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Airbrush needle and trigger lubrication


Ramtin
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Hello there,

 

This is my first post. A first time modeller living in the Netherlands. I am now working on my very first kit (Revel Mirage 2000-D) and it's going pretty well untill now. I got a brand new Harder & Steenbeck Ultra airbrush and I am loving it. It did come with a sticky trigger causing it to blow air even when not pushing. Requiring me to sometimes pull it out manualy. I understood that lubrication is neccessary for this. I have the iwata super lube (the not blue clear version). Used it to lubricate the needle.

I also bought murrays beeswax to lubricate the trigger. Is it also good for lubricating the needle itself? Or totally not apropiate for that purpose?

 

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Thanks in advance.

 

Ramtin

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From my experience a sticking air valve and or trigger is one that needs a good clean.

 

I never lube my airbrushes as I find they work best without it, it is not as though the moving part are under much stress I do aim to keep them scrupulously clean though.

 

There should be nothing in the machining and assembly of the parts that should cause sticking, if lubing helps then you are just treating a symptom rather than the cause, unless Harder and Steenbeck are even more agricultural and rougher than I remember, gave up on them a while ago now.

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6 minutes ago, dromia said:

From my experience a sticking air valve and or trigger is one that needs a good clean.

 

I never lube my airbrushes as I find they work best without it, it is not as though the moving part are under much stress I do aim to keep them scrupulously clean though.

 

There should be nothing in the machining and assembly of the parts that should cause sticking, if lubing helps then you are just treating a symptom rather than the cause, unless Harder and Steenbeck are even more agricultural and rougher than I remember, gave up on them a while ago now.

Thanks for the reply. It is already clean. It was this way out of the box.... What I understood, is that this stickyness can be caused by a new and fresh seal right where the trigger goes through...apparantly when it is new, it can be a little rigid...

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A little bit of use even if it is a struggle at first should wear that in. Or maybe a little lube as you seem to think, vaseline is as good as any.

 

Personally I don't think that good enough from Harder and Steenbeck, the days of new owners breaking in equipment is long gone. and if it was me I would return it for one that worked as advertised.

 

Hope it sorts itself out to your satisfaction

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The middle seal isn't always properly adjusted. My Ultra came with it way too loose causing paint to blow back in the trigger area. Apparently yours was done too tight. A little fettling would've fixed that (you're supposed to feel the needle catching on the seal, but not having any issue going through). I still have the blue Iwata lube and sometimes I grease the trigger mechanics. It's not like the trigger doesn't work fine without it, but somehow it makes it more....fluid let's say. Before I bought the Iwata lube I just used fine mechanics oil, did pretty much the same thing. I can't be bothered lubing the needle, I use mostly lacquers and those just wash away pretty much any lubricant. Also: get used to returning to the workbench to find your needle "glued" in place. Just unscrew the nozzle and the needle chuck and give the needle a good whack from behind to pull it through the front of the airbrush. Give it a wipe with your favorite cleaner and reassemble the airbrush.

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Welcome aboard! :clap2:

 

Don's Airbrush Tips site has a wealth of useful info, including Troubleshooting and Tuning sections.

 

The Iwata Lube is intended to be used on the trigger plunger. Looking at the H&S Ultra assembly drawing, it's not clear to me how to apply lube. FWIW, the lube is only occasionally needed on my Iwata airbrush. To apply, I remove the tail cap, needle, and needle guide assembly so I can lift the trigger out of the air valve. I rub a drop or two of the lube on the plunger and reassemble.

 

The needle itself should slide through the airbrush body and the needle packing. It shouldn't fall through, but it should be smooth as you move the needle in and out with the trigger. If it sticks here, it may need some cleaning. As I use Mr Color, which are lacquers, I can usually just wipe the needle with hardware store lacquer (cellulose) thinner and reassemble. BTW, only use hardware store lacquer (cellulose) thinner to clean the airbrush. It's too hot to use on plastic models and will damage the plastic.

 

I only use beeswax on the threads of the head cap to prevent air ingress, which can cause bubbling in the cup.

 

HTH

-- 

dnl

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Personally and IMHO I wouldn't use either of those choices.  I've not use beeswax, but have used Iwata super lub.  For me it turned into a sort of paste which dries out and semi hardens which creates a lot lag and jams the needle and air valve, it also leaves a semi hard residue which has to be cleaned off and it's not that easy, requiring complete strip down.  The stuff is water based and fine until the water evaporates and your left with the above.

 

The best stuff I found is Needle juice  it works a treat leaves no residue and you only need a tiny dab, that's easy enough to last a good few days worth of airbrushing on the needle, the air valve I only dab it once or twice a year and the bottle will last for years.  I've had mine 3 now and I can't see any difference in when it was new, the stuff works.      

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23 hours ago, Kev The Modeller said:

Personally and IMHO I wouldn't use either of those choices.  I've not use beeswax, but have used Iwata super lub.  For me it turned into a sort of paste which dries out and semi hardens which creates a lot lag and jams the needle and air valve, it also leaves a semi hard residue which has to be cleaned off and it's not that easy, requiring complete strip down.  The stuff is water based and fine until the water evaporates and your left with the above.

 

The best stuff I found is Needle juice  it works a treat leaves no residue and you only need a tiny dab, that's easy enough to last a good few days worth of airbrushing on the needle, the air valve I only dab it once or twice a year and the bottle will last for years.  I've had mine 3 now and I can't see any difference in when it was new, the stuff works.      

I've certainly not heard of using beeswax for lubricating an airbrush for any reason, with beeswax there is always a risk of residue being left on the trigger and jamming up the works.

As someone who services airbrushes for customers my first question would be, do you have a water separator between the compressor and the airbrush ?

If not, then this could be your issue, the air going to the brush should be relatively dry as it hits the paint.

Fit one if you don't have one, and see if  the problem persists.

The working parts of the valve are mainly brass, and therefore should need little or no lubrication in itself, if you do add any oil this will be removed by the passage of air over a very short time anyway.

Have you replaced the trigger the right way round after cleaning? another common mistake, try rotating it 180 deg and see if that helps.

If all that fails then take the brush to a local model shop that offers a service and repair for airbrushes, we put them through an ultrasonic cleaner for 40mins in isopropyl, this removes all but the most stubborn residue from all of the airbrush.

Hope this help,

Graham

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It is my understanding that the main seals on a reasonable airbrush are made from PTFE and as such should not need lubing, a good clean after each session should suffice. If I had to use anything on the air release valve , which up to now I haven't, it would be Vaseline Petroleum jelly. Not being liquid it will stay put and to my knowladge should not do any damage, if it's good enough for your skin it should be fine for an airbrush.🤣

 

Looking at the instructions to my airbrush the only item it mentions for lubrication is the trigger.

 

This is how I work on my Iwata and H&S brush, I can't comment on other brands.

 

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