Questions about spraying.

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Forum topic by xeddog posted 01-04-2017 09:37 PM 384 views 1 time favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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215 posts in 3242 days

01-04-2017 09:37 PM

I have been doing a lot of reading about spraying different types of things and there is a lot of information out there. The problem is, a lot of it is contradictory. I have almost decided that a HVLP system is just not something that I should be spending $500 or $600 or $700 or more on. Especially after just spending almost $800 for a new Delta drill press. I would probably only use it a couple of times a year, and then most of my projects are fairly small. Things like maybe a set of shelves, or a coffee table, or an end table or two. Nothing like a complete kitchen. I already have a midsize air compressor so I have decided on a conversion gun. The Harbor Freight purple gun has been recommended, and I will probably get one (or two for that price).

But! I have also been reading about the needle and cap sizes needed for different finishes. The vast majority of guns I have looked at come with a 1.4 or 1.5 needle set, and no other sizes are available. For latex, I might be able to thin it down enough for a 1.5 needle, but my reading says a 1.8 or 2.0 would be needed. Otherwise you would have to thin the paint too much. On the other end, I have read where dye stains like general Finished dye stain would need a 1.0, 0.8, or even a 0.5. I certainly wouldn’t what to thicken a dye stain, if it can even be done, just to use a 1.5 needle.

So to modify my initial question a little bit, which conversion gun, guns, or gun set, would you recommend that has a wide range of needle/cap sets available that can accommodate the range of finishes from thinnest to thickest? I have looked a quite a few in the last few days. All online and have not had my hands on any. Almost all of them fall short in one aspect or another.



3 replies so far

View sawdustdad's profile


367 posts in 1119 days

#1 posted 01-04-2017 09:48 PM

Wagner sells an HVLP unit for about $100. I bought one and used it on some cabinets. It worked great. Much better than I expected, spraying un-thinned MinWax polyurethane.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5815 posts in 3048 days

#2 posted 01-04-2017 10:15 PM

Your information is basically correct. Use the 1.5mm nozzle set for everything from lacquer to poly to shellac. Consider the 1.4 to be functionally the same as a 1.5. Yes you need a larger tip for latex. They are so inexpensive now, that many people dedicate one to lacquer and solvent based finishes, and another to latex.

Here is one from Rockler that comes with a regulator.

Here is one from Woodcraft that you could add a regulator to.

Woodcraft also sells a 2.0 mm needle and nozzle set very reasonably.
Consider a regulator a mandatory item for consistent spraying, and set it to 30-35psi. The compressor itself can be set much higher.
I can tell you that once you master spraying (takes about two days) you will never look back.
I have used Woodcraft, Porter Cable, Harbor Freight, Craftsman and other sprayers.
The Porter Cable PSH1 is my favorite, but it is not made anymore. The Woodcraft gun is very similar, and works well, but again you need to purchase a separate regulator. The Harbor Freight version… I was not impressed with the atomization. I use that one to spray stain. You could get the Woodcraft gun and extra tip and nozzle. Then get the Harbor Freight gun with regulator. Put the regulator on the Woodcraft gun, and you can spray anything for around $80.

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

View xeddog's profile


215 posts in 3242 days

#3 posted 01-04-2017 11:12 PM

Well Crap! I almost bit the bullet for a two gun set until I noticed it said “LVLP”. Now there’s MORE excrement I have to look into. (long deep whiny sigh).


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