Originally Posted by RHulsmeyer
Hi all, thanks in advance for your insight!
I posted this on the woodworking site but didnt want to miss any insight from this group.
I’m going to be doing an increased qty of furniture finishing, including stand alone pieces, cabinets, built-ins, etc., (mostly wood, some metal) and want to move to a spray application of oil and lacquer materials. I have been doing brush application for years and in some cases off-the shelf spray cans for certain applications, but am completely new and uneducated on spray systems.
I won’t be doing production quantity but definitely want to do production quality so I want a good solid system that will last me for more than a couple of projects. I take great care of my tools so keeping a system clean and in good condition is not an issue.
I have a compression system but can use an upgrade so if a pressurized system is recommended, I can match the compressor/tank to the system requirements.
Pros/cons of the different types of systems available?
Best brands/models for my intended application?
Best sources for purchase/customer service/etc.?
Obviously there are several types of spray packages you can get involved with - each with their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages...Personally, for what you've described, I would go with a turbine driven HVLP. There are many types and brands to choose from. If you're gonna limit your application to oils and lacquers, you could easily go with a 2 stage turbine and get professional looking results (3 & 4 stage turbines would be more suitable for spraying more viscous coatings such as acrylics etc.).
HVLP units are not as fast as airless, but provide a much better, smoother, more uniform finish. Finish performance is pretty much the same as conventional air without all the fogging and overspray...and, HVLP has a higher transfer efficiency than either airless or conventional (even higher than electro-static spray). What that means is, if applied properly, more coming out of the tip actually makes it to, and/or stays upon, the surface to be sprayed - as opposed to ending in the air in the form of bounce back (airless) or overspray (conventional).
HVLP takes a little practice to perfect, but is still relatively simple process. If you purchase a good system, and develop the right technique, you can literally spray with no overspray (this morning, I sprayed the bottom of a 12' aluminum boat with a single component modified alkyd...in my garage with no tarps or masking tape...wearing dress slacks, and oxford shirt and dress shoes - and my bright red pick up truck within 4' of the boat being painted - no overspray or fogging, no bounce back, no mess). Clean-up and maintenance is what it is, and true with any spray set-up - but absolutely necessary for the best performance of your equipment.
The unit I have is not the highest quality, nor the most expensive HVLP on the market (Wagner Capspray 8100 - 3 stage turbine), and is about 16 years old (with the original spray needle) - But I spray a lot of projects with it and have always been pleased with the results. Good luck with your search, I hope this info helps.
P.S. - you can buy an HVLP gun to run with your compressor...you'll need a regulator and I don't think you get quite the same rate of efficiency as you would with a turbine, but still better than airless or conventional air.