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Help Choosing HVLP: Fuji Mini-Mite 4 or Apollo ECO-4?

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Forum topic by GregH posted 02-09-2015 04:17 PM 4580 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GregH

36 posts in 669 days


02-09-2015 04:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hvlp paint stain spray fuji mini-mite apollo eco question

My wife has informed me that we’re re-doing the house. This includes changing out 13 interior doors and replacing nearly all of the trim moulding throughout the entire house. Oh, she also wants the change to include white-painted wood rather than stained. I do not know whether she wants latex or oil-based paint but know that eventually I’ll use both (if not on this project then the next one.)

I plan to do the painting and need help in choosing an HVLP system. I have the $200 Campbell Hausfeld 2-Stage HVLP but have never been satisfied with the results. Since I’ll be doing a bit of volume (if I do well she is considering re-painting bathroom and kitchen cabinets) I want to upgrade my equipment and my skills.

I have come down to two main contenders: the Fuji Mini-Mite 4 and the Apollo ECO-4. I’ve read a lot of good reviews about the Fuji and the Apollo seems well-rated. On Amazon and at Rockler they’re both going for about $750.

I am a hobbyist who likes to do a good, quality job. I intend to spray doors, cabinets, baseboard and moulding with latex and enamel paints. I also would like to spray stain to re-treat my grandchildren’s cedar play set each spring.

Given these goals which unit should I buy?

While I’m bothering you for advice: since most of the time the jobs are small would a gravity-fed cup be smarter for me than a suction cup?

Thanks for the help.

Greg

-- I was in the market for a new obsession and wound up here.


29 replies so far

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GregH

36 posts in 669 days


#1 posted 02-10-2015 09:50 PM

Or…would I be better off buying a separate air compressor and an HVLP gun such as Fuji XPC or Apollo A7500T?

-- I was in the market for a new obsession and wound up here.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3336 days


#2 posted 02-10-2015 10:02 PM

Pm Me, I can help

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GregH

36 posts in 669 days


#3 posted 02-10-2015 10:24 PM

Charles,
I am brand new here and don’t have enough posts to PM yet. As soon as I can intelligently add to other threads I’ll be able to get to you.
Thanks.

-- I was in the market for a new obsession and wound up here.

View Gpops's profile

Gpops

247 posts in 2910 days


#4 posted 02-10-2015 10:45 PM

Greg,

Talk to Charles. I was just going to recommend it when I saw him respond. I am taking Charles Woodworking classes and can say he has a ton of knowledge that he is willing to share. Don

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GregH

36 posts in 669 days


#5 posted 02-10-2015 10:50 PM

Don,
Thanks. I can use all of the help I can get!
I’m trying to be smart and do my homework BEFORE I spend my money… :-D

Greg

-- I was in the market for a new obsession and wound up here.

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GregH

36 posts in 669 days


#6 posted 02-10-2015 10:52 PM

Don,
Is that “Gpops” as in Grandpa? I’m just “Pops” to mine. I don’t know how I acquired the handle but one day I was “Pops” and it stuck.

Greg

-- I was in the market for a new obsession and wound up here.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3336 days


#7 posted 02-10-2015 10:58 PM

ok here is my web site, http://www.cn-woodworking.com/

on the right side top column 3rd from the bottom is contact us, I dont want to give out my email, did that and got hacked 3 times and averaged about 300 spam emails a day, I think we need to have a phone conversation to save alot of typing, so do the contact thing and we will go from there,

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GregH

36 posts in 669 days


#8 posted 02-10-2015 11:05 PM

Affirmative. I read you on the spam issue. I’ve become quite an email filter craftsman in an effort to at least lessen the flow of junk into my inbox.

Thanks for helping out the new guy.

Greg

-- I was in the market for a new obsession and wound up here.

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

1159 posts in 2156 days


#9 posted 02-11-2015 02:26 PM

My two cents – http://www.sprayport.com/#chapter-1
If you have any specific questions I’d be happy to help.

