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Thread: Need recommendations for an HVLP conversion gun

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    augusta, GA
    Posts
    321

    Need recommendations for an HVLP conversion gun

    I have decided to buy an HVLP spray gun and would like some advice. I am a hobby woodworker and build projects from small items up to medium size cabinets/tables and occasionally bookcases. I have decided to go with a conversion gun and an air compressor. The compressor will go in the attic so noise will not be a problem. I am leaning towards an oil free compressor in order to avoid regular maintenance, and am willing to spend $400-600 dollars on one. I plan to build a spray booth with exhaust fan but will likely spray only waterborne finishes and ?shellac. I donít have a strong opinion on whether to get a gravity feed or suction gun. In terms of my gun wish list I would favor easy clean up, minimum finish waste, availability of different size needles and caps, and easy adjustability of air flow and spray pattern. Speed of finish application, price, and ability to spray paint are not that important to me. I have been to the Homestead finishing site and read Jeff Jewittís book, and searched around SMC some but still need some help. So, here are my questions:


    1. What gun would you recommend?
    2. What air compressor would you recommend (Iím thinking 10-20 gallon, oil free)?
    3. Where is a good place to pick up waterborne finishes?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF East Bay, CA
    Posts
    287
    For #1: I cannot recall exactly who it was, but someone here on SMC recommended "homesteadfinsihingproducts.com". The site is very helpful in guiding you to the correct equipment. Help via the phone is fantastic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Hebron, KY
    Posts
    1,375
    I know you said you are not concerned about noise, but the oil-less compressors I have been around are super loud. The recip type of oiled compressors are loud, but much more tolerable. I have a 30 gallon tank on mine and often wish it was larger. Of course it depends on the capabilities of the compressor vs. the CFM of the gun as well.

    I have a cheapo gun and have looked at the Devilbiss guns a few times. I'm interested to see what others say and their experiences. I would like to get a decent spray gun at some point myself.

  4. #4
    I would recommend a turbine system. I have had 3 different brands over the past 25 years, currently using a Graco system, which works great. If you put a "low maintenance" oilless compressor in the attic you will still have to drain water from it after every use. I also really like the portability - There is so little overspray that the system goes along on installs and in good weather I can set up outdoors with a bunch of sawhorses and fly through big batches.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Enchanted land of beer, cheese & brats
    Posts
    1,314
    +1 to the turbine system. And I'd get a siphon gun. A gravity gun is kinda unwieldy, if you are doing one or two tiny spray jobs a year then maybe. Turbines, at least in my experience, don't spray thick finishes (like paint) well, but water based poly and the shellac you mentioned, no problem. At a place I worked we had a turbine with a pressure pot. The 2-3 gallon pressure pot was charged (I forget at what psi, but not full) via the air compressor and pushed the finish to what was a siphon gun. Neat thing about that was you could use thicker finishes and not need to stop a refill a quart cup siphon gun all the time, but clean out the lines sucked.

    Also if you run off a compressor you might need to think about air driers, filters (at least the little jar looking things) and the possibility that there maybe oil in the line.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Posts
    197
    I have this gun and use the dekups setup.
    Its a great gun, with interchangeable tips for anything between paint to stain.
    and the dekups system makes cleanup and changing products a breeze. plus you can store your product in the kups if you switch between sealer, stain, and topcoat.
    I'm not saying buy through this reseller but defiantly look up some info and videos and check it out.
    http://www.tcpglobal.com/itemdetail....LG-670-DPC-654

    brett g.

  7. #7
    My Graco gun is a syphon type. It came with 3 sets of needle/ nozzle. The small atomizes water base really well. The large will spray latex enamel. I rarely spray anything other than water base poly and it does just fine staying in the gun all the time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwestern Connecticut
    Posts
    7,149
    I'm using an Asturo gun from spraygunworld.com, the stainless WB HVLP version. Works well and the price was decent for an entry level pro gun. I've heard real good things about the apollo conversion guns and the line from Homestead. If you want pro advice you may want to give homestead a call and discuss your needs and plans. At the air delivery rate you will be at with a small compressor you may want an LVLP gun. I can't imagine wanting to spray with an oilless compressor close to its limits, oil bath compressors aren't much maintenance in reality, and you still have to bleed the water off, though you can install an auto bleeder and port it out of the building. Frankly by the time you buy the compressor and a decent gun, your pretty close to a turbine, and those are much more portable. I would have a turbine but I had the compressor already for air tools in my shop. WB finishes aren't going to like the hot wet air you might get from an over worked oilless compressor stuffed in an attic in summer, or frozen air in winter. They are fairly temperature sensitive in terms of performance.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Porter,TX
    Posts
    1,270
    I don't think that you can use a HVLP gun with a compressor that small due to the low cfm's(4-6cfm) that they deliver.Like others said,call and talk to Jeff what you want to spray and what compressor will work.Now with that being said,you can spray with any gun and any compressor just as long its thin down enought.But the goal is to thin it down as little as possible which means less coats,with as little psi as possible to deliver the most solids w/less over spray.I have the devilbiss dekup system and use 6oz of thinner to clean the gun,yep the cups cost alittle over a dollar each maybe more but cleanup is easy.There is just so many oppostion out there in all kinds of price range,pick what fits your needs.Again talk to Jeff----Carroll

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    281
    I bought what I thought was a "big" compressor at the time, at 26 gal. craftsman oil-less, with the intention of using it primarily for spraying. Unfortunately I didn't research well enough (as others here have already said), because the air requirements of HVLP guns are well above this grade of compressor. I ended up getting Jeff Jewitt's LVLP gun based on his recommendation. Now, I'm going by the manufacturer recommended specs, you will read about plenty of people who spray on lesser compressors with no issues. For me though, being a newbie sprayer, I wanted to eliminate any possible stumbling blocks, so I also switched to a turbine system.

