Spray Finishing Equipment Inquiry

I am nearing the end of my first kitchen cabinet project and it has been a true learning experience. Having just gotten in my outsourced cabinet drawers I have started looking an hvlp spray equipment to spray a coat of poly to protect the natural wood and will be using the same for the drawer fronts and doors (when I start them).
There seems to be a full gamut of equipment at all price levels, and not having done this before I figured I would pick the groups brain in an attempt to spend once on equipment that is appropriate. Besides spraying poly, my thought is to utilize the sprayer to spray a natural stain on the door and drawer fronts and then poly over.
Thoughts on gun manufacturer, (I am currently looking at DeVilbiss Finish Line kit with what I can hope is a large nozzle spread from 1.3, 1.5, 1.8 & 2.2 tips) but there are a vast number out there, my local shop has vaper guns one with a 2.3 tip, with no other in stock. I am making the assumption, that depending on how much you thin out the material to be sprayed, you could in fact thin it out so that a smaller nozzle is needed, or is this a reach?
Thoughts on spray poly and manufacturers? while I did the faceframes with minwax clear satin since everything else is a lot more prominent I do not think a change would be noticeable.
I am open for any and all suggestions, tricks
SteveA
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SteveA wrote:

for $60 or so and it seems to work ok for me. Disclaimer: I am not a real painter.
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Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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http://www.phelpsrefinishing.com/fuji.html
BUT
I would ask around at the local shops first about farming out the spray finishing.
I am in the process of learning how to shoot myself, but attempting to do a kitchen full of cabinets is not for the weak hearted or the less experienced.
To build a room full of pretty cabinets and then screw up the finish on something that you have to live with every single day would be tough.
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Roger is a great guy, and can be very helpful. But he is a supplier of equipment, not a teacher. His vast experience lies in refinishing, mostly with MLC products.

Great advice. Excellent advice. As a professional finisher, I can tell you that the average person will quickly be in over their head finishing a whole kitchen full cabinets.
You need experience with your material preparation, your equipment, and your choice of finish materials. You need to have enough personal experience with each to know how they perform under different weather/ temp/humidity conditions so you will know how to thin the spray materials, as well as how much to apply with each coat. You need to see how they perform on the type of materials you are finishing.

It isn't brain surgery, that's for sure. And it isn't that hard as long as you understand all the procedures and steps, and understand the importance of timing.
My new favorite colored finish is a super hot Sherwin Williams finish. It isn't a paint... it really isn't an enamel... it isn't a lacquer... I don't know what you would really call it. But you thin to the appropriate viscosity with naptha, and shoot. It only comes in whites and pastels.
You have to hang 4 mil (!!!!) of thickness without runs (on a vertical surface!!) for proper coating. It is very temperature sensitive, so the batch I thin when I am shooting may not work two hours later. I often need to change pressure and viscosity.
A second coat of this must be applied within 5 hours. No exceptions... unless the temps fall below 50 degrees, at which time all curing stops. But if you are in the spring or summer and it is warm, if you spray another coat on top of the finish after the five hours it will probably craze badly and force you to strip your work.
If you miss your 5 hour window, you have to wait 18 days to recoat.
But the upside... wow. It allows me to spray out cabinet doors and drawers in one very long day on a kitchen. When you get the mix right, it runs out a finish that dries glass smooth. It is "extremely yellowing resistant", and it dries very, very hard.
I have a Fuji Q4, but this stuff shoots out of my CAS HVLP better. I found the sweet spot with this material in a half a day, go my mixes and pressure right in about four hours. I bought a gallon to play with, and I shot it all up before I ever sprayed a drawer. For me, that really isn't that much time or investment to learn a new material an figure out my mixes.

