Re: Spraying Lacquer

HI Joe
My primary HVLP system is the Fuji Q4. Can't say enough good about it.
On the other hand my first system and now secondary on was a Campbell Hausfeld 2500. Far less expensive. I also see lots of posts on the Harbor Freight and Rockler $100.00 units.
My take, owning and using two units at different ends of the spectrum, and from reports on the HF and Rockler unit has been, and remains, any unit turbine HVLP unit putting out about 5 PSI at the nozzle at around 80 CFM will do as good a job as you are capable of.
The question you would probably ask next is if the CH was so good why buy the Fuji. Simple answer is that I do a fair amount of spraying and the extra bucks go to life expectancy of the unit and it's versatility in what it will spray. There were also some features about the Fuji I like better then the other units in it's price range.
Having explored the situation before buying and watching other posts on the subject any unit of equal price, and, again, I can't say enough about the Fuji, Turbinair, Accuspray, etc, are all on a par with one and other.
Good luck
--
Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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Joe,
90 per cent of my spraying is done with an HVLP and Lacq. Just make sure that you have the right needle for it. My Apollo uses a #2 or #3. One thing only pour what you need as the Lacq settles rather fast. Before applying a full spray I preseal as follows. Cut Lacq 60 percent and spray piece, let dry, and sand down with 400. Next feel for any imperfections such as raised grain and sand down, if open pores are still there apply second coat. Once smooth apply Lacq full strength right from can, however depending on where you live in dealing with heat, humidity, etc you have to add retarder or thin down. READ manufactures label and follow to letter! Never substitute from another manufacture or mix different lacq, chemicals, etc, from different manufactures. Oh, by the way the other 10 per cent is composed of Shellac and padding Lac. As mentioned on post a Gravity gun is a must have. get one designed for your HVLP and get one that can use either a small cup or larger cup.

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I was recently in a Kelly Moore store and they suggested using a vinly undercoat made for use with the precat lacquers they sell. Do you know what the pros and cons of using the sealer are? Is that stuff more "dentable" than precat lac?
dave
Not Telling wrote:

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Ok, The only time I will use a vinyl sealer made for Lacq is for OILY WOODS. The vinyl sealer creates an almost impregnable surface. That is it protects what ever is lying under it whether bare wood, glaze, or stain to prevent it from causing problems with your Lacq and it also allows the Lacq to level evenly and cure properly without the worry of the wood oils interference. The gotcha is simply to spray your Lacq in the time allotted from the sealer manufacture. failure to do so WILL result in the Lacq to fail by checking, cracking, lifting.
Ah, but the real question is, Do you really need it ? Yes and No, Yes for oily woods and No when they are not oily woods. The real reason to apply any sealer is for SURFACE PREPARATION. Any sealer applied is meant to be sanded down as much as possible to remove any lifted grain and imperfections. And most importantly, to prevent any chemical reaction to take place between the wood and Lacq because of the stain, glaze, wood oil, etc. Added benefits are from allowing the Lacq to adhere properly, level, and cure properly.
Now, you can also use shellac for a sealer instead which is much easier and more forgiving. But only use clear shellac!

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I'll be doing an oak desk next Oak isn't considered oily, is it?
What is the solvent for the vinyl sealer? Laq thinner?
Thanks for a very informative post.
dave
Not Telling wrote:

