Just wanted to mention that I went ahead and purchased the el cheapo
Harbor Freight electric HVLP kit, for $69.99. Comes with the gun, the
electric turbine (4 psi), 15 feet of hose, a viscosity cup, and 3
different needles/nozzles. Turbine says it users 1000 watts. The gun
is a bleader, which I assume is needed to keep the turbine box cool
enough. Instructions are very basic, and don't tell much, but there
isn't much needed. It did say the viscosity cup should drain in 8-20
seconds for best results, which I found to be pretty accurate. I got
this kit because my air compressor isn't big enough to put out the
volume needed by a HVLP conversion gun.
I didn't expect much, but I have been pleasantly surprised. I am
currently spraying a wood chest, approx. 2 feet high x 2 feet deep x4
feet long. Yesterday I sprayed some Killz latex primer on it. I had
to thin it down a bit, which was to be expected. Killz is pretty
thick stuff, after all. Atomization was pretty good, it didn't shoot
big globs ever.
Turbine sounds like, and is about as loud as a vacuum cleaner. It
could also be used as a nice inflator for rubber rafts, air matresses,
etc. Hose was of decent quality. Gun is easy to take apart and clean.
The cup and gun body are made of a black plastic that seemed to resist
sticking to paint farily well. Cleanup was pretty easy, I just
disassembled the gun, rinsed the cup, and soaked the parts in some
warm water for a few minutes.
It took about 10 or 15 minutes to get the hang of it, but once I did,
it put on a pretty nice coat - definately nicer than I could do
brushing. The only adjustment on the gun adjusts how far the needle
is retracted when the trigger is squezed, which effectivley tunes how
much paint you are spraying out. At first I was putting way to much
on and got some runs - but after I got the hang of it I was putting on
a nice coat with no runs. I found it better to run it on the lean
side, and make multiple passes to ensure a nice coat. Overspray was
minimal, which really was nice. My clothes and garage were not
covered with little specs of paint everywhere like a high pressure
sprayer, or cheap Wagner diaphram gun.
Tonight I will be sanding the primer then putting on a top coat or two
of latex paint. Now that I am kind of used to it, I think I can put
on a pretty nice topcoat and have a good paint job. With the cost of
the thing, I am pretty impressed. No, I don't expect it to last
forever, but then again, I don't do a tremendous amount of paiting
either. Once I finish this project up, I will be paiting kitchen
cupboards with an oil primer and paint. The key is to keep the paint
a but on the light side and make a few passes, keeping the gun
perpendicular to the work surface.
Anyway, just thought I would pass this along. I wouldn't paint my car
with it, but it works pretty well for small projects. I would say it
is on par with the $200 range CH units.