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How to clean an HVLP gun

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Forum topic by dakremer posted 597 days ago 1067 views 1 time favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dakremer

2449 posts in 1723 days


597 days ago

I just got an HVLP gun (woodcraft). I want to try using it for the first time. I plan on spraying some wax free shellac. It says on the can to clean shellac up with Denatured alcohol. So after i’m done spraying…what is the process of cleaning the gun??

How long can I keep the shellac in the gun before cleaning it out??

Thanks a lot!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!


24 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3334 posts in 1445 days


#1 posted 597 days ago

There are some good videos on youtube on this topic. I usually empty the gun and run some thinner through it between coats. The most useful tip I can give you is this…
Unscrew the front nozzle from the gun and soak it in thinner (denatured alcohol in your case). This will keep the tiny apertures from clogging.
If the gun ever quits spraying – check the vent in the lid of the fluid reservoir. If it clogs it will stop you cold.
The Wood River gun is a good one, I sure like mine.

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

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dakremer

2449 posts in 1723 days


#2 posted 597 days ago

so even if you’re only waiting an hour between coats – you still empty it and run the denatured alcohol through it?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11316 posts in 1737 days


#3 posted 597 days ago

Doug, do you have to wait that long? I thought it dried in a few minutes!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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Woodbum

430 posts in 1697 days


#4 posted 597 days ago

Follow the instructions that came with your gun or…Dump all of the spray from the cup and wipe out the excess. Then run about a 8 oz of the recommended solvent through the gun at low pressure. Clean the cup well and fill 1/2 full with clean solvent. Then I disassemble the gun and soak the needle, orifice etc in the solvent for a few minutes and clean all parts and the gun body well with the brushes etc that came with your gun. If you didn’t get any, buy a good HVLP cleaning kit. Dry all parts with the warm air from the turbine and reaasemble. I keep my gun in a large plastic bag that is slightly vented. Not saying this is the proper way, but it is the way I was taught. An HVLP factory rep told me that anyone can use an HVLP and get good results once. After that, your results depend on how well you clean your gun and set it up for the finish that you are spraying with the proper needle and orifice and at the proper pressure and air/finish balance to maximize the atomization. From personal experience, I have found that thinner is better than thick finish so I thin it with solvent or retarder for lacquer. This process works for me. Good luck, and I’ll leave you with the caveat that successful HVLP finishing is not as simple as it sounds. Once you get it down, you will love it. Practice, practice and practice some more. And experiment before spraying your finished work.

I would clean the gun as soon as you are done spraying. I will leave spray in the gun for short periods between coats. That length of time is dictated by heat and humidity and the type of finish being used. If the finish dries in the gun, your cleaning just got more difficult

-- Improvidus, Apto quod Victum-- Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

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dakremer

2449 posts in 1723 days


#5 posted 597 days ago

Jim, i guess i’m not sure how long you have to wait for dewaxed shellac with spraying? The bottle says 1 hour. Maybe its different when you spray it?

Woodbum – the instructions were absolute garbage – it had like 2 sentences on cleaning – and they didnt say much. Thanks for the info!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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Earlextech

961 posts in 1322 days


#6 posted 597 days ago

Clean at the end of the day. Break down the gun to clean parts individually. They shouldn’t soak any longer than the time it takes to clean it, about 15 minutes.

If you take an extended break, fill the cup with finish. If there is more air in the cup than finish, it will dry, if there is more finish in the cup than air, it will not. When you come back from your break you will find a booger of dried finish on the tip of the nozzle. Scrape it off with your fingernail and start spraying.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

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dakremer

2449 posts in 1723 days


#7 posted 597 days ago

so if i’m spraying dewaxed shellac – how long should i wait between coats?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 880 days


#8 posted 597 days ago

Until it isn’t tacky any more. It depends of a lot if different things so a time estimate would be from mere minutes to a few hours (humidity, temp, size, amount applied, etc)

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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dakremer

2449 posts in 1723 days


#9 posted 597 days ago

makes sense

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2449 posts in 1723 days


#10 posted 597 days ago

Thanks for the youtube tip – i’ve tried look up HVLP on youtube before with no luck. This time i typed in “cleaning a HVLP” and got tons of stuff!! WTF?

Thanks for the help guys!

If you have any other tips – i’d appreciate it!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View bullhead1's profile

bullhead1

228 posts in 881 days


#11 posted 597 days ago

I got a few of extra pots with screw on lids for my hvlp gun. One I use for cleaning and storage. If I have to wait for any extended period, I just change out the pot and run a little thinner or soap and water if using a water based product. If you don’t the tip will gum up. I don’t have any problems with mine. Had almost a year and haven’t had to tear it apart yet. I have a couple of the pots with the finish I spray most and the lids on they have seemed to keep ok.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3334 posts in 1445 days


#12 posted 597 days ago

In answer to your question, yes I empty the cup and run an ounce of thinner through the gun between coats. I remove the screw-off nozzle, and drop it into a tupperware container of solvent. This solvent gets re-used for cleaning only. That procedure takes about 2 minutes, and has saved me a lot of headaches. Keep in mind that with that gun, you may only need to spray two coats so the work progresses quickly.

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

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NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1209 days


#13 posted 597 days ago

I’ve been spraying sealcoat (dewaxed shellac) followed by crystalac super premium for almost 2 years now. The sealcoat dries in 15-20 minutes; I usually recoat in 30.

I clean the gun at the end of the day’s spraying, though I have “accidentally” left finish in the gun overnite with no ill effects. This happens most when I’m spraying a coat late in the evening and then another early in the morning.

For cleaning: run some solvent through the gun, then take the air cap, nozzle and needle off and place those in solvent to soak. Wipe the inside and outside of the cup and the outside of the gun body with a rag wet with solvent. Back to the soaking parts, use a small brush to make sure there’s no finish in the air cap holes or the nozzle. Reassemble the gun, and run a bit more solvent through it to make sure everything’s working properly.

I learned spraying from jeff jewitt’s spray finishing made simple book and dvd. It’s an excellent resource. Another is andy charron’s spray finishing.

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

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Dez

1113 posts in 2709 days


#14 posted 597 days ago

Earlextech has it it right!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2449 posts in 1723 days


#15 posted 597 days ago

Thanks guys!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

showing 1 through 15 of 24 replies

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