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I mentioned in one of my earlier posts I am getting back INTO the hobby after being away from it for 18-19 yrs. What is the BEST way "legally " (no lacquer thinner), to clean my airbrush now? What do you guys use, techniques, yadda, yadda, anything would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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It may be useful to people replying to your topic if they knew what type of finish you are spraying. Lacquer, enamel, acrylic etc.

If it's lacquer, and you don't want to use lacquer thinner, I'm stumped.

I do like your choice of race cars BTW. Jim Hall was ahead of his time IMO. I'm a 2D & 2F guy myself.

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29 minutes ago, DPNM said:

It may be useful to people replying to your topic if they knew what type of finish you are spraying. Lacquer, enamel, acrylic etc.

 

The make/model of the airbrush might also be helpful. 

How old is the airbrush? Do you still have the instructions?

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When did lacquer thinner become "illegal"? :huh:

 

Steve

I am fairly certain that he is talking about the disposal of used material. Some places do have laws against it, (California?) but I'm not certain about PA. He may also wish to be environmentally conscience.

I'd like to suggest a way of disposal which I believe to be legal. Keep a can, (metal or glass, preferably metal )  and a lid handy with saw-dust in it. Pour the left-over material into it. I use old (clean) socks to flush my airbrush into. It keeps it contained to something that can be thrown away at some point and used to clean the airbrush. I would suggest leaving the lid off the can and the sock(s) in the open until they have flashed off/dried. This must be done in a SAFE place to avoid contact with heat/open flame. Once dry, put the lid on to seal it. It can then be disposed of.

 

Edited by DPNM

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looks like i forgot details, I paint strictly enamel Testors Model Master, Testors enamel, I used to use Lacquer thinner to clean with, but its so hard to "dispose of (legal comment)".as far as my air brush it's an older PASCHE double action with the "cup". I'd break it ALL down and give it a good "wash" after each session.

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Honestly, the amount of lacquer thinner required to clean an airbrush is so minuscule it barely requires comment.

You can dump a half a teaspoon full of thinner into your cup and shoot it through the airbrush onto a scrap of cardboard.

That is basically all that's needed to keep an airbrush clean, and there's nothing to dispose of there.

If you feel it's necessary to go beyond that, break down the brush, pour out a cap full of thinner and clean the parts with a Q-tip dipped in it.

Any of the cap full of thinner that's left and too dirty to be returned to the container can be left out in a small receptacle to evaporate.

There really shouldn't be anything to dispose of.

If you're using enamel paint, you can use mineral spirits to clean your brush, but the likelihood of it plugging up on you are much higher than if you clean it with lacquer thinner.

 

Steve

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As Steve wrote, you're going to too much trouble.  I do a little more than just flush, but still use less than an ounce of thinner to clean.  I do recommend you pull the needle each time and wipe it to keep it from sticking.

Don

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Even in The PRC(people's republic of California)  we can walk into any Home Depot and get a gallon of lacquer thinner so it is not illegal.  It is the commercial use of it for auto bodies that became illegal.  There is also a loophole for restoration shops so it is only marginally illegal here.  Lacquers are still ok for furniture and aircraft.  Don't ask me to explain.  

As to the air brush, if I am going from one color to another then a quick flush with lacquer thinner or acetone will clean out most things.  As others have said, you are not using enough to do any harm or damage unless you are blowing it up your nose(not recommended).   I also have a set of airbrush cleaning brushes(look a little like tiny pipe cleaners)  that you should be able to find online or at any well stocked store that sells airbrushes.  I use these if get into all the openings on the airbrush if I am done painting for more than overnight. That is when I disassemble it and clean everything.  If it is just going to be overnight,  I just fill the brush with acetone and let it sit.  

I agree with Don that you should pull the needle each time.  In addition to cleaning it, I suggest you lubricate it.  Both Iwata and Tamiya make a lubricant.  It comes in a small tube and just a little bit on the needle before reinstalling it, lubes up the seals and makes the needle slide smoothly.  Worth the investment.  Oh, and buy the way, I have never had a problem with the lubricant contaminating a finish from any paint.  Not sure what it is but it is worth using. 

One other thought.  If you are using and old airbrush, you might consider changing the seal.  New teflon ones are cheap and easy to install.  That is the one part that will wear out.  If you start getting sputtering paint or pulsing air, it is your seal that has failed. 

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2 hours ago, Don Wheeler said:

As Steve wrote, you're going to too much trouble.  I do a little more than just flush, but still use less than an ounce of thinner to clean.  I do recommend you pull the needle each time and wipe it to keep it from sticking.

Don

I agree.

I usually take off the tip & pull out the needle and clean them with a little thinner once I have finished using it for the day, but there's really no need to completely disassemble & clean all of the parts each time, and the amount of lacquer thinner I use is insignificant.

 

Steve

 

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