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Future as leak detector and fixer

Nothing bubbles out of an airbrush better when backflushed than Pledge Future floor polish. On the other hand, nothing short of flux and solder will more effectively seal an airbrush nozzle, or cement an airbrush needle in place, than dried and cured Future. These characteristics recently helped me solve a vexing problem with my airbrush and compressor fittings.

No amount of cleaning fittings, Teflon tape, soapy water, or strings of expletives could locate and stop several tiny leaks among my compressor, airbrush hoses, regulator, fittings, and new manifold. Having just gloss-coated a piece with a leaky airbrush system, and seeing how Future bubbled while I was backflushing the airbrush, I decided to try using Future to detect and plug said leaks.

First, I shut off the compressor. Then, I loaded a medium-sized paintbrush with Future and applied it to every fitting between my compressor and airbrush handles, making sure to open the valves connecting each airbrush to the manifold. Capillary action draws the Future down into the threads of brass and stainless-steel fittings and accompanying Teflon tape. As soon as all fittings were liberally coated with Future, I turned the compressor on and quickly checked all the fittings. I found four fittings had tiny leaks which I had not been able to detect with soapy water. I shut the compressor off again.

The next step was to use the Future as a gap filler. I brushed more of it onto the problem fittings, again allowing capillary action to draw it into the fittings. I kept applying Future until the fittings were full and no more was being drawn into them. I allowed the Future to cure for a few days – plenty of time to plug the tiny gaps (or thoroughly gunk up an airbrush, based on my experience).

Prior to applying the Future, the compressor would not hold 15psi worth of pressure for more than two seconds before starting again. Post-repair, the compressor only runs after 15 or 20 seconds and will hold pressure for several minutes after shutdown.

If you have trouble releasing fittings after having applied the Future, treat them like a stuck paint jar lid. Apply a bit of lacquer thinner and allow it to soak into the threads. Lacquer thinner will soften Future just the same as spirit-based coatings.

This has cut my compressor run time to what it was when it was new. This is an easy, effective fix for those times when thread paste isn’t the best idea and Teflon tape just isn’t getting the job done.

Tip submitted by:
Kenny HaverlyBardstown, Kentucky


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