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Thread: Apollo vs Fuji vs Earlex vs ?

  1. #1
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    Apollo vs Fuji vs Earlex vs ?

    Hi Folks,

    I'm considering picking up a HVLP system. The spousal justification is using it to spray Cabot semi solid oil stain on our deck and not take forever doing it, but I'd also like something I can use for shellac, water based finishes, varnish, latex, lacquer, and the like. Applying finish has always been my weak spot in woodworking.

    I'm thinking I'd need a 3 or 4 stage turbine to do all those things with success. 3 stage is a little more budget friendly, but the 4 stages seem to only be about $150 more.

    Does anyone have any experience with these systems or strong opinions on one vs others?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Deck stain goes on quickly and uniformly with a stain pad on a long handle, requires little/no prep work to mask things off to avoid overspray and requires no clean up; just throw it away.

    For all the other products any of the turbine guns you mentioned will get the job done. Clearly the 4 stage units will have a wider range of capability, and might be a necessity if you want to spray paints. You'll also need more than one needle/nozzle set in order to spray such a wide range of viscosities. As for which brand, I'm not sure it makes much difference. My criteria would be a non-bleeder gun and one with the 3M PPS cup system, either OE or as a retrofit.

    John

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the tip on the decking, any suggestions on the spindles? I've got roughly 200 or so treated 2x2s to do for the railing along with in between top and bottom.

    UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_7f3c.jpg

  4. #4
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    I have the Earlex 5000, a 2 stage device. I'm certain it's not as good as the 3/4 wheel units but it does surprisingly well for what it is. I did spray 'latex' wall paint thinned with floetrol and distilled water. Family member wanted something cheap and wasn't too fussy. It worked out pretty well, I did filter the thinned paint. I think the key is having a pressurized cup and larger air caps - 2 mm or 2.5 mm. Earlex does make a 3 wheel unit, I know nothing about it. Using my Earlex to stain a deck would be pretty slow going, the mop idea sounds better. It'd work fine for the spindles. The nozzle can be set for horizontal or vertical fan or cone spray pattern. They recommend holding the gun 6" from the work and keep it perpendicular, don't sweep it back and forth.

  5. #5
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    A smaller pad will do the spindles, and a paint brush for the spots it won't get into. Spraying is an option for them, too, but the overspray and cleanup often outweigh any time saved in application.

    John

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info all, I ended up getting the Fuji MiniMite 4 with the side mount gravity gun. That seemed like the most useful configuration for what I normally do.

    Speedee Delivery lived up to their name, I got it from Acme in 2 days. I'll get one of those 3M PPS things for it one of these days.

    I'll probably practice on the deck spindles to get the hang of using it. It may or may not be an efficient way to stain them, but I figure the practice will be worth it

  7. #7
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    Congrats on your purchase Andrew. Practicing is an excellent idea. If you find yourself with large empty cardboard boxes put some water or cheap finish in your Fuji and play around. Reading and watching are certainly useful but they only go so far. I would recommend filtering thicker finishes before putting in the cup. It doesn't take much of lump to mess with the spray pattern. I was amazed that a device that puts out so much air has so little over spray.
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 05-23-2020 at 8:46 AM.

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