air brush usage for woodworking - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Default air brush usage for woodworking

Have any of you used an airbrush to apply polyurethane to small woodworking items? I have tried all types of applicators & always looking for a way to improve the process. I make mostly small boxes. Malcolm / Kentucky USA
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 11:45 PM
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I've used one for lacquer, I can't remember if I've used one for varnish. I remember lacquering up a burl clock or 2. Works just fine and easier clean up and way less thinner to get it clean. The air brush was a good one made by Binks, I don't know if that had a bearing on the outcome. It wouldn't work on water based I don't think. The vintage on this air brush was before they became common and the tip sizes with mine would be too small. I don't know if the new ones will.

I also have a touch up gun, $30C here at one of our favorite chain stores, Princess Auto (Canadian Harbor Freight I think). Chinese made so available under many names in many places. Actually does a decent job.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 06:28 AM
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The Critter spray gun works well for small to medium jobs, just an oversized airbrush. Not near as time consuming to clean as other spray equipment.

Critter Spray Products 22032 118SG Siphon Gun - Power Paint Sprayers - Amazon.com
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 08:41 AM
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I use an airbrush all the time and for what I do, I am very happy with the results. I don't know how to post links using the Router Forum app or I would point you to my last Show and Tell post about a Huon Pine and Queen Ebony Chess Board. When I get back to my computer I will put up some photos for you. I have found airbrushing overall to be quicker and better. Thin it out at least 50/50 and use a lot more coats. The chess board had 11 coats from memory. Because they are so thin, they dry a lot quicker, and I can get 2 - 3 coats in a day, rather than 1 every day or two using a brush or spray gun. Around 5 -7 coats brings up a satin finish. You need 10+ for gloss.

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Providing Web and IT services through my own business (Darbeth) by day, and by night , saving my customer's sanity.

Escaping to the workshop to create things out of slabs of wood by day or by night , to save my own sanity.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your advice. I always enjoy hearing from other woodworkers on finishing. I think most of us dread finishing a project after we build something. Malcolm / Kentucky USA
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 11:10 AM
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Thanks for posting this. I have had a tin & air brush siitting on my work counter waiting for courage to give it a try. Maybe someone else has done it.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 03:56 PM
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I use an air brush and a HVLP (high volume low pressure) spray gun. The air brush I use is a side pickup dual action that I purchased from ebay. The side pickup lets me use a small gravity cup or 100ml Jar to hold my paint. Because I also make toys I have a collection of jars with different colors ready to go. It is very quick and easy to change colors and clean the air brush. The one I have has three different needles 0.2/0.3/0.5, I mainly use the larger because my toys are bigger and it gives me a spray similar to a rattle can. Small needles are used for detail. The HVLP spray gun also came from ebay and there are two in a kit, I mainly use the small one. Once again they are easy to clean and change colors. Not quite as easy as the air brush but certainly much easier than a regular spray gun. I have made myself a spray booth using a fairly large heavy cardboard box and a box fan placed up against a hole cut into the back. For a filter I use those blue cheese cloth wipes that come on a roll, clipped onto a frame with bulldog clips, cheap and easy to use. For a revolving base I have adapted a revolving tray from an old microwave.
Mixing the paint to the correct consistency is important and makes using these spray methods easy, all paints come out of the can at different viscosity's and you will need practice to get them all the same viscosity to make spraying easy and a good finish. For mixing small amounts I use eye droppers or syringes of different sizes without needles, the syringes I get from my pet supply place and are quite cheap. You can find plenty of how to use these sprayers on you tube then with a bit of practice will be on the way to professional finishes that you cant get by brushing no matter how good you are.
Have fun
Cheers
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 04:28 PM
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I use an american made "passat" airbrush for touch ups, antique repairs, minor car panel repairs, it is brilliant, works with all materials, secret is getting the mixture right.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Hey John, thanks for all the info. I'll keep folks updated. Malcolm / Kentucky USA
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