Decent HVLP spray gun?
I need to replace my motley collection of old automotive paint spray guns with some that are decent. Most of my work is restoration and the spray area is small but once in a while I will paint a large surface, like a tractor or automobile. I see that DeVilbiss has a "Starting Line" series of guns for pretty cheap and have heard that Titan has a decent import gun that works. Have any of you tried these new cheapy guns and are they worth buying? I think most of this stuff is imported so it seems that even name brands have come way down in price. I spray mostly primers, some high solids primers, and enamels. Any recommendations?
The guy who did our airplane paint work at the museum swore by his Harbor Freight special. He also had a turbine type HVLP, but I saw him with the HF gun as often as not, just because it was a bit more convenient.
Harbor Freight has a small gravity feed detail gun that will make a P-Poor operator like me generate good work.
They put it on sale for about 8 bucks, and if one uses a syringe to load it you can easily mix the paint and thinner in the cup.
Clean up is about a minute due to the short paint path.
The cup rotates 360 so all angles can be painted and the small pattern means less overspray, a timy amount of paint mixed a little on the thick side will cover a lot of area.
The downer is you should have a lot of time for a large area, but the savings on the material justify it for hobby use.
I just had this conversation with a customer of mine an hour ago about the very same thing. I think the most bang for your buck would be looking into an Iwata HVLP. I use Sata guns ($500.00) which I think are great in the autobody-spray everyday environment. However if price is a concern, check into the Iwata. New, these guns run about $350.00. Heres the best part... The Iwata was the gun to use 5 years ago (around our parts anyway), but guys are moving away from them and using the Sata. I would strongly suggest checking with your local automotive paint supply shop and see what they have in used guns. Most guys will clean them and check them out before they sell them. If you can't get anywhere locally, check with my supplier, they're honest & reliable.
Pro Automotive Finishes 970-353-6640
Tell them Kevin @ American Auto Body sent ya.
If you live in an area prone to high humidity, I would consider a turbine gun. They are more trouble to set up and use, but you will have less problem with humidity induced orange peel. This is because the air coming into the gun is heated (by the turbine) so expansion cooling is less of a problem than with a conversion gun.
I can speak specifically about the DeVilbiss Starting Line HVLP guns. I bought a set of them (about $120) two years ago, and they've been working very well for me. I build musical instruments (mostly electric basses) for a living, and I spray water based polyurethanes exclusively on them. I'm not an expert on spray painting, so I don't have a lot of previous experience with other guns to compare to. I previously had been using several inexpensive (from Lowe's) non-HVLP guns. The DeVilbiss HVLP guns are significantly better at laying down smooth coats, and there's a dramatic reduction in overspray and paint loss. I'll probably eventually upgrade to one of DeVilbiss' Finishing Line guns, but the cheaper ones are fine for now.
My cheap spray guns have worked just fine for years,spraying sunburst finishes on guitars,which calls for accurate atomization of the colored lacquers. Had a Binks,but it got stolen years ago.
And another +1 for the DeVilbiss Finish Line series guns. I bought one close to 10 years ago to paint my Austin Healey Sprite endless restoration project. It was the gun I learned to paint with. Eventually a screaming deal on a pair of non-HVLP Sata Jet guns came up, and being an "amateur" with no legal constraints barring me from destroying the environment, I grabbed them and they're awesome.
But for the money the Finish Line stuff is plenty good enough.
The difference is that the Sata guns are just perfect; I might tweak the fan a little, but the trigger/volume range is really smooth and controllable. With the Finish Line guns you have to get your settings right on to acheive perfection.
I needed a touch-up sized gun, and bought the DeVilbiss SRI 630
...Which I used to blow in the door jambs and all the small stuff when I resprayed the Sprite a couple months ago. I'v also sprayed a bunch of nitrate and butyrate dope on a 25% scale model plane, and it's exceptional.
I have about 6 old regualar guns around also, heavy and cumbersome.
I don't paint Duzenburg's or any cars for that matter, just a machine tool on occasion, so I bought the Large/Small 2 gun HLVP set from the traveling China tool sale a couple years ago.
They both seem to work really well and the quality is very nice. I think the set was $39.....
A friend has a small gun, looks identical to my small one. He got his at the auto paint store for like $130. I swear they were made in the same ding-dow paint gun plant, but he doesn't want to hear any of that...
If you want an excellent gun for the money, buy a used SATA NR-95 HVLP on Ebay. I've seen these sell cheap. Another excellent gun is the NR-92. This one is a regular Gravity Feed Gun. For best results you need to have several Fluid Tip sizes. A 1.2 to 1.4 for thinner materials and 1.4 and up for thicker viscosities. These sizes have worked well for me. Of course it's nice to have seperate guns too. I use a Non HVLP SATA for Primers and a SATA NR-95 or SATA 2000HVLP Digital for Basecoats/Cearcoats.