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Little Blue Wonder!

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Review by NiteWalker posted 12-01-2011 09:03 AM 4778 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Little Blue Wonder! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This detail gun is absolutely fantastic.
After doing much research online pairing my compressor (Makita MAC2400) with an hvlp gun for spraying the finishes I use, I came to the conclusion that I’d be best served with a “touch-up” gun (also known as a “mini” or “detail” gun). I originally wanted an Asturo or Qualspray from Homestead Finishing, but the price was pretty high and I needed something to hold me over while I saved some cash for the more expensive guns. I ran across the Tool Force A-C2 doing an amazon search and was very pleased with the reviews here, and more importantly, the price. Under $20 for a detail gun with all positive reviews? Sign me up for one!

The gun arrived in a very small box; at first I thought something was missing, but packed neatly in the box was everything pictured on the product page. Not included is an in line air/oil filter, so I bought one from amazon as well (SG Tool Aid 99000 Filter Separator). Also not included was a mini regulator, but I just adjust the pressure at the compressor, so I didn’t need one of these. After cleaning the gun with mineral spirits and ran some denatured alcohol through it. I was now ready for testing. I use cardboard panels hung on a nail for testing. The finish I used for testing was Zinsser SealCoat (a 2lb. cut of dewaxed shellac). I used this for testing because I use it on pretty much every project I finish in my shop except for those that I paint. I set the pressure at the compressor to 45 psi and then fiddled with the fan pattern, gun pressure and fluid delivery until I arrived at a spray pattern I was pleased with. It didn’t take much; a few seconds of adjustment and test sprays on the cardboard and I had the pattern I was looking for: even coverage with no runs or drips. A lot of this has to do with technique as well; I highly recommend Jeff Jewitt’s Spray Finishing Made Simple book and DVD set. It goes through everything a new to spray equipment user (like me) would need to spray various finishes with great results.

In use the gun preforms flawlessly. I’ve used the above mentioned SealCoat as well as Crystalac water borne finishes and am extremely pleased with the results. I haven’t sprayed paint with the gun yet (for that I’ve been using rattle cans), so I can only comment on the experience of those two products. It doesn’t take much to get a desirable spray pattern with the SealCoat; since it’s a sealer coat and gets sanded anyway, I don’t have to be as picky with the spray pattern. I do aim for minimal runs or drips though, as I’d have to apply some extra effort to sand those out.

For the Crystalac though (a great water borne finish; I highly recommend it), I have to be more careful with my settings at the gun. If the pressure is too high, I get orange peel; too low and I get dry spray. Once the gun settings are dialed in, it sprays great and lays down even coats (again, technique plays a big part here; I can’t move the gun too fast or slow).

My only gripe with the gun is the cup size. I wish it was a bit bigger (8 oz instead of 4 would be perfect). I manage though. I only spray small boxes and usually only have to refill the cup once for the clear coats.

One problem I had with the gun was my own fault; after disassembling the gun and cleaning it, the next time I went to use it, it was sputtering like crazy. I disassembled and cleaned it again but the problem persisted so I read through the manual and it mentioned this problem, and the cause being the fluid nozzle not being tight enough. Sure enough, I removed the air cap, used the included wrench to tighten the fluid nozzle a bit and replaced the air cap and the gun was spraying beautifully once again.

Not much else can be said about the gun.
It sprays beautifully, disassembles and cleans easily and is a pleasure to use.
I’ve even put the more expensive gun purchase on hold since this on has been serving my so greatly.
Buy with confidence, and note that you don’t need a giant compressor to run it. I imagine even a pancake compressor will have no trouble with this blue wonder of a spray gun.

I love this little gun so much I plan on giving the Tool Force A-C1 HVLP Spray Gun a try. I like that it comes with two needle sets (1.4 and 2.0mm).

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.




View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1332 days



4 comments so far

View zindel's profile

zindel

257 posts in 1405 days


#1 posted 12-02-2011 08:49 PM

Very good review! i have looked at this gun as well and thought about it many times. I have yet to use a spray finish but as i will be making a bedroom set soon i was thinking this would speed up finishing quite a lot. I will be sure to add it to my wishlist on amazon and get it in the future! Thanks again.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3580 posts in 1568 days


#2 posted 12-02-2011 09:29 PM

Thanks for the review. I can’t believe how cheap these guns are. Woodcraft has their Woodriver brand for $29. It is a full size gravity feed gun that works very well. I use it for spraying stain. I use a porter cable HVLP sprayer for lacquer, but it looks identicle to the Woodriver.
Thanks again

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1332 days


#3 posted 12-03-2011 02:57 AM

Thanks guys. :)
Since I have a smaller compressor this is my primary spray gun. Like I said, my only gripe is the cup size, I wish a bigger cup was available for it.

I had a woodriver gun but didn’t like it; there was rust inside when I got it and the fluid nozzle was impossible to remove; I tried to unscrew it and the whole front of the gun came off.

I still plan on getting a better gun from homestead, but for now this one works great for my purposes (spraying small boxes).

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View WoodworkingGeek's profile

WoodworkingGeek

181 posts in 1447 days


#4 posted 12-06-2011 03:32 AM

Hey thanks for the review!
I have the same type of HVLP. I found two at the scrap yard! They were a HFT return because it didn’t have a regulator, But I did find one In the box they were in.

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