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KitMaker Network

Making Your Own Airbrush Compressor

Sometimes we feel that we need something, we search for it, read reviews, try to get the best for our objective and pocket, but we do not even care about the extra tools and accessories, which are sometimes essential for that precious item we just purchased to be used properly.
Example for this is the mightly painting tool, the airbrush. After a lot of research, we buy a set, then... Ooops... We need air power... I will not make it long by comparing pros and cons of a pressured air can and a compressor, as I am just intending to show you how I made my own compressor.

Caution/Disclaimer - This is an article on How I made my own compressor. I do not encourage you to make your own, as some processes described below can be hazardous physically. Only those people who really are confident that they really know what they are doing should try, but the others with even little hesitation MUST NOT do it. I take no responsibility on the harm caused by the construction process and use of any product after construction.

So, after the disclaimer, I can start.
  • 1. The heart of the system is the compressor. This unit is from an old refrigerator, which was not able to serve as a refrigerator anymore. It was going to be thrown away, and I purchased it for about 7 usd or 5 euros.

  • 2. This tank serves as an air chamber to regulate the air pressure coming from the compressor. The compressor blows with variable pressure, but this tank prevents fluctuations reach the airbrush. It also serves as a grease and moisture trap, which is a real big problem for airbrush users. The tank I used is used for storing refrigerant gas used in household refrigerators. They just throw them away or recycle, so it costs almost nothing.

  • 3. Plastic hose for attaching the compressor to the tank. The hose is used on medical equipment like those which measure blood pressure. You should know how long you need, but I suppose it would not cost for more than 1 usd or 1 euros for 2 meters. I used a thick one with easy maintenance but low durability, so you can find a better hose, like those which are transparent.

  • 4. Copper pipe with length of about 5 cm., which would not cost anything. This is attached to the side of the bottom of the tank to let the hose be attached.

  • 5. Safety release valve, used on medical equipment used for measuring blood pressure. This is mostly closed, but when you need to release the air instantly, you can use this safety valve. It costs a bit, but not more than 5 usd or 3 euros, I suppose.

  • 6. Pressure gauge. This is a very cheap equipment, I think it can be found in many toolshops. You can use one from an old pump which is used for inflating bicycle tires. I took it from my old tire compressor which was not able to serve as a compressor anymore. I can not estimate a cost for this.

  • 7. Electrical switch of some sort. I did not prefer to cut the cable of the compressor itself, so I made an extension cable with the switch on it. Costs not more than 3 usd or 2 euros.

  • 8. Hose and adapter for attaching the airbrush to the tank. This came with the airbrush set, itself, and to my surprise, the adapter on the hose was built for the outlet on the tank. I paid no extras for this, but I can estimate that the cost of a hose and an adapter would not exceed 5 usd or 3 euros.
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    About Çağın Başaran (caanbash)

    Born in 1977, made my first model when I was 7. As an architect, model making is a part of my profession. But it also made me stop making plastic models for ten years, but architectural models. In 2006, I decided to return to my hobby. All the old models I had are ruined and gone now, during house c...