I was putting together a few (15) of my Paasche VLs so I could get them in
top working condition. I had the airbrush bodies, rocker assemblies,
finger buttons and levers, shiny clean after a good soaking in createx
airbrush cleaner (which I do say is very good for cleaning createx airbrush
colors, go figure!) and put the first head on and boy, oh boy, did the air drop
dramatically! The air holes were all stopped up. I searched for the box
of Tot50 staples I have found work so well and fit so perfectly in the
holes when held by forceps to no avail.
I found out long ago that those little staples of wonder were strong and thin
enough to pass through the holes in the head to push the dried up acrylic crud
out and open the air passage very nicely.
Someone had suggested a guitar string to do the job a while back but all we
have here in the house is a violin so couldn't use the suggestion. I finally
found something that would work!
And take a wild guess where it was???
Would you believe it was right on my christmas tree!
The wire decoration that comes in a roll with multi-colored mylar foil
snowflakes when untwisted was perfect for pushing through the airholes and
getting them opened again. I know that there must be cleaning brushes
(I do have a few left that weren't pocketed over the years) that were made
specifically for airbrush parts but I have this thing about saving money and
using the normal everyday junk that clutters up drawers.
After all the airbrushes were put back together and working well, I needed
to fill up the jars and four were stuck tight. I have broken several jars
and needed a doctor to stitch me up after trying to unscrew the lids with a
pair of pliers so I didn't want to do that again! I took the jars to the kitchen,
filled a coffee cup with water, plunked two of the jars upside down into the
cup and stuck it in the microwave on high for a couple of minutes.
Yes I know! the jar lids are metal and so is the contraption screwed through
them but if the jars are submerged in water I won't get sparks flying
everywhere and setting the kitchen on fire.
Nuking my airbrushes have become "THE" way to remove needles stuck
tight by dried up acrylics inside rocker arms. Trying to remove a stuck needle
with a pair of pliers and can bend a needle, especially a Paasche needle,
as fast as you can say "Heave Ho". That is if it doesn't take you twenty
minutes to pull the durn blasted needle out of the airbrush. Pulling needles
out of rocker arms is a good way to ruin your rocker arm if the threads that
hold the locknut happen to decide to break off while you are doing the old
"Heave Ho". You'll be buying a new rocker arm from Dixie Art Supply
with your replacement needles if that happens.
I have been told that I can't nuke my airbrushes and jars. That if I did it
would ruin my microwave in no time flat and that I can't microwave metal.
My microwave died last year after 19 years of service. Since I'm
getting close to the 16th anniversary of airbrushing and since I
first learned of microwaving the jars in 1992 my microwave made it
through thirteen years of unsticking with no problems. The guy who
told me about it back then had way more years on me and his
microwave didn't blow up either. The way it is done... it has to be entirely
submerged in water. You aren't going to get sparks underwater.
So don't always believe what people tell you. Unless it's someone that
has had many years of experience in the trade, has common horse sense,
a good head on their shoulder full of trade secrets that half of them have been forgotten. Or unless it's... me :)
Oh Denise Shoobee Doo
Airbrush Art By Denise's Novels
AirbrushTECH Digital Magazine