Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Poor man's modeling - Neb kit hose hack

So you want to buy an airbrush but don't have enough moolah (yet) to buy a hobby compressor and all you've got around the house is a nebulizer... well, here's a hack you might want to consider.

Things you need:
A. Nebulizer kit
B. GSI Creos' One-Touch Plug for Mr. One-Touch Hose 1/8 S
C. Scissors (or your hobby knife)
D. Airbrush (this hack is useless without it)

I strongly suggest that you do not hack the original kit that came with the nebulizer.

1. Get a nebulizer kit from a nearby pharmacy/drugstore. It doesn't matter if you get the one for kids or for adults... all you need (for now) is the hose. Another important thing to consider is try to purchase the kit without ridges/channels on the inner wall of the hose.

2. Get a scissor and cut away the hose's adapter. Be careful. You wouldn't enjoy this hack a few minutes later if you've got a lacerated finger.

3. Get one of the two One-touch plugs from its packaging. These plugs come in two. Why two? Well it allows you to quickly switch between two airbrushes without ever removing either plug. It retails at around US$9.24. These plugs will fit Tamiya HG and Badger airbrushes. But please don't take my word for it... yet. Go to your local hobby shop and bring your airbush with you in order to verify that it does indeed fit.

4. Insert the One-touch plug at the end of the hose you've just cut. Connect the plug to your airbrush and connect the other end of the hose to the nebulizer.

Kudos! That's all there is to it!

BTW, nebulizers blow more air (around 20 liters-per-minute) than your hobby-grade compressors, which let air out at around 15psi. Helpful math-wizards out there reading this, kindly help me out and send me the computation from liters-per-minute of air to PSI (if there's such a thing).

For this reason you might want to buy a bleeder valve, which is available at pet stores. They are used for aquarium air supply hoses.

More on the bleeder valve hack in the future.

Note for purists: Hobby-grade compressors are still the best when it comes to airbrushing. Once you save up for one, get it.

Happy airbrushing!


Anonymous said...

Nope, can't be done. PSI is a measure of pressure, LPM is a measure of flow rate.

NelMan said...

Thanks for the clarification! Now if I can just connect a valve pressure gauge somewhere in the system... :(

Anonymous said...

hi sir, great guide! I am planning to make the same build and just like to ask hows the performance of using nebulizers as AB compressors? Why is hobby grade compressors better? Like you said, the pressure is higher and can easily be controlled by an air bleeder valve. Looking forward to your response :)


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