Getting ready to try an airbrush on scratchboard

With the exception of the compressor, this is my setup so far. I got it all put together last night, and fixed a leak with teflon tape and a tighter connection. I’m just about ready to start putting ink through the brush.

parts-required-to-connect-airbrush-to-compressor

Here is an explanation of my configuration from left to right:

Air hose – 1/4″
It has 1/4″ female connections. I’m not sure how long it is, but this type of hose is easy to find at just about any hardware store. I’ve had this for years so I’m not sure what I paid for it.
male-to-male adapter – 1/4″ – $3
This is the type of item you end up making an extra trip to the store for. I didn’t think I needed one until I ended up needing one.
Quick disconnect – 1/4″ – $5
In case you are wondering how all of these fittings are 1/4″, it refers to the inside diameter, not the outside. It consists of a plug and a socket. The quick disconnect isn’t required, but it will make life easier when it comes time to put everything away. These are common items and can be found near the air hoses.
Air compressor regulator – $13
Because it’s more specialized to airbrushing, I wasn’t confident in finding this item locally. Art and hobby stores sometimes have them, but I opted for Amazon. If you search “airbrush regulator” on Amazon you will see what looks like the same design offered for different prices from different vendors. I picked one that had a 4.5-star rating. The main body has a control knob at the top to control air pressure. It has an arrow on the front to indicate the direction the air should flow. The pressure gauge is included, and attaches to the threaded hole on the front. The threaded holes on the sides of the regulator both accommodate 1/4″ air fittings. There are two 1/4″-to-1/8″ connectors also included. You may not need either of them. I needed one to fit my airbrush hose.
Airbrush hose – $10
I chose a brand called “Master Airbrush” because the price was right and it reviewed well on Amazon. It comes with 1/8″ connectors at the ends, regardless of what the picture on Amazon says. If I had purchased an offical Iwata airbrush hose I think I would have required a 1/4″-to-1/4″ connector to attach it to the regulator.
Moisture trap – $13
It’s hard to take a brand new airbrush hose and snip it in half, but that is how you install the Paasche moisture trap. The moisture trap comes with directions for installing it between the two sections of hose. There is a screw that can be removed to allow any condensed water to escape.
Iwata HP-CH – $241
There were cheaper sources for this model of airbrush, but I wanted to make sure I got it from a dealer I could trust. I ordered from Jerry’s Artarama. If I have any problems I know their store is about a half hour from my house.

Assembly

Assembly wasn’t difficult. Before leaving the hardware store I picked up a roll of teflon tape. I wrapped the threads of each 1/4″ connection with a few wraps of teflon tape. I had to re-do the 1/4″-to-1/8″ connection at the regulator because I could hear it leaking. I wrapped it with some additional teflon tape and went a little tighter with the wrench. That fixed it. I used a couple of small adjustable wrenches to assemble everything for the 1/4″ fittings. The 1/8″ connections were as tight as I could make them by hand, but I didn’t use tools.

Everything is working now as far as air is concerned. I took the time to see how the adjustments work on the regulator. I also experimented with the MAC (micro air control?) valve that is built into the Iwata HP-CH. Instead of touching the regulator, adjustments can be made quickly on the airbrush itself. Now that I have it put together and I’m comfortable with the controls for making adjustments, the next step is to shoot some ink through it. That will be another post.

5 thoughts on “Getting ready to try an airbrush on scratchboard

  1. I am looking forward to see your experience unfold. I have the Badger pro 150 and am anxious to start using the airbrush. Please tell me about what inks you will be using for the black scratchboard. That has been my biggest concern. Ampersand doesn’t make large quantities of ink. I wish they did. I have been concerned if the inks (especially black) would be too different in texture, such as sheen, etc.

  2. I will try the Ampersand inks first. The black should be the same as what is already on the boards, so I expect it to match pretty well. Other inks could vary in color and shine, depending on the formulation.

    Elaine Salazar from Ampersand gave a presentation at one of the ISSA exhibition workshops a few weeks ago, and she answered questions about the availability of the ink. It sounds like if you call Ampersand directly they are willing to sell the black as a separate item, and in larger quantities. I don’t have the specifics, but it would be worth calling them to find out.

  3. Thank you. I am glad to know that Ampersand can be called direct and order especially black in larger quantities. I am excited to learn about your results and to try myself.

  4. I think this one was included with the regulator. I’ve seen some on Amazon, that look pretty much identical, for $5 to $8, plus shipping.

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