12 posts in this topic

An airbrush is absolutely one of those DOH! tools and I'm loving the cheapo Master kit I bought off Amazon for a mere $80.  Well, I love the cute-as-shit gutless compressor, but not the airbrush so much.  Instead I've matched the compressor with a cheapo Harbor Freight airbrush that I've owned for years but never used because (a) I didn't have a particular reason to use it and (b) I thought it was going to be yet another difficult set of skills to master, like hand sewing was, and tooling, and edging, and burnishing....and just about every damn little thing there is to know and master when it comes to leather working.   But that all changed .

Over the past however many months I've become a big fan, a green-with-envy covetous voyeur of Boriqua's finish work.   It's to dye for, as they say.  Finishes so gorgeous it hurts your eyes to look at them.    His finishes are like gambling in Vegas.  Once experienced, you are not the slightest bit impressed with some hokey ass river gambling boat or even the biggest small town, Reno and its hick schtick.  Nothing will ever measure up... not even close.   

I finally cornered him one day and asked him  point blank:  "What's up with those finishes you're churning out Pops?,"  ya know, in that intimidating street tough kinda way.  Sure enough he gives me the Clueless-Old-Guy Routine: "Aw shucks, I dunno? Just lucky I guess."  But then he slipped and mentioned he was using an airbrush.   I KNEW IT!  It wasn't Voodoo after all.  It wasn't even alchemy.   It was just a special tool...one that anybody could purchase and I already had one......which I couldn't hook up to my pancake nail gun compressor because I needed fittings and  an air hose  and those little bottle thingys not to mention all the research time to figure it all out.....OR I could just buy my way in.  $80 was a bargain.   

So I get my kit and I let it set for a day or two to mentally prepare myself to devote the big blocks of time it's going to take to learn how to do this airbrush stuff.   And on that day I spent several hours unpacking it, clearing a spot on the workbench and building a little rack for the little bottles and filling the bottles, then labeling the bottles, then making a little holder where each bottle is secured and safe from accidentally being knocked over.  Just dancing around and around and not actually doing anything with the airbrush until there were no more tasks left but to hook the damn thing up.  And that was all straight forward enough -- hook up the hose, attach a bottle with some liquid in it, turn on the compressor, adjust the PSI.....and that's when I had to set the airbrush down so I could use both hands for concentration, and that makes no sense at all but we all do it to take focus on an important task -- put down the beer, put out the smoke, stop voices from talking to you with the universal traffic cop Stop hand gesture.   And when I went to set the ever-so-delicate airbrush down on the bench I quickly discovered how unwieldly it is once out of your protective hands.  What with the front loaded up with a bulky glass bottle full of liquid and tilted at an odd angle and the back saddled with an uncooperative, fully compressed air hose, the little guy instantly flopped over hard on its side and cleaning fluid begin leaking out out of its orifices.  

Oh no, this won't do.  This won't do at all.  I need a proper stand for this special unit.   The piece of crap metal holder thingy that it came with was... well it was in the trash.   So I spent the rest of the day making the coolest and cutest little airbrush stand you've ever seen using copper tubing (another medium I work with and get some really interesting results).  Yeah, hours and hours I spent on this thing, not the fabrication part but rather the hours upon hours of legos/lincoln logs iteration design time because I have every friggin' copper fitting there is from 1/2" to 3/4" and a decent inventory of 1" on up and you have to try out all the combinations.

IMG_6913.JPGIMG_6914.JPG

 

The next day I finally give it a whirl and right off the bat I got that DOH! feeling.  You see, the funny thing about this whole "airbrush club" dealeo  is I already knew how to operate an airbrush.  You do too.  All the mystique that surrounds airbrushing is a a bunch of elitist hooey.  I never read this in any review and nobody ever mentioned the obvious as hell example that I'm going to tell you and it will completely demystify how to paint or dye with an airbrush.  Ready?  

It's just like painting with a can of spray paint except that you pull back instead of push down.   That's it.

To be honest, I'm a little disappointed it wasn't harder.  And yeah, I should have started using one years ago.   Hey, if all your do is spray solid colors, you'll save a ton of money on supplies because using cloths and daubers is very wasteful.  An airbrush lays down exactly what you need and where you need it with half or less as many coats and without all the streaking issues etc.   Get one as soon as your can.  Consider it part of the basic tool kit.

 

IMG_7015.JPG

Edited by cseeger

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Yup.  Airbrushes are great.  For the vast majority of what we use them for in leatherwork they are dead easy.  They are also, like many other things, intimidating at first.  Just like that big pencil you used in the first grade was.  I bet it also took a lot longer to learn to use that big pencil than the airbrush did.  Just get past the intimidation factor and you're on your way!   Love the stand.  It's much prettier than mine is.  You may want to take a look at quick disconnects for your airbrushes.   They're not pricey and make switching back and forth between airbrushes really easy and fast!

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An airbrush certainly can be useful for leather work.  Folks sometimes get tunnel vision, wanting to do that same tired "fade' they see everyone else doing.  TIP:  If you do the same thing as everyone else, you will look like everyone else ;)

Just a little practice, and a little bit of thought, and you can do some purdy cool stuff in leather, purdy easily...

snubby.jpg

 

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7 hours ago, billybopp said:

You may want to take a look at quick disconnects for your airbrushes.   They're not pricey and make switching back and forth between airbrushes really easy and fast!

Yeah, great idea.  Thx

 

 

 

6 hours ago, JLSleather said:

An airbrush certainly can be useful for leather work.  Folks sometimes get tunnel vision, wanting to do that same tired "fade' they see everyone else doing.  TIP:  If you do the same thing as everyone else, you will look like everyone else ;)

Just a little practice, and a little bit of thought, and you can do some purdy cool stuff in leather, purdy easily...

snubby.jpg

 

 

 

*THAT* is an excellent point and a terrific example.