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Yes and No, Any wood species will have oil, what sets them apart is the quantity and them the viscosity of that oil. As far as Oak is concerned? Mostly in Red Oak species and some in the White Oak spices. In my years of wood working I have only one problem with Oak and that was Red Oak. Applying sealer is the key. I have read many books on finishing and have a large collection on this subject and the common denominator from all of them is surface preparation. In my initial start of this hobby turned full time business there was much confusion on this subject especially in trying what and when to use a sanding sealer, filler, stain sealer, on so on! From this I learned the hard way by experimenting with the woods that I would more then likely be using and restoring. I then broke them down into two categories ( I will get flamed for this, but It works for me). Those of open grain i.e. oak and those of closed grain i.e. maple as an example. What I discovered was that with open grain woods if I would sand to 220 and then apply stain, allow to dry and sand again with 220, and begin to wet sand up to 400 with the stain I ended up with mirror smooth finish with depth. I then applied my seal coat, and then my final finish. What I am trying to get here is that everyone has a method that works for them and that method may not work for you. Why? simple we all have different ways of doing things that work for the way we do things. So, where does this leave you? Easy, get a basic understanding of the process and always remember that it is a process and can be modified just as a recipe is to make it more sweet or spicy. The result is the same. Ok, by now I have confused you so let me walk you through in what I would do with this project. I am going to assume it is white oak, actually it does not matter as my process is the same.
1.) First this project is going to be a desk so the process is going to require two processes. One for the table top and one for the rest of the desk. 2.) I next take my oak and thoroughly sand up to 220 the end grain is sanded up 320. Why, because end grain absorbs 2 too 3 times as much stain. 3.) Got to decide how much color saturation I want ( light too dark) 4.) Next if deep color saturation is needed then I will use a full bodied clean rag. Note that deep saturation is not how light or dark the color is. What it does is when using a full bodies rag (terry towel) the grain pores will absorb most of the stain where the closed pores will absorb the least. For even stain with grain and pores use a clean rag made from 50/50 cotton/poly blend similar to a hanky. The full bodied rag will give you the dark open grain and light grain look. The 50/50 will give you a more even color saturation. 5.) Allow to dry, and sand up to 220 6.) Color saturation should be real close now, if not use 50./50 rag concept above in step 4 7.) If it is now we are ready for the color sanding. Get some 220 and your stain pour a small puddle and begin to color sand small areas first. Start out the ends first. The key here is pressure not to little not to much. If the sand paper is lightly slipping between your hand and the wood then its perfect amount of pressure. 8.) Once the stain gets slurry (mixture of stain and wood dust) wipe clean and restart with new sand paper and higher grit. I usually go up to 400 but always end up with 600. 9.) Examine each color sand step for color blend and imperfections and fix those. Small imperfections may require further sanding with a little more pressure. 10.) I am done and ready for the sealing coat. My customer in this case likes Lacquer so I will prepare my solution 60 per cent Lacq thinner and 40 percent Lacq. Once sprayed and try, I will sand with 400 then 600 with just enough pressure at 600 to cut any little nibs left over. 11.) Next a take a damp 50/50 rag in Lacq thinner and quickly wipe my project. When I say damp I mean damp not wet. Ask your wife or girlfriend to show you what damp is. This is important very important as this step clears and removes this that we can not feel or see. 12.) Now I am ready for the finish, Now Lacquer sucks for table tops but works great for the rest. So, I suggest either a poly base varnish or acrylic base. 13.) You will have to build up at least 5 coats with sanding between coats with 400 or 600. I always use 600. Only sand lightly to remove sheen and any dust or nibs. The last coat is never sanded, what you do is get some compound cleaner, compound, and polishing compound. Go to an auto supply store for this. If you have an auto polisher great! use that with wool bonnets. If you screw up somewhere no problem see step 11 it will help. 14.) Call customer tell them it is done and collect the money.
Caveats: As I said before it all boils down to what works for you and your style. The process is going to be different no two people will do it the same. What matters is the final result. The best advice get comfortable with one process know it inside out, how it works with different woods and then begin to create your own way. Going from one process to another, and then another is one of the most stressing things to do. Especially in wood finishing which scares a lot of people and prevents them from getting into this wonderful gratifying hobby.
Today, I only work with 4 processes that work for me and have never come to any situation where I was leery of taking on a project. Including color matching.
Any way hope this helps and gets you started in the right direction.

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Wow! I dare say that was an in depth, most informative response! I can't thank you enough. I understood what you said, and I have a follow up question (or two), if you don't mind, regarding the application of poly to the top. I understand that spraying it would be an ungodly mess, since it'll stick to everything in the vicinity.
First off, are you saying that pre-cat laq is not up to the task of an oft used desk? If poly is needed, how do I apply it so that it's gonna look perfect? I DO have an 18" applicator pad that was made for putting down a water based floor finish. Would that work to get a smooth finish on a table top? I know that I could thin poly and wipe. that takes a LOT of coats. and lots of drying time...
If it's gotta be poly should it be oil based?
I'll shut up now and let you teach me, if you'd be so kind, again.
dave
Not Telling wrote:

