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Thread: Upgrading HVLP

  1. #1
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    Upgrading HVLP

    I use a Fuji Semi Pro 2 stage HVLP with reasonable success.

    I'm ready to upgrade to my 'last' spray system...

    I am considering the Qualspray gun with the 3m pps cup system and a compressor. Does anyone use this system? Reviews?

  2. #2
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    I'm not going to be much help, as I am a complete novice at spray finishing. The Qualspray gun with PPS was my first gun and I have to say I'm astonished by my level of early success (vs decades of utter failure spraying with rattle cans). I don't think I'm a natural prodigy (ha!), so I suspect that a lot of that success is due to the gun both working very well and being pretty forgiving. Great advice here about using the Target lines of products has probably also helped.

    I completely love the PPS system, being able to use the gun at any angle seems to be a significant advantage. I rinse out and re-use the cup liners, so lose a bit of the convenience at a huge saving in cost. I'm washing the gun anyway, so the extra work seems trivial.

  3. #3
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    Several folks here use the Qualspray AM-6008 gun. It's a very versatile set up and can spray everything from water based dyes to ProClassic (w/o much thinning). I've had one for about 5 years now and it has done everything I've asked of it. Being able to spray at any angle was a game changer for me. The versatility of being able to increase/decrease pressure to the cup adds another dimension to being successful with difficult tasks like spraying inside corners or laying on an almost invisible layer of dye. The spray pattern the gun produces is very good and it is easy to lay on a consistent coating even on large panels.

    That said, I would consider it a mid range gun and not my first choice if I were looking to buy one and done. I'd be looking at the higher end guns like Iwata, etc. I had at least one of the seals go on my first Qualspray gun. I changed it but could not get it to stop leaking. When it leaks the gun won't spray for beans. Jeff Jewitt tried to repair it but ended up replacing the gun at cost and the new one has been fine but so was the first one for about 3 years. The anodizing on the air caps has faded pretty dramatically from soaking them in acetone to remove overspray. Functionally they are fine, but that suggests the quality isn't top end. I have probably sprayed over 100 gallons through the two guns. If that seems like a lifetime then buy one; you'll be very happy. But if you think you'll spray that much in the next couple of years I'd look for a higher quality gun. Whatever you chose, definitely get the PPS system.

    The other approach would be to buy cheap guns and replace them as needed. The purple HF gun sprays stuff less than about 40 seconds # Ford cup beautifully. It costs $10 on sale. You could easily add a PPS cup to that gun by adding a second regulator and that would greatly extend the range of viscosities you could spray almost as high as the stock Qualspray gun.

    At the end of the day most guns these days spray well, even the very lost cost ones. The difference is mostly in the quality of materials used to make them which determines their useful life before needing a rebuild or replacement.

    John

  4. #4
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    I do use the pps system and love it. Guys like John T have extolled the virtues of a compressor gun. I really want a great finish. But I will say that I LOVE the convenience of the HVLP. My s2 is super portable and I can spray on the road. I'm torn. So the other system I'm considering is the Mini Mite 4.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    I use a Fuji Semi Pro 2 stage HVLP with reasonable success.

    I'm ready to upgrade to my 'last' spray system...

    I am considering the Qualspray gun with the 3m pps cup system and a compressor. Does anyone use this system? Reviews?

    Yes, I use the Qualspray gun and PPS system and I love it. You're welcome to come over and take a look at the gun if you get some free time to do so and we can talk further about that project we've been back and forth on.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 01-14-2021 at 9:30 PM.
    --

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

  6. #6
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    A large advantage of a conversion gun is being able to regulate pressure both to the cup and the gun, independently, and to extreme levels. Another is the air is cool unlike a turbine unit which makes hot air. That can be the difference between success or failure with some products. A conversion gun is just more versatile. Whether that's of any benefit to you is hard to say.

    But let's back up a little. What is it about your current turbine you don't like or that it can't do?

    John

  7. #7
    If this is any help, I got the Mini-Mite 4 last year and despite being a complete novice to spraying, I have been reasonably successful with it. It also is much quieter than I expected. I had been lead to believe from what I read on the interweb that it would sound like the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, but it actually is quieter than my shop vac.

  8. #8
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    The fan pattern on my gun has seized up and it’s time to replace it. I use my system enough that I want to have a little nicer gun that perhaps has a little more control.

    With waterbased finishes that I spray now, there is some variability in performance that I am unable to pinpoint . I am having trouble alleviating orange peel despite thinning and adjusting other parameters.

    All this is making me think instead of replacing the gun, I could do better by upgrading the system.

    I've been conversing with Jeff Jewitt and he recommends a gravity fed compressor gun for luthierie.

    He's got a convient and price right kit for this. But what compressor do y'all recommend? He's recommending 6cfm at 40psi. That's not that small!
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 01-15-2021 at 1:00 PM.

  9. #9
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    Nor is 6cfm very high; fine for a small gun doing small work, but I recommend you get a system that will handle your larger projects. That means a HVLP gun at some point where you'll need 10 scfm at 40 psi for modest guns like mine and 13 or more is needed for some guns, like CAT, etc.. A 60 gal single or better yet dual stage compressor will last a lifetime of hobby use. If this is your "last spray system" make it so.

    John

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    I've been conversing with Jeff Jewitt and he recommends a gravity fed compressor gun for luthierie.
    Well, he's an expert on that...he makes some amazing instruments. Check out his YouTube channel.

    I don't have the gravity feed gun but the majority of my spraying isn't the guitars, either. I like that I can turn my gun any way necessary to "get the shot"...even upside down...as the pressurized cup with the liner doesn't care what position it is. I also spray some of the heavier viscosity stuff, like ProClassic and EM6500, and I "suspect" what I use may work better than gravity, although I could absolutely be wrong about that.
    --

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

  11. #11
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    Unfortunately, I am space constrained and a 60 gallon compressor doesn't work for me. I'd rather spend for a higher quality hvlp if I'm going to put $1500 into a gun and jurassic tank. Is the marginal quality of these two options really that much? Trying to understnad when the difference in quality would be apparent.

  12. #12
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    Something like IR's GarageMate is more approachable and also can use 120v power if that matters. It's either a 25 or 30 gallon tank...I forget. Are you talking with Jeff about the LVLP versions or the HPLV? I think the air requirements are different but haven't looked at it closely.
    --

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

  13. #13
    John T. makes some good points but if your work is small, the tank will save you. That is, the compressor can't keep up with your draw, but the tank has high pressure air and as you draw down the air, the pressure will decrease. If your regulator is set to 40 pounds, you'll get a decent amount of spray time in before the pressure in the tank drops below 40 pounds.

    I've done work with a pancake compressor when I had to (work not in my shop) and as long as I divided the work up in to pieces I could work fine. After I did one part, I'd wait for the compressor to catch up and then do the next part, etc. It's surprising how much you can do on a pancake tank.

    This is with an HVLP conversion gun.

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

  14. #14
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    He's gearing me to the AM5008/80008 kit. These are LVLP guns. I guess the issue would be these would only be appropriate for small stuff.

    I am just thinking the small compressor will be a compromise in performance. I highly value the portability of a turbine system... I think I may just deal with it being theoretically less than perfect than a compressor gun. I get A- results and maybe that's good enough for me.

  15. #15
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    As long as the small compressor maintains the required CFM at 40 PSI, it will spray fine. It will just be noisy...but even my 60 gallon unit comes on periodically when I'm spraying as the 120 PSI max in the tank drops to whatever the level is that says "pamp-me-opp"...
    --

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

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