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  1. #1

    any recommendations on finish sprayer?

    I keep seeing the earlex 5500.
    Charter Member of The Cody Colston WoodWorkers Benevolence Society
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  2. #2
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    Re: any recommendations on finish sprayer?

    I use this:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/high-vo...kit-44677.html

    I didn't pay that much money for mine, though - caught one of their sales.

    It does a surprisingly good job, provided you're good about keeping the gun clean. CLEAN clean CLEAN clean CLEAN. Also... the "jar threads" at the top of the paint pot - we're talking impeccably clean, or you're in for a horrible struggle to get that dang pot off the gun.

    Hint: If you DO get a little finish in the threads and it hardens there, sealing the pot onto the gun, run VERY HOT water over the gun's threads. That usually loosens the finish enough to wrangle it apart.
    -- Tim --

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  3. #3
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    Re: any recommendations on finish sprayer?

    I have the exact one that Tim has and mentioned above - but mine came from Rockler. Same exact machine though. And you can get parts! I had to replace the hose and I bought a second gun after I... wellll..... you see...... f'd up and forgot to clean it However - after I bought the 2nd gun, I figured out how to clean the first and now I have two perfectly functioning guns...
    I have been happy with it - but I have only sprayed paint. Have never sprayed a woodworking finish with it... I bought it quite a few years ago and spent less than $100. At that price, it is definitely worth it.


    john
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  4. #4
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    Re: any recommendations on finish sprayer?

    I will submit that it all depends upon the size of your projects; you wouldn't use a sledge hammer to drive a thumb tack. I along with several others here have/use the critter spray gun for small projects. In fact, I've even used mine to coat an entertainment center which is made from several cabinets and tops.

    The critter spray gun is super easy to clean and wastes less product as the pint mason jar used as a supply vessel also serves as a storage container. It takes me less than five minutes to clean it, cap the remaining product then store everything. It cannot be any simpler than that. I've found that the product very rarely skims over due to the tight sealing tops -- once in 20+ years.

    http://www.amazon.com/Critter-Spray-.../dp/B00006FRPJ

    I've had mine for 20+ years and is my goto sprayer -- yes, I do own a standard quart sprayer gathering dust and sold a pressure pot that I didn't use anymore.
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  5. #5
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    Re: any recommendations on finish sprayer?

    I can vouch for the critter for spraying fiish. It's my most predictable gun, easily. You do have to get used to the round spray pattern as there's no changing it but that hasn't been a problem for me. Here's a url: http://www.amazon.com/Critter-Spray-...ywords=critter




    I also have this gun, which is not terrible: http://www.harborfreight.com/20-oz-h...gun-47016.html

    It works fine - it just takes a bit more dialing in to get the right mix of air/fluid. I have sprayed very slightly thinned latex primer and paint with it as well as shellac and poly. It's harder to clean, than the critter, so I reserve it for larger tasks.





    For the big tasks like all that trim i had to spray, literally 3 full gallons of shellac had to go down, I use this: http://www.harborfreight.com/profess...kit-93312.html

    This gun is the worst to clean and takes a little fussing to get a good coat of finish down. It's value lies in volume and versatility. It holds a half gallon of finish and you can spray at any angle. The downside is cleaning - 6' of hose filled with finish, a big cup, plus the gun. But for large tasks, I couldn't imagine using the other two to do my trim, this gun was excellent for the size of that job.


    So that's my range ... I'd have to say i'm much more likely to reach for my critter. It's easiest to get going in a hurry, cleans fast, sprays easily (there's only one adjustment: pressure.). I haven't tried anything heavy through it like paint, but the physics involved tell me it should atomize paint just fine as well.




    OH - my 4th gun. Which is awesome for those tiny tasks. You know, like a dozen drawer pulls or something like that. For that, i use a dual-action airbrush. Mix up 2-3 ounces of finish and that gun is perfect for teeny jobs. Super controllable and really easy to clean. Almost as easy as the critter.

    That's my survey of spray equipment so far - hope it helps
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA
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  6. #6
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    Re: any recommendations on finish sprayer?

    I have heard good stuff about the Critter also.

    I have a Kobalt gravity feed finish sprayer from Lowes - I am quite happy with it. I would buy it again.

    I am NOT in any way shape or form - experienced at spraying finishes.
    Art and Creativity - Collide with the Functionality of CNC - priceless
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  7. #7
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    Re: any recommendations on finish sprayer?

    I have the HF 2 quart unit plus 3 HVLP gravity feeds from Lowes. The GF's include 2 of the large cup "automotive finish" units and 1 of the smaller touch up units. I likethe gravity feeds because they are so simple to clean. This comes in real handy when you are doing polychromatic finishes.
    art

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    he who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.

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  8. #8
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    Re: any recommendations on finish sprayer?

    I've got a set of gravity guns I use for vehicle painting... I don't remember the brand. They're a diff'rent kinda' animal than what I'd use for wood finishes, though.

    One issue I keep running into with the gravity guns is... I keep wanting to tip one on its side for a moment while I'm shooting... so I wind up with paint on my shoes nearly every time.

    Just mental laziness. They, like the HF all-in-one kit, have directional nozzles that can be set for horizontal, vertical, or round patterns.

    EDIT: I now have a Critter in my Amazon "Wish List" thingie... that's COOL.
    Last edited by TDHofstetter; 06-11-2014 at 4:43 pm.
    -- Tim --

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  9. #9
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    Re: any recommendations on finish sprayer?

    As a side side note... a few days ago I happened upon an interesting YouTube video (can't find it now) of a guy doing some very nice detail work with an airbrush.

    A mouth-blown airbrush.

    No compressor. No compressed-gas canisters. No electricity. Just a little plastic tube that ran from his airbrush up to his mouth.

    Infinite air-volume control. Remote painting capability.

    Blowback would really be nasty, though...
    -- Tim --

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  10. #10
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    Re: any recommendations on finish sprayer?

    I bought a Graco HVLP set-up 15(ish) years ago. (similar to Earlex) Cost right around $500.

    Fast forward to today....I have two gravity feed Harbor Freight guns. I think I paid $20 for a small one, and $50 for the bigger (1 qt) one.

    The Graco seldom gets used.

    BUT.....if you do decide to go with an Earlex, get at least a three stage. My Graco is only a 2 stage....not quite enough oomph. Gotta thin my lacquer more than I'd like.
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    Dave, in Indiana
    I'm a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.
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