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Forum topic by McNamar posted 07-04-2020 10:12 PM 486 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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McNamar

7 posts in 336 days


07-04-2020 10:12 PM

I have been working on some band saw boxes and have decided that I want to finish them with Deft. I don’t have a sprayer, but I do have a 6 gallon compressor, which should be adequate for spraying some lacquer. The problem is I know absolutely nothing about sprayers. Does anyone have advice on a decent sprayer that won’t break the bank? I am all ears.


16 replies so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

5720 posts in 1398 days


#1 posted 07-04-2020 10:34 PM

Since you’re doing small items and have a smaller compressor, I’d recommend going with the Harbor Freight touch up gun. You’ll still have to stop and let the compressor catch up occasionally, but it’ll perform much better with your compressor than a regular gun.

https://www.harborfreight.com/120-cc-hvlp-touch-up-air-spray-gun-61473.html

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3187 posts in 2607 days


#2 posted 07-05-2020 12:10 AM

Why don’t you just buy rattle cans of lacquer. They are the perfect size for small boxes.
Then you don’t have to go to horror freight and buy their garbage made in China.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1471 posts in 1397 days


#3 posted 07-05-2020 01:09 AM

Get an inline water filter. Buy a new (presumably dry) air line for sprayer use after the water filter. Be sure to oil your other tools if they are used on a “wet” air line. Sprayers need CDA (Clean Dry Air) to operate correctly. Water will cause splatter and spots. DAMHIKT

I just got into spraying and was pleased and surprised by the ease of use and quality of finish on horizontal surfaces. I bought one of those $30 popup paint tents and it worked well but I’ve never been able to fold it back up.

A scrap of plywood on a $6 Lazy Susan tray bearing makes a nice rotatable spray stand.

Have somewhere to hang your sprayer before you start.

Your paint/stain/lacquer needs to be runny. You can always add more thinner. Only mix what you can use in that session unless you have a clean appropriately sized sealable container.

The knob at the rear is the media flow. Start slow and open until you get decent coverage. The knob on the side adjusts the spray pattern. The tip rotates for vertical or horizontal fan.

Sprayers generally don’t come with instruction sheets, just part diagrams.

If you live in California (sorry 2BU) you can’t vent thinner so you need to violate the law, capture your cleanup spray, or use water based finish.

When cleaning by spraying water or solvent thru, put your finger off and on the spray tip. The air will blow back into the bowl and clean the little internal bits. Spray and do this until to contents of the bowl stays clean.

Sprayers have a two stage trigger. First position feeds air to the tip. 2nd allows media to flow. Practice with water or solvent only until you get the hang of stopping the media flow at the end of a sweep but leaving the air on. This can save you a buncha $$$ in media costs if you’re spraying something that’s $100/pint.

Two light coats are better than one heavy coat. If it goes on wet, it’s too heavy. Less is more.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3374 posts in 2303 days


#4 posted 07-05-2020 09:08 AM

+1 Deft rattle can lacquer.
Easy solution for small projects.
Cleaning spray gun costs money for solvent, and more time than just shaking a can. Plus you have to learn some technique, and how to use your new equipment. You can waste a pint of finish learning your new gun. :-(

Several decades ago when rattle cans of lacquer were draining my wallet too fast; I used a small Porter Cable 6 gal pancake compressor for spraying Deft lacquer. Used this cheap HF detail gun rated at 3cfm. The compressor was rated at 3.5 cfm at 40 PSI, and could spray continuously with only issue being the small size of fluid reservoir.
The spray pattern is similar to rattle can, meaning there is excess air, and more over spray than using newer style HVLP gun recommended my Rich above. I use the gun today for spraying dye stains, as it has a smaller fan pattern, and feathers edges a little more than my HVLP gun.

IME – using a small gun for medium sized project with a small compressor seldom creates an air flow issue. You can only spray for 3-4 minutes before the cup is empty, and you have to stop for couple minutes to fill it with filter material? :-0)

As MadMark2 noted, there is more to spraying a finish than gun/compressor. Do need to have oil/water separator on your feed line. For small system, used sparingly; disposable gun filters are OK option. If you live in a tropical weather zone (50%+ RH) where your compressor and/or lines will be condensing a lot of moisture; then it is recommended to have water separator at compressor and another near gun for removing the water in lines.

It can be costly to setup a proper spraying operation. Between gun, filters, hoses, and the plastic/paper (or tent booth) to catch over spray; you have to be using a lot of rattle cans to justify the investment.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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splintergroup

3867 posts in 2031 days


#5 posted 07-05-2020 02:28 PM

I’m on the touch up gun bandwagon, used for 90% of my projects.

You can spend all your money or go cheap, the performance follows an exponential cost curve.

