Starter LVLP spraying setup - what to get?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by newuser1, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Meister

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    Well here is my Viber conversation with him :)

    "Well technically you need 4.0 SCFM at 40 PSI to keep the gun running indefinitely.

    But the trick is that you can save money on a compressor because weaker compressors can still do the job.

    It can still get to the required pressure, it just cant keep it at that pressure level for long.

    So you turn the compressor on, let the tank fill up, and then use it until the pressure falls and then you let it fill up again.

    I have found that with this compressor, one full tank can usually get me through a coat."

    He has the Bostitch pancake compressor I listed in the beginning of the thread...
     
  2. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Your friend is generally correct. I have sprayed everything from airplanes to cars, to guitars, including the joy of coatings without a msds because the real world isn't allowed to know what is used on defense products. "Why no you don't have to worry about these being dangerous, trust us..." A the same time, I walked away from that world and spraying large objects years ago and settled into nitro on guitars. I honestly haven't tried the newer water based products to be able to give any insight.

    A guitar is so small it just doesn't require much. Every coat takes about 45 seconds for me to do. All the sudden cfm becomes minutes spread pretty far apart.

    There is a difference between what I use and what I can use. I have my setup hard piped with double seperators, regulator and hose reals. I might have 4 or 5 spray guns on the rack with different colors and clear when I am spraying. I also have good filtration to clear the air. I moved from a large compressor for space down to a 30 gallon oiled 5 cfm unit. It kicks on every once after several coats when spraying a body. It actually kicks on more from a slow inaudible leak I need to find an fix. That is what I use now. I am sure some here have far better setups that work for them.

    When I moved from spraying big things with tools a company paid for, to guitars with tools I had to pay for, I just used a 4 gallon 6 cfm oil less compressor I already had, a gravity feed gun, regulator & seperatator. I used it for a couple years without issue. It just ran a lot more.

    Sonce I will no longer spray things I am not allowd to know the danger of, a main thing on solvent based essential for health if you don't have a correct respirator and ventilation don't do it. I have known some who spray outside and carry the guitar back in to hang between coats. You gotta do what you gotta do, but do it safely.

    Eric
     
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  3. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    So when that undersized compressor kicks on because it can't keep the pressure up in the tank, what is that doing for the volume of air flow? How about the pressure at the nozzle? As soon as that fluctuates, your consistency of atomization and finish quality are out the window.
     
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  4. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    What's going to happen with the cheap spray gun and the small compressor, is that you are not really going to get HVLP performance. That doesn't mean you're not going to be able to get a decent finish but you're going to have way more overspray and inefficient use of material. Even using a bigger compressor with the harbor freight type gun it's still not really going to act like a true HVLP. You can get some pretty decent finishes with a cheap gun like that but it's definitely not the same level of performance as a real HVLP setup. I'm speaking from experience of having used what type of gun a fair amount both with a little pancake compressor in my garage and with a big industrial compressor at work.
     
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  5. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Most Compressors store 125+ psi and kick on to raise it back up about 20 psi below that. A spran gun doesnt take any more than 40psi, I keep mine at about 30 & cut it down as desired at the gun. In the 30-60 seconds it takes to put a coat on a body a small compressor will kick on but it won't drop below the psi coming out of the regulator. A pancake will not keep up with spraying a car, or anything of size. A guitar body it will. Is a small one ideal? No, but it will get by.

    As Nickfl said, you aren't going to get true hvlp out of it or a cheap gun. You arent going to get true hvlp with anything but a significantly large compressor no matter what gun you use. That is why many opt for a contained hvlp system. A couple guitars a year hobbyist isn't going to loose enough product to warrant the cost of "true" hvlp.

    Eric
     
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  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    A cheap gun and small compressor will not atomize well and the compressor won't keep up.

    An affordable HVLP turbine/hose/gun will provide far better results than a LVLP unit or any compressor=based system. Better con trol, almost no overspray or bounce and a much more consistent finish. Even the cheap $130 Harbor Freight /rockler "bleeder" rigs (where the air is always on - better units trigger the air with the material) can do a great job with practice.

    HVLP runs t 4-10 PSI MAXIMUM. The CFM might be in the 30-40 range. But you CAN'T directly compare them to compressors and conventional spray guns (most of the cheap "HVLP" guns sold at HF and other budget tool sellers are simply conventional spray guns with an HVLP stamp, and would not operate properly at 4-10 PSI without a huge compressor.

    I was in the business for 37 years - IMO you are wasting time and money trying to rig up an LVLP unit with a compressor unless you have professional experience. It will be outperformed by a less expensive HVLP turbine/hose/gun kit.

    And for a little more than the HF/Rockler cheap HVLP you can move up to aa non-bleeder unit with excellent performance, control and finish results.

    No matter WHAT you buy plan on many, many hours of practice spray on scrap. Try to find a dealer that can provide training, even for a fee. It's worth it. I trained professional painters for years and many had difficulties transitioning from conventional (air) spray to either LVLP or HVLP systems.
     
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  7. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    No truer words ever said when it comes to spraying finishes...and this process is also required to be repeated if one changes to a different product or to a different gun, at least to some extent.
     
