Clips to Hang Doors for Finishing

Choosing and using pointy metal spring clips to suspend doors for easy spray finishing. October 28, 2008

Has anyone tried Fastcap's euro finishing clip? It's a spring clip that grabs the inside of a standard 35mm hinge bore and allows you to finish all six faces of a door at the same time. The price is about $1 per clip. Rockler has a competitive product called the Sure Hook. However, it has several moving parts, many of which appear to be plastic. I'm pretty sure the moving parts would get gummed up from the finish and it would be tough to clean. Fastcap's clip is simple and sturdy - it's made out of a single piece of spring steel, and could be tossed in a bucket of thinner to clean it. It's so thin that it would make only a very small shadow from the sprayer. Rockler's allows you to swivel the door, but I can't really see myself doing that once I've started spraying. It's much thicker and would leave a much larger spray shadow on the door. Both allow you to hang your doors from pretty much any kind of overhead rail, pipe, cable, nail, etc. Thoughts?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor T:
Seen 'em both, but I always wondered how one sprays the back of the door around the clip without getting shadow lines.

From contributor J:
Spraying around a clip or hook is not that hard, you just have to angle your gun to spray behind the hook like you would any other obstruction. I did it all the time when I was an industrial metal finisher - we hung everything off hooks. A bit of retarder in your clear should help blend in the shadows. As far as those clips go, they seem like a good idea, but I would be paranoid that they would snap out of the hinge bore when I moved the door.

From contributor S:
How does one keep the finish from running? Looks to me like if you spray a thin enough coat to keep it from running, you'd easily sand through the clear coat when sanding between coats.

From contributor N:
We used to drill a hole in the corner of the door and hang a hook in the hole from the finishing line. Then the hole would be covered by the bumper pad. We shot 240 doors a day that way. Not too many problems that way.

From contributor O:
I have a bunch of the Rockler cup hooks, which hold the door pretty well. The problem is that if you only use one, the door will want to spin in the opposite direction when spraying. So you really need two at a time. I imagine that the Fastcap hook would have similar issues. But really the bigger issue is runs. It's just too difficult to control. So now I spray everything flat, then only after the finish begins to set up do I transfer them to the hooks for final curing.

From contributor M:
I don't get all the comments about runs. How do you guys spray a cabinet with vertical sides...? I finally got my hands on a few of the Fastcap clips. They're an excellent addition to my shop. You can't beat the price at a buck apiece. You can't destroy them since they're just a single piece of spring steel.

The business ends are quite sharp, so you don't want to jab your hands into a box of them without looking where you're going, but then those sharp teeth are what make them work so well. They really do grab the cup bore walls well, even in rock maple.

I do recommend using two at a time as recommended above to avoid twisting when spraying, but I'm not using an HVLP gun. If using HVLP, you might get away with only one per door.

All in all, I give these little hooks five stars out of five.

From contributor O:
Typically I spray cabinets laying flat without the backs on. I find it easier to have the cabinet at waist level and moving the gun side to side rather than up and down. Doors, in my opinion, come out so much nicer when sprayed flat. You can build up the finish a lot more without the worry of runs. I only spray water-borne stains and finishes.