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Thread: Conversion gun -vs Fuji or earlex

  1. #1
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    Conversion gun -vs Fuji or earlex

    I would like to start spraying my projects. Primarily water based poly and lacquers. I currently have a 21 gallon sprayer that is rated for 4.9 scfm @90 psi and 7 scfm @ 40 psi.
    I was considering a conversion gun or a Fuji/earlex system. Minimum two stage. Cost of course is always a concern. I don't want to spend more than 600. This will not get heavy use. I would only be using 8-10 times a year (hopefully more)

    What are the benefits of one vs the other?

  2. #2
    I have the Fuji gun w/ a turbine. Great finish, portable and no worries about water and dirt from the compressor.

  3. #3
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    Fuji MiniMite3 and like it a lot. Great finish as long as you don’t try thick stuff. Went on sale on Amazon for $100 less and I bought it.

    Dan

  4. #4
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    What are some good quality conversion guns?

  5. #5
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    I use conversion guns with my compressor. Conversion guns offer a wider range of adjustment than a turbine gun which is an inherent advantage to me. Also, you can get an amazing finsih spraying shellac and other low viscosity products with the $10 HF purple HVLP gun. Seriously, you don't have to spend much. But if you want to spray a wider range of products you'll need to buy several guns with a range of needle/nozzles, or one gun that contains multiple N/N sets. I started with a 3 gun set, one gun with a 1.0, another with a 1.4, and the other with a 1.8 mm N/N. I paid about $120 for the set and used them for 5 years or so w/o trouble. Now I mostly use a Qualspray gun that I bought from Jeff Jewitt at Homestead finishing, with a bottom feed 3M PPS H/O cup. I can spray anything from WB dyes, to really thick paint with the 3 N/N sets it came with. It was about $380 all in.

    Start cheap; just make sure the N/N on the gun matches the viscosity of the product you want to spray w/o having to thin it more than 10% (max.) You're going to need a LVLP gun most likely with the limited CMF your compressor has.

    I don't do anything special to remove water/oil from the compressed air. I use the stock water/oil separator on the compressor, a second one near the gun, and an in-line disposable filter at the gun inlet. Never had a problem. Good luck.

    John

  6. #6
    I've been using conversion guns for quite a few years. I mostly spray water based finishes. I think the one I mostly use now is a Wagner (I'd have to check).

    If you have an air compressor a conversion gun is the way to go.

    I've even used the gun with a pancake compressor. You spray, then wait for the compressor to catch up, etc. Not the best but for portability it works.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  7. #7
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    All of my guns are conversion guns...I have a good shop air system and cannot justify providing a turbine to do finishing as to me, that would be a redundant investment. I did upgrade my primary gun in the last year to a setup from Jeff Jewitt that has the really nice 3M PPS cup system. I can literally spray almost anything with it and with the gun in any conceivable position. I'm loving it. And cleanup is a lot easier with the "disposable" cup. (which I don't dispose off...I wash it out and reuse it. The same one I started with early in the year is still in service)
    --

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

  8. #8
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    I would take a conversion gun, any day, especially over a 2-stage turbine. These days, the only good reasons to use a turbine is if you need it to be easily portable, or don't already have a good compressed air source, and don't intend to invest in a compressor.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    I would take a conversion gun, any day, especially over a 2-stage turbine. These days, the only good reasons to use a turbine is if you need it to be easily portable, or don't already have a good compressed air source, and don't intend to invest in a compressor.
    What do you consider a "good compressed air source"?

  10. #10
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    Different people have different ideas about that. My current setup is a 7-1/2 hp compressor, with refrigerated air dryer, but I do a lot more than spray with that one. Most people get by with less. I guess I'm not a very good sprayer, because I could never get a perfect spray finish with anything less than a really good grade of equipment.

    At a minimum, it needs to be able to provide some more air than the gun actually needs, and the air needs to be dry. A lot of people jump through a lot of loops trying to get dry air.

    I owned a top end Apollo turbine rig for some years, but sold it when Graco came out with their self-contained Air Assisted Airless rigs, and then I sold that not long after I bought it, but that gets into equipment that is not even being discussed in this thread, other than the turbine rig. That Apollo did a really good job, but it was slow relative to other types of sprayers, and only suited for small projects.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 01-19-2020 at 11:29 PM.

  11. #11
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    Two factors come into play with compressor choice for spraying...can the pump provide the required CFM/SCFM for the gun at the required pressure (often about 40 psi for an HPLV spray gun) and is the tank large enough so that the pump isn't running constantly. The latter serves both for personal comfort and for allowing the pump to get a break. Like Tom, I have a larger compressor in my shop that does a variety of things (60 gallon, 5hp IR in my case) but many folks spray successfully with physically smaller compressors. There are some nice units available that have 20-30 gallon tanks but still run on 120v power for those who need that. Even smaller ones are fine if they can deliver the goods at or above specified requirements. And you can use them for more than just spraying finish. A turbine is a one-trick-pony in that respect.
    --

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

  12. #12
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    If you are going to spray WB products you don't need to go nuts on trying to remove water from the air. I've been usng nothing more than I described above for 10+ years and have never had an issue related to water or oil contamination. We live in a similar area of the country, too, although it probably is more humid in the Summer where you are. I have a 60 gal single stage compressor capable of about 11 cfm at 40 psi.
    John

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