That last video really does offer an interesting insight. I bought a bunch of ball bearings for all my paints and always shake the heck out of them. Partially cured paint could definitely be contributing to my problems. Further, since I switch hit with acrylics and enamels, maybe I am accidentally creating paint gum inside the nozzle.
We must contemplate these things upon the tree of woe.
Edit: I just learned that nail polish bottle shakers are a thing.
Thank you for trying to help, varanusk. I really am trying pretty much every suggestion made in this thread.
Since I cannot see the needle, I greatly fear damaging it, thus the retract and wipe. The paintbrush method seems fairly safe. I will give that a try. My Iwata Eclipse SBS(?) does not have a limiter. I have trouble with my hands (health stuffs) and just need to lump it.
I always try to thoroughly clean my airbrush between sessions and when switching from acrylics to enamels. The operative word is ‘try’. Over the last 11 weeks I have used generic lacquer thinner (can no longer purchase in California), Mr. Color Thinner (seems pretty good), Testors Brush Cleaner (not very good), Testors Airbrush Cleaner (not very good), Water (not very good as a cleaner but great to establish if an obstruction exists), Rubbing Alcohol (helpful but may be causing problems with the enamels), Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner (useless), and Vallejo Flow Improver (woops!). I have considered using Simple Green, Windex, Windshield Cleaner, and nuclear weapons.
The rest of you degenerates that read this, stay out of the gutter.
A nut is better then a ball. The reason I have heard is the ball can get trapped in the neck and a hard squeeze will pop the top of the paint bottle and cause a huge mess. The nut does not have this problem.
That makes sense. Nuts. General McAuliffe would approve.
Also, it occurs to be that a random orbit sander, flipped upside down, might make a pretty good paint shaker. MacGyver would approve.
But I thought my problems start with a loose nut in the spray booth…