Sunday, May 10, 2015

Piecing together an Airbrush Compressor

  Sorry for the delay between posts.  Been sick a while and awfully busy at work.  But, better busy than the alternative... 

  So a while back I bought a Badger TC910 air compressor off of Amazon.  I had heard really good things about them and was in need.  I should say, I was in "want", because I had a compressor, my trusty old Paasche D400R, but it had no air tank and I was always a bit leery of that.  Living in the desert, it does not get very humid, but I still did notice weirdness every now and then.

  Well, I can safely say I am not a fan of the badger compressor at all.  From the day I got it, it has rattled like crazy, even after adding foam and fuzz wherever metal meets metal.  Another issue is a tremendous design flaw where the 90degree angle pipe comes out to mate up to my regulator/gauge.  It started leaking from there and I had to take it apart and put some Teflon tape on it (which it did not come with).  Well, the 90 degree angle pipe is a piece of pot metal crap, and the moment I tried to tighten it (and no, I did not go ape-sh&t on it), it broke.  No big deal, I thought, 90 degree pipes are easy to find.  Except, that all the normal 90 degree bends are too big to fit this thing (The 90 degree union will keep the Compressor from bolting onto the tank).

  I knew then that I had to toss this POS and start over.  I'm not trying to beat up badger, I probably got a bad model, but at the price I paid, I expected better.  So, I ordered a tank from e-bay and got some fittings from True Value.  Lowes supplied the Angle Iron and I added the elbow grease.  I ended up with the rig you see here...  It works like a champ, the tank and airbrush combo held 95 psi for over 1 hour without even a full psi of pressure loss.  Plus, it has the nice quiet Paasche compressor and not the clunky monster that was the Badger.  So, here are some pics with captions...  Enjoy!

The raw materials.  I also got to add a metal blade for my chop saw to my arsenal, added bonus!!

Testing the MDF "floors" for the carrier combo box

Version 1 of the layout, I changed this to have the compressor at the bottom and tank on top.  It gives better access to the tank pressure gauge and to the blow down valve on the bottom.
 More after the break!!!

The "beast" on the floor, ready for leak testing

The tank I bought had a built in hole for a pressure gauge.  Now I can measure the tank pressure and not just the flow to the brush.  Why this is important to me, I do not know :)

The rags under the front and back are just to keep the leak-tec from dripping everywhere.  I use a mix of dish soap and water for my leak-tec and it stains MDF a little.
  So, that's it.  Pretty easy to build, took about 4-5 hours total, not counting the shopping :)  Works like a true gem also, when it kicks on it is very quiet.  The tank mellows out the air quite a bit.