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Author Topic: Air Storage Tank for Airbrush  (Read 4957 times)
C.P.R.R. Manager

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« on: April 11, 2007, 06:56:56 PM »

I am getting more serious with airbrushing, and besides a new airbrush, I need to find a better source of compressed air than the cans of Propel. 

I seem to recall someone on this board mentioning a $50 air storage tank from Wal-mart, used with, I think, a moisture trap and a pressure regulator.  We have a local convenience store that graciously provides free compressed air, for auto tires, but it would sure be great to be able to use this resounce to power my airbrush.

Thanks...
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JM


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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 07:40:47 PM »

WalMart does indeed sell an air tank with a regulator and hose....but it's not what you want for airbrushing. You'll be running to that convience store every 20 mins. while you're trying to paint that loco.
 The air pressure will steadily decrease as the tank empties, and your airbrush will stop working below about 12 PSI [depending on brand],and you will end up with a half-finished job....WalMart also sells the Campbell-Hausfield line of compressors w\a tank, they also have regulators and provide the perfect PSI for airbrushing....they start at $89 and go up to about $200...I have the $120 compressor and it works great.
  My advice....buy the compressor, forget the tank set-up.
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Dr EMD

Founded 1922 as Electro-Motive Engineering Company


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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2007, 10:03:52 PM »

I tried a used freon tank, but as stated, you run out of air at the wrong time and have to make a run down to the gas station for air (which in some place you have to pay for). Invest in a compressor made for air brushing.
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Electro-Motive Historical Research
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2007, 02:22:58 AM »

I have used a modified 20 pound propane cylinder as a carry air tank for many years.  It is fitted with a safety valve, a fill valve, a drain valve, a pressure gauge, and of course a pressure regulator to keep the air brush pressure constant as the tank pressure drops.  I find it much more convenient than trying to move the compressor from the workshop into the house and down the basement, where the H0 layout is.  I rarely have to make a second trip to the shop to refill the tank if I am only doing a small job like painting a locomotive.

Incidentally, propane tanks are rated for a higher pressure than most carry air tanks.  Think of the propane cylinder in the black cupboard under your barbeque or the spare cylinder in your garden shed on a hot, sunny day.  Its temperature can easily reach 55 degrees (or about 130 degrees Farenheit).  At that temperature, the pressure of the propane is around 260 or 270 psi. 
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2007, 12:31:10 PM »

Jim,

My Father-in-law plumbed a line from  his compressor into the  basement where he does his model spraying. Seems like it might be a good idea.

Could you send me a description or picture of your propane tank setup via email, so to limit your liability. I would like to see if I might want to do that. Sounds like a good idea. 

Best, Jack
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ebtnut

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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2007, 01:49:32 PM »

Another potential option that some folks have used is to get a "dry" nitrogen tank from your local compressed gases dealer.  The initial cost will probably be in the range of what a good compressor and tank might cost, but then you only need to turn in the tank for a fresh one and the cost of filling.  The advanges are that dry nitrogen will not react with any of the paints, there is no compressor noise, and a tank will last the typical model RR painter a LONG time.  Yes, you will still need a regulator and should install a moisture trap just for back-up. 
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2007, 06:27:47 PM »

Dear Nut,

Why didn't I think of that?  Wonderful idea!

But, and there is always a but, I believe there is a monthly tank rental charge, that would eventually offset the cost of purchasing a compressor.

Best, Jack
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brad

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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2007, 06:56:06 PM »

I don't know how it works in other places but here we have to pay for a yearly contract to keep tanks for our welder and torches. Between the contract cost (ours is $175 a year for 3 tanks )  and the cost of refills, a compressor would soon be payed for.  Dry Nitrogen is just that DRY, no moisture, no traps required. And if you turn the bottle upside down and open the valve you can flash freeze anything Cheesy (don't try this at home)

brad
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glennk28

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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2007, 08:50:18 PM »

No matter what material is in the tank, or how large the tank, it WILL run out at a critical point in a project, and you won't be able to get it refilled until the next day.   I recommend getting a good piston-type compressor with regulator and tank.  About 1hp is good--won't be running constantly.  Keep an eye on the ads for Sears, Kragen/Schucks/Checker Auto Supply, or if you have them in your area, Harbor Freight Tools. You should be able to get a good unit for $100 or less.  While you're at it--get a set of snap connectors to allow quickly disconnecting the hose.
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The Great Destroyer

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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2007, 10:16:14 PM »

I bought my compressor on ebay with the miosture bag and a psi regulator for about $40.00 some times your local hobby store might have them for $80.00
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C.P.R.R. Manager

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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2007, 12:52:02 PM »

Thanks guys, that gives me a good start.

Gary
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