HPLV for clear -- what to buy?

O

olvi

Guest
So as I suppose many around here want to paint some helmets and tanks maybe, they need to finish them with clear coat .. the problem is that they have to buy a hvlp. This is my case too .. so I am asking you for some advice.

what to look for?

I would like to do small parts, motorcycle parts. What to get???

I was asking myself what nozzle size to pick? I was thinking maybe to a mini gun cup to about 100-200 ml, nozzle to 0.8, and I found this one Yato - YT-2357 but have not found any reviews about it.

Can you recommend something at no more then 50-70$ ?
 
I was thinking at the 0.8 size because I use a 50L compressor tank that is filled by a fridge compressor, so the air volume is not to high for a long term :)
 
I use a bergen minigun 0.8 with a 200 ml cup. These guns are available on ebay for about £15 - £20. I would suggest that the 1.0 version would be better as I have to open my .8 up all the way to get the clear to flow (or stick a bit extra thinners in it).
I find that mixing up 150 - 200 ml of 2k clear will give me enough to put 5 coats of clear on a helmet.

Andy
 
I use a bergen minigun 0.8 with a 200 ml cup. These guns are available on ebay for about £15 - £20. I would suggest that the 1.0 version would be better as I have to open my .8 up all the way to get the clear to flow (or stick a bit extra thinners in it).
I find that mixing up 150 - 200 ml of 2k clear will give me enough to put 5 coats of clear on a helmet.

Andy
don`t you just prepare every time clear coat for every single layer? i know clear coat (2k) starts to dry in about 15 minutes.
 
I also use a 1.0mm mini gun, I do have a larger compressor to run it though, I painted my whole motorcycle with this gun.


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the biggest problem with HPLV is that it uses a lot of air,if you don't have a big compressor you're in trouble.I would suggest buying a bigger comp and a bigger gun,1.2 would do the trick because you never know what comes your way in the future.I mean you want to clear helmets and small stuff now but maybe down the line you decide to paint bigger stuff.you can paint small stuf with a large gun but not the other way around.just my 2 cents.
 
I am out of this one cause i have the same question. however I can recommend getting a decent gun and also a larger compressor when i get to florida I will probably think about getting the larger ca air tools compressor and also plumbing in an extra 5 gallon tank so i have plenty of cfm as far as the guns are concerned i belive you want a flat paternso you can over lap and the paint does dry pretty quick once it is sprayed whats in the gun should stay use able for a while but if its 2 part it will start to thicken up i also understand several coats could be aplied you dont have to wait for each coat to fully cure and wet sand just from what ive seen. If anny of what ive said is wrong my apologies i will apologies to lord vader myselfe
lastly add an extra teank if you want you will have to wait a bit longer for the air to build up but youl have plenty of air once that happens
 
don`t you just prepare every time clear coat for every single layer? i know clear coat (2k) starts to dry in about 15 minutes.

I prepare up to 200ml (I was preparing too much in the past and wasting lots) in advance, Leave for 20 - 30 mins to activate and then I would start spraying leaving 15 - 20 mins flash off time between coats. I found that the pot life was about 6 hours but I noticed it starting to thicken slightly after 4 hours (Probably the thinners evaporating as adding a bit more thinners brought the consistency back and it spayed OK). After about 8 hours you're left with a solid mass in the mixing vessel! I always try to get my clearing done and get the gun thoroughly cleaned out in 4 hours.

the biggest problem with HPLV is that it uses a lot of air,if you don't have a big compressor you're in trouble. I would suggest buying a bigger comp and a bigger gun,1.2 would do the trick because you never know what comes your way in the future.I mean you want to clear helmets and small stuff now but maybe down the line you decide to paint bigger stuff. you can paint small stuf with a large gun but not the other way around.just my 2 cents.

If your not moving up to cars then its more a matter of planning i.e. spray one item, let the comp recharge spray another and by the time you are finished the last item the first item will have flashed off. My set up is HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) and I get away with a 8cfm comp with a 25 litre tank which I find will give me one or two really good pass on a helmet. I wouldn't consider anything much bigger without a 50L tank though I reckon I could get probably get away with an average size bike tank. I do have larger guns (1.4, 1.7 and 2.0 but these do need more considerably more air than the miniguns but I can still prime a helmet using my comp with the bigger guns but I am pushing it. I also sometimes use an extension tank if i'm doing a big job or using airtools. This gives me about an extra 80L but means the comp has to run for longer to charge both tanks but I can cover larger areas.
All that said I am saving up for a 14cfm comp with a 50L tank but this is more about reducing the duty cycle to around 25% so I'm not annoying the neighbours so much.
 
For $50-$70, you're not going to get anything worth buying. It's just going to be junk after one job, and you'll have to go buy another one (trust me on this, been there, done that. A lot). Also, pretty much anything you get at a local hardware store will be junk, as well. Not the info you were hoping for, I know, but I'm just trying to save you some time, frustration, and money.

HVLP's consume a lot of air, and work best with a large compressor, large diameter air lines, and high-flow fittings. One narrow fitting can mess up the whole works and cause a lot of frustration. Mini-guns, however, usually have much lower CFM requirements, and can be used with smaller compressors pretty well (although I'd still use the larget diameter air hose you can, as well as high-flow couplings (the ones made by Devilbiss are my favorite).

With a mini-gun, you can pick up a "decent" one for about $100-$150. The Astro Pnuematic "Euro" guns are made in Italy by Asturo (I think). I haven't used the Astro mini-gun, but I use one of their QUL guns for my primers, and I'm pretty impressed by the over all quality.