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

View GregD's profile

GregD

783 posts in 2602 days


#10 posted 02-11-2015 03:28 PM

I am also a hobbiest and have been doing renovations to my house.

I happen to have the Earlex Spray Station 6900. I got it about a year ago. I am happy with it although unimpressed with the friction-fit connector joining the hose to the gun. The Earlex hose is very light and flexible, which is very desirable, but don’t step on it. If I had to do it again I would probably have gone for a Spray Port model if I went with Earlex. Having a bit more pressure from the turbine might be nice in some situations, and having a non-bleeder gun might also be nice.

I have been very pleased spraying General Finishes Enduro undercoat & pigmented poly on cabinets and doors. Probably most HVLP systems will spray this well. GF suggested a coat of Enduro clear, but this changed the color from bright white to a yellow white. I am very happy with the white pigmented poly without the clear coat.

I have had mixed results spraying latex with HVLP. Here is where a beefier turbine may make a difference. Interior latex will spray if thinned. I haven’t yet tried Flotrol. It goes slow and there seems to be more overspray. On trim I got better results than I usually get with a brush. But I am also going to try adding Flotrol and brushing.

If you are spraying “on site” and not in a shop space, there is a lot of work involved in protecting the space from overspray. It gets better after you’ve done it a couple of times, but it is still significant. If Flotrol and a brush works almost as good as spray, that will likely become my preferred method for painting trim in most situations.

I also got a Graco airless sprayer last year. Those things spit out latex paint fast and furious. Lots of overspray. During my kitchen renovation before cabinet installation I sprayed 3 gallons of primer in probably an hour or less. With a short extension spraying the ceiling worked great also. Even so, I used a roller on the walls.

-- Greg D.

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GregD

783 posts in 2602 days


#11 posted 02-11-2015 03:34 PM

I also suggest you get a Mirka sanding block with a vacuum attachment and a full assortment of “sandpaper” for it. Just a few strokes between coats can really improve the final result, especially when using the GF Enduro products.

-- Greg D.

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paxorion

1102 posts in 1511 days


#12 posted 02-11-2015 04:11 PM

I sprayed latex (Valspar Signature) using my HF HVLP over the summer on my dresser upcycle project. I’m sure I completely violated any rules regarding the amount of water/Floetrol to thin with. I also used the biggest needle I included (1.8mm or 2.0mm). Overall a big learning experience and not something I would want to do regularly. The GF paint on the other hand worked great. Only minimal thinning (maybe 5%) and no Floetrol was required.

-- paxorion

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GregH

36 posts in 669 days


#13 posted 02-11-2015 04:12 PM

I told my wife that I had posted on LumberJocks and was getting good information and help on equipment and paint. I said that after reading a lot of posts on the board we shouldn’t use latex but lacquer because it would spray better.

Rolling her eyes, (she is an interior designer) my wife informed me that I will be using SW ProClassic acrylic paint. I said “Acrylic, I meant acrylic not lacquer.” I told her that General Finishes is highly praised here and she replied that if I can source it I can use it.

I will be setting up a temporary booth in my garage to do the painting. This way I’ll be able to set up drying racks for the trim and I plan to suspend the doors from the ceiling. Still learning…thanks to everyone on the board for the help.

Greg

-- I was in the market for a new obsession and wound up here.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3336 days


#14 posted 02-11-2015 04:47 PM

I can also guide you on the paint, I agree the Earlex 6000 is a really super nice unit , The students who come thru our classes love it , this is the unit we will be discussing .

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2279 days


#15 posted 02-11-2015 04:59 PM

Do you know how many stages my compresser driven HVLP gun has? About 120.
No limit to the output. You can dial it in just how you like it.
A woodcraft gun sells for $40. A nice Porter Cable PSH1 with pressure regulator is around $100.
http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1750
After getting nice off-the-gun finishes with this setup for years, I’m not sure why anyone would pay more.

As far as staining the play set… get a $10 Harbor Freight HVLP gun. Dedicate that one to stain-only.

Good luck with whatever you choose. With the description of your wife you provided, you’ll need it.

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

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