Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish

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djdube525

This seems like a silly Q but...

I happen to have a few home projects that snuck on the "Honey Do" list that may necessitate purchasing a sprayer.

Initial need is to paint a number of louvered/slatted doors that I'm thinking a sprayer would help speed up the projects. Ideally, I'd look for something that could do double/triple duty and cover things from panting the house to eventually spraying finish on something like a speaker build.

Any advice on what to look for? Makes/models of sprayers? Any words of caution re: one tool for multiple applications (doors, house, speakers)?

Edit: Not sure if it matters, but I do have a Poter Cable pancake compressor...

-DD

Peter J

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Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #1 on: 7 Jun 2017, 01:46 pm »
DD, what's your budget like?

The varying requirements for spraying different material make a one tool solution a compromise at best and an unworkable PIA at worst.  Might actually be better off with two, or renting the less often used tool. Your compressor doesn't have the cfm for much, but there are other possibilities like turbine LVLP.

djdube525

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #2 on: 7 Jun 2017, 09:46 pm »
That's a good question... I'm not super excited with some of the quotes we're batting for painting the doors.

I was hoping to keep things under $300... are the Graco/Wagner DIY models reasonable decent, or are those really only good for house painting jobs, and not jobs where you need much greater control/quality?

ebag4

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #3 on: 7 Jun 2017, 10:29 pm »
I picked up a Wagner Control Spray Max (~$130) for a speaker build.  I have used it with denatured alcohol/tint, shellac and water based lacquer.  So far it has worked well, I did run into an issue with some internal buildup of dry tinted lacquer in the main air chamber, I replaced a nozzle and nozzle seal and it is working without issue again. It is very possible that I was doing something that caused the issue, this was the first time I have used a sprayer for a finish .  I haven't tried latex but I have read where others have used it successfully for that. 

Best,
Ed

mlundy57

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #4 on: 8 Jun 2017, 02:57 am »
I use an Earlex SprayPort 6003, three stage turbine HVLP system. This comes with a Pro-8 gun for $500. The two stage version (6002) is on sale for $300.

With this system you change out the needle and cap depending on what you are spraying. Needle sizes range from 0.8mm to 2.5mm. This allows you to spray anything from dyes and thinned water based finishes to thick latex paint.

I bought a second Pro-8 gun. I keep one set up with a larger needle for thicker paints and the other with a smaller needle for water based top coats.

Mike 

Folsom

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #5 on: 8 Jun 2017, 03:41 am »
I like Mike's setup. $300 won't get you everything you need, just a gun on sale.

The most important thing besides cleaning it after every use is learning how to spray. A gun can't make it good, it just allows you to. I've seen a long time cabinet maker spraying at high PSI and the overshoot was insane, plugged up all the filters, made the floor really sticky, etc... results were fine, but he used twice as much water poly at $70 a gallon as needed. The trick is really getting good at a nice linear movement since our natural arm wave speeds up and slows down.

mlundy57

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #6 on: 8 Jun 2017, 05:20 am »
I like Mike's setup. $300 won't get you everything you need, just a gun on sale.

The most important thing besides cleaning it after every use is learning how to spray. A gun can't make it good, it just allows you to. I've seen a long time cabinet maker spraying at high PSI and the overshoot was insane, plugged up all the filters, made the floor really sticky, etc... results were fine, but he used twice as much water poly at $70 a gallon as needed. The trick is really getting good at a nice linear movement since our natural arm wave speeds up and slows down.

Actually $300 gets you the gun, 2 stage turbine, hose and 1.3mm needle/cap at Highland Woodworking

gregfisk

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Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #7 on: 8 Jun 2017, 06:01 am »
Actually $300 gets you the gun, 2 stage turbine, hose and 1.3mm needle/cap at Highland Woodworking

This is a very good price for an HVLP set up. I have one I bought about 23 years ago when I was building my house and it cost me $500.00. It has been bullet proof but I finally have to replace the cup as it is completely worn out. Going to an automotive paint supplier that also sells HVLP systems and cup guns they want about $200.00 for a good gun so I think $300.00 is a heck of a good deal.

Folsom

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #8 on: 8 Jun 2017, 06:50 am »
I guess stuff is cheaper now? Their's is a pressure cup. Pressure cups are great, but take a little more learning than gravity fed.

Although I'd want to look them up, I was looking at somewhat high end guns for production work last time I was looking.

mlundy57

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #9 on: 8 Jun 2017, 01:49 pm »
When I ordered mine from Highland Woodworking I had the option of either the pressure fed bottom cup or a gravity fed top cup. I got the gravity fed version.

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/earlex-hvlp-sprayport.aspx

Even though they refer to the bottom fed as pressure fed, the gravity fed cup is pressurized also.