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  8. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Thanks. I suggest that a full preparation and finishing job - all the way through buffing - be done if even ONE new product is introduced, whether a dye, toner, sealer, brand of grain filler, brand of lacquer (or line within a brand). Besides being in the tech end of the coatings business I've been finishing guitars and other instruments since 1971, and I still apply a full test system if there's the slightest question that a product I haven't used before is different from those I've used in the past.

    One fairly common problem - I've seen many experienced finishers get bitten buying what they think is an opaque lacquer in aerosol form for a small job (I use some aerosols purely for convenience), not examine the label or MSDS, and use their normal application procedures for nitrocellulose and acrylic lacquers....

    ...only to get hit with soft films, solvent entrapment, "lumpy gravy" surfaces and/or clear coats that buff right off down to the still-tacky *lacquer enamel* they unknowingly used. Mohawk makes a line called "lacquer enamel", clearly indicating what's in the can - including alkyd resin among the contents listed on the label (alkyd resin is oil-based paint resin!!).

    And MSDS sheets that list naphtha, mineral spirits or petroleum distillates are clear indicators of slow-drying, unconventional "lacquers" that are part lacquer and part enamel. I read a lot of posts about drying problems with Colortone and Deft "lacquers", both of which are NOT conventional nitrocellulose or acrylic products. They take MUCH longer to dry than conventional lacquers.

    They MUST be applied in VERY thin, multiple "passes" - with a single coat being very transparent. If one coat provides full hide (i.e. it's applied like paint) the surface will dry and skin over, trapping solvents in a soft - even wet - film below. The dry time is long even if applied thinly and if applied too thick the dry time could be weeks - or longer! But despite what is printed in some related finishing books and online guides, they do NOT cure!

    Except for specialty products - catalyzed, single component lacquers (that begin chemical reaction upon exposure to air) and two-component lacquers (that "cure" by chemical reaction when mixed) lacquers DO NOT "CURE"! They only dry by evaporation of solvents and other volatile contents. This is true of nitrocellulose lacquers, acrylic lacquers, and lacquer enamels.

    So always be aware of the product types you're using (ALL of them) - start with the product data sheets and MSDS, and if you don't understand them, ask the manufacturers. Sure, you can post a question here - but it might be answered by an experienced finisher, an amateur taking a guess, or a 13 year old kid who has only used paint-by-number sets and just likes to type.:eek:

    So if you post a question be sure you vet those whose advice you're taking. I've seen answers so blatantly wrong that I wonder whether the writer is someone with an IQ that follows room temp, someone who has done things wrong for years and simply gotten incredibly lucky - or is intentionally mean, nasty and is trying to screw somebody up.

    The single largest cause of finishing problems is impatience, with 3 most-common versions:

    1. Applying a system without practicing until you KNOW you can do it right - buy ALL the materials you need before starting. IMO beginners need enough for 3-4 complete jobs at minimum. Probably more. If you can't afford it, wait until you can!

    2. Running out of something and substituting an unfamiliar product mid-job. This is qlso related to your budget and having enough material to account for screwups - and spills!

    3. Working when the temperature and/or humidity are NOT suitable.If the humidity is 80% outside but it's dry inside, you CAN'T coat outside and run inside to let the thing dry. Moisture was mixed into the sprayed material in the air and your finish was already ruined when you brought it inside. You also can't spray at 37 degrees F and bring the piece in to a warm room to dry. Too late. Would you paint your house when it's snowing?:lol:

    Spraying lacquer outside is generally not acceptable anyway - it will inevitably result in problems. Lacquer work needs to be done indoors in a clean, well ventilated area. Honestly, most apartment dwellers or those without a proper, safe interior area should not even consider DIY finishing. Sure, you may WANT to - but if conditions aren't right, you shouldn't.

    And if you're going to use spray equipment, use the proper equipment and understand how to use it. DIY'rs should be using compact HVLP turbine units. They are the least expensive and once understood waste the least material, are the easiest to operate and clean, provide the best control, and result in the the best finishes - by far.

    Hope that helps. Sure, it may be discouraging to some - but you HAVE to consider the realities.
     
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  9. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Meister

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    Silverface,

    Can you please list the HF and Rockler HVLP units you were referring to and also explain what is a "aa non-bleeder unit" and what brand and model do you recommend? I think this will make the thread better, instead of writing 1,000 words on why this or that wouldn't work :).
     
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  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    A couple of simple Google searches can provide that info - if all terms used in a post had to be defined we'd essentially be writing educational manuals, which isn't the purpose here. And there are a couple dozen low-cost HVLP's that will do the job .

    I clearly stated - find a dealer.

    I don't recommend buying a spray rig over the internet. No spray system of any type is a "plug and play" proposition, and the correct needle/air cap needs to be part of the package or ordered as an accessory; there are right/wrong ways of turning air caps and adjusting pressure or output (the wrong way will damage both cap and needle, unless you are buying a $400 gun with titanium sets); adjusting material viscosity (with the correct thinner based on temperature and/or material type and/or desired finish) is critical for good atomization and fan pattern...

