spray painting
I've been meaning to get a spray unit for some time; I brush almost everything at present.

I have twelve drawer boxes to build and coat and it seems like this a good time to get that spray unit.

Work:  Mostly smaller pieces like the drawer boxes which are 12" wide by 20" deep and about 4" high.

Occasionally I build cabinets--typically vanity cabinets or kitchen cabinets.  I would like to be able to spray those too.

My compressor is a Porter Cable pancake unit and it does not move enough air to drive a spray cup except for possibly an airbrush.

Budget:  $400.00 to $500.00.  

I cannot justify spending a larger amount based upon the amount of use it will see.

Suggested options would be appreciated.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
  Re: spray painting by Cooler (I've been meaning to...)
I'd look at an Earlex.

  Re: RE: spray painting by jteneyck (I'd look at an Earle...)
They have several models starting at about $250.00 and going much higher.  Do you have a model number?

And Fuji makes similar models.  Are they similar quality?
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
  Re: spray painting by Cooler (I've been meaning to...)
3-stage, $450 http://www.turbineproducts.com/sprayfine...ay-system/

Additional needle/nozzles are $30/set as opposed to the usual $50-$75.

I have an a401 4-stage unit and all in after getting 3 extra N/N sets, several replacement parts like extra gaskets and shipping I was under $650.  Add in a remote start (same one as sold by Fuji but purchased on Amazon for about 1/2 the cost) and you are off to the races.  The remote start is a very nice addition.  I can shut off the turbine while I'm fiddling about with moving pieces off-of and onto the spin base.  Budget a little for building some kind of booth, even just some extra sawhorses and tarps on the driveway.  Plus a turntable of some kind.

So far my a401 has pushed everything I've asked (shellac & shellac primers, lacquer, poly and various acrylic- and enamel-latex paints.  >90% of what I've been spraying is waterborne too.).  Good atomization, good control, easy cleanup.  Gun is a bit heavy, I have the cup-under style.  

The 2-stage Earlex has rather expensive N/N sets.  Earlex also has their 6003 model for about $550.

FYI, the a301, a401 & Earlex 5500 all come with bleeder style guns.  I have not found this to be a problem.  In my case, the small amount of inside-a-cabinet spraying I've done was done with the backs off.  If the backs were on, it could be a bigger pain in the tuckus.  Just pay attention to where you have the gun pointed...

The a301/a401 can use non-bleeder guns but only at the cost of shorter turbine life.  The turbine does have bypass, but even with the bypass you are going to heat up the system more.

And spring for a good filter mask that can use both particulate AND organic vapor cartridges.  If you don't already have one, budget about $50 for one.
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. -- G. Carlin
  Re: spray painting by Cooler (I've been meaning to...)
If I were in your shoes, or in the market myself, I'd give Rob's recommendation of the 4 stage he recently bought serious consideration.  I know Rob did a lot of research before making his purchase.  It's a little bit more than your budget but I would wait and not buy a "starter unit".  

There are many who like the Earlex 5500 but I am not one of them.  I have one and we never got alone very well with anything more than dyes or spit coats of shellac.  In all fairness, I cut my teeth on airless sprayers and they will over atomize the thickest of finishes if you aren't careful.  

The Earlex is a 2 stage unit and it will push finish like a 2 stage unit...which isn't very impressive in the least bit.  That is, if you are wanting a truly professional finish or very close.  You will have to thin your enamels and lacquers to a point that I'm not willing to do on a regular basis.  The Earlex is simply a low powered unit, IMO.

I prefer a non-bleeder gun when given a choice but the bleeder gun isn't a make it or break it deal, IMO.  I was lucky enough to find a good deal on a used a Graco 4 stage HVLP turbine unit.  I wouldn't own anything less than a 4 stage for the variety of finishes that I want to spray.  I would also watch your local CL adds for a used HVLP in good working order.  Even a "dirty" gun can be brought back to life without too much work if you're willing to spend the time doing so.  There's many different ways you can go when it comes to spraying.  A lot of it is personal preference.  You have gotten some good advice with the previous posts.

  Re: RE: spray painting by Rob Young (3-stage, $450 http:/...)
The Sprayfine 4 turbine setup is a little more than I wanted to spend but seems to be a bargain for a 4 turbine unit.  

Further I've read that virtually all the turbine units use turbines from the same source.  

On the minus side I am finding almost nothing in reviews on this unit other than Rob's recommendation.  I would prefer a consensus of  opinion rather than a single recommendation--it would show a greater range of uses.

It does read like a very nice unit and it is in my consideration along with the Fuji 3 turbine model.  

I will have to live with my choice for a long time.  So I want to be careful.

Nothing is ever easy.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
  Re: RE: spray painting by Cooler (The Sprayfine 4 turb...)
I had the same problem locating reviews of the a401.  Most of the reviews I did find were for the a301 with some generally positive comments about the a401.  

It seems SprayFine sells more into the spray tanning market and some into the autobody market.  But overall, a very small marketing budget.

But I was willing to take a shot at the price and their return policy.  A short window to test at only 15 days, and you would be out shipping (about $50 each way).

The overall lack of high-profile reviews is a bit off-putting.  I can't speak for SprayFine/Turbine Products but given their nearly non-existent advertising and what seems to be a policy of not giving out units for review, it might explain the lower price.

Anyway, keep looking.  You can download just about everybody's manual and technical docs to read.  You start to see strong similarities in the products and designs after a reading a bunch.  The skins may be different but the features tend to be the same.  And I even noticed some interesting low-price mostly plastic bleeder guns in the Apollo literature that sure looked like dead-ringers for the one that comes with the Rockler/Harbor Freight model!

To SprayFine's credit, their manual is one of the better written ones.  They didn't spend a bunch of time on 4-color glossy advertising in the manual.  It is straight to the point about how the system works, how to maintain it and troubleshoot the turbine, the gun and the resulting finish.

And further to SprayFine's credit, I did have a small problem with the 1.0mm nozzle I ordered.  I check everything in the box against the invoice but I didn't get out the microscope and flyspec things.  Discovered that the threads on the 1.0mm nozzle (stainless steel) were buggered.  And if I had tried to force it into the gun (aluminum) it would have damaged the gun.  SprayFine made it right even though I was well past the 15 days by sending me a replacement nozzle.  They were also very good about answering my (stupid) questions before the sale via email.

And to reiterate a comment from a previous post, budget for the safety gear and accessories too.

And if anybody is interested in trying the a401 AND is in the Kansas City area, we could probably work something out.
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. -- G. Carlin
  Re: RE: spray painting by Rob Young (I had the same probl...)
I have a Capspray CS9100 4 stage turbine and hose that I would let go for $400. I also have the gun it came with available for another $100. Figure around $50 to ship unless it could be picked up somehow. If interested, send me a pm with phone number and we can discuss.
  Re: spray painting by Cooler (I've been meaning to...)
If you can find a used compressor with at least 6 cfm output at 40 psi then you could buy the purple HF gun for less than $30 and be able to spray most any low viscosity finish very well.  And for a few dollars more you can buy a little better gun with multiple N/N and spray a wider range of products.  I bought a used 60 gal CH compressor (and some extras) about 6 years ago for $300 and have had zero issues with it.  I used a set of low cost guns for about 5 years and sprayed a lot of projects with them.  None of my customers ever complained about the finish. 

I had about $500 total invested to get into spraying.  

  Re: RE: spray painting by jteneyck (If you can find a us...)
This was posted on another forum but it sure looks promising,never tried it myself but watch several Youtubes the Graco ProFinish

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