Earlex HV5500 Spray Station
Need some spray capability and looking at the Earlex HV5500 Spray Station.  To be used mostly for woodworking, and I would like to spray shellac, poly, (thinned) paint and everything in between.  Comments? opinions? alternates?  Anyone own one - how is their customer service?  Thank you as always...FPT.
  Re: Earlex HV5500 Spray Station by fptahoe (Need some spray capa...)
No responses after 75 views is my answer - I guess this sprayer must not be "all that".  Thanks for viewing...FPT.
  Re: Earlex HV5500 Spray Station by fptahoe (Need some spray capa...)
I have the Earlex HV5500 and haven't had the opportunity to put it into use, but from what I've researched, it should be a good performer at a reasonable price and it appears to be quite well built.  My main use will be for General Finishes products (Milk Paint, Exterior 450, High Performance Top Coat, etc.) as well as other finishes (some non-woodworking).

I have been busy with a variety of projects which has delayed my spraying but I am looking forward to putting it to use soon.  I built a 'room' in my basement for spray finishing with collapsible walls that can be stored out of the way when not in use and just finished installing a utility sink for easy clean up near my finish area.  I have a potting bench sitting ready to spray so hopefully will be able to get to it soon.

For outdoor projects, I have been using Behr Porch & Paitio Floor Paint but from what I have seen, an airless sprayer would be best for the thicker latex paints so don't really plan on using the Earlex for that.
  Re: RE: Earlex HV5500 Spray Station by BattleRidge (I have the Earlex HV...)
(06-16-2019, 10:13 AM)BattleRidge Wrote: Thanks for the reply BR.  I went ahead and bought it today.  I also bought the 1.5 needle.  I called GF today and they said the 2.0 (that comes with the sprayer) will work for Milk Paint and something of similar viscosity.  For High Performance Top Coat or similar, they like 1.0 - 1.5.  The guy asked the type of Sprayer and when I told him, he said it was a good sprayer and that they used them (among others) at GF.
  Re: Earlex HV5500 Spray Station by fptahoe (Need some spray capa...)
I bought the 1.5 mm needle too and between the two it should cover the majority of my finishing needs.  I am looking forward to putting the sprayer to use, which should be pretty soon.

While there are a multitude of other HVLP sprayers available, at much higher and at lower prices, the 5500 seems to have a great combination of features, quality and value that best fits my needs.  Given moisture and other issues with air compressor based sprayers, and that my woodworking shop and compressor are in a building separate from my finishing space, the self contained HVLP was an easy choice to make.  The Earlex seems very well built and the metal sprayer assembly is quite nice.

While there isn't a huge amount of video resources about the HV5500, all that I've been able to find have been promising and helpful - and the videos from Earlex (and the included DVD) are a great source of info.  

Enjoy your new sprayer!
  Re: Earlex HV5500 Spray Station by fptahoe (Need some spray capa...)
I have a 5500 I bought 4-5 years ago and it has sat on the shelf after I found a deal on a Graco 4 stage HVLP turbine. I cut my teeth on airless sprayers and high end HVLP’s so I was underwhelmed with the 5500. A friend of mine has one as well and he really likes it but has nothing else to compare it to. For the money, it’s hard to beat for a portable turbine unit. One thing you will need to get good at is figuring out how much you need to thin your finishes. It sprays 1lb cut Seal Coat shellac very well straight from the can. It sprays dyes very well too. Solvent based lacquer needs to be thinned more than I like but I did an entry table with it which still turned out very well. I just needed more coats. My friend has sprayed a lot of BM’s Advance acrylic enamel through it and he loves it. If you’re still in the market let me know if you want a very lightly used one. I have all the needles as well.

  Re: Earlex HV5500 Spray Station by fptahoe (Need some spray capa...)
Ive had one for about 7 years or so.

I work the heck out of it (4-5 days a week, an hour a day) so i'd guess ~2000 hours on the turbine and its finally starting to jump the shark, and not because of poor quality, rather my neglect. There is a filter on the base that I removed to clean, and forgot to reinstall it (about 6 months ago  Smirk) and I noticed the motor would surge here and there. Figuring the filter was clogged I flipped it over and found it missing and immediately I knew I messed up. Opened it up and the motor compartment had a pretty good coat of powder ( I spray water based poly and the overspray dries to form a white powder) covering everything.

Needless to say it still works after about 30 minutes of cleaning it out but gets hot (more than it should) so I ordered a new one and will keep this one around as a backup. 

If anyone was using it for occasional hobby use, id say its a homerun. Like I said, its been awesome for me pushing it to the limits.

Once Favre hangs it up though, it years of cellar dwelling for the Pack. (Geoff 12-18-07)  

  Re: RE: Earlex HV5500 Spray Station by packerguy® (Ive had one for abou...)
(06-26-2019, 12:37 AM)packerguy® Wrote: Wow - thanks all for your comments, very helpful.  So I now have one project with the Earlex under my belt - I painted two nightstands with two coats of GF milkpaint, and then finished them with two coats of GP High Performance.  I put the top coat on because I wanted a little more of a sheen than the milk paint provided.  I think they look fabulous and the sprayer worked like a champ.  I do have one quasi-complaint though.  The finish is kind of rough when you drag your hand across it.  It looks nice - no orange peel or anything.  I wonder if I should wet sand it with 1500 grit, or maybe wax them, applying the wax with Briwax 0000 steel wool and then buffing?  Any critiques on my spraying technique that could have contributed to this?  Any suggestions on how to get them back to smooth?  Thanks as always - this site is so incredibly helpful...FPT.
  Re: RE: Earlex HV5500 Spray Station by fptahoe ([quote='packerguy®' ...)
A pebbly surface could be from too much air and not enough finish hitting the surface. This is a function of spraying speed, air/finish mix ratio, working temperature, thinning and spray distance.

If you set up the same and spray against a piece of paper or plywood, you can make adjustments until you get a good looking oval. No runs and not too much overspray around the edges.

Meanwhile, you can hit the surface with some 400 or 600 and if you cut through, level it off and spray again.

GF has a YouTube channel and they use a 2-stage Earlex in the videos.

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. -- G. Carlin
  Re: RE: Earlex HV5500 Spray Station by Rob Young (A pebbly surface cou...)
(06-28-2019, 09:59 AM)Rob Young Wrote: Hi Rob - thanks very much for you comments.  I think you are correct, because, it being the second coat and me using a 1.5 needle instead of the GF recommended 1.0-1.3, I did dial down the amount of finish coming out of the gun.  This is the first project I have every sprayed (2 coats milk paint, 2 coats GF HP) and I thought that was the better way to go but in retrospect and with your comments, I should have used more.  I do like the Earlex sprayer - it should fit every need I have for painting/staining/finishing.  BTW, I have watched many of the GF videos.  Kudos to them for putting them out; the other thing I like about them is they are short and to the point.  Some YouTubers go on and on....  Thanks again...FPT.

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