Graco 2900,3900 HVLP(Pat raises his hand with a question)

Page 1 of 2  
I assume Robert(NailShooter) will see this.
As a normal Sunday visit to Lowes for all my stand misc. crap, I got to see a cute little turbine HVLP sprayer made by Graco being shown doing all the normal magic a HVLP can do.
The guy said he was shooting latex(thinned) and I have to say, it looked pretty slick for the money.
This is very low end machine with most major parts plastic, but does show some promise.
I'm curious if any of the crowd has jumped on this:
http://www.spray-station.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In the link, the first picture: That girl can sure spray paint a nice sharp inside corner! The other pic of the girl spraying the window trim: The window panes aren't taped, unless the panes haven't been installed, but nothing is taped off. And the table being sprayed, on the patio.... wonder how that white woodwork, in the background, turned out?
Sonny
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi, Pat. Good to see a new post from you!
I am not familiar with that exact model, but it may indeed be something from the Earlex line, which is a mix/match of parts from different vendors. It seems that it matches closely in some features and performance. In fact, if you DAGS the Graco HV3900, you will get results from the Earlex HV3900. Hmmmm.......
I have used some of those type of sprayers and I find that they have their place. I think it depends on how much you are going to use them, and what you will use them to spray.
I can point out what I see as the pros and cons.
Pros:
- The unit is cheap. And if you don't like it you can return it immediately. Lowe's has a generous return policy, so you can woodshed the machine in practical application to see if it will work for you.
- Graco will undoubtedly offer different aircaps (on less expensive units they are needle assemblies only) that will allow you to spray different types of finish. Keep in mind that many finishes today are made to spray, and are quite forgiving. If I am reading this correctly, the larger unit comes with a 1.5mm aircap, which is a bit small for latex with a 2 impeller turbine. This will make it good for project sized work, but you can't throw enough material out of the machine to make it a fast painter. At 1.5mm, you will undoubtedly need to thin, and that will need you time to experiment to get it right.
- The largest unit comes with a bigger reservoir. Unless you doing small work like doors, a bookcase, the one quart cup is a pain. You need both.
- I believe (IIRC, I saw these at a Sherwin Williams home center display) the two larger units have two impellers. Although not ideal, this is adequate for spraying clean, thinned latex. I had a friend that bought a used Earlex (sold by WoodCraft) that was a 2 module turbine that he used to spray enamel onto doors in his residential paint business. He thinned properly, then sprayed away. IF YOU USE A GOOD PAINT, you can thin the daylights out of them and still get a great finish. He used the SW line mostly, and hit it with about 15% water and it sprayed out like glass. The good finish was part excellent paint, part application technique, part machine. Thinning is the key on these smaller machines
Cons:
- If you are painting anything of size, say a house or a house interior, you will work yourself to death with this thing since even with the larger reservoir they don't carry a lot of material
- You need to learn how to thin paints. Some only need a little, some more. I would start at 10% and study the dried (2 hours) surface and see if I had the texture I wanted. Spray on a slick carboard box (such as those that house electronics) and you can see every imperfection. Don't thin past 20%. Don't tell anyone you thinned to 20% either or you will hear a wall of baloney that will make you wince.
- The 1.5mm aircap isn't good for everything, BUT with thinning practice and good material you should be able to put down a good finish in paint. The good news is that the 1.5mm should shoot all kinds of clear coats with minimal thinning. I would bet that if you hit your lacquer or poly about 10%, you would be fine.
- I HATE HATE HATE those 6' long hoses they put on the units. They don't give you any maneuverability, don't allow for ease of movement, and don't let you get the gun motion right. I am 6'2", bare foot. Unless I put the unit on a 5 gal paint can I can't reach the ceiling or even the top of a door with that 6'. Fortunately, since the air supply is all that is carried in line, you can add what you want or in some cases buy another hose. This isn't a problem is you are using the shoulder tank, but it is ugly when painting a project in your garage
So in the end, my thoughts are this: If you want a machine for light use that will turn out a pretty good finish, this could be a good buy. $140 is pretty tough to beat. On a bigger project or even a couple of smaller ones, it would pay for itself in time and effort. It won't due heavy work, and without practice won't turn out really good finishing. But I wouldn't hesitate to use it as my buddy did, to spray latex on doors, trims, built ins, and project work. He loves that thing for shutters, too. He actually used it so long his guys called it the "trim machine".
Not that you are actually that interested, but this could be a good machine on which to learn to spray, too. I have always thought that 1/2 of good HVLP end product was learning to thin, and that takes practice.
If it was a two impellor model, I would buy it and try it. If it was just one, I would skip it.
As always, hope that helps!
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the always wonderful finishing advice.
Just as you say, I want this machine as a test vehicle for a couple of really backed projects that would easily "justify" in my mind, this fairly small purchase.
I got a pile of stripped director chains(ok,maybe 3-4 years) and a 16' aluminum jon boat.
I also have a 1973 Unisaw that is going to get a rotissory restore and that involves paint...
These are the type of projects that don't require a high level of skill but I do want to get a decent finish and a brush finish don't cut it.
I am determined to learn the spray gun finishing and this just might be a way to get in the game.
Graco does sell "needle sets" for this sprayer.
http://www.spray-station.com/Accessories.html
I "know" it's cheap solution but I did see some real potential for these hobby projects.
As always, I appreciate your advice.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

