Not trying to produce spam or bacon here, but I know that some of you guys
have been asking about clearcloats (Shellac, e.g.,) & tip size. I just re
ceived this in my email today, maybe you did too.
Regardless, Hope it helps someone else out.
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Here's a shorter link that doesn't include potentially personal information about you:
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in the URL before posting, just in case customer numbers or other
personal information is encoded in the query string (the characters
after the first interrogatory symbol).
I assume you use this or one like this.
I have on many occasions considered using this type equipment in the
last 30 years. I had a terrible experience with a Wagner Airless
sprayer 30+ years ago.
Anyway, How much trouble is it to clean these/this sprayers?
Is this unit good enough to deliver a fine finish on relatively fine
furniture, bare wood?
On Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 12:49:58 PM UTC-4, Leon wrote:
I have to admit, Leon, I use no such thing, I just noticed that others were
asking. Personally, I'm a Purdy guy, especially when it comes to clearco
ats. I'll use a white bristle, but I especially like the Purdy OxO line for
thinner clears like lacquers & varnishes.
I got my start in construction and real estate generally as a housepainter,
and I did a lot of upscale homes in greater Boston. (What else was I sup
posed to do with a liberal arts degree??) Anyway, I have tried them, see
n them used, and I have also worked in lumber yards/paint stores that sold
them. I'm not speaking on behalf of the Rockler unit, but generally they ca
n be trouble.
As an analogy, working with them is like using a 2 cycle engine-- if you're
not using it all the time, the ethanol is going to tear up your carbs; t
he residue is going to clog your tips; if you ARE using them all the time,
then you know what you're doing, how to clean, what degree to thin the flu
id to, and what sort of stippling you'll get out of it. The challenge for
most of us is getting to the point of being proficient or better at sprayin
g with them.
Units like these, I know guys who use them all the time, but STILL backbrus
h their clearcoats. It's going to depend on one's proficiency and level of
Maybe Rockler would be open to an in-store demo.
On Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 11:49:58 AM UTC-5, Leon wrote:
That sprayer has been around for a while, regardless of it being new to Roc
kler. It is an Earlex 2 stage, considered at best an entry level machine.
That being said, you can get some good use out of it. Like many tools, yo
u can't get premium results using a great deal of materials, but it does ha
ve its place.
This is an all plastic unit, so the surfaces can be problematic. As with a
ny spray rig, cleanliness is one of the keys to a consistent finish. The p
lastic doesn't hold up to the hard resinous residue that can form from cont
inued spraying being removed with harsh solvents and a stiff brush. If you
are going to use it once in a while, say once a month or so, this could be
a great choice.
That truly depends on the material you are applying. Part of using HVLP te
chnology means that you will learn proper thinning and mixing procedures fo
r your finish. You can thin solvent based finishes that have no solids lik
e lacquer, most shellacs, and clear polyurethanes, etc. and spray them well
as they have no solids to desegregate when thinned.
Other materials put a specific limit on how much you can thin before you ha
ve ruined the material itself, or wind up with a bad finish. For example,
a satin finish poly is no different than a clear gloss except that the sati
n has a certain percentage of silica crystals that diffuse the light and ma
ke it "non gloss". Over thinning the satin finish will cause the silica to
come out of suspension and give you a blotchy finish.
But, since an HVLP doesn't break down the finishes into tiny droplets like
our old guns that could create a fog bank, you have to become a master of t
This is a two stage unit, so it has enough power to do a fair amount of wor
k. For what you are doing Leon, this could be a great deal for clear coats
if you find a finish you like and "woodshed it" to get your formulas corre
ct. Thin more on cooler days, less on warm day, more for that finish and l
ess for others. The gun has rudimentary controls on it, so you can tinker
with it to fine tune what you want.
I had a Fuji 4 stage with their best gun and selection of air caps, and fin
ally sold it. I used it a lot and got great results with clear finishes an
d even latex, but it was redundant after a fashion. Remember too, that the
se sprayers /reduce/ the overspray and drift, not eliminate it. If you are
spraying in your shop, you will still have to cover your tools. If you ar
e going to make a rolling platform, you can do what I do. Put your material
on a cart/roller, roll it out on the driveway, spray, roll it back in the
This could do all you want if you don't go for the real high performance en
amels, etc. An occasional project is what these are made for as well as be
ing a stepping stone to other HVLP machines. Certainly, the price is right
! I paid a bit under a grand for my Fuji 12 years ago, no telling what tha
t is now. It required less thinning and material manipulation before appli
cation because it was a 4 stage.
I have not used one of these personally, but have instructed two different
clients on their use. One shot poly and some primers, and the other shot s
hellac and latex. Both were happy with their results, both thankful I told
them to 1) keep good notes on the temp, humidity and thinning procedures u
sed on each material, and 2) practice on anything but your project.
I know Karl has some instructions on how to set this rig up. He has one ve
ry similar, and I scribbled out a bunch on gun setup. You know how much he
likes his results with this setup when shooting shellac. I am telling you
, once you get proficient spraying, you will have a hard time going back to
rubbing, back rolling, brushing, sanding, and all the other things that mo
st people hate about finishing.
Oh yeah... they aren't hard to clean! A package of tooth brushes from the
dollar store, some hard round tooth picks and come clean solvent make the j
ob go quick.
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