I consider to be very good ideas that should be used in the modern models.

    Once you start doing something to the thing, you start to see that it's far from being perfect and can be further improved. And you can not stop:)
    When you think that smth is close to be perfect, just pull out 45X magnifier and the thing becomes again the thing needing to be improved;)
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  19. crewchief227

    crewchief227 Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

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    I have a Micron head core (no nozzle, air cap) that has a scratch from long ago, thankfully I have the iwata pliers now, but I'd be willing to trade that core to one of you tinkerers here, for perhaps a space needle, and o-ring :D

    I had a thought though for the modders here, I was thinking about how to improve the inner surface of the nozzle. Two thoughts came to mind, using diamond paste on an old needle to lap the inside of the nozzle. I used to have a gunsmithing hobby. They have lapping compounds to smooth out the finest abrasions in the bore of a barrel. Even one guy invented lapping bullets you can reload, and just shoot them thru, the lazy way. The regular way is with a cleaning rod and working it up and down the bore. That's why I was thinking diamond paste on a needle spun by a drill. Or the other option is creating a lapping needle. Instead of the quest for the smoothest needle, instead purposely create a needle that has a micro abrasive surface. Granted we're talking some extreme delicate work, as the nozzles are already so damn thin, and obviously not steel like a gun barrel that can take some abuse. These may be awful ideas, or good ones idk. But if we had a smoother surface inside the nozzle, we might be able to lower the surface tension threshold of the paint, allowing a smoother transition from no paint, just tip dry, to fine lines. Has anyone managed to have access to imaging equipment that can look inside a nozzle? I might, if I go to the engineering department of my school, the third largest in my state.
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  20. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon!

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    Hey @crewchief227 , can you read the people thoughts?:) For I'm working on the micron head now. Another donor would be just in time! But unfortunately, no needle you need, no O-rings here:D Though, I know someone...;)


    Yeah, good thoughts...:(:cry: To be true I've already spoiled two nozzles that way:D One Chinese and one 0.2 Japanese. Funny thing than after spoiling first Chinese I was stubborn and spoiled the Japanese, no lesson learnedlol Chinese was spoiled a decade ago, then two years ago - Japanese. Maaaany years I thought to myself: "To polish or not to polish Japanese one?":D

    I only polish now outside, then the nozzle looks like mirror. No more internal polishing from me now:)
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