The HF sprayers are amazingly cheap for what they can do, for $10 w/coupon you can get a fine starter sprayer that will work well with 50% thinned Deft can-o-lacquer. Practice, practice, practice! Watch some videos. Lacquer is easy to use but watch out for overly thick coats and the annoying runs and sags. Use cone filters to strain the mix while pouring it into the cup, keep the gun clean by making that the first priority after spraying. Prepare a good area to spray (good lighting, turntable or good access to all surfaces of your project, good pressure control, a piece of cardboard to dial in the spray pattern before you aim at your project, no wind or dust, and a good spraying temperature!).

You’ll wonder why you didn’t try it sooner!

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

529 posts in 195 days


#6 posted 07-05-2020 03:04 PM

Plenty of good advice here. One thing to note is the spray cans have considerably less solids than the canned lacquer. It usually takes at least twice the number of coats in comparison to using a gun to get the build you want. Some people have success with the Preval sprayers which means you don’t require a compressor. I haven’t tried those.

-- Darrel

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AlaskaGuy

5872 posts in 3118 days


#7 posted 07-05-2020 03:23 PM

I’m going to through this out there and an item to research. I have never use one so I’m only throwing this out there as a possibility. According to some ads it take an compressor output of 2-3 CFM’s . You say you have a small compressor but fail to mention the all important CFM rating of your compressor.

The “Critter Spray gun”.

https://awonderfulthought.com/critter-paint-sprayer-review/

https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/tools/supplies/finishing/applicators/20048-critter-air-powered-spray-gun

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Rich's profile

Rich

5720 posts in 1398 days


#8 posted 07-05-2020 04:45 PM


The “Critter Spray gun”.

- AlaskaGuy

The Critter is a great sprayer. I use one to apply dye since it’ll flood the surface quickly and the mason jars make it easy to store dyes ready for use. The issue with the Critter is that it is a cone pattern only. The touch-up gun I linked to above will do fan spray making it much easier to get an even pattern. With my dye the cone is fine since I’m wiping it afterwards.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

274 posts in 406 days


#9 posted 07-05-2020 07:30 PM

I have a couple of the Harbor Freight guns, a couple of older DevilBliss, and last year I bought one of the Earlex 5500 HVLP units from Rockler.

I reach for the Earlex before anything else. But, the HF guns are great for small stuff! I use the really small one to shoot shellac on small projects from time to time.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View cracknpop's profile

cracknpop

437 posts in 3158 days


#10 posted 07-06-2020 12:29 AM

Great advice so far.
I used to paint cars, trucks, and semis with spray guns that cost over $1K. For the past few years in my woodshop I have been using a $30 spray gun from Grizzly. I’m in the same camp advising get one of the HF guns and give it a go.
Madmark2 is also spot on about getting an inline filter and airhose for spraying. Drain your compressor tank and the filter regularly.

Practice spraying water on a sheet of cardboard or brown paper to get a feel for spraying and for what effects changing air pressure, air flow, and spray pattern will have. Then practice with your preferred finish.

DEFINITELY get yourself a good respirator mask!!!!

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3374 posts in 2303 days


#11 posted 07-06-2020 01:15 AM

+1 practice, practice, practice.

FWIW: There is nothing wrong with starting out cheap and simple as you learn to spray finishes, especially with easy coating like lacquer.
I have some expensive Sata and 3M guns for spraying catalyzed coatings. Use them on vehicles and large wood projects where everything has to be absolutely flawless. Also have 3M PPS disposable cup/tip system as some coatings are complete and total PIA to clean out of gun, due AZ temp and short pot life. Wait 15 minutes too long, and it’s never completely coming out of the gun.
Spraying lacquer is SOO much easier.
While the more expensive guns are more consistent, the cost of disposable tip/cup/liner also drives me nuts. When I am spraying low cost catalyzed old school enamel for machine rebuild not worthy of a $200 automotive paint job, I find it cheaper to buy the HF $15 HVLP gun ($10 with coupon), and use it once or twice and toss it in trash. Even soaking the entire gun in solvent overnight, sometimes will not clean catalyzed coatings without serious mechanical scrubbing and gallon of solvent. Have you priced solvent lately? $10+ a gallon :-(

Bottom line: your choice of coating can impact the choice in spray gun. Stick to single part lacquer while you are learning, use the less expensive guns, and it will be much cheaper to learn spraying. Not everyone likes spraying coatings.
Once you decide to 100% switch to spraying finishes, then go find a mid-range HVLP gun with larger compressor or an Earlex to up your finishing game.

Cheers!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

3107 posts in 2023 days


#12 posted 07-06-2020 01:45 AM


The “Critter Spray gun”.

- AlaskaGuy

The Critter is a great sprayer. I use one to apply dye since it ll flood the surface quickly and the mason jars make it easy to store dyes ready for use. The issue with the Critter is that it is a cone pattern only. The touch-up gun I linked to above will do fan spray making it much easier to get an even pattern. With my dye the cone is fine since I m wiping it afterwards.

