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Jeff31293

Harbor freight airbrush will not spray

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Picked up a cheap harbor freight airbrush kit (I know I know). It's a siphon feed airbrush and I can't get the darn thing to spray. It sprayed a little bit the other night but it will not even spray water. Anybody experience similar issues? I've double checked all the seals and even put teflon tape on to gurantee no leaks. Any suggestions would be helpful. 

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I would start by making sure everything is open all the way, including the regulator. If it doesn't spray wide open, you know you have something defective. Make sure the tip is clear too.

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I get air coming out no problem but no paint. When I look in the paint cup...it bubbles. No clue if that means anything. 

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Probably just gonna bite the bullet on this one and get something a little better. Chalking it up as a lesson learned. 

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I get air coming out no problem but no paint. When I look in the paint cup...it bubbles. No clue if that means anything. 

I've had that problem a few times.  Air but no paint means something is blocking the paint from coming out of the nozzle.  It can be something as small as dried paint on the needle - I had that happen with a SOTAR 20/20.  Or dried paint stuck inside the nozzle where you can't see it.  If you're seeing bubbles inside the siphon bottle, that means air can't get out the nozzle and is being forced back into the bottle.  Had that problem with an Aztek airbrush once.  That one was paint stuck in the removable Aztek nozzle.

With that airbrush you can probably try backflushing to make sure it's clean. With the siphon bottle full of plain thinner/cleaner, turn the compressor to about 30 psi, close off the nozzle with your finger, and pull the trigger.  That will force cleaner back into the airbrush. 

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I had the problem once, and discovered I had a metal shaving jammed-up in there from the manufacturing process.

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So I wasn't able to fix the problem although I have no clue what it was. I took it completely apart and gave it a good cleaning. I still wasn't getting any spray so I removed all of the teflon tape I put on with the intention on never using it again. I decided to try one more time and was able to spray water. So I hooked up some paint and got a very weak spray. Thinned my paint out a little and it finally worked. I was able to at least finish the body of the current gmc suburban I'm working on. Now it's off to the store tomorrow to get a new regulator so I don't have to spray at 50 psi lol. Thank you all for your help!!

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Hi,

That's really odd as HF is known for amazing quality and craftsmanship.

I'm stunned quite frankly.

Edited by aurfalien

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...That's really odd as HF is known for amazing quality and craftsmanship...

On what planet? Surely not on Earth?  :huh:

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Yes on planet called; Extreme Sarcasm Earth.

Well, every now and then, they do manage to get something decent in the store. Not often, but it happens.

I just thought perhaps you'd had a run of spectacular luck.  ;)

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Well, every now and then, they do manage to get something decent in the store. Not often, but it happens.

I just thought perhaps you'd had a run of spectacular luck.  ;)

Hi,

Based on my 308 shenanigans, I'm not likely to have a run on any luck.

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An airbrush will never rotate at high speed, nor will you need it to support a substantial amount of weight.  So, as HF products go, the risk of bodily harm is considerably lower with this than in other cases.

The airbrushes DO work, but you do have to clean them right out of the box (I'd do that with any brand) and test them with thinner or water (which you'd do anyway). 

Just personal taste, but I never could stand those tankless compressors that run all of the time.

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So I wasn't able to fix the problem although I have no clue what it was. I took it completely apart and gave it a good cleaning. I still wasn't getting any spray so I removed all of the teflon tape I put on with the intention on never using it again. I decided to try one more time and was able to spray water. So I hooked up some paint and got a very weak spray. Thinned my paint out a little and it finally worked. I was able to at least finish the body of the current gmc suburban I'm working on. Now it's off to the store tomorrow to get a new regulator so I don't have to spray at 50 psi lol. Thank you all for your help!!

I used teflon tape on my regulator once and it leaked air. The old guy at the hobby shop hooked me up with regular bee's wax and it worked perfectly. There's nothing like the old fixes to do the job.

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An airbrush will never rotate at high speed, nor will you need it to support a substantial amount of weight.  So, as HF products go, the risk of bodily harm is considerably lower with this than in other cases...

Heh!  I needed a 4-inch hole saw once.  Almost bought a set of 4 different-sized hole saws for a very low price at Harbor Freight.  But as I stood there, I contemplated whether or not I really wanted to go for the lowest price, for something with teeth that would be rotating at 1200 RPM near my body.  Went to Lowe's and bought a name brand.

I did buy an airbrush stand and airbrush cleaning jar at HF, and they work OK.  But that follows your general rule of avoiding HF stuff that can kill or maim us.

(Had some bad experiences with hole saws already.  In Egypt we were cutting cable holes in the floor tiles of a data facility.  That's the 2x2 foot, metal-sheathed tiles for the raised floor.  The hole saws we bought locally were Chinese imports and didn't last more than 1 or 2 tiles, even though they were marked and priced as metal-cutting saws.  We finally gave up and had the company buy a bunch in Calif. and ship them to us.  That let us finish the job within our lifetimes...)

Edited by Mike999
omission

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Hi,

Yes on planet called; Extreme Sarcasm Earth.

I got you. But then I minored in Sarcasm at university. B):D

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Also, simple thing: Make sure the paint bottle is NOT sealed airtight. There should be a vent hole in the top. If there's not, make one.

I once had an airbrush rig that would only spray if the bottle was about 1/2 turn loose. Tighten it up and it wouldn't work at all.

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I'd swap the bottle for the siphon cup and see if that changes things. If not, clean the needle valve.

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I think I would exchange it and try another one as the stuff you get there can clearly be hit and miss, and I understand not wanting too spend a lot getting started. But why I would try the exchange is because I've got a few tools from h.f. that I bought thinking I'm only gonna use it once or twice so buy the cheap one ....still waiting for some of them to give up

Edited by cowboy rich

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