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leaving finish in an Earlex 5500?

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Forum topic by WoodNSawdust posted 03-12-2015 04:59 PM 909 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 641 days


03-12-2015 04:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: spray finishing hvlp gun maintenance

I was told at the recent Woodworking Show that you only needed to clean the gun at the end of the day.

I forgot to ask if there was any steps to be done between coats?

I spray NC Lacquer and water based Poly (minwax polycrylic)

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith


7 replies so far

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InstantSiv

259 posts in 1060 days


#1 posted 03-12-2015 05:30 PM

I don’t know about lacquer but with polycrylic you can clean it at the end of the day. I’ve left it overnight sometimes without ill effect(not recommending just an observation).

I do wipe the tip clean in between coats. If you leave the tip wet it’ll harden and mess with the spray pattern.

View Drew's profile

Drew

304 posts in 2565 days


#2 posted 03-12-2015 07:19 PM

I always run some warm water through mine every couple hours.
I also run warm water through it before a final coat.

-- TruCraftFurniture.com

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pintodeluxe

4858 posts in 2278 days


#3 posted 03-12-2015 07:19 PM

I don’t know about the Earlex brand specifically, but I got in the habit of cleaning the entire gun between coats. I disassemble the gun (conversion HVLP) and soak the nozzle, fluid cap, needle and filter in thinner. The times I have skipped this step, I had less than optimal performance with my gun. It takes about 2 minutes to take apart my gun, and the thinner can be re-used many times. Lacquer from the cup is placed in a sealed Tupperware container, and used for the next coat.
This simple step has been key for me with spray finishing.

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

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Bulkhead

19 posts in 998 days


#4 posted 03-14-2015 04:03 AM

I flush mine out between each coat. Honestly, the Earlex is just too easy to wash out and set aside, (especially if you are spraying water based products) to not wash it out between each coat.

I bought one of those .99 aluminum turkey trays that I use to set the sprayer in after I rinse it off. I usually blow the compressor on it to get rid of most of the water. Takes me ~5 minutes.

I put plastic wrap over the can while the gun dries off. Then I’m ready for the next coat when it comes time.

Just what I do..

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Finisherman

227 posts in 1314 days


#5 posted 03-14-2015 04:04 AM

Unless it’s a relatively cheap gun, which I doubt in this case, I’d make a point of cleaning the gun as soon as you’re finished using it, especially if you are waiting several hours between coats. A clean spray gun is a “happy spray gun.” Having said that, you might well be able to use this approach with NC lacquer, but I’m not sure that I[d want to try it with a waterborne finish. The reason being that nitrocellulose lacquer will re-dissolve in its own thinner, making it somewhat self-cleaning, whereas waterborne finishes won’t, at least, not to any great degree. From what I’ve been told, cleaning partially cured waterborne finish out of a spray gun is like trying to remove partially cured white or yellow glue, in other words, a gummy mess. Having said all that, you could probably leave the gun charged with finish between coats and be ok. Still, just to be safe, I’d store the nozzle, air cap and fluid needle in a container of lacquer thinner or warm water, as appropriate. The bottom line is this, “when in doubt, clean it out.” After all, the thinner for waterborne finishes is free and comes from the faucet.

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#6 posted 03-14-2015 06:08 AM

Lacquer no, poly yes. I saw charlesneil mention this on a similar topic. Or you could send him a pm. He would probably help.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1774 days


#7 posted 03-14-2015 08:31 AM

I don’t spray NC lacquer so no experience with that. I do spray clear waterborne finishes. Once I get started (usually 3 coats) I leave the finish is the gun until I’m done. Even leave it in the gun over night. Never a problem.

This is with HVLP conversion guns.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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