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Thread: Help with HVLP Spayer Choice

  1. #1
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    Help with HVLP Spayer Choice

    I expect to mostly use low viscosity finishes but spraying latex is a likely possibility. I am hobyist and perhaps have low production for a side business on popular smaller/CNC products.

    I was originally looking at Fuji DIY pro with 2 stage and model M gun but am now looking 3 or 4 stage versions and also considering Apollo 4 stage which all seem to have better guns. 5 stages are out of my budget.

    1. From what I can find any 2 stage will handle almost all clear or stains. Is that a reasonable summay?
    2. Would there be a serious (noticeable) difference pushing latex with a 3 vs 4 stage?
    3. Beyond the specs would I be better with an Apollo vs a Fuji? I saw a youtuber show a concerning amount of dust get past the Fuji filter vs the Apollo. By beyond the specs I am asking about useabilty features like how well the air hose is managed/handled, ease of cleanup, build quality, parts and accesorries availability and things I haven't thought of yet.

    Thanks for you input in advance
    edited to add- ECO series from Apollo, Mini-Mite Platinum from Fuji
    Last edited by John McKissick; 10-18-2020 at 8:13 AM.

  2. #2
    I just got an HVLP myself, and my research seems to have been very similar to yours. I am in the middle of my first spray with the Fuji mini-mite 3, and am very happy with it so far. I got the 3-stage over the 2-stage more for the gun than the differences in the turbine - the price difference between the 2 was less than the cost of the T75 by itself. This won't answer your questions, but I think there are 3 more questions that should be on your list...

    4. Will you ever use a pressure pot? Per the manuals, you need a 4-stage or 5-stage if so. You say you may do low production, so this might be something to consider for expansion down the line.
    5. Should you get the 3M PPS system for the gun? (Answer: Yes!)
    6. Gravity-feed gun or Syphon? My research led me to the conclusion that gravity-feed was more maneuverable for small areas, inside cabinets, etc, while the syphon gun was better for high-volume (bigger pot). I went gravity, but ymmv. You can always add the 2nd gun later if you really need.

  3. #3
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    I recently went through this decision process, and while I know diddle about spray finishing, I'm very pleased with the results I've been able to achieve with this setup as a newbie. It was recommended to me by others who do a lot of spraying and have used many different spray setups. It's sold by Jeff Jewitt at Homestead Finishing and does come with the 3M PPS system as an option.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/254686606338?ViewItem=&item=254686606338

  4. #4
    I've been spraying shutters and doors with Benjamin Moore Regal exterior with a 2.0 needle/cap in a 5-stage HVLP rated for 10.0 PSI. It's an incredible time-saver versus a brush, but, boy, even with the benefit of 5 stages, house paint takes a lot of dilution to be sprayable in what is a system optimized for thinner finishes. Hopefully, someone with direct experience can weigh in, but looking at the PSI ratings of the 3-stage units, I'd be doubtful they are capable of handling house paint at all, whereas the 4-stage units might be.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I recently went through this decision process, and while I know diddle about spray finishing, I'm very pleased with the results I've been able to achieve with this setup as a newbie. It was recommended to me by others who do a lot of spraying and have used many different spray setups. It's sold by Jeff Jewitt at Homestead Finishing and does come with the 3M PPS system as an option.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/254686606338?ViewItem=&item=254686606338
    This is the direction I went a year and a half ago and it's made a huge difference. Since I have a good shop compressor, I never even considered a turbine system. An HPLV conversion gun works very well on my system and the PPS setup with the pressurized container really makes spraying more viscous waterborne products easy...especially since they really should not be thinned more than 5-10% max. I've sprayed ProClassic "out of the can" with the 1.8 N/N as well as Target EM6500 and the thicker primer they sell. Most work I use the 1.3 or 1.0 N/N with the gun. And being able to hold it in ANY position (even upside down) without it affecting the spraying is a huge advantage.

    ------
    That said, a 4 stage turbine is going to work far better for higher viscosity materials than the 2-stage unit. And I suggest the OP focus mostly on the gun choices because that's the "business end" where the magic happens. The turbine just supplies the air. I can't make a recommendation, however, as I've never done any research or even used a turbine system.
    --

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

  6. #6
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    If you want to spray waterborne enamels you need a pressurized gun. Turbines will do the job because the cup is pressurized but I see no advantage to a turbine rig unless you need portability. They give you a nice package where everything works together but you can have a more versatile system for no more money if you buy a pressure feed conversion gun and a compressor large enough to drive it. I have the same gun as the others reference, paired with a 10 cfm compressor I bought used over 10 years ago. The gun sprays pretty much everything from waterbased dyes to thick paint (with a little thinning) very well. And the compressor drives air tools in my garage, etc. Most importantly, a pressure feed conversion gun allows you to change the pressure to the cup, or from a pressure pot, and that gives you another tool in dealing with difficult materials or situations.

    Which ever system you buy get the PPS system to go with it. Game changer for ease of use and clean up.

    John

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Van Dyke View Post
    I just got an HVLP myself, and my research seems to have been very similar to yours. I am in the middle of my first spray with the Fuji mini-mite 3, and am very happy with it so far. I got the 3-stage over the 2-stage more for the gun than the differences in the turbine - the price difference between the 2 was less than the cost of the T75 by itself. This won't answer your questions, but I think there are 3 more questions that should be on your list...