For about $200, you can get my current favorite clear coat mini-gun, which is an ANI R1 HPS 1.2. I have two ANI R1 HVLP guns as well, but don't like them nearly as much as the HPS version (which is basically between an HVLP and a "conventional" spray gun. Higher pressure, less volume. Better atomization, but more overspray than an HVLP).

Another good option I've found is the Asturo 878WB (Asturo Low Air Spray Gun). If The Man came around and told me I couldn't use HPS guns anymore, this is the HVLP mini I'd go to. I actually liked the first one I bought so much I bought another one. Very good atomization, nice and very adjustable fan pattern, and low air requirements. I'd recommend a 1.2 nozzle for clear coats. You could get it done with a 1.0 as well, but you may have to add extra reducer to get it to spray and flow right, and thats always a little risky.


As far as cups, I really like the 3M PPS system. No spilling, no gun sputtering because you tipped it too far, you can spray at any angle, including upside down, AND you don't have to clean out a cup when you're done. I know a few other companies make similar systems for a bit less (I think Carborumdum is one of them) as well. Do you NEED them? No, definitely not. They're just nice to have.
 
I'm up to 20+ jobs on my £15 special and its still going strong. If it breaks down tomorrow it has paid for itself a couple or more times over. I would love to have an iwata, Devilbis or a sata minigun but I cannot justify the price. I also have it on good authority (a friend who sprays commercial vehicles for a living) that the cheaper guns have come a long way in the last ten years. He now prefers to buy a cheaper gun and throw it away when it breaks down rather than to buy the parts for his Sata guns as he reckons they all last about the same time between failures but the sata spares cost more than the price of a half decent cheapo.
I do remember that 10 years ago I tried out a cheapo hardware shop special against my binks and the cheapo was rubbish! I can honestly say that the cheapos I use now are just as good as my binks. I would also put a caution though that if it looks sh*t it probably is.
Svee did a good video on a ridiculously cheap mini gun and ,while this does not prove the longevity of the gun, it did show it was more than capable of an acceptable result.

For the non pro and semi pro folk on here like me who just want to fling a clear coat on their latest project I think they are good value for money. If I was respraying a Ferrari I would definitely invest in better kit but then again if I was doing that I could afford to!
Its all about economics ... not everyone can afford a micron or an infinity or another top brand airbrush and then go out and spend $200+ for a mini gun just to blast a clear coat over the top ... though I'm sure we would like to!

I for one would like to see more videos, like Svee's, showing cheap and cheerful kit that can do the job (or can't as the case may be)!

Rant over

Andy
 
I'd love to have an Iwata or SATA spray gun, too. Sadly, I spent all my money on microns. lol.

It's possible to get decent results with a cheap spray gun, it's just a lot harder than it needs to be, and you face a higher probability of it being junk out of the box. The reason I recommend against them is that I've bought, and thrown out, more of them than I can count.

Of course, if you're debating spending the money on good safety equipment and a cheap gun, or a good gun and crappy safety equipment, spend the money on getting a good, safe set-up to spray the clear in. You don't need to drop $10k on a spray booth (it's a good idea, but I worked with far less-than-approved set ups for years). My first "booth" was made for about $100 using scrap wood, some windows from a Habit for Humanity "re-store", some poly sheets, an old furnace blower for ventilation, a couple air filters, and a few feet of ducting. It wasn't pretty, or even close to meeting any code, but it worked. The furnace fan kept the air flowing at about 85 fpm, which is pretty good (the legal requirement is 100fpm "across the face of the booth". A $15 anemometer can give you an actual measurement, or you can figure out the equations and figure it out "in theory". Oddly, either way works for inspections.

Youtube has a bunch of videos on making home-made spray booths. Some are straight-up idiotic, some work well enough. As a general rule, if the plans include using a box fan, keep clicking. That one is a bad idea.

If you can't dedicate the resources to spray clears safely, don't spray them at all. You're better off paying someone else to do it for now, and saving up for a decent set up, than you are risking your health. If you become sensitized to iso's, you're painting days are done for good. Plus, you get to deal with the complications whenever you're exposed to iso's, like if you're in a car with the "new car" smell, or if you get new carpet, or a memory foam mattress...
 
I also use a 1.0mm mini gun, I do have a larger compressor to run it though, I painted my whole motorcycle with this gun.


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Hey Wayne, my plan is to get a 20 gallon Husky compressor from Home Depot. I would surely think that would be adequate to run airbrushes and a mini gun for clear, right?
 
Hey Wayne, my plan is to get a 20 gallon Husky compressor from Home Depot. I would surely think that would be adequate to run airbrushes and a mini gun for clear, right?

I have an older 20 gal oil less compressor that does the trick. It does tend to run a bit, but that let's you have time to look at what you sprayed, let the compressor catch up and spray again. I usually got one coat out of each cup in my 1.0 mini gun, spraying lacquer clear, while painting my bike.


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Hey Wayne, my plan is to get a 20 gallon Husky compressor from Home Depot. I would surely think that would be adequate to run airbrushes and a mini gun for clear, right?

Check the CFM or SCFM rating of the compressor, and check what the requirement is for the gun. Generally, you want the compressors CFM rating to be twice what the gun requires. You can get away with less, but I wouldn't go much lower than 1.5x.

Also, all else being equal, a larger tank means the compressor will have to run less. This keeps the air temps down, which allows your water traps to work effectively, which cuts down on paint defects.

Another little tip- get some copper fittings and some copper flex pipe, and connect it into your air line. Next, find a big bucket or cooler, fill it up with water, and drop the coiled flex pipe into the water. Instant Poor Man's Air Cooler. You'd be amazed at the difference in air temp even using a 5 gal bucket can make.
 
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