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weird airbrush problem

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Guys, need a bit of advice troubleshooting a strange airbrush problem.

It's a double action cheapie, which has performed sterling service up to now, but after a thorough clean yesterday it now is acting up. At full paint flow, only a very small amount of paint comes out, but if you keep moving the paint needle back and forth it will paint more reliably and flow more paint. The paint is thinned correctly, it is the Gunze flat black lacquer type which is normally really good in airbrushes.

If you let the airbrush sit for a couple of moment then use it again, it will spatter a bit of paint even if you haven't pulled the needle back.

Any ideas what is going on with the poor thing?


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Did you look at the Troubleshoot page of Don's Airbush Tips?

I would have suggested a thorough cleaning, but you already did that. Did you inspect the parts while you broke it down and re-assembled? In particular, check the nozzle tip for cracking.

You might try using inter-dental brushes; these were suggested by Joel_W, also on this list. I got some from the local CVS; the wide brushes fit the needle path and the tight brushes fit that small air passage that delivers air to the nozzle.

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Thanks dnl42 - it turns out it was a slightly loose needle nozzle. When I put it on I obviously thought I had tightened it properly, and when checking the airbrush over, when I looked at it, it appeared to be fully seated. After trying a couple of times, I decided to check tighten, and by a simple quarter turn more it all came good.

just goes to show, always check even if it appears to be correct.

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Did any of the bushings, bearings, or seals give up the ghost? Is the valve/flow adjust assembly in proper position and order? Also, how do you tend to clean your airbrush; did a chunk of old paint get lodged somewhere it shouldn't?

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