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Hvlp Gun, Stick With Hf Or Get Something Better?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by teletech, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Aug 13, 2019
    teletech

    teletech Member

    Santa Cruz, CA
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    109
    It doesn't take long on any given gearhead forum for someone to mention that the Harbor Freight HVLP guns are super cheap and do a surprisingly good job considering the price paid. Fair enough, I'm all for saving a buck and as someone with a history of gumming up cheap spray guns I appreciate the fact if the gun gets nasty I could just chuck it as well.
    That said, with decent automotive paint running $120 for a PINT, it would take very little time indeed to make it cost-effective getting a better gun in order to improve transfer efficiency or elevate my novice technique from sand and recoat to good-enough for a Jeep.
    With that in mind, what do folks here do when moving up?
    Is there a rig that will make me a better and more efficient painter that can be had on the cheap?
    Is it worth buying a top-shelf gun or would I have to be a good painter to actually appreciate the difference?

    If it matters, I've been playing with DuPont Chroma-base / Nason Full-Base but I'm also making the switch to PPG Concept/Deltron, or at least trying to.
     
  2. Aug 13, 2019
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2020 Sponsor

    Washington DC.
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    Oct 25, 2006
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    4,722
    I run a binks 2 gallon pressure pot witha a binks model 2000 gun. It’s old school but you can paint upside down.
     
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  3. Aug 13, 2019
    teletech

    teletech Member

    Santa Cruz, CA
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
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    109
    I can see the appeal for larger jobs but I should have specified that I'm doing many small batches for now so something easy to clean with the least paint used just getting the inside of the rig wet is desirable.
     
  4. Aug 13, 2019
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    3,690
    Those HF cheapies are hard to beat. Give them dry air, spend some time fine-tuning the pattern and pressures, and I’d put them up against almost anything. Do yourself a favor and buy two. Every time I’ve gotten one, it’s different than all the rest I’ve bought in the past, and parts don’t interchange. Buy a spare for parts. The seals eventually go bad and the cup will get egg-shaped if overtightened and lose it’s seal.

    I used them for about 10 years spraying lacquer on cabinetry until I finally upgraded to a Fuji unit. The Fuji is wonderful, but I do this stuff for a living. I still use the HF gun for small jobs, poly, or waterborne finishes; when I don’t want to mess up my good gun.
     
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  5. Aug 13, 2019
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2020 Sponsor

    Washington DC.
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    I second this!
     
  6. Aug 13, 2019
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Messages:
    274
    Have 5 or 6 of the HF HVLP's around the shop. Had one to have the cup crack. Bought a bunch of these when they were on sale.
    Have done some decent paint jobs with them. Got a Delvibiss Finish Line HVLP, I've never taken out of the box. I suppose if I need to spray something other than OD Green and trail Jeeps, I might try it. So far the HF's have done well.
    I've found no need for the better spray gun.

    I am however waiting for the laser lever that was supposed to come with that spray gun from the paint store.
    10 years, haven't seen it.:rofl:



    Dave
     
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  7. Aug 13, 2019
    jjdebarros

    jjdebarros Sponsor

    Spokane, WA
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Messages:
    62
    Used the HF gun for sealer and primer. Worked flawlessly!
    Switched to the Devilbiss Finish Line for base and clear only because I own one.
     
  8. Aug 13, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
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    312
    Many coats of OD Green and red primer sprayed with one. No runs and no complaints and I was laying aggressive coats. That was my first paint job and I think it turned out great for what it is. Can't comment on spraying gloss paint or anything else. I bought a couple when they were on sale and they were very inexpensive so if you mess it up or can't get it clean, toss it or use for parts.
     
  9. Aug 13, 2019
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
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    2,357
    The HF hvlp guns are hard to beat. I bought my first one as a disposable epoxy gun, and it sprayed so nice, I took my time cleaning it. I still have it at least 8-9 years later. I've bought 3 or 4 more just to have around. They can be had for less than$10 when on sale or with a coupon. The old ones could be had with a couple tip sizes, but that went away years back. I still have one with the big tip for heavy primer.
    I still have my conventional Binks model 7 and model 69 guns, but haven't used them for a couple years.
    -Donny
     
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  10. Aug 13, 2019
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
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    274
    My old Binks 7 and Sharpe guns are wall ornaments now.
    Won't go back to siphon fed guns.


