Rated 5 out of 5Â by 3
Rated 5 out of 5Â by tilepainter Excellent tool for many purposes
This review is going to be something of a repeat of my previous review of the standard vFan spray system. The difference between the two is that the standard system uses vacuum siphon bottles below the gun, whereas the gravity system uses a built-in cup above the gun.
Both the gravity and siphon feed guns share a similar design and use, and many of the parts appear to be interchangeable. The feel in your hand and the trigger action are identical, the only difference between them is the paint feed. The remainder of this review is based on my experience with the siphon-feed gun, as it is winter now and I will not be painting anything for a while.
For small jobs, the gravity system should be much easier to clean afterwards, which turns out to be the most bothersome part of using a sprayer. The cup is actually fairly large, and comes with a screw-on cover. The advantage of the siphon-feed system is the much larger paint bottles that it can use, which give it almost the capability of a small spray gun.
First, the build quality of this device is first-rate. I dive, and I would say the build quality of this airbrush is equal to the scuba gear I trust my life to. All-metal, brass, chrome and stainless steel. This model came in a very nice cherry wood box that I will re-purpose for some other use, as the sprayer is going into the same toolbox as the other one.
Second, the range of accessories for this airbrush is incredible. 4 different spray tips for every kind of liquid and use. Bottles of all different sizes, paint cups, air adapters, you name it. The fact that it can run off their own 'canned air' makes it totally portable, or you can hook it to many different compressors. Many more parts and accessories are available directly through Home Depot's website, as well as replacement parts, 3 pages worth!
Finally, Preval's customer service is terrific. The website lists everything, and they immediately responded to my contact and shipped out a missing part, and even included a bonus for my trouble. ( Aside, I showed this airbrush to my company's graphic artist, and he was quite impressed, guessing it was about a $300 piece. So I'd say this really is a professional tool. )
My first use for the airbrush was to shoot some black 'bursts' on a couple of guitar bodies. For this I tried some Minwax Polyshades gloss black. This is a mixture of pigment and polyurethane, and is ostensibly not sprayable, certainly doesn't say it is on the can. I cut it with about a third acetone, and it sprayed beautifully. As the acetone flashes off very fast, there was no problem with runs, the resulting finish was nice and even, even after applying enough to make the black opaque. The feathering of the burst came out very nice as well.
Compared to a small spraygun, the airbrush gives a much finer feathering effect, and is easier to use. I ended up having to do a lot of touching-up around the edges, and every time I had to go through the entire process of cleaning everything, a real pain with the siphon-feed sprayer, so I am expecting that sort of work will be much more pleasurable with the simpler gravity-feed sprayer.
Quite pleased with my first attempt at airbrushing, it was surprisingly easy and fun. ( I did paint up some scrap wood first, but it came so easy that in minutes I was doing the real thing. ) The airbrush ran very well off the compressor at about 30psi, the compressor hardly noticed it was there, and only started up a couple of times. The airbrush's hose takes a standard 1/4" NPT fitting to mate up with the compressor hose.
I have also run it off a scuba tank with an $8 adapter from eBay. An inexpensive inline regulator (pictured below) drops the scuba regulator's pressure down to something suitable for the airbrush.
To clean up, rinse out the cup with more acetone, then spray some clean acetone through the brush before disassembling and cleaning properly. I was worried that the polyurethane might set up into plastic inside the brush, but it was no problem. Also, no ill effects from the acetone, which is pretty strong stuff.
Preval's printed manual is pretty scanty, all the real instructions are on YouTube, and are easy enough to follow, but I still wish for good printed instructions. Honestly, I didn't need much instruction for the job I did, as I have done it with rattle cans before. The airbrush is the same technique, but with infinitely more control. There are lots of videos on Youtube on airbrush techniques for artwork and other purposes.
The one problem I had was getting the standard aircap to work. I think the problem is that the o-ring behind the cap is so thin that when you screw the cap down snug, it blocks the air port. I stretched a thicker 3/8" o-ring onto the body in it's place, and it works much better now, although you still have to get it just right to work, which can take a lot of fussing. No such problem with the fan cap. Another thing you can try is to remove the o-ring and wrap the threads in plumber's tape.
So in summary, using an airbrush turns out to be much easier than I ever envisioned, and you can spray materials that are not intended to be sprayed. The fan aircap and larger available orifices take this airbrush into the range of a small spray gun, while available smaller orifices make it suitable for art or modeling.
December 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5Â by ThisOldGarageNJ Great Spray !!!
This Preval sprayer is a high quality piece of equipment. It comes in a very nice wood storage box with all your equipment. Very finely machined and polshed and works as good as it looks. It can be run off the cans of air as well as a compressor. For testing purposes I bought airbrush paint which means its prethinned and you dont have to do it.
It can be used for touch ups, auto or home, stenciling a border around a room, even fake tatoos as well as nail art and face painting. I filled the cup with paint and hooked it up to a small compressor and it painted beautifully right out of the box with no adjustments or problems. Painting with it is almost fun and cleanup is a breeze, I just ran some alcohol thru the sprayer and scrubbed a little with a small brush and it was done. It comes with 2 nozzles fine and coarse, (see picture) I soaked them in alcohol to clean, One note of caution, There is a mall rubber o-ring behind the nozzles, be careful not to lose it as sometimes it would stick to the nozzle when unscrewing.
I cant say enough what a quality piece of equipment this is and the price you're paying is well worth it and you wont be dissapointed, This is a tool that if properly maintained will last you a lifetime......
September 10, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5Â by LosRubios Great air brush for hobbyist or professional use
This is the first airbrush I have owned and the Preval Gravity is very easy to learn to use for the novice painter. The airbrush handles a wide variety of different paints (including water based latex) and stains and the manual that comes with the sprayer explains how to thin them out appropriately. It is also very easy to clean once the project is complete and can be mostly disassembled by hand
Preval markets a range of cans of 'Energy' which are sold separately to this kit and are basically aerosol cans containing a certain amount of compressed air that will feed the airbrush if you don't have a compressor. The airbrush kit comes with an adapter that allows these cans to be connected to the airbrush.
In our case, since we have a compressor, we simply connected a quick release air fitting to the end of the supplied 6' air hose and set the compressor regulator to around 50 psi. The results we got with thinned out household water-based latex paint at this pressure were excellent. The kit includes a couple of glass jars that are great for mixing up and thinning the paint and storing it between coats. The enclosed 6' air hose also allowed plenty of freedom of movement with our compressor sitting on the floor nearby.
There are two spray tips included in the kit, one which produces a fan of around 3" width and is similar to the fan-style spray tip in an airless paint sprayer. The second tip produces a very fine spray width of around 1/16". Spray tips are changed using the included square wrench.
Using the sprayer takes a little practice. You depress the finger trigger button downwards to start the air supply and then rock it backwards to start the paint supply. The more the paint trigger switch is pulled backwards, the greater the paint supply which makes it easy to control the thickness of coats.
Clean up is simple enough with most parts being removable by hand. I did strip down the needle tube and found it a bit fiddly to reassemble the trigger button as there were no instructions as to how to do this in the manual. For most (myself included) simply removing the needle and the spray tip should be all that is needed to clean the gun properly.
September 15, 2014