I really like my Fuji Mini-Mite 4. Its a Q4 without noise insulation.
My results with solvent and WB lacquers, varnishes and shellacs have
been excellent and quite easy to attain. I'd buy it again in a
heartbeat. That said, I haven't used the others, so I can't say if
I'm equipped with the gravity and suction cups, as well as a pressure
pot. I added a 50' black rubber hot water hose to get the turbine a
larger distance from the spray area.
No matter what you buy, a 110v Long Ranger dust collection remote
works great to turn the turbine on and off as needed. <G>
I have a TP brand. The unit I bought used three years ago was originally
purchased new in 1986. We use it heavily in our vintage travel trailer
restoration and remodeling businesses. The unit I have is smaller than those
sold now. We have never had a problem or break down and fine finishes are
easy to obtain whether using oil or water based finishes.
The latest issue of Woodworker's Journal (June 2007) has an article on 8 HVLP
spray systems in the $450-$900 price range. The article was written by Michael
Dresdner, their finishing expert.
P.S. He called them "high-end" systems
several peopl wrote:
> good stuff about hplv
Thanks guys. This has been helpful.
What about the "turbine" vs "converted air compressor" issue?
A buddy of mine, who is a small boat manufacturer, told
me he uses some sort of a conversion contraption, so he
can run his hplv guns off a standard air compressor.
He said several auto-body guys he talked to, said that's
the best way to go......more consistent spray patterns
on big spray jobs (cars and boats vs cabinet doors, for
I'm a boat builder, so this might be an issue for me.
The HVLP systems that use an air compressor are a bit of a hybrid.
Unless you are using an air compressor that would power an oil
platform you will never get the kind of pressure a that a turbine
unit. But most people don't want to spend the dough on a turnbine.
So the compressor driven or CAS gun was born. I can't tell much
difference (most of the time, none) in the final product between my
turbine and CAS guns.
But there are two things to know:
1) when you buy a CAS gun, it will tell you how much airflow at some
random pressure the manufacturer decided is a benchmark. It will be a
lie. You can easily add about half again to their CFM requirements to
make this gun operate properly. If you are going to spray jewelry
boxes, you can probably work within the compressor requirements
specified. If you are working on a boat, you will get inconsistent
air delivery after you dump the compressor's tank. Inconsistent
pressure will mean inconsistent product delivery on project.
2) The overspray is quite a bit difference. I did a lot of door
finishing for a company a while back, and used their warehouse as a
spraying area. When using my turbine gun, on some finishes I could
get it down to almost nothing. No kidding, you could almost spray
without a mask. While the CAS gun is much better than the old high
pressure guns, it isn't true HVLP, and here's where it shows. You
could see a significant reduction in overspray with a CAS gun, but not
nearly what you get with a turbine. (The pressurized paint resevoir
on the turbone HVLP is the reason.)
One of the industry guys (Graco, maybe? Sherwyn Williams?) did a great
writeup on the difference and they rang somewhere around here: Quality
CAS guns can get up to about 60% of the finish material on target.
That might be stretching it. But not bad when you consider somewhere
around 20% or less material on target for the old high pressure units.
Turbine HVLP makers claim as much as 90% (some higher) material on
target with their systems. Not my experience. But I do believe you
can get in the 80s. A friend of mine is a math teacher, and while
idle one day he did the math. Not me. I just know how much it took
me to spray a door with three coats of finish with high pressure, CAS
and turnbine equipment with the finsh film being 3 mil.
That all being said, I use all three types of guns.
But I use the CAS and the turbine powered HVLP the most. I like the
CAS gun as it is painfully easy to clean, easy to use, and is pretty
forgiving about what I mx and shoot with it. I have shot everything
from lacquer to super high VOC enamel. No problems at all, except
when spraying long runs. I have it hooked to a pretty good 3hp
compressor with high enough cfms to run a framing gun and roofing gun
at the same time, and it still won't keep up 100%. Excellent for
small stuff, though.
On the other hand, the turbine is a wholly contained spray unit. I
too have a Fuji, and the amount of free air that thing generates could
probably (I mean literally) power two guns. This is what I use when I
have a lot of finishing and I am really concerned about the outcome.
The air pressure is 100%consistent, no worrying about clean, dry air,
no water traps to fool with and the big item - the protection against
overspray is cut by 2/3. This is a huge savings in time for me when I
am out on a job. Not only does it save a ton in material, but even
more in time you don't have to use prepping out everything to keep the
spray and the drift contained.
Like I said, like Barry, I have a Fuji, the Q4. I bought the unit
and many extras from a dealer, and he is a great guy that has always
been around when I needed him. So has Paul Smith, the owner of Fuji.
Thankfully, I haven't had to call either of them in the last year and
a half, but I assume their service is still good. The Fuji system has
exceeded my expectations on just about every level, and it is honestly
one of the few tools I have purchased in the last five years (typing
this, maybe the only one). It is nice equipment.
Thanks, sandy. I appreciate the feedback and the kind words. If you
do buy or want to buy an HVLP system and want the name of the dealer I
bought mine from, ping me here.
There is a lot of info on this group's archives that you can search
with "HVLP" as your keyword. I have written a bunch based on my
experience with it, including how to set up the guns. I was lucky
enough to find good folks to help me get mine set up correctly (I just
couldn't let go of the pressure) so I committed it to writing with a
few tweaks and posted it here. Like charlieb in his quest to explore
the Domino, I felt the same with my Fuji, and tried everything I could
with it to learn how to use it.
Other sprayers here that can help a lot in your search are dialogues
from Mike Marlow and Barry. Just search their names.
I see you aren't a heavy newsgroup user, at least not under your
current name, so here's a search tip in case you need it. You may nor
may not have newsgroup access with your isp, or like me, it doesn't
Others will surely chime in, and some will disagree, but those that
disagree will without doubt post instructions for a better search
method. You will get the obligatory suggestions for free ng readers,
etc., as well as a good smackdown on Google. With all that being
said, this might help you.
First, put on a pot of coffee and get a mug. Then go to Google.
Click on "More". Click on "Groups". When you get to "groups", type
in "woodworking". That should get you here. Then you can search by
topic, keywords or authors. I mix them up to get the best results,
and sort them by date (look for the button) to get the most current
information. The archives are really the strong suit of this
If you need any more help, there is plenty here.
Thanks for the offer on the boat! I don't have a ready place use one,
but I would almost build your Buffalo boat just because it looks so
neat. Might have to take you up on your offer sometime.
And I must say, your website is most impressive. I liked all the
info, and the fact that everything I clicked on actually worked. Good
layout. Nice job!
B A R R Y wrote:
> SU4? Sounds like the Mini-Mite 4 that I have.
The Super4 is different than the Mini-Mite somehow.
The salesman said it was the Pro4 without noise
I will come back and report on this, in a month
or so, after I get my latest boat finished.
Had that model been available, I would have purchased it over the MM4.
The Q4, MM4, and SE4 do indeed use the same turbine.
I buy my Fuji stuff from him, as well. Roger is very knowledgeable.
You're going to like it! <G>
Good old Roger. That's where I bought mine, too. He is quite
knowledgeable about his product and will give excellent support. You
are in good hands.
It is a fairly known fact that almost all of the American Made HVLP
systems use the same turbine. The manufacturer slips my mind now, but
apparently no one really does it better, and it has become the defacto
standard for all the high quality units.
The only differences in the vendor's units are the number of stages
the turbine has, the housing, the mounting of the turbine inside, the
filtering system, and the noise reduction method.
Like Barry said, I think you will be thrilled with the unit.
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