snipped a lot of great advice ...........

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Amen. Even the best brush finishes aren't always the answer. Those projects are perfect for that setup as you can thin solvent based enamels and get busy with finishing.
> I am determined to learn the spray gun finishing and this just might

Good for you! I hope you get in the middle of spray finishing. It can be very trying and difficult, but the results are really rewarding. It is no different than learning any other craft.

Matching the machine to the job doesn't necessarily mean cheap. I have put a lot of finish down with inexpensive gear that looked great. (Some not so great... but hey...)
The large setup looks like a perfect entry level machine, and you should learn all the basics on it. Plus, as has been noted here, there have been a lot of good finishes turned out on these less expensive machines.
I hope you get it and post away with any results and questions. Still lots of helpful folks around here!
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Me, me...I have a question: should one spray toward or away from the previously sprayed area?
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Are you asking about gun position or lap technique?
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Lap I guess. Say you have a horizontal surface...do you start with the edge closest to you - in which case the spray from each pass would sort of feather out to the not yet sprayed area - or the area farthest from you in which case the spray from the current pass would feather out into the previously sprayed area?
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In a perfect world, it wouldn't matter as the overspray/drift would simply melt into the finish wherever it goes on the surface, providing the surface is still wet.
However..... experience has taught md differently based on the "hot" materials I like to spray. When the heat is on down here in South Texas, I cannot spray a door with enamel and get to the other end without the overspray turning to dust and sitting on the previously sprayed areas.
Here's my solution.
Assume you are spraying some like a house door, laying flat. This would also work on a table, since flat is flat. Since I know I have the hose behind me and ** I will ** drag it across the previously sprayed area, I tend to start away from me, and work my way back towards the turbine, keeping the hose behind me. Maintaining the proper gun position and distance to target is imperative here, as you want to minimize any drift.
The natural feel is to tilt the gun back slightly, and this will push overspray onto your previous finish. You need to keep the gun perpendicular to the surface to minimize this problem.
Make your first pass by pointing the tip of gun at the edge of the work, then spraying. While half of your spray will hit the floor, you will start with a half lap, which will make your edges cleaner and will make your finish thickness uniform over the piece. Likewise, finish off the same way.
OTOH, if you are using long finishes such as alkyds and clear polys, this isn't as crucial because they have such a long cure out. The overspray (unless there is a lot) will simply melt into the previously sprayed areas.
But remember, when shooting anything out of the HVLP, you have thinned it (unless you get into a 3 - 4 stage machine), and it will dry out faster. With latex, poly, long enamels, it shouldn't be a problem.
With lacquers in higher temps (+80F) it can be.
This reinforces the fact you should keep a recipe book of notes on material, humidity, % thinned, temps, etc., when tailoring your specific formulas.
When I spray <vertical> surfaces, I always start from top and go to bottom since the hose stays out of the way, and the drift will work downward anyway.
As a tip, you need to remember that these turbine units put out a certain amount of air. With baffles on the machines, it may not be too bad, but it can get the air swirling pretty good, putting dust in the air that will foul your finish.
Why no one ever does this or uses it as a tip, I don't know... Put the turbine on a box or stand, and keep it 24" off the ground. If you think it will fall over, off, etc., secure it with a bungee cord. This is crucial.
Keeping your turbine out of the crucial 8" constantly moving dust layer will cut your dust distribution by 75%. Think of all the dust and debris on the floor of the shop or spray area, and then think of a vacuum cleaner or shop vac blowing all that stuff around. Not good, right? I must say, I seem to be the only one that has noticed this, though.
Also, it will keep the filter on the machine clean. One old complaint about the use of HVLP guns is that they get hot, then they spray hot air into the finish, fouling the finish. If you find this to be the case, stop spraying.
Most of the time, when an HVLP turbine overheats, it is because it is working too hard. It works too hard because the air filter is clogged with dust and debris (remember keeping the machine off the floor?) that accumulates when the machine filters the air before sending it to the gun. It strangles the air flow to the turbine. Dirty filters are a no-no, and as cheap as they are I always keep an extra on hand.
One more thing, as a great way to keep that overspray (I shoot stuff that is hot enough that it is powder before it drifts 3' to the ground) is to put a cloth drop cloth of some kind under your spray table. A crumpled drop cloth seems to catch a great deal of the drift and keep it from circulating while you move around spraying your piece.
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

