Sound reducing box for Earlex/Graco 3900 hvlp

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Project by duasbata posted 06-03-2010 07:21 AM 5671 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a project/review of the Earlex/Graco 3900USG.

I made a box to enclose the loud vacuum like sound of the hvlp motor.
Purchased this for $139+tax(free shipping) online from Lowe’s as it’s not available at the stores.

Handle is from 2×4 strips doweled and screwed.
Box is 1/2 mdf lined with soundboard from Home Depot ($9 4×8 sheet).
The soundboard is very fibrous when touched and stays on your fingertips.
I was debating using acoustic ceiling tiles but it’s also dusty when you run your fingers on it.
I used glue size with a 1:2 glue to water ratio to stiffen the outer layer of the soundboard.
I don’t know if this has any adverse effects on its sound deadening capability but it stopped the fibers from going all over the place. Used Liquid Nails to attach it to the mdf.
There is 1 baffle just tall enough to cover the intake on the back of the motor.
I used a clamp to hang the gun on the handle. You can move it around anywhere you like.
I might change the box later to add some hinges or even make it a tad smaller.

Review with video:
This is my introduction to the world of the hvlp turbine and glad I didn’t spend a lot of money.
With using hvlp guns with a compressor you have to watch out for moisture.
With turbines it’s dust or whatever your turbine sucks in the intake.
I placed the unit on the lawn when spraying and when I removed the air cap to clean it there was a blade of grass stuck in one of the holes.

The hose gets warm but the motor housing doesn’t. Don’t step on the hose, it’ll cost you $21.99. The hose came off the gun one time while I was spraying.

The gun is a bleeder type so air is coming out the moment you turn it on.
Had to get used to this feeling as my Critter and Devilbiss air guns are not.
The whole gun is pretty much plastic except for the tip and needle. Compared to my other guns this really feels like a toy. It sits pretty much flat if you lay it down. This gun is also interchangeable with the Graco 2900 and the Earlex 2900 that Highlandwoodworking is selling according to the Earlex support line.

Filter is small piece of round foam with big pores/holes.

It comes with the 2.0mm stain/latex tip installed. I added 25% volume of floetrol and it was still orange peely. Added a tablespoon of water and same thing. So I dropped it down to the 1.5mm tip which was included and the atomization was better. The tip has a rubber Oring near the back. The needle has a clear vinyl like ring near the end of it too.

Per Flood’s Floetrol tech support they don’t recommend using too much water as it will make the paint translucent. They only recommend 10-25% of the volume of paint used and if it’s still thick to add only a tablespoon of water.

I inquired about the parts prices and here are some of them:
Gun $39
Hose $21.99
Maintenance kit $10
Spare plastic paint cup $10
I think extra tips were $20-25

I’ve noticed I’ve been spraying latex with my guns more than anything.
For around $150 this gun does a pretty good job. I’ve sprayed it on a piece of mdf and it came out real nice. I thought my Critter had little overspray. This gun has hardly any. I sprayed inside my garage next to all my tools and stuff.
For double the price I highly recommend their 5000 model which the woodwhisperer made a review on. It has a metal gun and a stronger motor. I went with this gun because it is 50W stronger than the 2900 and comes with the 1 gallon container which I haven’t used yet. I really like the portability of the turbines compared to a compressor setup.

In the video, when I close the lid you will still hear the hissing sound of the gun as the air is already coming out of it. If you remove the gun it is much quieter.

Here is my video review:


5 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3539 days

#1 posted 06-03-2010 07:43 AM

Good idea well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View duasbata's profile


18 posts in 3210 days

#2 posted 06-03-2010 03:46 PM

Thanks a1Jim.

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 2900 days

#3 posted 06-03-2010 04:42 PM

Only 1 problem with it . It’s in you’r shop and not mine…...well thought out plan…....Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View shavins's profile


104 posts in 3121 days

#4 posted 06-04-2010 02:04 AM

very useful info, thanks duasbata!

-- shavins

View duasbata's profile


18 posts in 3210 days

#5 posted 07-17-2010 08:13 AM

Just an update. I had to paint my house and have been informed by the folks at Home Depot that the best way to paint their elastomeric stucco paint is with a roller. So off I went to HD and bought 3 5gallon buckets of their elastomeric paint. I haven’t even painted my detached garage yet not to mention applying the second coat required on the house and I’ve already started using the 3rd bucket. I decided to try this paint with my Graco using the biggest tip I have which is the 2.0 mm. It took a little over a second for the paint to come out and the travel speed to make a decent spray was too slow. The viscocity test was even funny in that there was virtually no steady fluid flow but thick drips coming out from the get go. I went ahead and ordered the 3.0 mm tip which arrived today. I was pleasantly surprised to see the paint spray come out immediately. The spray is better than the 2.0mm tip but there are frequent paint spatters but it was good enough for me for stucco because the texture is rough anyways. The travel speed is still slow but I don’t have to rent an airless and I can take my time to completely paint everything. I will try to finish just the house this weekend and will continue with the garage next week. I caught myself almost completely squashing the hose several times but paused just in time not to. In addition to the tip I also ordered a spare paint cup $10 and the maintenance kit $10. The 3.0mm tip was $25. 3day shipping was about $15 by UPS. By the way there were times when I was on the ladder and the hose came off the back of the gun. Also the holes on the air horn and tip will accumulate paint so you have to stop sometimes and wipe it off.

There was an article I read about a guy who has this same gun but his started leaking paint by the trigger. Spoke with the guys at Graco and they mentioned that they had a batch of bad seals on the needle and that if mine went bad they would simply replace it.

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