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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone out there with any experience with the Fuji, Earlex or Graco turbine sprayers? Looking at possibly getting a 4 stage turbine. Will be spraying mainly poly, lacquer and spar urethane. Do I need a 4 stage for these products and also what tip size?
Thanks
 

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No experience with them but I seem to remember seeing on the forum that a member or two thought the Earlex was pretty good value. Those are all words (the brand names) that would come up in a community search. I know the Earlex has been mentioned. I can't remember if the Fuji and Graco have been. The word turbine might give results too.
 

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I have the Earlex 5500 and a Harbor Freight (chicago electric) sprayer and happy with the results.

I use the Harbor Freight most often because it came with 1.5mm, 1.8mm, 2.0mm nozzles. The Earlex came with 1 nozzle.

The Harbor Freight is also less expensive.
Harbor Freight sprayer
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have the Earlex 5500 and a Harbor Freight (chicago electric) sprayer and happy with the results.

I use the Harbor Freight most often because it came with 1.5mm, 1.8mm, 2.0mm nozzles. The Earlex came with 1 nozzle.

The Harbor Freight is also less expensive.
Harbor Freight sprayer
What kind of material do you normally spray? Thanks
 

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I had a Graco 3 stage I picked up at an pawn shop for seventy. It had the hose, but no gun. I bought a Harbor Freight HVLP gun for it and got good results. The gun tip was best suited for lightly thinned latex, so I never test drove it with shellac or lacquer. It gave good results for slapping latex on a door or two.

I also have a Capspray 4 stage and a Accuspray (conversion type). I love the Capspray, which I bought new, but which can be found on Craigslist from time to time and for around $400.00 (about 1/4th what I paid new). The Accuspray has one of the best guns out there and can hold 2-1/2 gallons, but is a whole lot more trouble to run and, since it incorporates its own compressor, weighs far more than the actual turbines.

I think a needle for the Capsprayer, to get better results with lacquer, runs about $70.00. Maybe.

Anyway, there are some killer deals on used. I just ran a check and you can get a Earlex for $200.00, a Fuji for $350.0. . . . .

I would try to shoot for a 4 stage, or better, for the most versatility over the years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had a Graco 3 stage I picked up at an pawn shop for seventy. It had the hose, but no gun. I bought a Harbor Freight HVLP gun for it and got good results. The gun tip was best suited for lightly thinned latex, so I never test drove it with shellac or lacquer. It gave good results for slapping latex on a door or two.

I also have a Capspray 4 stage and a Accuspray (conversion type). I love the Capspray, which I bought new, but which can be found on Craigslist from time to time and for around $400.00 (about 1/4th what I paid new). The Accuspray has one of the best guns out there and can hold 2-1/2 gallons, but is a whole lot more trouble to run and, since it incorporates its own compressor, weighs far more than the actual turbines.

I think a needle for the Capsprayer, to get better results with lacquer, runs about $70.00. Maybe.

Anyway, there are some killer deals on used. I just ran a check and you can get a Earlex for $200.00, a Fuji for $350.0. . . . .

I would try to shoot for a 4 stage, or better, for the most versatility over the years.
Thank you. I will have to see if I can find some of those good used deals!
 

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Dave, I have an Earlex and have 4 different tips so I can spray anything. I have a cup for clear finishes and a cup for paints but keep them clean enough I don't think it would make any difference. If you have different tips you can figure out which tip works the best for different finishes. Keep a notebook on what tips work best for you and if you are using straight finish or thinning it for use. I have found that I use different tips than other people with the same sprayer do but it all boils down to your own personal results so do some testing with new finishes. I have sprayed solvent-based and water-based and got good results with all of them.

One thing to consider is the size of the projects you make. They blow too much air for smaller items like jewelry sized items but are well suited to medium items like plaques and signs to large projects like furniture. Also, you do need to keep them clean and it does take time to clean them well so you won't want to use them for a single smallish project unless you are spraying quick-drying lacquer and are applying several coats like finishing a guitar.

If I have one small to medium sign to finish I usually use a rattle can finish, if I have several to finish at the same time I'll use the Earlex.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mike,

Thanks for the details. DO you find the need to thin much when using the correct sized tip? I think that is the biggest advantage of having more 'stages'. Most of my projects are done with rattle cans and the cost and having to dispose of them is a real turnoff for me, not to mention so many of them don't empty out completely.

I'm not a big fan of the cleaning part either though, but have to do what is necessary. I have to spray in an unheated area of my shop in the winter and then bring back in where it is warm to dry. I was thinking that having this self contained sprayer would eliminate the cold compressor and hose that I now deal with.

