I'm looking to get an air compressor for an airbrush. I'm looking for something with a large tank and an operating pressure of 15-40psi (can go higher, just doesn't need to).
Got any suggestions on what to get?
I was pretty happy with a cheap 2 gallon tank compressor, the same one I use for my brad nailers and car tires. I put an air-dryer in line and I didn't seem to have any problems attributable to the air line. (I couldn't into airbrush for a couple hours, then I figured it out and things went smoother)
I was painting Warhammer minis and after I got it down I got a nice thin even coat on pretty easily. Windex is a great thinner for citadel paints.
So almost any compressor comes with a pressure regulator. The tank runs from 120-150 psi ish depending on specs. When it hits 120 the compressor kicks back on, and when it hits 150 it turns off. (I actually made those numbers up, they almost certainly aren't correct, but they are sort of ball-park ish) The regulator keeps the stuff in your hose at whatever PSI you want, as long as it's lower than the tank, so air brushing isn't a problem.
As I recall I didn't even have a big problem with uneven flow when the tank was filling. A lot of people get away with not even using a tank and just running right off a little tiny continuous compressor for their airbrush, but getting a small wood working/construction compressor/tank isn't much more and then you can use your tools with it too.
To use it I had to get an 'airbrush adapter' so it goes from 1/4" hose to 1/8" hose.
I also got an air dryer, it's just a little glass bulb with a copper screen you put in your air line that condenses water out of the line.
Make sure you dial the pressure down if you had used it with a normal tool earlier.
I am a newb at model painting though so maybe I'm full of shit, but I was happy with it.
Could you post pics of the models? that's why I'm buying it.
I'm looking at something like this:
It has 45db operating noise and a 10L tank.
Managed to find a video of it showing the brand label and it clearly operating at a low noise.
Would that be suitable? Or could I find something cheaper?
A normal Air compressor that you might use for running air tools will be loud as fuck. If you buy one of these, regardless of brand you'll want to run it from your neighbors house - just to escape the racket. Actual airbrush compressors from airbrush companies are quiet, but super expensive. 'Silent' compressors or oil bath compressors (the style a fridge uses) are very quiet, however they will leak oil into your air and consequently onto your artwork, this is very bad. You may fit them with oil filter etc, but these don't work. My suggestion that meets an excellent compromise between price and quietness is this: https://sydneytools.com.au/chicago-hush20-aluminium-silenced-20l-air-compressor
Obv the link is Australian, but the brand isn't. You can find it in the US.
For an airbrush the duty cycle is very low because of the decent tank size (get the 30L if you want to run the compressor motor even less). You can even run a brad gun off it if you want. It's quiet, you can talk comfortably over it. I run one in an apartment and my room mate cant even hear it, let alone my neighbors.
I've been airbrushing for about 5 years and this is by far the best solution I've found.
It's important enough to repeat. Oil bath compressors will ruin your artwork.
Thanks for the great information, I appreciate the tips on oil bath compressors.
Can you tell from the ebay link and video I posted whether the cheaper compressor is oil bath or not? I know the listing says it's oil free (and still manages to be really quiet) but it's ebay, no way to know if they're lying without knowing anything about compressors myself.
If it helps it seems to be quite similar to this one of the same brand posted previously:
Both don't appear to have a resevoir for oil.
Trim carpenter, so my standards of "loud" may be a little different from OP, but I've got a similar Senco compressor and I love it. I have no problem standing next to it and having a conversation while it is running, though it can end up running plenty with the smaller tank.
I cant say for certain, obviously, but the Sedy looks about the same. That little black gadget hanging off the right hand side top of the compressor pump (pic) is the silencer. It acts like a car muffler. Your video makes the compressor feel louder than it probably is - tile floor etc, sit it on a thick piece of foam and carpet and that'll reduce lots of vibration and perceived noise.
Just for reference, you can usually tell an oil bath compressor from the shape. Don't get something where the bit above the tank looks like this. I've attached a pic so you don't have to move your fridge :)