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Forum topic by BigDaddy1966 posted 01-10-2016 01:06 AM 995 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BigDaddy1966

25 posts in 382 days


01-10-2016 01:06 AM

I am looking to purchase a sprayer and have looked at several from $150 – $800. What I am told is buy the one with the most phases, what I don’t understand is why. What does a 4 phase do that a 2 phase won’t? Being new to woodworking I do want my finish to come out nice but what do I really need? I currently would use it on medium sized book cases, deck coolers and have plans on a dinning room table so I guess medium size projects. These are the ones I have narrowed it down to, I think….... Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Wagner Flexio 890
Campbell Hausfeld HV2002
Earlex 5500
Apollo E5011

-- Brett Walker


17 replies so far

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pintodeluxe

4856 posts in 2277 days


#1 posted 01-10-2016 02:54 AM

I use gravity feed HVLP guns, but if I were in the market for a turbine system I might consider the Earlex 6003 with the optional gravity feed gun. There is just no incentive for me to change, because I have a nice 26 gallon compressor. I get great results from my relatively inexpensive Porter Cable PSH1 gun.

More phases on turbine systems just help you spray thicker finishes.
Compressor driven systems don’t really have the limitations associated with smaller turbine systems.

I’m sure someone will have detailed experience on the models you are interested in.

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

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HarveyM

92 posts in 1487 days


#2 posted 01-10-2016 03:25 AM

I’ve been looking too, and am still in the learning phase. If you check out Understanding Wood Finishing by Bob Flexner (our local library has a copy- maybe yours does too) you’ll get a better idea on when and why spraying makes sense. Also there’s Spray finishing by Jeff Jewitt, his Homestead Finishing is a useful source of info.

My understanding in simple terms, (from the Homestead Finishing site) is 2 stage turbines produce 5 psi (roughly), 3 stage 6 psi, 4 stage 8 psi, and 5 stage 9.5 psi. The higher the psi the thicker (more viscose) the coating can be sprayed. Latex paints are the most difficult coatings generally used in the HVLP. Bob Flexner suggested 3 stage would spray most clear finishes- and stains (from 2005- I’m not sure if anything’s changed since then), but 4 stage systems seem popular with a lot of users.

I would add Fuji to your list, they get good reviews, and seem well priced- if you check their website there’s a link to a recent Fine Woodworking comparison test that includes many ‘mid priced’ systems.

Good luck with it!

-- Just a Duffer

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firefighterontheside

13485 posts in 1321 days


#3 posted 01-10-2016 03:39 AM

I have the earlex 5500 and it works great for the uses you listed. I’ve sprayed latex and it didn’t work well, but I’ve had very little need. Now I prefer to use tinted lacquer instead of paint. I spray a lot of water based finishes such as polycrylic and shellac. It works great and I am very happy with it. I use the 1.5 needle. In my experience, you don’t need an $800 sprayer.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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OSU55

1058 posts in 1454 days


#4 posted 01-10-2016 05:18 AM

If you have a 4-5 cfm @ 90 psi already, go with a conversion HVLP. If not, you might look at buying a compressor and gun vs a turbine system, as long as you don’t need portability. The 2hp 120V compressors will run a spray gun.

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runswithscissors

2189 posts in 1489 days


#5 posted 01-10-2016 08:14 AM

I like the turbine type sprayer better because it is a lot more portable than a compressor. I’ve had pretty good success even with inexpensive ones. And latex doesn’t seem that hard to spray to me.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 641 days


#6 posted 01-10-2016 02:17 PM

Like fireFighterOnTheSide (Bill) I have the Earlex. It works well for an entry level mid cost sprayer.

I have never heard of “phases” related to a sprayer. Perhaps someone will jump in and enlighten me. If you mean stages, then each stage increases the pressure (psi or cfm) which gives you a wider range of finishes you can apply without thinning.

If you are committed to spraying finishes and believe in buying a single tool that will last the rest of your life I would encourage you to look to the Apollo line of hvlp sprayers.

I was warned to stay away from the extremely low priced sprayers that use plastic for the cup and gun as some finishes and solvents will damage them. I never tried a plastic gun so I can’t speak from experience.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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OSU55

1058 posts in 1454 days


#7 posted 01-10-2016 03:39 PM

Hey Pinto, I’m curious how much you paid for your PC PSH1 gun, and when you got it? What different sized needle\ tip combinations do you have? Do you spray any water based finishes? After a quick search I’m not sure that gun is available anymore?

