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Space needle development

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by Robbyrockett2, Nov 17, 2018.


  1. palk

    palk Spider Splatterer

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    There is no doubt that ABs are a small market but Iwata is not a small company and their rivals are not exactly mum and pop opperations either. I do not put much faith into the internet market research that is not IT related or under 25ies. It is the cheapest form of advertising to the masses. And I do know what it takes to start a small business. As Im in the 3 month in on my latest venture.
    You have a unique part that no one else has, that's a pretty good start and you seem to have a few other irons in the fire. If you are trying to minimise your exposure then a colaboration with a small company making airbrushes might be the way to go
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  2. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Right now I'm just trying to get it rolling and see where it grows.
    It's not the most lucrative thing I could be doing but I like it, and I want to make improvements people want.

    Though, I will say I know local junkyards that do 3 million annually. Iwata Medea US's airbrush sales are only roughly 12k airbrushes sold annually, so roughly 3.5 million, it kind of is mom and pop by that standard.

    The parent company is of course another story entirely.


    Keep in mind a lot of what I say is intended for onlookers as much as anyone so I was really just kind of explaining to everyone why I'm not jumping into nozzles just yet.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  3. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Getting very close now. Just fine tuning the grinding jigs.
    Grinding the same profile is not too difficult, putting on a high polish is not too difficult.

    Putting on a high polish and ending with consistent matching profiles is a bit more challenging.

    If I were making these for myself they would be done.

    Bear with me if youre waiting so I can work out consistent quality control and the highest possible polish.

    Oh, and polishing isn't technically correct for most of the process I'm using.

    They are actually being super finished before the quick final polish. This results in a much flatter surface microscopically.
    Where polishing smears and folds the metal over, super finishing cuts it off, resulting in that much more surface durability since most of the amorphous material is removed, leaving a surface that is nice solid crystalline metal.
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  4. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    The things you've mentioned were never done to mass production needles. I wonder what you will end up with.
    It's rather strange to get the needle, that only requires installing into the AB, hard to believe actually:) I had to spend "some" time to get the needle that looked like polished and could be called polished.
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  5. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Many would be surprised how much smoother you can get than a "mirror" finish.
    Depending who's asked a mirror finish starts at 8 or 10 RA (Ra is surface roughness average)
    In short...meaning peaks and valleys on the surface average out to 8 microns variation. This is shiny with no visible scratches.
    10 gives some visible scratches at the right angle of lighting.
    Polishing gets you around 8 maybe 6 if you're good.
    Super finishing can get you down to .2 RA, though I don't think this is possible to do mechanically on a needle, it's just not rigid enough. At this level the surface actually appears black, with microscratches appearing shiny.
    I think I can get these down to 2-3 RA conservatively. Though I have no means of really measuring, other than microscopic visual comparisons to surfaces with a known value.

    If there's ever a v2 of this needle it will be electropolished to get an even lower RA. Theoretically that could bring it to .5-1 RA.
    But it's complicated to do without eroding the tip so...we'll see.
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  6. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    At some point I'll do a write up of what I've found as far as how to finish a needle as smooth as possible and what I've found geometry wise. I have no issue sharing so that if someone is really obsessive they can replicate or at least come close to what will be the "factory" finish on these if need be.

    For now I can tell you running down to 3000 grit with a drill and then using successively smaller grits of diamond paste or spray on a loose material does not get you the smoothness that is achievable even with basic tools.

    Though the methods vary a bit for these vs a regular needle. The treatment these receive leaves the material as what machinists would call gummy so it's that much more touchy to get past a mirror finish.
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  7. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    What you've said is above my imagination, I've never gone that deep in the knowledge of polishing. It's great to hear a man who know more.
    I can only say that I want to see that needle. And if it has that surface and those bending properties shown.., no it's hard to imagine, the only way left is to try it.
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  8. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Maybe not that much....I had my decimal places all screwed up in that post.

    Same things apply, just had my numbers messed up.
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  9. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel! Very Likeable!

