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Pancake compressor for airbrush use, ok?

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  • Member since
    May, 2013
Pancake compressor for airbrush use, ok?
Posted by Eddie on Saturday, June 01, 2013 3:50 PM

I tied on a reply to a message in a two-year old thread about this issue, but I doubt anyone is going to find it, so I am reposting my questions here:

I am looking for information about using my Porter-Cable pancake compressor with my Badger 200.  The compressor is a small red thing that you've probably seen at the Borg, and I use it for my nail and brad guns in the shop.  I have a couple of other questions:

1) Will the blue plastic air line I got with the airbrush be good enough?  Or should I get a braided line?

2) Do you know of a basic list of components that I need to make this all work?  Which fittings to buy?  I'm hell-on-wheels when it comes to computers and networks, but pneumatics are witchcraft. 

3) I'm assuming that I am going to have to get some form of inline regulator and moisture trap although I live in Northern California and during the summer it's drier than a lizard's butt.  If anyone has any recommendations for brands or models of regulator or trap, I'd think a kindly thought for them.

4) If anyone else is using this kind of arrangement, I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences.  How long did the tank last?  Did you have a problem with pressure?  etc.

Thanks

  • Member since
    November, 2004
  • From: New York, Paris, Hamilton?
Posted by Chillyb1 on Saturday, June 01, 2013 5:15 PM

Eddie

I am looking for information about using my Porter-Cable pancake compressor with my Badger 200.  The compressor is a small red thing that you've probably seen at the Borg, and I use it for my nail and brad guns in the shop.  I have a couple of other questions:

1) Will the blue plastic air line I got with the airbrush be good enough?  Or should I get a braided line?

I'm not sure what blue plastic hose you are talking about, but I love having a braided line on my airbrush. It is super flexible and does not hinder your movement of the airbrush at all. 

Eddie
2) Do you know of a basic list of components that I need to make this all work?  Which fittings to buy?  I'm hell-on-wheels when it comes to computers and networks, but pneumatics are witchcraft. 

You may not have to buy any fittings. I had to buy a 1/2" to 1/4" fitting for my Badger but I haven't needed anything special for my Paasche. 

Eddie
3) I'm assuming that I am going to have to get some form of inline regulator and moisture trap although I live in Northern California and during the summer it's drier than a lizard's butt.  If anyone has any recommendations for brands or models of regulator or trap, I'd think a kindly thought for them.

The regulator and moisture trap you mention seems like standard setup. That's what I have. A coiled hose running from the compressor to the moisture trap-regulator just before the braided hose to the airbrush. I was using that setup in the Midwest on the Mississippi river where the air is thick with humidity for much of the year and I never really got much moisture in the trap or tank. But probably best to have it anyway. 

Eddie
4) If anyone else is using this kind of arrangement, I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences.  How long did the tank last?  Did you have a problem with pressure?  etc.

I had a Campbell-Hausfeld compressor with a one-gallon tank, then the same make with a two-gallon tank, and later a Sears Craftsman with a three-gallon tank. I never really found the one-gallon tank to be too small but was happier with the larger tanks. You get plenty of airtime, so to speak, with even a one-gallon tank. 

I have never, ever had any problems with the equipment or the pressure or anything else. I did ruin a braided hose by bending it too close to where it met the airbrush when I was cleaning it. But that was clearly my fault. I never leave the compressor on while painting. I let it fill the tank and then turn it off. When I need more air I turn it back on again to fill the tank and repeat that process. 

Hope some of that helps. Good luck. 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
  • From: Spokane, Washington
Posted by papadan on Saturday, June 01, 2013 6:59 PM

Lot of good points.  Harbor Frieght has a "pancake" compressor for 39.00, which a heck of a lot cheaper than all the airbrush compessors I've checked.

thanks Eddie for asking and thank Chillyb1 for responding.

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  • Member since
    May, 2013
Posted by Eddie on Saturday, June 01, 2013 7:38 PM

Thanks Chilly.  Ton of good information here.  I'd like to comment about your photos, but I have a couple of followup questions for you first if you don't mind:

First, The blue tubing I referred to is the air-supply tubing that came with my Badger 200.  It has a threaded sleeve at both ends for fitting between the airbrush and the air source.  For some reason that escapes me, I started thinking that it would be too weak to hold the pressure, but that's a pretty silly point given that it was supplied by the manufacturer of the airbrush, and that I don't plan on pressurizing to the point that I could take the lug nuts off my trucks wheels.  It's plenty flexible and I may not need the braided tubing.

Secondly, the hose fittings on my compressor are the quick-disconnect type.  You know - Pull back the ring on the brass fitting, and disconnect the hose from the compressor at one end or the tool at the other.  Am I right in assuming that there is some kind of hose or fitting that has a quick-disconnect at one side/end and a 1/4" threaded bit at the other end?  

Thirdly, thanks for the info about the moisture trap and regulator.  I'll have to check my local auto shop or Harbor Freight to see what they have that might be useful.  And thanks for telling me about turning off the tank when using it.  Great idea.