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WhoMe

1465 posts in 2707 days


#8 posted 01-10-2016 04:39 PM

From one who has used the lower priced hvlp systems like the Roclker/horrible freight and Earlex 5500 systems, you should not look below the Earlex.
If to plan to do a lot of spraying, yo should be looking at the apollo, Fuji and walked 6000 series guns at a minimum. They are much more capable and produce a much better finish while providing a more industrial durability .

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

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BigDaddy1966

25 posts in 382 days


#9 posted 01-10-2016 06:04 PM

Ok so based on al the feedback which is greatly appreciated I think I have narrowed it down to the

Earlex 5500
Apollo
Fuji

That said the Apollo and Fuji have all the features along with the price tag to match but you get what you pay for so my last question would be if I don’t plan to spray latex paint just stains, urathanes, lacquer etc do I need anything larger than a 2 stage or should I still be looking at a 3 stage?

Thanks again for all the help for the as I am just a seedling but don’t want to buy and rebuy I already do enough of that.

-- Brett Walker

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OSU55

1058 posts in 1454 days


#10 posted 01-10-2016 11:27 PM

Depends on whether you plan to spray water based finishes. The key to spray finishing is atomization of the finish, which is directly proportional to the viscosity of the liquid (for a given air flow situation). Solvent based finishes can be thinned as much as needed, so a 2 stage will work. WB finishes cannot be thinned infinitely, usually limited to ~ 10%. For the heavier ones like the poly’s, a 4 stage is really need to properly atomize the higher viscosity liquid. When you start looking at these higher end turbine systems, the cost of a universal compressor (that can be used for anything) plus a good conversion gun doesn’t look so high. Also, any “compressed air gun” can be used, unlike the turbine systems where the gun and turbine are matched. Unless you want portability, the compressor/gun approach provides a lot more flexibility. Some seem to have issues with heat with turbines and WB finishes.

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firefighterontheside

13485 posts in 1321 days


#11 posted 01-11-2016 12:22 AM

I have sprayed a lot of water based polyurethane and water based polycrylic with my 5500 and have never needed to thin them. I did need to thin the water based tinted lacquer from target coatings. I thinned about 10% and then it worked very well. I don’t think I’ll ever try latex again. If you think you may want to spray latex, you may want more power.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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hotbyte

842 posts in 2440 days


#12 posted 01-11-2016 01:17 AM

Have the Earlex 5500 and satisfied with it. I’ve only sprayed water based product. I’ve had ok results spraying thinned latex paint and opaque stain on fence. Never used any other system so can’t compare.

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Tim_456

170 posts in 3059 days


#13 posted 01-11-2016 01:27 AM

I have the Earlex 5500 as well. I’ve sprayed GF High Performance and paint (duralaq). I’m a total novice and after just a bit of practice, I was able to get the results I was looking for. for the price, online support, and capabilities, it’s a great starter sprayer that may last a lifetime.

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retfr8flyr

327 posts in 1133 days


#14 posted 01-11-2016 06:03 AM

I have the Earlex 6900, which has been replaced by the newer 6003-P. I have been extremely happy with it and haven’t run into anything yet that I couldn’t spray. If you want a system that you will not out grow then I would highly recommend at least a 3 stage system. As has been stated you will get much better atomization with the higher pressure of a 3 stage system, plus the ability to spray thicker material.

I could have gone with just a gun and used my compressor but I decided I wanted the portability and the convenience of a separate system.

-- Earl

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pintodeluxe

4856 posts in 2277 days


#15 posted 01-12-2016 05:04 PM


Hey Pinto, I m curious how much you paid for your PC PSH1 gun, and when you got it? What different sized needle tip combinations do you have? Do you spray any water based finishes? After a quick search I m not sure that gun is available anymore?

- OSU55

The PSH1 was under $100. I have had it for several years. Woodriver sells one that looks identical, as does Rockler and Harbor Freight. I bought several of them to dedicate for spraying lacquer, stain etc. Get one with a pressure regulator at the gun because pressure from the tank gauge is not accurate enough. You can add a gauge if the gun doesn’t come with one.

They come with 1.5 mm tip and nozzle sets (some are 1.8mm), and optional 2.0 mm sets for latex and thicker finishes. 1.5 is perfect for lacquer, shellac, and poly. I don’t use water base finishes for furniture.

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

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