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Thread: Upgrading HVLP - 3 or 4 Stage?

  1. #1
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    Upgrading HVLP - 3 or 4 Stage?

    It is time to upgrade my single stage HVLP system to something more powerful. I have been looking at the Fuji gravity feed turbines and looking for recommendations for either the three or four stage systems. I shoot a couple of time a week using just over a gallon of finish per month. Mostly water base clear & Sherwin Williams Kem Aqua Plus.

    Happy to purchase the four stage if the value is there. Anyone have experience using three & four stage turbines?

  2. #2
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    I have a three stage turbine made by Accuspray. It works well for clear finishes. It can spray pigmented lacquer. It even can spray what the housepaint stores call acrylic trim paint, although I don't do much of that. I've never tried it on latex wall paint.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Jamie. I don't love the Kem Aqua Plus & would rather go waterbased so I think that latex is in my future. Maybe the 4-stage turbine & an additional 1.8 mm tip might be the way to go.

    I will keep the single stage system for shellac.

  4. #4
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    I'm biased towards conversion guns but if I were to buy a turbine it would a 4 stage if I needed to spray anything with a viscosity greater than about 100 seconds #4 Ford cup. Of course you can thin the product and use a lower pressure unit, but WB products can't be infinitely thinned like most solvent based ones, and a higher pressure unit will allow you to spray higher viscosity materials with less thinning.

    You mentioned you don't love KA+. Why is that?

    John

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I'm biased towards conversion guns but if I were to buy a turbine it would a 4 stage if I needed to spray anything with a viscosity greater than about 100 seconds #4 Ford cup. Of course you can thin the product and use a lower pressure unit, but WB products can't be infinitely thinned like most solvent based ones, and a higher pressure unit will allow you to spray higher viscosity materials with less thinning.

    You mentioned you don't love KA+. Why is that?
    John


    I was hoping that you would hop in John.

    I spray mostly small projects and my local Sherwin Williams location requires a one gallon minimum purchase of any KA product. I have more than a lifetime supply of many different colors. The other issue is that I currently have three guns for my single stage turbine, a shellac gun, waterbase gun & KA gun. I purchased two of the guns really cheap from people who destroyed their turbines. If my new system can spray latex I can have a waterbase gun and use my old system for shellac.

    I
    recently
    had an interesting conversation with a Sherwin Williams rep. I was asking about thinking latex and he stated that latex has no maximum thinning ratio. He said that the more that you thin the more coats are required for adequate coverage so feel free to thin to 50%. I have never read/heard that anyplace else & not sure that it is true. I asked him to state it again to make sure that I heard correctly.

  6. #6
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    While the dude at the store is "technically" accurate, the nature of water borne finishes, including "latex paint" would make it hard to get quality coats when you thin with water beyond a certain point. What you are doing is spreading the actual finish molecules out farther in the water carrier (Water is not the solvent here...it's just the carrier) and when the water evaporates, those molecules have a harder job joining up with each other to create the coating on whatever you are spraying. That presents not just coverage challenges, but also could affect the quality of the coating both visually and physically. Pigmented water borne finishes naturally tend to higher viscosities so if your gun requires "excessive thinning" to get them to spray, then it's probably best to have a gun that's better suited to spraying them. I recently made that move and having a gun that's actually capable of working with heavier fluids has been eye-opening. (I don't use a turbine, but the theory remains the same)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    Strictly an amateur here. After using a standard HVLP gun I decided to try airless and bought an Earlex Spray Port (3 stage).
    I've sprayed a variety of paints but I still have to thin most paint down to about 40 seconds.

    I recently tried a pigmented lacquer based product (Target Coatings EMTech) and I liked it a lot. Definitely sprays better and IIRC, no thinning needed.

    I'll probably be sticking with this in the future.

  8. #8
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    There are people in every profession who really know their stuff, and others who don't. I think the SW's guy you talked to might fall into the latter group. There is a lot more to how WB products cure than just evaporation of water. In any case, it's best to stay within the amount stated on the can or TDS for how much you can thin a particular product. So if you want to spray high viscosity products you should get a gun capable of it.

    You can buy TC's EM6500 pigmented lacquer in custom colors by the quart.


    John

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    You can buy TC's EM6500 pigmented lacquer in custom colors by the quart.
    Yup, I just did that in two colors for some guitar projects. They will match any BM or SW color.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Yup, I just did that in two colors for some guitar projects. They will match any BM or SW color.
    That is great to know. I use Target products for projects that require clear coat.

  11. #11
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    Frank...here's an example. This is a BM Teal color in EM6500, top coated with EM7000HBL

    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    That looks fantastic. Great work.

  13. #13
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    I was thinking something else!

    John

  14. #14
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    It's a classic Telecaster color, John, but certainly not everyone's cup of tea. More folks in the Telecaster forum voted for the teal over the red when I asked which I should do first.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
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    1957 all over again. But I think my family had a 1956 Buick that color. Nice paint job, and great explanation on thinning waterbourne.

    edited to add: I thought I had a picture of the '56 Buick, but I think this is the predecessor-probably a '54. Picture would be B&W anyway. My Mom is 103 now.
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    Last edited by Tom M King; 07-10-2019 at 9:34 PM.

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