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Thread: Spray Gun Question....Mini vs. Full-Sized

  1. #1
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    Spray Gun Question....Mini vs. Full-Sized

    I'm looking to buy a decent spray gun. I bought a mini gun similar to the HF version from a company on eBay, and it was unusable out of the box. The needle packing was disintegrated, so when I first filled it with water to test it, it was leaking and dripping down the trigger. Worthless piece of junk. That's what I get for buying a $25 gun. I'll not make that mistake again.

    So now I'm looking at decent mid-range guns in the $200 or so range. I want something that can do shaded dye application (i.e., able to lay down a very light pattern), but I also want to be able to spray waterborne lacquer and other thicker finishes. I know from my research I want a tip in the 0.8 to 1.0 mm range for dyes, and for thicker fluids I'll need a 1.4 mm or larger tip.

    I've found kits at www.SprayGunWorldcom that meet my criteria, but I'm having a hard time deciding between a full-sized gun or a mini. For most of my work I think a mini would be just fine. Things like turned pieces don't take a lot of finish, so the cup size would not be a problem. In the future though, it's likely that I'll be wanting to spray bigger things, like guitars or furniture pieces. I don't know how well a mini would do for larger pieces. Will the 125 cc cup be too small? (I could always get a larger cup for the mini gun.) Will the 7" to 8" spray pattern of a mini be too small?

    Here are a couple kits I'm looking at...

    Full sized kit, with 1.0, 1.4, and 1.7 mm tips

    Mini kit (I'd get the .08, 1.2, and 1.5 mm tips)

    Given those choices, which would you recommend? Any other suggestions in a similar price range? The Sharpe Finex series looks good on paper, but I've seen a number of negative reviews about them, so I think they're out of the running. I can't justify the price of a SATA or Iwata gun. I know a lot of guys are happy with their HF 34340 guns, but I don't want one, and I don't want the P-C gun either.

    Thanks -
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
    Vaughn,

    The majority of my experience with spray equipment is for automotive use and in the building of mock-ups. With that said, what you want to do will be best served by both guns.
    The items you are working on now fit the small gun nicely. Even going to guitars, add a larger cup for your base coats and go back to the smaller cup for maneuverability when tinting. The big "pro" the small gun has is being nimble. The negative I see is tip size restriction (limited spray pattern) and cup volume.

    The larger gun will excel for furniture with a larger spray pattern for faster coverage and a cup size appropriate for large pieces. But for shading and tinting it will become clumsy.

    Take it with a few pounds of salt. I've always found the need for both sizes.
    FWIW,
    Wes

  3. #3
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    Vaughn,

    I'm using the Wagner HVLP conversion gun (http://www.gleempaint.com/hvcongunnew.html). The price was good $129 and I have had very good service from Gleempaint.com. Gleempaint also has a good selection of accessories and for the spray guns they sell (http://www.gleempaint.com/wagner-hvl...gun-parts.html).

    I have used this gun on a number of projects and I'm very happy with it.

  4. #4
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    from what i`ve seen vaughn start with the mini.....you can spray large items with a small gun just fine. later if you find the need for either a larger cup or tip then look to add to your gun collection.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
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    Tod, that approach makes sense. I know my immediate needs would be served fine by a mini, and when the time comes to use a bigger gun, I could add one then.

    Mike, thanks for the suggestion. I've seen good comments about that gun. I'm leaning toward a gravity feed gun, since they're a little easier to clean (or so I've heard).
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    Vaughn,

    Have a look at this mini 'kit' from CA Technologies. I needed a mini gun to supplement my Binks full size gun...for touch-ups, smaller stuff, etc. I didn't want to spend Sata-money, so I did some investigation and bought this kit. I LOVE it! It comes with all the needles you'll need to do everything you've mentioned. And now they even sell the kit with a full size cup. (Although, the smaller cup is useful for all your small turnings and such.)

    The only drawback is that CAT is known for being US made, but this kit isn't. They designed it and have it imported. I have not had one problem with any component of the kit, and would buy it again in a heartbeat.

    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  7. #7
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    Thanks Marty. That's another one I've had my eye on. How do you suppose the 1.2 mm tip would do with waterbased finishes? I could get the CAT setup for about $100 less than the Asturo. I wonder if the Asturo set is $100 better. I'll probably call Spray Gun World later today and see what they have to say.

    The more i look at it, by the time I add a regulator and bigger cup, the Asturo is getting above my price point. That makes me lean towards the CAT even more. Either that, or just get the Asturo with two tips for now (0.8 and 1.2, I'd guess), and expand the selection if needed.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    vaughn, i spray most everything outta a 1.4 tip........something to think about.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  9. #9
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    Tod, you likely have already seen charts like this one I saw on the Spray Gun World site:

    Due to the internal workings of mini guns you have to convert the full size tip set into a minigun tip set. Meaning Miniguns operate with smaller tip sizes. i.e. if the paint manufacturer recommend as 1.4 HVLP gravity gun - I convert that into a 1.0 Mini gun and it will work properly.

    REGULAR HVLP ....... MINI HVLP
    --------------------------------------------------
    1.2 ..................... 0.8 Standard RC models

    1.4 ..................... 1.0 Standard Automotive

    1.6 ..................... 1.2 Standard Woodworking

    1.8 ..................... 1.4 Thinned Latex Enamels Wood

    2.0 ..................... 1.5 Latex Enamels Wood (See WB)
    Looks like a mini with a 1.0 mm tip would be in about the same ballpark as your full-sized 1.4 mm tip. I'm thinking the 1.2 mm mini tip would give me a bit more headroom for spraying thicker materials I might use. I also want to be able to do light shading, so that's my reasoning behind also getting a 0.8 mm tip.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    5,998
    I have a Porter Cable PSH1 with a 20oz cup for large tasks. I also have a similar Husky HVLP sprayer I use for some jobs.

    When I wanted a smaller detail gun, I picked up this one from Harbor Freight: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=46719
    It has served well for everything from moderate-size pieces to air-brushing a piece to add shading.

    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

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