What tips do you use the most for your topcoat finishes?
 

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Herb - Do you have any experience with the Harbor Freight turbines?
No, I use a brush on all my projects,and spray cans. The last one I had was a Wagner. I did buy a HF HVLP sprayer but never used it gave it to my nephew,no complaints on it. Years ago I used a paint sprayer to paint old cars with, just hated to clean the guns, so never really wanted another.
HErb
 

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Mike,

Thanks for the details. DO you find the need to thin much when using the correct sized tip? I think that is the biggest advantage of having more 'stages'. Most of my projects are done with rattle cans and the cost and having to dispose of them is a real turnoff for me, not to mention so many of them don't empty out completely.

I'm not a big fan of the cleaning part either though, but have to do what is necessary. I have to spray in an unheated area of my shop in the winter and then bring back in where it is warm to dry. I was thinking that having this self contained sprayer would eliminate the cold compressor and hose that I now deal with.

What tips do you use the most for your topcoat finishes?
The only thing I have thinned was some waterbased paint and that was some leftover from a bedroom project and used on an additional matching nightstand to go with the original set a year and a half later. I would normally buy new paint but tested the leftover and it seemed to be okay but did need to be thinned for the second piece. It was a special mixed color so I was afraid a new can might not match. I used the 2mm tip for this project.

For thicker finish like General Finishes High Performance waterbased topcoat, I use the 1.5mm tip. For thinner finish like nitrocellulose lacquer, I use the 1.0mm tip.

I have not used the 2.5mm tip but that would probably where I would start if using latex wall paint or house paint.
 
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I have a 25-30 year old wagner finecoat, which is nearing the end of it's life. I've probably sprayed 15-20 gallons of water based poly through it, with no problems.

You shouldn't need a 4 stage for what you want to do, but you may need to thin the spar urethane a tiny bit.

I hope you have some type of spray booth, or everything in your shop will be covered in overspray.
 

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One thing to consider is the size of the projects you make. They blow too much air for smaller items like jewelry sized items but are well suited to medium items like plaques and signs to large projects like furniture. Also, you do need to keep them clean and it does take time to clean them well so you won't want to use them for a single smallish project unless you are spraying quick-drying lacquer and are applying several coats like finishing a guitar.

If I have one small to medium sign to finish I usually use a rattle can finish, if I have several to finish at the same time I'll use the Earlex.
For small projects I find an air brush hard to beat. I inherited a Binks one from my mother in law. Doesn't use much air, doesn't take a lot of effort or solvent to clean and doesn't take long to finish something the size of a box or burl clock. I normally use lacquer through it which allows me to start over by the time I get to the end of the first coat.
 

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I never thought of that, Chuck. Great idea. I will have to check Harbor freight and see if they have one. Can I use it off my compressor air supply? probably have to get a pressure valve to adjust the pressure.
I just checked, they have a $9.99 one and a $7.99 one Hmmmm which one to get.
Herb
 

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I never even think about getting the airbrushes out for the small items. I have 3 good ones that I use to use for boxes, clocks and wall plaques many years ago and just never think about getting them out so I can use them. They are somewhere in that shop out there, I need to put them on the list of things to look for when I do get time to reorganize the shop.
 

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I never thought of that, Chuck. Great idea. I will have to check Harbor freight and see if they have one. Can I use it off my compressor air supply? probably have to get a pressure valve to adjust the pressure.
I just checked, they have a $9.99 one and a $7.99 one Hmmmm which one to get.
Herb
Just like any other air gun you need to regulate pressure. It's been a year or so since I used it last (a daughter project) but 35 psi sticks in my mind which is about where I start playing around with my bigger ones too. I have a cheap touch up gun too, probably similar or the same as one you would get at HF. It works reasonably well too. It's good for something up to about the size of a single box in a set of kitchen cabinets.
 
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I have Rockler's HVLP Finishing Sprayer https://www.rockler.com/rockler-hvlp-finishing-sprayer . It comes with a 1.5 and 2.5mm tip and you can buy a 1.0mm tip and extra cups.

It works fine but as someone pointed out if you have one small item to spray it may not be worth the time it takes to clean it. It is similar to HF's turbine sprayer which Bobj3 and others were very pleased with. Rockler boasts "Earlex Technology" but it's made by Wagner.... They had to replace the flex hose and it came from Earlex. Go figure.

Chucks idea of an air brush is a very good one
 
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