low-end HVLP spray systems

I'm thinking about buying a low-end HVLP spay system. Turbinaire has one that retails for about $800 dollars US. Same for Fuji.
Are there other brands to consider? Which is best?
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wrote:

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 it's "best"
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>
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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.
http://www.tptools.com/dg/59_HVLP-Paint-Spray-Equipment.html
cm
www.vintagetrailersforsale.com

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sandy wrote:

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.
Wayne
P.S. He called them "high-end" systems
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NoOne N Particular wrote:

http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/ezine/archive/173/interview.cfm
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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 instance).
I'm a boat builder, so this might be an issue for me.
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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.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Thank you. Phew. That was really appreciated. If you ever want to build a driftboat, let me know. I'll give a plan set for free, for that. ....sandy at montana riverboats dot com
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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 work well.
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 newsgroup.
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!
Robert
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You could probably use a boat then.
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sandy wrote:

Thanks to all who responded. I bought a Fuji SU4....same as the more expensive Pro4, according to the salesman, except the turbine is a bit noisier.
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I hope you start a new thread and let us know what you think when you get up and running.
Robert
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sandy wrote:

SU4? Sounds like the Mini-Mite 4 that I have.
I'd be very surprised if you're not thrilled with it.
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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 compression.
http://www.phelpsrefinishing.com/SE4.html
I will come back and report on this, in a month or so, after I get my latest boat finished.
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sandy wrote:

Cool!
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>
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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.
Robert
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