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Tucson, Arizona, United States
I work as Panther Peak Bindery and am a bookbinder, conservator and instructor working outside Tucson, Arizona for individual and institutional clients across the country. I am a two term President of the Guild of Book Workers, was a Fulbright Scholar, taught at North Bennet Street School for over nine years and was the fastest in my middle school class at running up and down a flight of stairs (really!).

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Monday, October 24, 2016

A few airbrush lessons I've learned



A friend of ours, Chris Andrews, is a fine art airbrush artist.  When I started using an airbrush for leather dye I had him come out and give Bailey and me a lesson on how to use it, how to keep it from acting up and how to best clean it when it starts acting up.

Three main points he made were:

1. Use plastic bottles, because they weigh less.  They also don't break when dropped.

2.  Clean by spraying ten or fifteen seconds using an everyday cleaner which I keep in a bottle so it's always ready to use. Then I follow by spraying water through the spraybrush for another ten or twenty seconds.  I just spray into a garbage can.  The plastic bottles are cheap enough that it's easy to just have these two bottles filled and ready to go.


This has reduced the amount of maintence work I've had to do on the brush drastically.

3.  Use a mask.  Seems that using a dust mask is enough for leather dyes, but for the fixative I use a respirator since it seems to get everywhere.  Maybe the fixative is what ruined my glasses?


The brush should be taken apart and cleaned when it starts acting up, which isn't very often if you use  his cleaning regime.

He uses a larger, tool compressor. Sure, he's also painting for hours at a time, but they can be cheaper than some artist airbrush compressors and when up to pressure wouldn't need to run very often at all so they could be quieter as well.

I doubt any of this is revelatory, but to those of us new to the airbrush it was pretty helpful and time saving advice.

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