    FYI, after looking at many different compressors I should have got instead, the only ones with the specs that match full HVLP are the larger 60-80 gallon 220 volt units.

  11. #11
    I have been painiting as a hobby all my life. Automotive stuff mostly. Years ago I bought a top of the line Devilbiss gun. During that time I owned the same compressor(ocver 30 years). I never did any maintenance and was lucky to drain it evey 6 months. Well, after 35 years it sprung a leak. It was a standard electic motor and air pump.Noisey but not overly so. I also own an oiless portable and is is unbeleivably loud. Even outside it drives me crazy.I now manufacture tack boxes for the equestrian community and the wood is sprayed with dye and lacquer and I wanted to switch to water based lacquer. So I contact Jeff Jewitt and he told me what would be the best for my use. BUT, someone on this site suggested I go the Harbor Freight and buy a cheapie HVLP gun to try out and see if I liked it. We don't have Harbor Freight in Canada but we do have Pricess Auto which is similar. I bought one of thier better models, cost about 50 bucks and I have been using it ever since. Its a gravity feed gun which I was leary about.I love it because cleanup is so easy. I take in in the house, take it apart in the sink and wash everything in water. No lacquer thinner or paint thinner to buy, less odor,less overspray(I use 1/3 the water based lacquer that I used with the solvent type. So my advice would be to get a REAL compressor with a big tank(if you have room) and buy a cheap gun to try. If you don't like the gun just use it for primer.

    goog luck

    Regards

    Fred

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    augusta, GA
    Posts
    321
    Ok, a lot of good advice here. I am still leaning toward a gun + compressor, but I could put it in my shop. I went to Lowe's and looked at a Kobalt 30 gall/2 hp/oil lubed compressor that can deliver 6.5 SCFM at 40 psi. Does anyone have experience with this compressor? How loud is it?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    76
    Primarily I use a Air Assisted Airless setup for major spray jobs. Several months ago I picked up a "3M Accuspray HG09 " for smaller jobs and it works really well. The atomizing heads are disposable but can be reused many times. When I bought mine they only had a 1.8mm head but they now have a 1.4mm for finer finishes. They have newer models now the HG14 that comes with 1.4mm heads and the HG18 with 1.8mm heads. You can use the different heads on any of the guns. This system also has disposable cup liners and lids that you can just throw away when you are done. The heads take very little thinner to clean up. I have finished quite a few jobs with the gun and currently doing some automotive painting with it. Just something you may want to check out.

  14. #14
    Measure twice and cut once and swear three times

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    4,779
    Quote Originally Posted by fRED mCnEILL View Post
    I have been painiting as a hobby all my life. Automotive stuff mostly. Years ago I bought a top of the line Devilbiss gun. During that time I owned the same compressor(ocver 30 years). I never did any maintenance and was lucky to drain it evey 6 months. Well, after 35 years it sprung a leak. It was a standard electic motor and air pump.Noisey but not overly so. I also own an oiless portable and is is unbeleivably loud. Even outside it drives me crazy.I now manufacture tack boxes for the equestrian community and the wood is sprayed with dye and lacquer and I wanted to switch to water based lacquer. So I contact Jeff Jewitt and he told me what would be the best for my use. BUT, someone on this site suggested I go the Harbor Freight and buy a cheapie HVLP gun to try out and see if I liked it. We don't have Harbor Freight in Canada but we do have Pricess Auto which is similar. I bought one of thier better models, cost about 50 bucks and I have been using it ever since. Its a gravity feed gun which I was leary about.I love it because cleanup is so easy. I take in in the house, take it apart in the sink and wash everything in water. No lacquer thinner or paint thinner to buy, less odor,less overspray(I use 1/3 the water based lacquer that I used with the solvent type. So my advice would be to get a REAL compressor with a big tank(if you have room) and buy a cheap gun to try. If you don't like the gun just use it for primer.

    goog luck

    Regards

    Fred
    What Fred said........

    I like gravity feed guns, and I find siphon guns clumsy so to each his own. I used to buy expensive Devilbuss guns, but tried a pair from a box store for $70, half the cost of a rebuild kit for a Devilbuss, and they worked just fine. When they start acting up because the seals are leaking I buy another set.

    Spend the money on a compressor, they have a lot more uses than just spraying, and trying to spray any bigger than a coffee can with an airless is not really possible. They will not keep a consistant pressure setting. A Craigslist 5 hp minimum would be mucho better.

    Larry

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