- Rich

+1 I have and use one. People should take note of how he has the regulators attached to the gun. Thanks Rich.

Also,

Problem Solved! I have 2 of these and give it 5 stars. Replacement parts are available. Things to know before buying- air compressor and the size of the tip. Many fluids that woodworkers use need a hvlp gun with a tip of 2.5. The infamous Harbor Freight purple gun has a smaller tip opening- hence, you need to dilute your fluids.

TCP Global Brand Professional New 2.5mm Hvlp Spray Gun- Great for High Build Auto Paint Primer – Metal Flake Application and Any Heavy Bodied Paint or Primer Material -with Air Regulator
by TCP Global
4.3 out of 5 stars 272 ratings | 53 answered questions
Price: $59.96 & FREE Returns
Pay $9.99/month for 6 months, interest-free with your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card
TCP Global Brand High Performance HVLP Spray Gun with a 2.5 mm Fluid Tip, 1 Liter Aluminum Cup and a Air Regulator
The 2.5 mm Fluid Tip Enables You to Spray Really Thick Materials such as Extreme High Build or Polyester Primers, Thick Enamels, Latex Paints, Chip Guard, Metal Flakes, Gel Coats, Etc…
Spray Gun has Control Knobs for Full Adjustment over Spray Pattern, Fluid Control and Air Pressure. Contains a Stainless Steel Needle and Nozzle Set.
Gun has a full baffle head assembly that enables it to produce a Fully Atomized and Consistent Spray Pattern for a Smooth Professional Finish!
Full One Year Warranty

-- Desert_Woodworker

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3374 posts in 2303 days


#13 posted 07-06-2020 03:21 AM

Sorry, Desert_Woodworker will have to agree to disagree.
A 2.5mm tip is not the best advice for all wood working.

Have you used it to spray lacquer?
Which one: Nitro cellulose, CAB, Water Based, and was it pre-cat or post catalyzed; and what brand?

The issue with large tip is the amount of coating applied per pass. While you need a large tip for heavy body, long polymer chain coatings; it is not recommended for low viscosity, short chain polymer materials like lacquer.

The OP mentioned Deft, and retail Deft Brushing product is basic Nitrocellulose lacquer. It tends to have lowest solids of any lacquer product. I personally like the Sherwin Williams pre-cat CAB lacquer better as it is water white, doesn’t yellow like Nitrocellulose, and is super easy to handle in low RH of Arizona, but I digress.

Lacquer has some application challenges. One specific to tip size is limits on thickness of film layers, and total build. If you go beyond the recommended limit 3 coat 0.5-0.7mm thick dry film; it can crack and look like shattered glass as the wood moves and flexes. If you lay down too much per pass, it takes a lot longer to dry also. Spraying solvent based lacquer with 2.5mm tip would most likely be very hard to control, especially on small boxes the OP mentioned where you need more control, not less.

Your comment on diluting coatings is misguided. Can spray undiluted lacquer, straight from can using a conventional HF HVLP gun with 1.6mm tip. But I will say depending on your local temp and humidity, it handles better with ~10% thinner. The touch up guns suggested initially have smaller tips (1.3-1.4mm), are intended for smaller areas, and they do require more solvent. The above suggestion of 50% is extreme IME, with 20-30% being all I have needed.

Like always, YMMV as spray application of coatings is sensitive to your environment. What I shared has worked for me in desert SW and in muggy Midwest summer weather I lived in previously. Whether it will work for OP IDK.

Best Luck to McNamar as you investigate spraying finishes.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

3107 posts in 2023 days


#14 posted 07-06-2020 03:56 AM



Sorry, Desert_Woodworker will have to agree to disagree.
A 2.5mm tip is not the best advice for all wood working.

Have you used it to spray lacquer?
Which one: Nitro cellulose, CAB, Water Based, and was it pre-cat or post catalyzed; and what brand?

- CaptainKlutz

To the OP this guy is just trying to stir the pot. Many opinions on what to use and I posted from experience using this gun.

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

529 posts in 195 days


#15 posted 07-06-2020 05:45 PM

I spray guitars with a Sata Minijet 4 with 1.6 mm tip at 19 psi. I use Mohawk nitrocellulose instrument lacquer. I spray 6 coats an hour apart undiluted. Wait for a week and and level then spray a wet coat at 50/50 diluted. Wait for 3 weeks to a month then wet sand and buff. Glass like finish as long as your surface prep is as flawless as possible. Many people do the same thing with a cheap jamb gun. The biggest advantage with the Sata is being able to spray toners for bursts or dyes without worrying about it spitting. Nitro is one of the most forgiving finishes.

-- Darrel

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