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Message started by Road_Toad on Feb 16th, 2005 at 3:14pm

Title: Finish spraying equipment questions
Post by Road_Toad on Feb 16th, 2005 at 3:14pm
I would be grateful to get some opinions on spray equipment options for NC lacquer. Right know I’m buying the Stewmac aerosol cans, but at $8+ per can and rising (~3 per instrument), it is not economical if I hit the 5+ instruments a year range. I made 4 ukes last year and used 10-11 cans. I know French polish & Tru-oil are alternatives, but I want to stick with lacquer, so I have a few questions:

I will probably go HVLP to reduce over spray in my garage, but since I don’t have a compressor, I would probably opt for a turbine unit rather than a conversion type gun. I would not be using it for latex or enamel paints- just for thinner viscosity finishing materials only, so I know I won’t need any powerful 4 stage units. At this point, I think I’ll only be spraying lacquer, but may try water based finishes. (on a side note… do water based finishes like KTM9 dissolve the titebond glue that I hold everything together with???) The questions are:

1)      Are single speed units adequate or is it better to spend the extra kala for a variable speed model?

2)      Has anyone had experiences with particular brands/models- good or bad?

3)      Is there a difference in the lacquers (McFadden, Behlen, etc…)?

4)      What are the pros and cons of ‘bleeder’ & ‘non-bleeder’ type guns?

I’ve checked out some of the recommendations on wood working forums and the responses seemed to be geared toward production cabinet shops and hence tend to recommend 4 stage units with 5 gallon pressure pots - get the picture? I’m looking for advice on a good set-up for doing 2-3 ukes at a time maybe 2-3 times a year as well as general woodworking finishing jobs.  


Title: Re: Finish spraying equipment questions
Post by ukeman on Feb 21st, 2005 at 1:42pm
Aloha Owen
Ok here goes: My set-up for the past 10 plus years is a triple turbine CMT HVLP system...The label reads CMT but it is actually made by Fuji and I buy spare parts or gaskets or tips from Fuji out of Canada. I've only used this system and have no knowlegde of any other and this system suits my needs perfectly.

The CMT is a small machine: about 10" square with a 110 plug, 2 removeable side filters and an external nozzle for the hose. The nozzle is akin to your garden hose system.

To the nozzle attaches a 1' diameter hose which is threaded to the nozzle of the CMT machine. The standard hose is about 25' or so...plenty long! The opposite end attaches to the spray gun and cup provided by CMT with about a quart capacity. The spray
gun is equipped with a spray needle suitable for the viscosity of lacquer.

The machine has a high pitched constant drone when on..can't be helped and air spray pressure can be adjusted at the hose while spray pattern ajusted at the spray gun.

I use McFadden nitro cellulose lacquer as well as McFadden Vinyl sealer to spray my ukes. I use a high grade Sherwin Williams lacquer thinner for mixing purposes. I have had good results with the lacquer and the gun set-up.

The overspray will be reduced tho some overspray will be present, but by and large I am pleased with the system.

I do not have a variable speed nor do I think I would need one, and I do not know what you mean by a bleeder system refering to guns.The gun provided by CMT works fine....simple mechanism...a needle, spring, valve and port with capicity to change spray pattern from horizontal to vertical etc. and does me the job.

Since this is the only system I've used for over 10 years i have indeed gotten my moneys worth and am satisfied with the system. I only needed replacement lid to cup washer/gaskets in all these years. The gaskets eventually get worn and lose shape! All in all its been good to me.   laters  ukeman

oh I've also sprayed with normal compresor set-up with Binks and even cheaper Alltrade spray guns at about 30 plus pounds per square inch...I had no problem with this either tho I do eat up much more lacquer shooting this way.

Title: Re: Finish spraying equipment questions
Post by Road_Toad on Feb 21st, 2005 at 6:24pm
Thanks Ukeman, the Fuji's seem to be rated fairly good and they come with a non-bleeder gun. The only negative I've seen is the very stiff hose. In a bleeder gun, air always runs through the gun when the turbine is on. In the non-bleeder, air does not run through the gun except when spraying. I appreciate the info very much.

Mahalo nui , Owen :D

Title: Re: Finish spraying equipment questions
Post by ukeman on Feb 28th, 2005 at 9:46am
yo Owen...hmmmm  ..glad you filtered out the info on the Fuji HVLP system. I truly have no regrets with this purchase and the system has performed well lo, these 10 years! As for the fat and stiff hose...really no problem whatsoever, the weight is not noticeable while spraying...the gun does get a mite hot though when spraying for longer period of times. A glove solves that problem....laters   ukeman

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