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Can I finish with a pancake compressor?

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Forum topic by johnhutchinson posted 214 days ago 752 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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johnhutchinson

595 posts in 255 days


214 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing spray gun

I want to set up a mini HVLP spray finish system for my small projects, but I’m having trouble getting a straight answer regarding the use of a small pancake compressor. Has anyone had success with a little Porter Cable like the one below?

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"


14 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112010 posts in 2203 days


#1 posted 214 days ago

Hi John
It’s possible but because of the small amount of volume you have in your tank you will have to keep starting and stoping to let the compressor catch up. If your projects are small enough a air brush might be more suitable for that size compressor but most Air brushes don’t have very big spray patterns.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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johnhutchinson

595 posts in 255 days


#2 posted 214 days ago

Thanks, Jim. I hadn’t thought about a air brush setup. That’s probably a better way for me to go since most of my work would fit in a 1-cubic-foot box.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

958 posts in 1317 days


#3 posted 214 days ago

No, that won’t work. An airbrush might work for you but it’s not HVLP, there will be overspray from the airbrush. Take a look at the Grex airbrushes, very nice tools, well made and durable for woodworking rather than art.

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

View rockindavan's profile

rockindavan

283 posts in 1262 days


#4 posted 214 days ago

Its not ideal, but it will work. I have done it several times with an HVLP, the compressor runs non stop, so make sure it doesn’t overheat too bad.

View BArnold's profile

BArnold

170 posts in 459 days


#5 posted 214 days ago

...format issue

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

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BArnold

170 posts in 459 days


#6 posted 214 days ago

One option for an inexpensive HVLP sprayer for small items is this one option for an inexpensive HVLP sprayer for small items is this one from Harbor Freight. Its spec is 3.2cfm 43psi. Your compressor spec states is will deliver 3.5cfm 40 psi. I operated one of these sprayers at 30psi with no problem. from Harbor Freight. Its spec is 3.2cfm 43psi. Your compressor spec states is will deliver 3.5cfm 40 psi. I operated one of these sprayers at 30psi with no problem.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1176 posts in 1250 days


#7 posted 214 days ago

John, I have been recommending this; http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_9?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=critter%20spray%20gun&sprefix=critter+s%2Caps%2C238&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acritter%20spray%20gun for quite some time. There is a bit of overspray, but does a remarkable job with lacquer and like finishes. I have even sprayed thinned latex paint with good results. While I have not used the K Grip also on that Amazon page it looks identical. The best thing about this spray rig is clean up. You merely jar up the thinner swish it a bit and spray about five seconds, wipe off the nozzle and put it away. I primarily use lacquer and could not be happier. I have a Bostich pancake compressor about the same size as yours and I never overwork it. I normally shoot at between 35 and 40 psi.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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johnhutchinson

595 posts in 255 days


#8 posted 214 days ago

jumbojack: SOLD !!! I’m going to order one today. Thanks much for the guidance.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13738 posts in 964 days


#9 posted 213 days ago

I think it would be very hard on a small compressor. Lots of starts and stops.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1420 posts in 987 days


#10 posted 213 days ago

Forget HVLP, and get a conventional gravity feed touch-up gun (Sata). Your little compressor will be able to drive it.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View dawsonbob's profile

dawsonbob

381 posts in 381 days


#11 posted 213 days ago

Here’s what I used to do. I was an illustrator for over thirty years, a lot of that with an airbrush. I bought an air tank (25 gallon, if I remember correctly. It was the kind you get at automotive stores for filling tires) and hooked it up to the compressor, then to the spray gun. I never ran out of air, even using an Iwata RG2 detail/touch up gun. Hope that helps someone.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View DMC1903's profile

DMC1903

186 posts in 953 days


#12 posted 213 days ago

I have the same compressor and attempted to use a HPLV to finish a project, it was a big disaster!
Stick with brushing or wiping methods.

View gwolfe1977's profile

gwolfe1977

224 posts in 437 days


#13 posted 213 days ago

A ( touch-up) hvlp spray gun will work great with a pancake compressor as they require a lot less pressure than a larger hvlp spray gun. I use one all the time on small projects and have had no issues what so ever. Larger projects with more time of actual spraying unfortunately is going to cause the compressor to run non stop and more than likely damage it. I set my regulator on my spray gun to roughly 10 psi and thin the poly down for better atomization. Good luck

-- Gary,Nebraska

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johnhutchinson

595 posts in 255 days


#14 posted 213 days ago

I really appreciate all of the advice, but then I started to do some math. If I buy one of these spray can gizmos for $7, and cans of spray polyurethane and/or lacquer at $6/can, I’ll be 105 before I break even on a spray finish setup. One of my resolutions for 2014 is to stop trying to fix things that aren’t broken. :)

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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