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Choices, Choices!
Ok, lets suppose you have choices. You can spray poly with an HVLP gun or a regular gun if you want. Prefer HVLP. I have both an HVLP gun to work either on a HVLP turbine or compressor. I prefer the compressor. Why? more control over fluid flow. I have mabey used my HVLP Turbine 3 times and I have had it for 3 years now. Remember what I said, you got to find out what works for you!. I have sprayed poly many times with my HVLP gun and compressor with very little mess. The key here is viscosity! Check your manufactures recommedations for viscosity, tip, and cap selection. Make sure you have a stop watch when checking viscosity as being off by even a few seconds can mess up your whole spraying. Another tip of yopu mess up while spraying DO NOT STOP continue until your are done. Then take a 50/50 rag simi-damp and lightly and I mean lightly swipe your mistakes. Let the poly dry and sand down. Then apply your next coat.
Now, if no available HVLP you can brush on the poly but make sure you have the right brush. I use a china bristle brush. Buy a good one not a cheap imitation to save a dollar or two.
Ok, Lacq top or Poly Top? In my experieces, I always try to find out if the piece will be getting any heavy use. Thus the trick question? what is heavy use? It varies, soory but that is just the way it is. There are a lot of factors here. Everyday use for writting, reading, drawing, kids, weather, day light hitting top surface, humidity, dry air, sex toy table top, get the idea? All in all Lacq is a very good finish for a desk a lousy one for a dinning table. What I try and recommend to my customers is to incorporate a leather top with some nice 19K gold trim. So, if they hose up the leather with pens, inks, sex stains, who cares easy to remove and replace. The cost is very low as well about 50 bucks for a medium size writting area. Now the whole top does not have to be covered in leather just the writting area. Go vist a desk store and get some ideas to size! Take your tape measure. And poly dries pretty fast but curing does take longer just like Lacquer.
Water Base or Oil Base?
I have worked before with water base solution and I dont like them. To much garin raising for me ( I am going to get flamed) but just as I said before it just does not work for me. Oil does! Besides my customers demand oil only! luckly me! Water has its advantages, let me see what were they????????????????OH! yea, easy clean up and ummmmmm...non toxic to the environment. If thats the case why then do FEDS still tack on an environmental TAX the same as poly? The stuff can still kill you and cause health issues.
Always remember, The Quality of the Finish = proper preperation + quality materials / time spent.

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For having a name like "Not Telling" you sure have given some great advice. Answers like these are why I keep reading the wreck.
One thing I did not see was info on spraying restriction for lacquer and other oil based products. I live in an area where it is illegal to spray these products (though that hasn't stopped me but makes me much more careful about how I spray).
What are your opinions about using an airless sprayer for these applications? I was given an airless and use it a lot with pretty decent results (compared to using a conventional sprayer that always left a sandpaper finish). The only drawback I have found is the pint or so of finish that is always in the hose and changing from stains to sealers to finish.
Gary
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I'm surprised you get anything decent out of the airless. If your high pressure gun was leaving a rough finish, it could be that you were putting it on too dry, or it could be overspray from improper spray technique. Taunton Press has a couple of books with articles from Fine Woodworking" that will help you.
If you wish to spray lacquer and not pollute the environment too much, buy an HVLP gun. If you already have a reasonable sized compressor, you can get a conversion HVLP gun to do the job. You will find that there is very little overspray with HVLP; they use much less material, cleanup and changeover is very easy, and there is no long hose full of material at the end.
Len ---------------------
GeeDubb wrote:

</pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">Choices, Choices! </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!----> For having a name like "Not Telling" you sure have given some great advice. Answers like these are why I keep reading the wreck.
One thing I did not see was info on spraying restriction for lacquer and other oil based products. I live in an area where it is illegal to spray these products (though that hasn't stopped me but makes me much more careful about how I spray).
What are your opinions about using an airless sprayer for these applications? I was given an airless and use it a lot with pretty decent results (compared to using a conventional sprayer that always left a sandpaper finish). The only drawback I have found is the pint or so of finish that is always in the hose and changing from stains to sealers to finish.
Gary
</pre> </blockquote> <br> </body> </html>
--------------040407040508030505030901--
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I was recently in a Kelly Moore store and they suggested using a vinyl undercoat made for use with the precat lacquers they sell. Do you know what the pros and cons of using the sealer are? Is that stuff more "dentable" than precat lac?
dave
Not Telling wrote:

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