    Dave
     
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  11. Sep 3, 2019
    teletech

    teletech Member

    Santa Cruz, CA
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    109
    So, pretty much no "next step up" in guns it sounds like. I can't really complain about the HF gun and the little one I really like, I just thought that a better gun might do a better job of actually getting paint on the surface. I notice ads for ultra-low pressure guns that atomize paint at very low pressures and velocities for example.
    In the mean time, I guess I'll go get another couple HF gun so I can have one for just primer and one for clears.
     
  12. Nov 30, 2019
    IRQVET

    IRQVET Member

    Oregon
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    Feb 5, 2015
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    566
    I've had more expensive guns, but the HF model is pretty hard to beat considering quality v. price.
     
  13. Dec 1, 2019
    aallison

    aallison 74 cj6, 76 cj5. Has anyone seen my screwdriver?

    Green Cove...
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    Nov 24, 2006
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    1,789
    Ive used Binks and Sata (?) and like them all. Had a cabinet shop and sprayed heavy body primer and kept on with clear lacquer always set up. I used the HF ones for stuff that was a one time thing like poly. They work fine but they have limited fine adjustment.

    Were I starting out unless you do it for a living I'd be OK with the HF ones. They do fine for the cost of the gun. But I would not use them for a fine finish where I needed good atomization.
     
  14. Dec 1, 2019
    CHUGALUG

    CHUGALUG Member

    Silverton, OR
    Joined:
    May 11, 2019
    Messages:
    51
    I put 3 coats of Urethane paint on my 2A with the Harbor Freight guns I had a few runs and such and when I wet sanded it all out I had some thin spots so I repainted using this time my old school detail gun and ended up with a really nice job. Wet sanded it out to 1500 grit and after some Megires 105 and 205 compound I have a perfectly flat smooth and shiny paint job. Once the Jeep is all assembled I will go over a little of it with 205 then one of the last stage waxes and then go out and scratch it all up in the woods and desert.
     
  15. Dec 7, 2019
    sterlclan

    sterlclan Member

    exploring the...
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    I’ve done autobody my whole adult life. I would buy the best gun you can afford if properly cated for( cleans spotless and oiled regularly it will last a long time. A name brand gun is repairable for a long time I have a sharpe primer gun that is thirty years old and still working fine. As for finish guns I have a devibliss finish line gun either used siphon or pressure pot I have a five gallon pot sand a two quart one. I also have several bunks guns for the pots. The higher end guns do a far better job of atomizing the paint resulting in less material used with the ever increasing cost of products it results in cost savings in the long run. Never liked a gravity gun cause they don’t spray at odd angles great. That said I do have some hf type guns for undercarriage and other less critical finish jobs. [​IMG]
    This is the finish with the finish line using the big pot with nason single stage ureathane.
     
  16. Dec 7, 2019
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Messages:
    274
    This is a good point. These old Jeeps never had a Ferrari type paint job, so with the Military Jeeps and non-critical parts the HF guns chave done fine.
    I have a Devilbiss gun but rarely use it.

    The base coat clear coat finishes really shine, but for the Jeeps and mountain bikes I've painted, the finish was not durable enough for the trails. I like the single stage urethane, goes on well and is very durable. HF guns work well for these applications, but the better gun could atomize the paint more finely.


    Dave
     
  17. Dec 7, 2019
    sterlclan

    sterlclan Member

    exploring the...
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    bb cc when it scratches turns white,regardless of the color.single stage scratches to a body color and "should " buff out if so inclined. black is the one color i only spray single stage on whole jobs i prefer the gloss with the single stage. if you plan on sanding and buffing any gun will work fine,shooting for finish use a good one, i dont sand and buff i spray my gloss. a buffed finish inho is not as durable as a sprayed on once sanded the "skin" of the paint is removed and then shined up,the pores are now open and weather faster.your results may vary.
     
