Subscribe now and save up to 56%
In professional shops, where time is money, spray guns rule. And, new innovations in spray equipment have made this technique suitable for the hobbyist.
What Counts: • Gun Type: High-volume low-pressure (HVLP) spray guns can be powered by a compressor (for large shops) or by a portable turbine blower. • Check the specs: Atomization pressure at the spray gun, transfer efficiency, overspray, hose flexibility, and air temperature are important. • Ventilate for safety: Always work with proper ventilation.
Gun type The most common spray-gun equipment uses a technology known as high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP). The original HVLP spray-gun system was powered by a high-output, high-pressure compressor, which is not ideal for the home shop. While professional shops can make do, home hobbyists or small shops are more likely to use newer turbine HVLP spray systems, which feature a gun and a small turbine-powered blower.
If you already own a compressor, you can buy a decent spray gun for as little as $100. You can also spend as much as $1,000 for a top-of-the-line turbine HVLP system, and there are plenty of choices in between.
Check the specs Atomization pressure at the spray gun must be 2 psi or greater to spray most finishes successfully. Transfer efficiency, which is a measure of how well the gun delivers the finish, should be 65% or greater, running at air pressures of 10 psi or less, according to industry regulations. Aim for a low overspray rating, which refers to the amount of finish that doesn’t make it onto a workpiece.
Ventilation for safety When performed indoors, spraying should always be done in a well-ventilated area, either with a commercial spray booth or a shop-made one. The cost, both financially and in the amount of square footage a booth takes up, makes spraying less appealing to small, home-based shops. That said, it is possible to spray finishes outdoors, in good weather, but there are drawbacks, such as wind-driven dust and pollen, as well as insects that can contaminate the finish film.
Get woodworking tips, expert advice and special offers in your inbox
Become a member today
Get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content.
Subscribe to Fine Woodworking
Save up to 56%
Carl Swensson's woodworking skills go very, very deep. But they go wide as well.
The Shakers had this diminutive design pegged
Nailer lets you lose the compressor
Given the choice between a fixed-base router and a plunge model, Jeff Miller will take the plunge router every time. Because it can plunge in and out of the work,…
Build an attractive finish in three easy steps
A close look at price, performance, appearance, and smell
Become a member today and get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content!
Plus tips, advice, and special offers from Fine Woodworking.
Our biweekly podcast allows editors, authors, and special guests to answer your woodworking questions and connect with the online woodworking community.
Enter now for your chance to win this Titebond glues assorted pack; plus, Kreg K5 Master system Jig and system organizer.
© 2016 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
Become a member and get instant access to thousands of videos, how-tos, tool reviews, and design features.
Start your subscription today and save up to 56%