Friday, September 21, 2012

Airbrush Touch-Up With Frozen Akzo Primer

Last week or so while at Harbor Freight and aircraft supply an airbrush was spotted on sale for $20 which, at that price, almost makes it a throw away. Thinking it would come in handy for the RV-12 project, it was procured for touching up missed primer spots, scratches, or painting small components that don’t warrant the large HVLP spray gun.

Frozen Akzo primer … I have read on some of the forums that people have successfully placed leftover portions of Akzo epoxy primer in the freezer to severely retard the chemical reaction that hardens the paint allowing it to be used again a day or so later.  Apparently it will last at least a few days in the freezer before going bad (one can tell because it will begin to get curds like cottage cheese when it is beyond its useful life).

When the priming of the tail cone skins was completed a couple of days ago, there was about 8 ounces of primer left over … decided to place it in a freezer and hold onto it in the hopes of using it in the airbrush. I had been working on fittings to get the airbrush connected to the compressor … won’t go into the details of that fiasco but I ended up making an air seal for one of the fittings to get the gun connected to a harbor freight regulator that ended up not working worth a $#!+.

Much to my amazement, the Akzo primer was still liquid after two days in the freezer. Mixed it well, saw no signs of curds so poured it into the airbrush bottle. The hinge bearings were masked off and they were first to get a coat of primer. The airbrush was working great for the first bearing case then while attempting to spray the second bearing case, the airbrush started spraying heavy paint … it would not do air only or a light spray, just heavy paint. About that time, while priming the countersink holes in the hinge brackets, my friend Bernie came by and while showing him the symptoms the airbrush exhibited, the airbrush began working correctly again. I was pushing and pulling on the needle and presto it began working. I’m thinking it may have had a burr from the factory inside it somewhere. So the verdict is still out on whether I can recommend this product. However, that said, I liked the results I was getting when the airbrush was working correctly, for $20 it sprayed really nice … so I’m looking forward to using it more in the future.
     Harbor Freight airbrush kit – airbrush, paint hopper, paint bottle, hose adapter, gun holder and instructions.
                               The airbrush hose and regulator are not included in the kit nor are the cleaning brushes.
                               Take a pass on the HF regulator … it has a strange valve design internally and refuses to
                               regulate much below 40 PSI reliably with the airbrush … I wanted to use 30 PSI at the airbrush.

Once the airbrush started working correctly again, touched up a few spots on the tail cone that were looking a little thin. During cleanup, decided to take the airbrush apart and lubed it with spray gun lube so will be curious to find out if it works next time without acting up the way it did this evening.