I'm thinking of switching to an HVLP sprayer. My compressor is big enough to run the new gun's needs. I've only used the traditional, siphon feed guns, usually with a small cup size (10 oz.). I don't do a lot of finishing, so it has suited me well so far. I don't like fog in the air, and I don't like overspray. Plus, not wasting material sounds attractive. I usually rub out all of my gloss finishes, so "off the gun" isn't that important, however, I might like to go that way for my satin finishes. So, this is why I'm thinking of HVLP. I'm reluctant to change because I am used to what I've got going. But I am hopeful that I might be pleasantly surprised.
I noticed that the HVLP guns come in gravity feed and siphon cups. I'm inclined to go with the gravity feed as the cup sizes are more like what I'm used to, and it seems like there would be less trouble. I have never used a gravity feed, conventional or HVLP. I am intending this to be used for precat clears.
From contributor D:
I predominantly use my HVLP setup over others because of the reduced overspray. It's not quite as low as an airless or an air assisted setup, but I feel it gives me the best control for the multiple tasks that I ask of it.
I mostly spray large jobs, which is why I choose to spray from either a 2 1/2 gallon or 5 gallon pressure pot. I save my cups for touchups, which I also use a HVLP for.
I am presently using 2 Accuspray setups and 2 Titan setups. 3 four stage systems and one compressed conversion system. The one thing I have found is the lifespan of a hot turbine varies dependent on the environment. I've had units last 8 years and I've had units last 8 weeks. Most of these units are not designed to stay on for hours of uninterrupted service. I find when I am spraying paneled walls and the unit is on for long periods of time, I need to be a little more aware of the servicing I give the unit. I have had hoses melt from the excess heat, turbine fans and impellers expand due to excessive heat and seize the motor. The number one complaint I get when working onsite with my turbines is the noise. It's basically only a vacuum, but it does add to the noise pollution on a construction site.
I spray everything with them. NC lacquer, precat, postcat, acrylics, vinyl sealer, conversion varnish, polys and on occasion, oil and latex paints. All with great results.
If you are only spraying the outside of case goods, I see no reason why you wouldn't want to go to a HVLP conversion setup. I wouldn't consider it without a regulator on the gun for adjusting to the proper air flow.
Use whatever cup setup you are most comfortable with - either should serve you well. My thoughts would favor a gravity feed gun if you are using little amounts of finish. Siphon guns are a little finicky when you start running low on materials and tilt the gun (siphon tube) away from the material in the cup.
Make the switch, you'll be happy you did.
HVLP guns seem to operate on the fringe of just enough atomization - input air approximately 43lbs is best. Being used to an air gun, you will probably at first not like the HVLP. But once you learn how to operate it you will save money and reduce fog. Excellent atomization produces fog, less atomization = less fog. You will find yourself basically using a 4 inch patten and spraying closer to the part. The gun kind of paints it on like a liquid brush.
My setup was: coating side - ARO stainless steel diaphragm pumps (there are cheaper) - fluid reg. (right on the pump) - gun. Air side: compressor - air dryer - air regulator - gun. Also air reg to input side of pump. We replaced 8 guns, adjusted to them (had resentment), then never looked back. Great finish, cleaner, lighter. The mach 1 is a good gun, but expensive. And I would guess it will work well with most delivery setups. Having the correct orifice makes a big difference - say stain vs top coatings. Those Binks guys can help. We also went with the flexible tips with some, but can't remember if with stains or tops. I would also consider the imports - but would want a satisfaction guarantee of some type.
Comment from contributor K:
I have a CS 9100 Capspray 4-stage turbine with a siphon feed cap spray gun #4 tip set and the finishes that I am able to achieve for hand rails and doors is amazing the only problem that I have with the system is the system needs to be well maintained. As well the lacquer finishes take a little more practice and trust in the product that you chose to use as some produce a better finish than others. I always sand with 200 then 400 grit sand paper before recoating. There are about three coats of lacquer and then an old English oil rub and they look like glass. Itís sweet and simple. I like the comments made by others in this article they are very useful.