Once again, great thoughts. In my remodel/repairs, I go into houses all the time where the proud maker of woodworking projects is absolutely ashamed of their finishing. I would be too.
It is absurd to invest hours and hours in design, thousands in tools to make sure your joints are tight, your materials are prepared properly, only to make your biggest woodworking project your test bed for finishing.
You can search this archive for some great contributions and instruction on spray finishing.
Somebody smarter than me once said, "practice on your scraps, not on your project".
Good luck!
Robert
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What is the Sherwin Williams product ???
What is a CAS HVLP ???
I'm still reading all your other great posts on finishing....
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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It is called "Southwest Builder's Fast Dry Enamel". It is a specially formulated product and apparently not available everywhere. The product has some limitations as far as application, but I think it is no less than fantastic.
You do have to be careful with it; it really does dry to the touch in about 15 minutes on a 70 degree day. You won't leave a fingerprint in about 20 - 25. This is IDEAL for site finishing where you have to worry about bugs, breezes, opening and closing doors, etc. It is dry before disaster can strike.
Although, expanding on the downside a bit: I very meticulously clean every bit of my guns, breaking them down to removing the blocks and all assemblies to clean them. Every single time, even if it is just between coats. One of my amigos just ruined his new CAS gun by leaving this stuff in the gun between coats. (Oops...) He also had problems with the timing, and he had something else to do so he missed the 5 hour window. It really did craze the finish, and he really had to strip sand to repair the cabinet finish.
Then that big baby went back to the Pro Classic enamel line so he could brush out his finishes. What a weenie! BTW, this stuff touches up great with a real hair artist's brush. Great. But in the actual application, it must be sprayed and cannot be brushed, rolled or padded. SPRAY ONLY!
However, if you are used to using the super fast lacquers, or the conversion lacquers, characteristics in shooting and mixes are similar. I actually found this stuff when I was looking for something to replace another commercial grade coating I lost access to a few months back.
It says you can use it on metal as well, but I haven't tried yet. I don't know what the actual price is as I get a fair discount at SW. I think it is supposed to retail for about $58 a gallon. Even at that, it is worth it.

Conversion Air System. These guns "are" and they "aren't" true HVLP. The real HVLP guns are powered by an impeller and will pass through many cubic feet of air under low pressure through the gun, much standing in front of powerful fan. That, coupled with about 5psi of pressure to the cup give you HVLP.
A CAS gun is usually a reconfigured high pressure gun. These are made to be used with a bigger than average air (no turbine) compressor like you use to power your framing or roofing guns. Inside this gun are baffles and other sorcery to reduce the pressure of the air to the aircap while keeping the air flow high. You must still use water (and preferably air) filters with these guns as the air from the compressor is still dirty air.
A CAS gun will usually look like an auto paint and body gun with a gravity fed cup on the top. If you are used to shooting high pressure guns, it is a walk in the park to get used to these guns if you are used to the proper thinning protocols for HVLP shooting. Mine has a happy spot of about 50 psi at the compressor, but I am probably only pulling about 35 - 40 psi at the gun. To be a true "certified" HVLP compliant with California low emission standards, the aircap must have the max psi out stamped/etched on the aircap, and I believe the max is 10 psi.
I love my Fuji for lacquers, stains and dyes, but I like my CAS equally well for shooting primers and colored coatings like enamels and polyurethanes.

Thanks! It makes it worthwhile to take the time to post if you think you are helping someone out.
Glad to be of assistance.
If you get in the middle of that SWB stuff from SW, let me know if you need some help. I can shoot you the pressures, needle size and mixes I used. I can also show you how to slow down the cure time a bit, and *gulp* speed it up! I actually got a batch that cured fine that dried to the touch in 10 minutes! Not SW approved of course, but it worked fine.
Robert
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Chapter Six, almost finished ... eat your heart out Charlie Self. :)
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Last update: 10/22/08
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.

LMAO!
Yeah, right.
Just remember, with Charlie you get pictures! ;^)
Robert
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.

LMAO!
Yeah, right.
Just remember, with Charlie you get pictures! ;^) ======================================= Well Robert, what are you waiting for. Run out and get that camera now!! LOL
--



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wrote:
========================================

Hell no! Then I'd have to learn how to use it!
Robert
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Yep.. pictures would be very sporty. You can get a throw away digital cameras for $100 and they are basically point and shoot.
Now if we just had a newsgroup to post the pictures to.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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On Mon, 2 Mar 2009 09:03:13 -0700, Pat Barber wrote

$100???? try $8 and free shipping!
http://www.buy.com/prod/Magnavox-Keychain-Digital-Camera-DigiCam-assorted - colors-MIC4011NB-27/q/loc/101/210764378.html

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I'll ask my local Sherwin Williams guys about this stuff.
Thanks for the follow up on the CAS. I should have figured that one out.
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Pat Barber wrote:

Ditto...
I've had a Fuji Mini-Mite 4 for several years. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
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Personally I don't think there is a simple answer to this. I have a cheap paint sprayer (compressed air type) and a pretty good one. I never use either. Instead I prefer to use atomizers. I have sprayed many dozens of gallons of lacquer with a tiny $10 atomizer. I have also sprayed a considerable amount of various varnishes. I even made one from a peanut butter jar for spraying latex. There are probably a lot of people who will tell you you cannot spray latex without an airless sprayer. I used it to paint under the eaves on a house, a wood swingset, wind turbines (roof type), house trim, and a lot more. It would not work well for painting entire walls.
I have a box of various paint sprayers that I didn't like for one reason or another. They all sit in the box while the atomizers get used.
If you are going to paint a car then I'd say you need a good paint gun. For a three or four square foot kitchen cabinet I'd use the atomizer.
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