spraying poly?


I would like to get a spray system for poly to save a lotta hassle when finishing my (future) kitchen cabinets. Probably would steer away from Harbor Freight. I remeber Apollo and Fuji as two brands that folks liked.
Using a foam brsuh to put 3 coats on each cabinet..., well, let's just say been there, done that, don't want to repeat.
Having done a little research, via googling the rec posts mainly, I couldn't find the thread I sorta remembered that had some pretty good dialogue on this subject.
What I found was HVLP is good. HVLP is bad for poly. Etc.
What I'm looking for are recommendations of "systems" from folks who've used them.
What would the folks who've had experience get (now that they are experienced) in a similar situation. I haven't used any sort of spray system but am willing to invest in a decent system. I have come to learn that cheap is often not worth the future hassles.
Wouldn't mind if it could later be used for paint as well, but that's secondary.
Another question that arises is, how hard is it to get the spraying technique down?
Last but not least, how 'bout some resources where I can read up on how to use this thing
Thanx Renata
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Renata wrote:

Hmm...I found the Apollo a most uncomfortable gun to hold, so I went with Accuspray. I've never regretted my decision, but it is pricey. I've sprayed poly, so I don't know why you are stating that HVLP for poly is "bad". I don't really like using poly, so I avoid it where possible.
Practicing with tip sizes, thinning ratios, cap sizes, pressure setting, distance from tip to surface, speed and overlap should allow you to successfully spray just about any material out there. Two more variables: fluid and fan adjustment, on the gun. I've sprayed stains, poly, lacquer, water borne poly, even latex (you need a powerful HVLP to do that correctly). The one product that I didn't prefer spraying was shellac; I wipe it on instead of spraying. Probably I didn't thin it enough for spraying, but since I'm content with wiping it, I haven't don't additional research.
You can read about using an HVLP until the cows come home, but ultimately you need to just get out there and PRACTICE. Don't practice on your projects!
Dave
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Surprisingly, I was able to obtain excellent results spraying water-based poly on my kitchen cabinets using a $79.00 "HVLP" system I bought at Rockler. Cheap plastic gun and it sounds like an Electrolux - but after some practice the finish is quite nice.
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I bought the same unit and tried Minwax water-based poly and had mixed results. Even though I locked into a 4:1 mix of poly/water, I wound up with puddling on some pieces. Everything was done flat (stained/fished before assembly). The Rockler unit is cheap and generally effective, but it would be nice if they had some variables in the nozzles, a better manual, and better instructions or a marked dial on the gun.
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wrote:

I didn't thin the poly at all. A little trial and error with the dial got me good results.
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wrote:

I used my cheap cup sprayer when I was doing my counter tops and it worked fine. I thinned the poly about 50/50 with mineral spiritrs, as suggested by folks here, and shot several coats. (sanding in between)
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I got this one at Harbor and it has worked well for me.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberC430
As for longevity, I have sprayed more poly-u over the past two years since moving and it has worked well. I have done way better with it than I thought I ever would. Off the top of my head I have done...
Oak Entertainment Center (BIG ONE !) Pine Columns x 3 African Produk Home Theater Finish Carpentry (columns, etc.) Several small pieces like plant stands (Oak) Oak Kitchen table
The only warning I have to folks buying this gun, watch what you use to clean it ! The plastic cup didn't take Mineral Spirits too well over the long haul.
CJ

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I eventually broke the plastic cup. HF sells a metal replacement, which I used until I converted it over to remote pot.
remote pot is the way to go for spraying cabinets. being able to spray with the gun upside down is very convenient for getting the insides.
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I've been really happy with my Turbinaire HVLP system. Good system with good accessories and gun. I've never had problems spraying poly, just thin with spirits, check your viscosity so you have the right tips on the gun and go. But have discovered I really prefer shooting water based finishes to keep the fumes down. McFeely's sells a water based lacquer called Crystal Lac that I really love. Extremely easy to work with. You can get a lot of coats on in a pretty short time and the finish is excellent.
My 2 cents
Gary in KC

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I too have a Turbinaire and it works well. I think the 4 stage Fuji might have a slightly better gun. There are many good systems out there. I have sprayed poly both oil and WB with good results. I think the only material a good HVLP might have some trouble with is latex. If you can find a spray course in your area I strongly suggest you take it. You will save days of learning and practicing on your own. Cheers, JG
Gary A in KC wrote:

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have
sprayed
HVLP
Understandable. Everyone knows latex is not meant to be sprayed, but is a finish intended to be hand applied to woods like cherry, walnut,...

it.
If you can't find a course (that could be a hard thing to find in a given area), stop by a local auto body shop. Chat with the owner who is also the guy that does all the work if the shop is small enough, and ask him to show you painting techniques. Most would be happy to do so and you won't find a better teacher for how to properly shoot paints than an autobody guy.
--

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Jeff Jewitt, www.homesteadfinishing.com, has a special on Astuo HVLP setups and several good forums and sells products to boot. I grew up with oil based products but have now switched to waterbased only. He has a teaching schedule posted of his site that may fit your need.
Mike Marlow wrote:

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Actually.....unles you have an air supplied respirator you don't want to spray poly, unless maybe is a water born product, or if you have a quality spray booth. If you are considering an oil based poly you run the risk of exposure to isocynates. If you do spray use a head sock, long sleeve shirt and change clothes immediately between each coat and after you finish. A respirator is a must when using poly and make sure the cartridges are brand new.

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Rumpty wrote:

I can't find anything to indicate that polyurethanes contain ISOCYANATE. Please provide ONE reference.
Dave
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Isocyanate appears to be the catalyst behind oil based polyurethane cross linking and curing.
"All polyurethane coating systems are produced by the isocyanate-polyaddition process in which isocyanates and suitable co-reactants are combined to produce polymers containing urethane groups." Source: http://www.pcimag.com/CDA/ArticleInformation/features/BNP__Features__Item/0,1846,71242,00.html
If you do a google on Isocyanate you'll find a ton of information on this.
While I don't have any personal experience or problems from having sprayed poly (which I haven't done a lot of - I'm just an amateur woodworker), there appears to be a pretty good amount of stuff out on the internet indicating many people have a lot of serious reactions on exposure to isocyanate.
I for one, don't need to find this out personally! I've gone water based just because I'm spraying in my basement shop and fumes are always a killer in the house, but this kind of clinches it for me.
My 2 cents
Gary in KC

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Gary A in KC wrote:

http://www.pcimag.com/CDA/ArticleInformation/features/BNP__Features__Item/0,1846,71242,00.html
If that article was true, how come I can't find any mention of isocyanates in the MSDS of a popular poly?
Dave
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wrote:

Renata- if you have a 2hp or greater compressor this harbor freight gun: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberC430 is not bad at all. it won't last forever, but it sprays fine. and the price is right.
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Thanx for all the advice. It's kinda gotten moved on a side burner for just a brief time since a couple of things have come up that are more "urgent". But, I've now got some stuff to muse on.
Just to mention, I don't use poly a lot myself any more, but for kitchen cabinets I do think it's appropriate (though that Crystal Lac stuff sounds interesting).
The accuspray unit is where I'm leaning - mainly because the cleanup is quick.
Thanx again.
Renata
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On Tue, 25 Oct 2005 08:37:58 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm,

It's pure overkill, Natty. Try the Crystal Lac or rub on Waterlox.
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