Now about the pictures: Awesome!  I was especially impressed with the paint jobs you got on your Citroen (ID19 ?) and TR3.  Is it safe to assume that you have a thread in the forum where you described what paint you were using and how you got that finish?  Great Porsche engine and under-hood detailing on the Mustang as well.  Nicely detailed.  Really impressed with the rally car (Renault?) finish as well.  Last question for the moment: That stand that you have for holding the car bodies while you paint them.  Is that homemade, or did you purchase that somewhere?  Thanks again for taking the time Chilly.

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Cape Coral Florida
Posted by BigTallDad on Sunday, June 02, 2013 5:34 AM

Micro Mark has a nice inline regulator with a built-in moisture trap. I like it because the range is 0 - 70 psi, which allows finer adjustment than a 0 - 120 psi regulator. I use standard quick-disconnect fittings throughout, and plug the airbrush into the regulator.

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  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Monday, June 03, 2013 10:37 AM

Welcome to the forum Eddie. The blue hose that you use with your airbrush should be fine for now. I've been using mine for 32 years without a problem, though someday I will upgrade to a braided hose. Since the pressure from the compressor is regulated down, you shouldn't over pressure the blue hose.

An adaptor fitting is available to connect the blue hose to a 1/4" NPT fitting. You will need this to connect the hose to the compressor or the regulator. Stores that sell Badger parts and supplies should have this adaptor. It is a Badger part.

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  • Member since
    May, 2013
Posted by Eddie on Tuesday, June 04, 2013 12:00 AM

Yup.  My wife bought me my Porter-Cable compressor a few years ago as a birthday present, and I'm going to be using that to power my Badger 200.  I bought a conversion fitting today that goes from a quarter inch up to the size needed to attach to the compressor, but now I need to get a moisture trap/regulator and start practicing.  There's so much to learn.  I had bought the Badger a couple of months before I quit building models and had never used it, so this is all new to me even though it's 30 years later.

  • Member since
    March, 2008
Posted by Pro Crastinator on Thursday, June 06, 2013 11:25 AM

Your pancake compressor will work just fine.  You need some kind of a moisture trap and a pressure regulator.  I like a braided hose and your pressures even with the plastic should be ok since at the air brush it will be much lower then your compressor can produce.  I use a small compressor, but I use a 5 gallon reservoir so the compressor doesn't run and affect my air brush pressure.  When it's painting time I just fire up the compressor and fill the reservoir.  I wait til the compressor fills the reservoir.  Once everything is full I valve out the compressor and turn it off and just use the air from the reservoir.  Traps, gauges and reservoirs are available from Harbor Freight.  You can order all of this right online and get it delivered right to your house.

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  • Member since
    October, 2010
Posted by Test-fit Dan on Thursday, June 06, 2013 2:38 PM

Man, I love this sight.  I got a brand new compressor a while back and new Paasche air brush.  Haven't tried it yet because I'm not sure what else I needed.  Now I know.  Thanks guys. Big SmileBig SmileBig Smile

  • Member since
    November, 2004
  • From: New York, Paris, Hamilton?
Posted by Chillyb1 on Thursday, June 06, 2013 6:37 PM

Eddie

Thanks Chilly.  Ton of good information here.

Now about the pictures: Awesome!  I was especially impressed with the paint jobs you got on your Citroen (ID19 ?) and TR3.  Is it safe to assume that you have a thread in the forum where you described what paint you were using and how you got that finish?  Great Porsche engine and under-hood detailing on the Mustang as well.  Nicely detailed.  Really impressed with the rally car (Renault?) finish as well.  Last question for the moment: That stand that you have for holding the car bodies while you paint them.  Is that homemade, or did you purchase that somewhere?  Thanks again for taking the time Chilly.

Thanks for the compliments, Eddie. I'm glad you like the models. Most of the models that can be seen in my Photobucket were posted here with the relevant information about paint and whatnot. 

I know that I used Plasti-kote lacquer on the black Citroen DS shot through my airbrush. There's also a very dark blue one with a light blue roof that was shot with Tamiya TS-55 and then I mixed the light blue color myself using other TS paints. The Triumph TR3 was Tamiya TS-9 British Green and I may have shot that from the can. That model is not good and I would never ever build it again. That Mustang is a really beautiful kit and I painted it with Plasti-kote automotive lacquer. 

The paint stand is made by Tamiya and I recommend it very highly. 

  • Member since
    October, 2018
Posted by MikeJones on Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:59 AM

I don't have any idea about this pancake compresser. In paperwritings.com, I have read an article about this pancake air compresser. I also knew it's usage.

  • Member since
    July, 2018
  • From: Ohio
Posted by Roger on Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:26 AM

One thing I must ask,,,,are you familiar with the noise made by that compressor?  It's horrendous.  

Just asking,  no one else seems too concerned with the noise but, I know that my most memorable experience with mine was the day I sold it.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:40 AM

I guess Roger didn't notice the spam posting ahead of his.  I reported this!

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