    ...and there are 5 or 6 other vey basic things that must be understood - and generally don't come with the manual. Units with a somewhat complete but very basic manual are generally retail "paint sprayers" not made for fine lacquer finishing, although they may list lacquer among products that can be sprayed. But there's a BIG difference between "can be sprayed" and "can provide a fine lacquer finish".

    Anyone shopping for an HVLP should understand the term "bleeder" or they haven't done basic research about the systems. A "bleeder" has the air running all the time, and care has to be taken not to pass the gun over freshly-coated work or dirt/dust can be blown on it and/or "waves" created on the surface. They are low-budget systems that take a LOT of practice for "acceptable" (not excellent) results.

    A "non-bleeder" has the air triggered along with the material, and has far greater control.

    I bought a $130 Rockler (same Earlex unit Harbor Freight sells) "bleeder" HVLP simply to be able to answer questions about it on this forum and compare it to my small professional-quality Capspray/Titan. I also buy mentioned aerosol brands (if available locally) for the same reason - and every purchase also involves learning how the product works - so we can help solve problems - NOT make both purchasing recommendations AND tutor users from A-Z.

    Others have done similar things - we don't just provide knowledge for free, we spend money on commonly used products so we can answer questions from experience. So respectfully, I would think you could spend 5 minutes searching terms on the internet rather than expect everything to be *given* to you.

    You can spend $350-450 on a non-bleeder Fuji unit that will do a great job - WITH all the right parts and WITH operational understanding.

    But like when buying amplifier kits, you're expected to bring the technical knowledge WITH you, which is difficult to do with many internet purchases - especially technical equipment. You could watch Youtube videos - but anybody can post one of those and many provide lousy information and violate safety procedures. You can also buy a car on the internet - but if you've never owned one, then what?

    So rather than recommend anything specific, I suggest reading about HVLP systems - whether generic or manufacturers' info. Get an understanding of capabilities and hopefully a grasp on what size unit you need.

    THEN go shopping at commercial/industrial paint stores that stock them. Someone will usually demonstrate the operation (not with lacquer!), answer questions, make recommendations, ensure you are buying the correct unit for your needs AND, in many case, provide training - either a brief free session or in group classes. IMO training is essential, even if you have to pay someone to do it "on the side".

    THAT is the best - and only - recommendation I can provide. Simply recommending a turbine hose/gun setup would be doing you a disservice.

    I hope that helps. Sorry if it sounds like a bit of a "beat down" - it's not. There's just no other way to clearly explain why IMO specific equipment recommendations are a bad idea.
     
  11. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Meister

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    Silverface,

    I've read many of your posts here over the last few years, and in my honest opinion your responses are very condescending at best. We all get it you have great deal of experience :). One thing you don't understand is that many people frequenting and commenting here are just hobbyists trying to learn a thing or two about guitar making and finishing and not everybody strives for a factory quality and finish

    Because you like to give people advise they didn't ask for I'll give you some too:

    1. Try to be nice to people

    2. DO NOT respond to threads I started

    Have a good day!
     
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  12. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks Eric, sorry for the late reply. i think my original point go lost, but you seem to have gotten back to it by saying, "you aren't going to get true hvlp out of it or a cheap gun."

    HVLP "conversion" and HTW (high transfer efficiency) guns that run off of a compressor are more expensive than a hobbyist needs to worry about, and regular spray guns are more forgiving for small projects.
     
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  13. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Totally agree, especially for someone building the first guitar that may decide one is enough.

    Can't understand how your post could get lost in all the verbiage.

    Eric
     
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  14. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I'm always respectful. IF you miss "nice" in there it's not my fault. I try to provide the best, most helpful factual information I can. The fact that it's not what YOU want, and that you want to be led through the entire process is asking too much of anyone. You DO understand no one is being aid to post assistance here, right? That it's costs us money to research products so we can provide useful information?

    If you don't find that "nice" - oh, my. At least be respectful of the time taken to provide the information given, and I really stress that it would be a good idea to try to understand the reasons given for NOT posting the information you ask for - and respect the experience behind the reasoning.

    As stated, it would do you a disservice to point you to a piece of equipment you can buy on the internet. That's exactly how those new to finishing get into trouble. Not just do "good enough" jobs, but ruin them instead.

    ALL HVLP rigs take some eduction to use, and the manuals - as stated earlier - are purposely incomplete. Because they are not meant as "retail/hobbyist" equipment - at least without some training.

    So that's information that is "nice" and "kind" - because it's meant to help to keep users out of trouble.

    As far as your second point - because these threads are searchable on the internet and often read in bits and pieces by folks with no finishing knowledge at all, I'll answer any thread I want to; and it's very rude of you to tell me to ignore yours.

    It's also ignorant - because they are not YOUR threads, they belong to the forum.

    If you post a question, the answers end up applicable (or NOT applicable) to any reader that stumbles on them - not JUST you. You've only been around a couple of years, but one would think you would understand that by now. You own and control no information, pictures or anything else you post here.

    If you find that rude and condescending it's not - it is factual information that by your own words you are apparently not aware of.

    So I hope you find ALL of the preceding helpful. That is ALL it's meant to be.
     
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