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Forum topic by Russ Anderson posted 06-01-2009 04:47 PM 1787 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Russ Anderson

46 posts in 2794 days


06-01-2009 04:47 PM

I recently purchased an Earlex Spray Station and have not been able to get it to properly atomize the finish I’m trying to spray. I’m trying to refinish a kitchen table and chairs using Sherwin-Williams hi-bild pre-cat lacquer (tinted black). Below are the steps that I followed with poor results.

1. Viscosity without thinning was 1min 45 seconds
2. Thinned to 50 seconds. (probably too much thinner!)
3. Sprayed with the 1.5mm tip tried adjusting fluid flow
4. Sprayed with the 2.0mm tip tried adjusting fluid flow
5. Found out that the air intake was being obstructed by a piece of plastic
6. Repeated 3 & 4 and still had terrible splatter! It looked very orange peel-ish.

I ended up going back to my compressor run HVLP gun from Harbor freight which works great for small things. I used it to spray some chairs but there’s no way my small compressor will keep up in order to finish the top.

Am I doing something totally wrong here? I haven’t tried any other materials in it so I suppose it’s possible that the finish is just not compatible with this gun. Any help would be appreciated even if it makes me feel less than a genius.

-- Russ


5 replies so far

View Hrolfr's profile

Hrolfr

174 posts in 3132 days


#1 posted 06-01-2009 05:00 PM

I hope I am not out of line for sugesting you check out another Forum… but I would check the woodhisperer.com in the forums or email Marc (the wood whisperer) this question… he has an Earlex that he gets good results from so he might have some insite….. I have the earlex but have yet to have a chance to use it.

-- Hrolfr

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3114 days


#2 posted 06-01-2009 05:09 PM

It’s actually a very good question – and although contacting someone like Marc personally would yield an answer – I think it’s also good to keep it in the forum as to let other people benefit from this question.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View thewoodwhisperer's profile

thewoodwhisperer

602 posts in 3650 days


#3 posted 06-01-2009 06:42 PM

Hey Russ. That sounds like some thick lacquer! I suppose being a “high build” formulation, this makes sense. I would dilute significantly more (maybe 20-25 seconds). Splats and orangepeel are definitely symptoms of a finish that is too thick. If you don’t want to go all the way down to 20-25 seconds, just start thinning a little bit here and there until you get an acceptable spray pattern. You might have to add a couple extra coats to get the build you want, but the finish will dry quickly so this shouldn’t be difficult to do. And the glass smooth surface will be worth it.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com

View Russ Anderson's profile

Russ Anderson

46 posts in 2794 days


#4 posted 06-01-2009 07:10 PM

Thanks Marc! The Wood Whisperer RULES! Thinning to 20-25 should allow me to use the 1.5mm tip right?

I even called Earlex and their response was “use the 2.0mm tip and thin to 40-60 seconds” which I did and still didn’t get good results. I was tempted to return the sprayer! I guess now I’ll pay more attention to the lacquer that I buy and will probably not buy High Build again.

B.T.W. I did watch your “review” of the Earlex back in the day and watched it again when deciding to buy. I hope this fixes the problem since I really like the idea of a turbine system as opposed to spray, wait, spray etc… like I have done in the past using my compressor.

-- Russ

View thewoodwhisperer's profile

thewoodwhisperer

602 posts in 3650 days


#5 posted 06-01-2009 09:10 PM

I would imagine you should be able to get away with the 1.5mm tip. I certainly don’t want to second guess Earlex’s technical department but it might be worth trying to thin even more, down to my previous recommendation. All you will be out is a little time and some thinner if it doesn’t work.

I don’t have much experience with high build lacquer, but the high solids count could certainly have a big affect on the viscosity and the “sprayability” of the mix. Unless you have a specific need for high build, it might be best to stick with your regular formulations in the future. Good luck and keep us posted.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com

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