    4. Will you ever use a pressure pot? Per the manuals, you need a 4-stage or 5-stage if so. You say you may do low production, so this might be something to consider for expansion down the line.
    5. Should you get the 3M PPS system for the gun? (Answer: Yes!)
    6. Gravity-feed gun or Syphon? My research led me to the conclusion that gravity-feed was more maneuverable for small areas, inside cabinets, etc, while the syphon gun was better for high-volume (bigger pot). I went gravity, but ymmv. You can always add the 2nd gun later if you really need.
    Those additional questions I felt I already had an answer to and I think I agree very close with your assesment. They are gppd and pertinent though just trying not to clog up the thread if you get my "drift"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I recently went through this decision process, and while I know diddle about spray finishing, I'm very pleased with the results I've been able to achieve with this setup as a newbie. It was recommended to me by others who do a lot of spraying and have used many different spray setups. It's sold by Jeff Jewitt at Homestead Finishing and does come with the 3M PPS system as an option.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/254686606338?ViewItem=&item=254686606338
    So that uses a regular high pressure compressor? Enough volume of air with a 1.6HP 33 gal compressor (I would think so but)? the specs of the gun say it needs 8cfm, best specs I can find for my compressor says it delivers 6 scfm. Would I need water seperator or any other air filtration beyond the 40psi regulator?

    I sure like the idea of saving $500 or more. I don't need portability beyond my current hose capacity.

  9. #9
    The problem with the 2 stage systems or semi pro systems (I have the Fuji) is that you donít get precise control over the air and flow. You have to dial things in by feel.

    Personally I like my hvlp vs a compressor because I do take mine on the road.

    I highly recommend the 3m pps cup system. That has been a game changer. Both in terms of clean up and quality of finish especially near the bottom of the quart.

    You can always buy tinted Waterbased lacquer if you are spraying furniture. Itís a better choice than latex imho. This works in even the lower stage units.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John McKissick View Post
    So that uses a regular high pressure compressor? Enough volume of air with a 1.6HP 33 gal compressor (I would think so but)? the specs of the gun say it needs 8cfm, best specs I can find for my compressor says it delivers 6 scfm. Would I need water seperator or any other air filtration beyond the 40psi regulator?

    I sure like the idea of saving $500 or more. I don't need portability beyond my current hose capacity.
    I have a cheapo single phase 60 gal compressor from the Borg (Campbell Hausfield branded, I think). It keeps up with no problem at all. Compressor size could be an issue if you are spraying a huge project where you might run it continuously (painting the side of a building, for example); I think for finishing furniture you start and stop often enough that a modest size compressor should be adequate. If you talk to Jeff at Homestead he can surely tell you. He does also sell a LVLP version if you are in doubt. The CFM rating for your compressor is probably at something like 90 psi, the gun is rated for 8 cfm at 40 psi, a lot less air.

    If you're spraying water based finishes I can't imagine that you need a separator, for solvent finishes I don't know. An inline particle/oil filter is probably never a bad idea, though I don't have one.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I have a cheapo single phase 60 gal compressor from the Borg (Campbell Hausfield branded, I think). It keeps up with no problem at all. Compressor size could be an issue if you are spraying a huge project where you might run it continuously (painting the side of a building, for example); I think for finishing furniture you start and stop often enough that a modest size compressor should be adequate. If you talk to Jeff at Homestead he can surely tell you. He does also sell a LVLP version if you are in doubt. The CFM rating for your compressor is probably at something like 90 psi, the gun is rated for 8 cfm at 40 psi, a lot less air.

    If you're spraying water based finishes I can't imagine that you need a separator, for solvent finishes I don't know. An inline particle/oil filter is probably never a bad idea, though I don't have one.
    I assume Jeff the ebay guy linked earlier?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by John McKissick View Post
    I assume Jeff the ebay guy linked earlier?
    That would be Jeff Jewitt, owner of Homestead Finishing and writer of many well known/recommended books on finishing.
    --

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

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    The problem with the 2 stage systems or semi pro systems (I have the Fuji) is that you donít get precise control over the air and flow. You have to dial things in by feel.

    Personally I like my hvlp vs a compressor because I do take mine on the road.

    I highly recommend the 3m pps cup system. That has been a game changer. Both in terms of clean up and quality of finish especially near the bottom of the quart.

    You can always buy tinted Waterbased lacquer if you are spraying furniture. Itís a better choice than latex imho. This works in even the lower stage units.
    I think I am passed considering the 2 staged devices. 3-4 stage or has been suggested the compressor based guns which is a new option still investigating. Trying to flush that option out.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    That would be Jeff Jewitt, owner of Homestead Finishing and writer of many well known/recommended books on finishing.
    I reached to him, see what happens. Have any recommendations for a 10+CFM compressor as I evaluate that option?

  15. #15
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    So you want us to help you spend money on a compressor, too? LOL

    The good news is that Jeff has the setup in LVLP, too, which should make the compressor specifications more approachable. I went with HPLV because that's what I'm used to, but both types are available in the packages he puts together. I realize that doesn't answer your question, but it is the start of a pathway to the answer. Get the specifications for the gun(s) and then the community can better help.

    FYI, I use a 60 gallon IR that's been in my shop for many years. For spraying finish, I find that having a larger air supply is more important than raw SCFM and mine doesn't run all that much. Many guns are pretty forgiving, too.
    --

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

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