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Determining Airbrush Pressure and Regulation

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I have a general question about airbrush pressure and regulation.


I have a Grex airbrush and compressor set. It has a pressure gauge on the air compressor unit and a large knob for regulating the air pressure on top of the air compressor. It also has a small, thumb screw air regulator that is attached between the end of the air hose and the airbrush itself which allows you to make minor adjustments to the air flow also.


I have seen advice for spraying different types media at different air pressures like spraying varnishes at a lower psi but I'm not sure how to determine the actual air pressure I'm spraying. If, for example, I turn the air compressor on an it shows 24 psi but when I begin spraying it drops down to say 20 psi. Am I then spraying at 24 psi or 20 psi? I would assume it is the lower pressure since I would think there would be some drop in air pressure as I begin spraying.


So if, for example again, I want to spray varnish at 15 psi, do I set the air pressure with the control knob at the compressor at 15 psi or do I set it higher so that I get a 15 psi reading once I start spraying?


Also, what is the best use of the inline hose regulator that attaches next to the airbrush itself? Is it best to set the air pressure at the compressor and then fine tune it with the inline hose regulator as needed?


Thanks very much.   

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Once u release air the pressure starts dropping and then the compressor starts after a while and build it up again.  Its not an exact science. The key is to find an airpressure where the paint flows nicely on to the model. Just try on some scrap and adjust until it works fine. Its like showering in the old Days when you had to knobs: one for Cold and one for warm and you needed to adjust until you got a nice flow with the right amount of heat.

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