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Weekly(ish) Blog #2: 180825 Shop Blog

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Blog entry by Rob_s posted 08-25-2018 01:46 PM 874 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Continuing on my journey with the HomeRight Super Finish Max HVLP Paint Sprayer from Rockler that I began in last weeks' blog.

I went out this morning and laid down my first real production coats. I was working from about 8-9, getting the cardboard down, putting the shelves up on stands, and getting out all of the tools and materials, and then spraying a few coats on each shelf. Temps were north of 80, but the humidity was upwards of 80 as well, which makes for a “feels like” closer to 90 at least. I had run a small dehumidifier in the shop for several days beforehand, so it wasn’t actually too bad in the shop when I was working.

Recapping from last time, the material I’m finishing is 6 shelves made from 3/4” birch plywood, 18×28, with a 2” strip of plywood down each 28” length for rigidity and to give the shelf a beefier look.

On to my thoughts…

The sprayer gets a bit heavy over time.
It’s a pretty good forearm workout with this thing. As I sit here typing my right forearm is a bit stiff and messing with my typing. It doesn’t help that I have an old injury from a car accident that tore up my right forearm. I’m sure I’ll get used to it the more I use it, but for now it’s something to consider.

It’s hard to get a good feel for number of coats, coverage, and thickness with clear finish.
We will see what I’m left with in a couple of hours after it dries, but when applying the finish it was pretty hard to tell when enough was enough. I’m spraying Polycrilic from Minwax and about the only way I had any ability to judge the coverage was when I saw white I definitely knew that was too much.

Cardboard makes for a great backdrop
I agonized over what to use for a dropcloth after last time. I still have some poly-backed kraft paper in my Amazon shopping cart that I’ll likely pick up. But I had some large pieces of cardboard handy that I used to cover my bench and table and that worked out great. It also helped me get a sense of the amount of spray and coverage I was getting once I couldn’t really see it on the wood anymore.

Cleanup using an aluminum pan is a cinch.
I didn’t wind up getting the second tub, although I still plan to, but having one of my aluminum BBQ pans there to wash off the small parts was great. I just washed out the jug with the hose, filled it up with soapy water, sprayed that through on full volume for a couple of minutes, dumped that out, sprayed through some clean water, made up some soapy water in the pan, and took the sprayer apart dumping the small parts in the soapy pan water. Washed them off, dumped that water, hosed everything off with clean water, and put the parts back in the pan to dry. Easy Peasy.

It atomizes more than you think.
This one has me a bit concerned. I ran the dehumidifier for days, then went in there and sprayed for 30 minutes or so, and when I looked up the whole shop had a haze, all the way up to the 18’ ceilings (thank god my table saw was covered). I had to get that poly fog out of there so I flung open all four windows, opened the two 10×10 bay doors, and ran the fans full blast. It got the fog out, but obviously also let in a lot of that 80%+ humid air from outside. Once it cleared I shut everything up and left one fan on oscillating over the material and the dehumidifier running. Hopefully it will be enough. I need to look into some kind of tent like the Large HomeRight Spray Shelter or the Small HomeRight Spray Shelter. It looks like the large one also allows you to close it up after you spray to help protect the finish.

Downtime ensues
Which brings me to my current situation, which is that I’m sitting here typing not out in the shop working. Now that all that finish is out there curing I don’t want to kick up any dust that may ruin it, so the shop is basically useless. I’m thinking that one solution might be to spray at night during the week, since the shop would effectively be useless the next day(s) anyway while I’m at work.

South Florida weather is a bitch for woodworking.
The main issue in all of this is our weather. I’d like to work at night, but the summer heat is just too much. both in terms of exhaustion as well as in terms of curing finishes. I may yet try it anyway. If I can come up with a good way to contain the fog then I could be in and out relatively quickly in the dehumidified space.