As far as price goes, the guns are $250 by themselves.

Mike

Peter J

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Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #10 on: 8 Jun 2017, 02:23 pm »
DD, the kit that Mike's recommending looks to be a good deal and sounds like it may be just what you're looking for.

  I have nearly zilch in the way of experience with turbine driven guns. The one and only time I've used one was probably 20 years ago and I'm certain they've matured since then. After using cup guns and airless sprayers for many years I've ended up separating things that shoot latex/acrylic from everything else.

Mike, I'm curious, how is your gun with latex? My vintage experience was that it was slow....really slow. But that was a long time ago.


mlundy57

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #11 on: 8 Jun 2017, 03:18 pm »
DD, the kit that Mike's recommending looks to be a good deal and sounds like it may be just what you're looking for.

  I have nearly zilch in the way of experience with turbine driven guns. The one and only time I've used one was probably 20 years ago and I'm certain they've matured since then. After using cup guns and airless sprayers for many years I've ended up separating things that shoot latex/acrylic from everything else.

Mike, I'm curious, how is your gun with latex? My vintage experience was that it was slow....really slow. But that was a long time ago.

Peter,

With a 1.8mm needle and thinned about 10% with water, it shoots latex just as fast as the 1.3mm needle shoots the unthinned water born lacquer.

If I went to the 2.0mm or 2.5mm needle I probably wouldn't need to thin the latex but I haven't tried to be sure.

Also, there may be differences in latex products. I usually use something like General Finishes Milk Paint. It's not really a milk paint (not casein based) but it doesn't specifically say it is a latex either. Just that it is a water based paint with similar properties to old style milk paint but the actual makeup is proprietary.

Mike


djdube525

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #12 on: 9 Jun 2017, 03:09 am »
Apologies for the simple Qs...

What are the pros/cons of top (gravity) fed vs bottom fed?

How would the Earlex 2 stage compare to something like the Wagner control max hvlp system, or Graco painter plus system, or even the Earlex HV5500 spray Station?

Thanks in advance!

We do have a "Restore" out here in CO that sells old home fixtures, so I'll likely practice with something cheap before moving on to the real thing.


Dave

Peter J

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Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #13 on: 9 Jun 2017, 05:28 am »
In general: Gravity feed is easier to clean and probably better balanced.  Bottom feed cup is larger (maybe). Gravity fed needs some sort of stand for filling.

To my eye, the Earlex looks to be a better made system. Metal gun, more robust, staged turbine. They both use a turbine which is similar to compressor driven guns. The Earlex pressurizes  the material in cup which will help with material delivery rate, especially with heavy viscosity stuff. Air is also used to atomize material as it leaves the tip of gun and forms the spray pattern.

The Graco is an airless sprayer. These pressurize the material directly and forces it through an orifice in the tip, thus atomizes without air. The fan (spray pattern) is formed by shape of orifice. Airless can give really fast material delivery but usually not for fine finishing, although with right(small) tip might work OK. Think house painting.

In commercial shop settings the shizzle is air assisted airless sprayers like Kremlin or C A Technologies. Expect to spend coin far is excess of your budget and you need a bigger compressor

Honestly the Earlex looks like a pretty darn good deal, putting the emphasis on finishing smaller things as opposed to painting the house. You can rent an airless sprayer for pretty cheap and if you haven't used one, I dare say you'll be surprised at how fast it'll slurp a fiver of paint, but I've never used a baby like the one you mention.

Folsom

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #14 on: 9 Jun 2017, 06:01 am »
I wouldn't spray anything besides a house with airless....

Did some white cabinets once with one, hated them... (not my choice)

djdube525

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #15 on: 9 Jun 2017, 04:53 pm »
One more Q... looks like the Earlex 5500 is on sale (w/coupon) on Amazon for $233... Opinions in comparison the the other 6002?

mlundy57

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #16 on: 9 Jun 2017, 04:59 pm »
One more Q... looks like the Earlex 5500 is on sale (w/coupon) on Amazon for $233... Opinions in comparison the the other 6002?

Never used the 5500 so I can't say. Between the 6002 and 6003, the 6003 will do a better job with thicker material like paint.

Mike

djdube525

Re: Question for Speaker Builders - tools for spraying finish
« Reply #17 on: 10 Jun 2017, 02:21 am »
I ended up going with the Earlex HV5500. I suspect the 6002 is a better unit, but the coupon on the 5500 plus some Amazon credit pushed me in that direction. Will let folks know how it works out after a few doors (I have 17 to paint... it will be a busy summer). I wouldn't have even looked at this brand, let alone would have gone for something a bit more cheaper, which after further research, would have left me unhappy with the results.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: 10 Jun 2017, 10:40 am by djdube525 »