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  18. Dec 25, 2019
    teletech

    teletech Member

    Santa Cruz, CA
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    109
    I'm still using my HF guns, but planning to make a change. I've really enjoyed the little HF detail gun for it's reduced size and increased ease of cleaning.
    As a weekend warrior I don't have the time to do an overall until the very last, until then it's lots of little bits. The annoyance of this is the constant cleanup of the gun, the mixing cups, etc. If I work over a dent in a part of a panel or rework a small bolt-on part I might shoot some DTM epoxy, perhaps a little filler, then a surfacing primer, block the area, accidentally scratch through the epoxy in some small high spots, rinse and repeat. Then if I'm lucky I get to hit it with a sealer and paint. I think I go through more solvent than actual applied product some days. :-(
    Suffice it to say a pot-type gun isn't in the cards for my work-flow and whatever has the smallest wetted-surface is appealing. With that in mind I've just bought a Iwata W-101 to play with.
    I'm definitely going to go single-stage, the ability to touch-up and resist de-lamination damage from scratches is very important on anything that will see any rough usage.
     
  19. Jan 25, 2020
    teletech

    teletech Member

    Santa Cruz, CA
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    109
    I've bought a lower-end Anest-Iwata (W-101), which is something of a cross between a detail gun and a full size gun in size, capacity, and spray pattern.
    I can't say it's love at first spray, you get used to anything and that seems normal after all, but so far I feel like I've had fewer atomization issues with that gun and I do like the size. It seems to have a nice wide pattern, not quite like the big HF gun but much bigger than the HF detail gun.

    Speaking of the HF detail gun, I've used that little gun a great deal and enjoyed it for a lot of my work. Paint a couple small wheels, check... squeeze something in so I can paint the inside of the Jeep toolbox, got that... the back of my dashboard, yep. I seem to shoot 1-4OZ of paint way more often than not being a weekend warrior so the lightweight gun is fine for that and the smaller gun takes less solvent to clean. Since with all the little jobs I've been doing I think I run as much solvent through the gun as paint, anything to make it easier to clean is a plus.

    On the subject of cleaning, I did just buy one of those 3M accuspray setups. Now, I'm not crazy about the idea of throwing away one's spraycap every time I shoot anything but the whole liner setup for the cup is pretty cool and if one were doing non-catalyzed substances the fact the liner has a lid and cap means you can easily save any excess would be really interesting. It's also a good choice for the really nasty messy jobs or things like CARC where you don't want to brick your gun should something go wrong. I can also easily see using it for clears since you know for certain you won't have flecks of something that has been hiding in your gun for ages break loose and wind up in your high-dollar clear! Honestly, as a person with a knack for making some sort of mess whenever I paint anything, I'm pretty interested in anything that might reduce the mess.
    I got my rig off epay for less than half what they were asking for the same item at the local PPG dealer. Even at that it was 4-5X the cost of a HF gun. Of course since I have taken a liking to PPG Concept SS that is $80/pt, I don't have to have it improve transfer efficiency much at all to have it pay for itself pretty quickly.
    Now, it does some cool things but the question is does it actually do a good job spraying paint? No idea. Not sure when I'll get a chance to test-drive this rig. It's so nice and clean it seems sort of a shame to put paint near it.
     
  20. Jan 26, 2020
    teletech

    teletech Member

    Santa Cruz, CA
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    109
    Read articles, watched videos, and actually did spray a couple things.
    I'm less excited by the Accuspray just now. I'm not saying it isn't a useful tool, just that it's not everything one could ever want.

    Nice things: You can shoot in any orientation and tilting the gun you can't dribble paint. This alone might make the gun worth the money for work under and around stuff. I know there are guys who use a remote pot but that takes a lot of paint to make it work out, with this thing you can mix a couple ounces of say chassis black, climb under the truck and shoot at funky angles to cover the patch or whatever. So, cool, of course now that I know you can get PPS adapters and cups for most popular guns I would have started with that. :-\
    Less nice: You can't easily take the lid off the cup to see how much product is still in the gun. It's opaque so fine, but once you shake, stir, and tilt, you might not be able to see the level in the gun. This can be totally annoying. Also the up-front costs aren't totally apparent. For my little stuff I can't get accurate ratios in the large cup, so I need to buy another hard-cup (or two) and also caps an liners for said cup. So... another hundred-plus bucks in consumables. OK, so those should last a while (I hope) but this cheap experiment is getting less cheap darn fast.

    Atomization, as for the real business of a spray gun I sadly can't say anything real yet. I was stupid and ran my epoxy primer through the 1.8 head rather than the 1.4. So, fire-hose. It applied a LOT of product and FAST, but the finish wasn't what I'd had in mind. I'll try some high-build through the 1.8 or change out to the 1.2 and try some SS and update.
     

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