-- www.facebook.com/therealbnrlabs



8 comments so far

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2725 posts in 1637 days


#1 posted 08-25-2018 02:10 PM

I’ve found your best friend for spraying clear (or really any) finish is strong, low angle side lighting. This really helps to highlight the surface texture and give feedback on the coating coverage and depth. Of course keeping consistent spray patterns (50% overlap) and movement speeds helps keep the coats even. You do a nice job of cleaning up your equipment! I’ll typically run some lacquer thinner through the assembled gun to get out any remaining finish before a teardown, just paranoid I guess. Of course you need to be sure any plastics are solvent safe 8^)

It sounds like the poly takes a lot longer to dry in your environment, my temps are similar but the humidity is usually in the teens. Dries to the touch (dust safe at this point) in under an hour.

Your setup looks great, plenty of room on all sides. Cardboard is also useful to dial in your spray pattern and technique before hitting the wood.

Your “fog” problem could be helped with a ceiling mounted air filter box. The fine mist will stick to the filter and the air will be clean in no time.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4541 posts in 1004 days


#2 posted 08-25-2018 02:55 PM

^^^^^ +1, especially for the raking light.

The only way to know for sure if you’re laying down the right thickness is to use a wet film thickness gauge like this one. The SDS for your product should indicate the wet mils film thickness that’s ideal.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Rob_s's profile

Rob_s

257 posts in 1037 days


#3 posted 08-26-2018 11:40 AM

Thanks for the tips guys.

I actually have a grizzly filter that i haven’t hung yet because my ceiling is 18ft high and I need to build something to hang it lower.

I’ll give the light trick a try.

I did get the second coat on yesterday and the whole thing came out beautifully. I’m very happy with the results on the wood. Two applications and I’m done vs the three coats I’ve been brush-applying

-- www.facebook.com/therealbnrlabs

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2725 posts in 1637 days


#4 posted 08-26-2018 02:10 PM

Chains work well for hanging those filters.

Spraying is solo much easier then brushing on large surfaces, makes final sandings much easier!

View Rob_s's profile

Rob_s

257 posts in 1037 days


#5 posted 08-27-2018 12:59 PM

Well I ran the filter with it sitting on a stool because there was no way I was going to get it hung. Not sure if it really helped. There was still a massive amount of fog and in turn I have poly dust coating everything in the shop. The only good news on that is that it appears to dry in the air and not settle on anything while still wet, so it’s literally just dust that can be removed as opposed to poly that dried on everything.

Going forward I may not be able to use the sprayer until the weather changes and I can do it outside. Unless I can tent it somehow. Spraying inside isn’t going to work.

-- www.facebook.com/therealbnrlabs

View mecooley's profile

mecooley

2 posts in 246 days


#6 posted 11-11-2018 08:09 PM

So are you all saying the “fog” or “mist” accumulating in that shop is the high humidity of the environment and not so much the machine itself? Or in dry conditions is it still capable of doing this? I take it we aren’t talking about over spray?

Would you say with a clear thin waterbased poly that the surface is smooth without orange peel? Looks good from the pics.

Lastly, if the larger tent was used do you feel like that would be sufficient for say a moderate size table top (i.e. 30”x48”)?

Thanks

View Rob_s's profile

Rob_s

257 posts in 1037 days


#7 posted 11-14-2018 02:24 PM

Interesting questions.

the fog/mist may well have come from overspray. It didn’t occur to me that the humidity may have been a factor. I ran my dehumidifier in the space which may have helped in the drying and certainly made it less humid than the general outdoors at the time.

I didn’t get any orange peel, and I’m very happy with the finish as it sits on the pieces now that they are installed.

I haven’t explored the tents any further, so I can’t comment on them yet.

-- www.facebook.com/therealbnrlabs

View mecooley's profile

mecooley

2 posts in 246 days


#8 posted 11-14-2018 07:13 PM

Great. Thanks for the info. Sounds like I may give it a shot. On sale at Rockler this week for even less money.

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