My (limited) experience as well. Which is why I used to start close to me and work away. As you so correctly noted, one is inclined to drag hoses/cords/whatever into what was sprayed. I hate it when that happens :(

Wow, thanks for the book :)
dadiOH
<book follows>

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have read most/all of his posts over the last few years and I never fail to not learn something about the finishing process. This was just part of one chapter...
Go back and look at some of his earlier posts. You will learn something.
dadiOH wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/28/2010 9:11 AM, Pat Barber wrote:

I've got a folder on my hard drive of all Robert's posts on finishing for the last five or ten years ... no nonsense, hard earned, pearls of finishing wisdom ... while his intellectual property, I may offer to be one of his co-ghost writers one of these days. :)
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Swingman wrote:

wood. For example, given that one is working with redwood, what type(s) of finish is good for sealing? For outdoor use? How about mahogany? Or walnut that is exposed to sunlight? I'd buy a copy.     mahalo,     jo4hn (vacationing from the wingnuts)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Bob Flexner book(s) cover a fair amount of that.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
jo4hn wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Lap technique"? There has to be a joke in there, somewhere...LOL

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wrong Lap..
Robert never jokes about spray technique.
Josepi wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Alright... now I thought that was pretty damn funny. All my amigos know I am serious about finishing because "the devil is in the details".
But never??
LMAO!!
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/27/2010 8:46 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

LOL ... just used that very phrase, in part, to effectively shut up the touchyfeely, wannabe builder, architect of a potential client.
Won't be getting that job ... but boy did I dodge a bullet, or what! :)
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/28/2010 9:11 AM, Lee Michaels wrote:

You wouldn't believe the half of it ... I'm more astounded each passing day at the unarguable ineptness of the current crop of supposedly educated "professionals" ... it's a damn wonder IF anything gets done, that it then stays together long enough to amortize, and that more folks aren't killed in the process.
There is NO way in hell that a project like the Hoover Dam could be built by the poorly educated, poorly raised, self delusional, pampered idiots, and their companies and governments, populating this country in the early 21st century.
For all practical purposes this country, as we once knew it, is toast ...
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.