 

 

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23 hours ago, cseeger said:

<<<snip>>>
Oh no, this won't do.  This won't do at all.  I need a proper stand for this special unit.   The piece of crap metal holder thingy that it came with was... well it was in the trash.   So I spent the rest of the day making the coolest and cutest little airbrush stand you've ever seen using copper tubing (another medium I work with and get some really interesting results).  Yeah, hours and hours I spent on this thing, not the fabrication part but rather the hours upon hours of legos/lincoln logs iteration design time because I have every friggin' copper fitting there is from 1/2" to 3/4" and a decent inventory of 1" on up and you have to try out all the combinations.
<<<<snip>>>

Looks great, even a little steam punkish...

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I got one o them harbor freight brushes.  Everybody was on about 'em , so I ordered one. Maybe a year ago?  Maybe little longer than that?  When it came with a different fitting than my other hoses, I put it in the drawer, where it's been ever since!  Pulled it out in the course of moving stuff (for the move to MN) and saw that the fitting I need is already in there :rofl:   Oh, well... maybe that little girl from AU can get some use of it ...

 

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Posted (edited)

I have airbrushed since late 96ish there is more to it than push pull spray splatter unless thats what you want! The copper stand is cool by the way!

Edited by Sanch

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Posted (edited)

On 3/17/2017 at 9:44 PM, Sanch said:

I have airbrushed since late 96ish there is more to it than push pull spray splatter unless thats what you want! The copper stand is cool by the way!

Sanch, excellent point that I had not fully understood until just now, an "Aha" moment that kinda feels like an-out-of-body experience.    lol     serious dude.

It's so clear now -- I don't know anything about airbrushes and don't even own one.  Instead, I have a Miniature Sprayer that is used primarily to spray acrylic finishes and it's great for that, certainly much better that using sponges, brushes, or rags.   I don't spray dye much.  Occasionally I'll spray a single color dye fade on a piece, but I never spray paint.  I could but I don't want the sprayer clogging up and brushes work just fine for what little painting I do.   This sprayer is straight forward and easy to operate as you would expect a sprayer to be. 

And here's the thing.  Had there been a Miniature Sprayer available 10 years ago, I would have bought one and so would lots of other folks like me who were (are) intimidated by airbrushes as being too complicated   But now I see more to that story. An airbrush is an overkill tool for someone who only wants a simple sprayer.    There's a bidness opportunity here.   It's all about perception.  Generally speaking, people don't buy tools, they buy process, they buy outcome.  I'll bet simply repackaging and a name change is all that would be necessary.   Although a design review could yield a simpler, cheaper. more focused product.   Who wants in on the ground floor of this?

 

 

 photo IMG_7535.jpg

 

Edited by cseeger

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I haven't been around in a bit since people seem to like my stuff and keep me working like this is a real job and just found this thread. That airbrush holder is AWESOME! I love it!

As far as brushes ... I have the harbor freight and it is what I started with and is a work horse but it is not great for finer detail .. at least for me .. and I like to use a lot of layered color and changing colors with a siphon is a little bit of a crush on creativity because its a pain to clean out and switch colors. I still have mine but it is relegated to resolene shooting. I bought an Iwata Eclipse little over a year ago and its been great but I am sure there are lots of other quality gravity feeds. Whats nice is  ... I fill my brush using an eyedropper so I shoot one color .. pour out any extra, grab my dispenser filled with denatured alcohol, give a squirt into the brush and shoot it clean and then add my new color. I see you have a gravity and siphon which is the same setup I have but I dont have the nifty stand! :)

Did some rottweiler skulls and some roses with the Iwata and it was such a pleasure.

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My air brush holders not as fancy as yours but here's my setup!20170420_180044_resized.jpg.702aa2aa71b1d924929df2db2d354bab.jpg20170420_180057_resized.jpg.adee6eed911811723b163db8bdc09ab0.jpg20170420_180116_resized.jpg.782cfe77fa4c134e3fc25190c376f12f.jpg

I have 3 Iwata Revolution BCR one is modded to .02 I also have a HPC+ also modded. a Sparmax  (HPC+clone) and a badger Renegade series 4 super fine detail. I used to do motorcycle tanks and helmets. Now the air brushes very rarely see any type of paint that isn't going on leather.

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Man,  now that's an airbrush set up.  How about showing us an example?  Didn't see anything in your gallery but the internet yielded this.  No doubt you have better airbrush examples, but these are impressive nonetheless.

 

exmples.png

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Posted (edited)

On 4/23/2017 at 7:17 AM, cseeger said:

Man,  now that's an airbrush set up.  How about showing us an example?  Didn't see anything in your gallery but the internet yielded this.  No doubt you have better airbrush examples, but these are impressive nonetheless.

 

imageproxy.php?img=&key=81964be983ea98b5exmples.png

funny I haven't posted anything in years both of those pieces are my work true enough and most of the work on leather with my airbrushes has been sunburst patterns or fades. the rest has been using them as mini guns.  where did you pull those images from? found a few earlier pieces from splattering here they are not even trying to guess time stamps so don't ask!Davidsbike12_resized.jpg.a1100fe5b3eb92a41bec9175541f0ce1.jpgRichsBike0003_resized.jpg.8f8d67dca6ee683c2cdc483519a9abf0.jpgfreebee2_resized.jpg.f5675358e377498ec6e6cdc9eb9b9313.jpglildeviljkt15Resized_resized.jpg.5137848c092304472a10f70b5de15d90.jpgskullyJ3_resized.jpg.180ff8b63650aa8e9f3e14f2ae6b8e64.jpg

Edited by Sanch
added old pix

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