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Old 10-01-2008, 07:05 AM   #1
BrewBot5000
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Default Weird Question about a CO2 regulator...

Okay, they question may not be so weird, but I guess the application I'm using the regulator for is.

Anyways, I'm not actually using a CO2 cylinder and regulator for beer making purposes. *waits till hisses and boos subside* What I'm using it for is to power an artists airbrush. I had the option of going with paying $400+ for a quiet compressor to power it, or $120 for a totally silent CO2 tank plus $30 for a refill every two years or so. You might be asking why I'm posting this on a Beer-based forum. The thing is, an airbrush really only needs to go at 30psi max, hell most of the time you're down at 10 to 15psi. Since most gas regulators out there usually go down to a minimum of 100psi, I'm turning to beer/soda based regulators since they shine in the 0 to 60 psi range.

I'm looking to put together a good regulator and flared shutoff valve combo to hook up to the airbrushes power hose. Since I haven't found the perfect combo in one piece (well, I did at KegKits, but I've heard about their customer service...), I'm buying two separate pieces to put together. So I'm going with a Premium Double-Gauge Regulator from Micromatic, and the Shutoff Valve w/Check 1/4 MPT x 1/4 MFL from Northern Brewer (item KO38, about halfway down the page). I'm going to remove the barbed fitting included with the regulator and swap it out for the flared shutoff valve. My question simply is if this is the correct action to take so I can hook up and airbrush hose with 1/4" fittings? These would be the only two parts I need?

Oh, and how's Northern Brewing for shipping? Do they get stuff out to you fast? I already know of Micromatics sterling reputation but Northern Brewing is new to me.

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Old 10-01-2008, 12:19 PM   #2
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Northern Brewer ships stuff out right quick for their flat rate of around 7 bucks or so.

Does your airbrush use 1/4" MFL fittings?

I think you will be refilling sooner than you think depending on the size of the tank. Remember, CO2 is very cold when it is released.

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Old 10-01-2008, 12:55 PM   #3
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What an ingenius idea! I don't see any reason why this wouldn't work for your needs. From what I have read (I am soaking in info about kegging) you can probably get by with a single gauge regulator to save some bucks. Also, do you have a CO2 tank yet? And do your brushes have a way to turn on and off the CO2, the way a beer tap does?

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Old 10-01-2008, 04:25 PM   #4
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Give Grainger a try on two stage regulators, I see no reason why any regulator system can not go down to zero psi output. As posted above you will go thru bottles faster than you think unless you get a owner owned bottle like a 280 cu/ft then your around the $200 range for the bottle. Heck I picked up a blue Devilbiss airbrush compressor that works from a curbside giveaway, got lucky. It tops out at 47 psi, I just added a empty smog test gas cylinder app 3.5 gallons as a surge chamber and tank with a pressure switch and regulator. This system keeps the wife happy with here airbrush projects as I have 3 and 5 hp compressors in the shop.

I would check ebay for small airbrush compressors they are quiet heck set it up in a different room if you want total silence.

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Old 10-02-2008, 01:50 AM   #5
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I've already got the CO2 tank, a 20lb aluminum model. I estimated a 2 year range for a fill based on most other guys I know who do the same thing. Most have 5 pound tanks and go for 6 months on one fill, even with fairly regular painting. Keep in mind the airbrush only expels air when you choose, and at your desired setting, so it uses very little air overall.

I'm not overly worried about the temp of the CO2. I've tried other similar setups and while the air is definitely "cool" when it comes out of the airbrush, it's nowhere near cold. After going through 10 feet of hose, a moisture trap, and a metal airbrush that has been heated up by your hand, the air warms up quite a bit.

As for the brush itself, the air is always off by default. You push down on a trigger to start the air, and then pull back to slowly increase the amount of paint you want. In addition, it also has an adjustable air valve, so you can fine tune the air pressure right at the brush. That way I can just set the regulator to something like 30psi, and then alter the air pressure on the brush from 0 to 20psi without having to go back to the tank every time I want to alter psi. Once I have the shutoff valve attached to the regulator, I'll have three options for air control!

Thanks for the info guys!

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