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    I can't wait to see an H&S needle. ;)
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  10. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    And it's only you, who knows that!:) I haven't checked up what you've screwed up there. I understand whole idea and for the things mentioned that's pretty enough. I don't have to know how to use jet plane if I only need to have a flight on it. Not talking about the rockets!
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  11. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    In what size?
  12. erwin de pan

    erwin de pan Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Very interesting the whole story about polishing.
    I polish my needles every time I clean them.
    I take a paper handkerchief and put some brasso copper polish on it and clean my needle with it.
    The brasso turns black after a few sweeps.
    A few months ago I did the same with my k33 needle (I did not pay attention) To my surprise, the brasso remained the same color,
    it had no effect on the needle at all.
    My k33 needle is not better polished than my other needles.
    But the treatment they give the needle makes the difference.
  13. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Not surpising. The abrasives in brasso depending on whaere you get it are either silica powder or kaolin clay. The black color is the ammonia in it oxidizing tiny particles that the abrasive cuts off. Silica powder or kaolin clay won't cut very hard metals at all.

    But that's a good thing. If it did work loose lapping with brasso would create a rougher finish than your k33 has as it is.
    Kovacs' articles explain his conclusion pretty clearly.
    A hardened surface is able to be honed to a smoother surface, therefore less tip dry.

    If you feel it works better than a regular polished needle in that regard then according Kovacs , this is the reason. Though you'd never be able to feel or see with the naked eye the difference between a good polish and a well honed low RA finish, in fact the better finish can appear less shiny.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
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  14. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    The engineers at the company that does the k33 process are also pretty clear about exactly what that treatment does.
    It simply hardens the surface 33 microns deep without affecting corrosion resistance, but also leaves it a bit rough, requiring post polishing, leaving you with 15-20 microns of smooth finished, hardened skin.
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  15. beginner-James

    beginner-James Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I'm Hopeful that I'm getting a micron from santa. So I've started looking at the K33 needle.
    What I would like to know is it worth the heavy price tag of 100 euros.

    James
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  16. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    I would wait till the spaceneedle gets ready for sales I do have the k33 and I do like that needle but it has a big down side : the needle tip will break if it hits a hard surface
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  17. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Whether it's worth the price is completely subjective.

    From users reviews it does help with tip dry and it does do that for a very long time.
    It's able to take some bumps or drags as well. I think everyone that has one likes it quite a bit.
    By all accounts it more or less does what it claims to do.

    Though it does have its cons, mainly that it's unrepairable ,so it's not a no-brainer purchase IMO.
  18. beginner-James

    beginner-James Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Can you get the same or 95% the same by polishing your own tip's or needles

    I would also like to ask is the micron that much of a step up than say a side feed eclipse ??

    James
  19. DaveG

    DaveG Airbush Analyst Very Likeable!

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    Loaded questions, you have there James ;).

    I have several Microns, in several flavors. I also have the k33 needle. It was an expensive purchase in my opinion, but I do not regret it. I also only purchased one, and not several to outfit more than one Micron. Some may say they get similar results polishing the needle themselves. I have not been able to achieve the same outcome with a factory needle and polishing. Polishing helps reduce dry tip to an extent - but, maybe not as much as the effort required would suggest. I think there are other ways to address the problem that are equally successful, and/or useful. Paint reduction, flow enhancers, retarders, etc - may be easier to experiment with. I also added a humidifier to my studio which seems to have helped at least as much as anything else.

    Is a Micron that much better than a side feed Eclipse? Only you can answer that question, and the answer will be different for everyone. It is a tool, just like any other. Ones individual ability to understand and master the tool is just that, and individual experience. For some, it becomes a superior tool. For some, and exercise in frustration :).

    As mentioned, I have several Microns, and love them dearly. I also have a few Eclipse brushes - I have not been able to obtain the same level of comfort using these, however. Nothing against the Eclipse, I just lack a bit of finesse with the larger brush to really make it work for me. With all that said, I tend to turn to the Iwata HP (and H+) series for my everyday use - they seem to offer the most amount of comfort, and ease of use for me...
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  20. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Just based on possible surface roughness practically acheivable on the two surfaces, I would guess you could get closer to 50 percent there.....easily at home.

    But then it won't last either.

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