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  • DIY HVLP Turbine System

    Hey, I acknowledge this won't be of interest to many of you, but maybe one or two of you will like it.

    If HVLP isn't familiar to you, it stands for High Velocity Low Pressure. The technology is used primarily by cabinet makers, fine furniture finishers, or is increasingly used for painting cars. One of the positives is that HVLP doesn't create a room full of VOCs when you spray it as most of the paint makes it to the intended target.

    Is an HVLP Turbine the right tool for finishing the average scroll saw project? Unless you were finishing a lot of stuff at once, this probably isn't the solution for small projects as it takes 10-12 minutes to clean the gun afterwards (I am OCD about it, I keep the gun pristine). Depending on the finish used, you may have to run it through a filter to take out gunk, so that is another 5 to 10 minutes if you have to do that.

    One of my kids is remodeling their kitchen and currently finishing new Kitchen Cabinets, and asked about sprayers and what to get. During my research, I ran across this HVLP DYI video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8BtjcgxbEA&t=391sz and was intrigued, so before I knew it, I had ordered a motor.

    Building one of these is very much like constructing a birdhouse around a motor and it's intakes, and exhausts. A few filters are needed to provide clean air, and two plumbing connectors to tie the turbine to a hose, and a few odds and ends. You will need your scroll saw, or at least I did to cut out the hole in the mount, other holes for vents/panels and such. There are few other things to install like switch, and things to know like putting a 3/16 bleeder hole in the manifold if you are using a "non-bleed gun."

    Here is the build list:

    $250.00 5-Stage Vacuum motor unit, exact same as is in the Fuji
    $20.00 Two small overpriced pieces of truly horrific Plywood from HomeDepot, one 23/32, and one 15/32
    $2.00 1 1/4" PVC Bushing. (Fits outlet of motor, and transitions to MIP threads
    $7.00 Brass fitting Goes from MGH (Male Garden Hose Connector) to FIP Threads in PVC Bushing.
    $40 Two Little automobile Air filters, the metal pieces that come with those for each end. Pretty sure I overpaid for these.
    $9. Switch with 15 Amp Fuse and place to plug in cord
    $10.00 15 Amp Cord (Looks like what goes into your desktop computer, but is thicker and 15 amp

    So far, the main turbine cost would be $338, but we are still missing the hose and gun

    $150 HVLP Gun: the AreoJet RS is proven, and functions much like the Fuji Gun, at half the cost
    $75 Hose: Fuji 3/4 Heavy duty 25' hose (probably could have found cheaper)
    Fuji hose comes with a quick disconnect for the gun which saved about $15
    $20 HVLP Cleaning kit
    If you are doing super thin or thick finishes, you may need to purchase additional Needle/Nozzle combination depending on finish. Each set is $43 (It is standard for these guns to only come with one set).

    So, now, with everything included, the total cost is $563. I could have skimped and hard wired the power cord to the motor, used a regular light switch for power, used cheap hose, and a harbor freight HVLP Gun and kept the cost down to $460.

    Compared to other mainstream solutions, I did pretty good. My design with filters on the ends is more like the Apollo, and their cheapest 5-stage, goes for about $1000. closest unit Fuji has to my design is the MiniMite 5, and goes for $1125, almost exactly twice the price. That extra $563 for the Fuji does get you a much prettier case. The budget brand Sprayfine has a similar complete setup for $759, or a 4-Stage version for $560. Harbor Freight just released their 5-stage for $800. Note that there are diminishing returns after so many stages, that 5th stage gives you .5 more psi than the four stage.

    First pic is is the vendor pic of my motor. Second I took a pic while building, and the final pic is how it now sits. It is complete enough to bench test, and it does work, but I need to get it painted, find a handle, add the switches, and the two filters. I'll post more as I progress.

    5stage.jpg


    IMG_0438.jpg


    IMG_0447.jpg
    Last edited by hotshot; 01-19-2022, 02:43 PM.
    "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
    website: http://www.coincutting.com

  • #2
    Thank you for sharing. Randy you are truly one of those who is all about the hunt and not the kill. My head hurts just watching the video and thinking about the time involved. I have a finishing sprayer I purchased from Rockler. I do use it a few times a year for some scroll saw work, boxes and other WW projects. It is a very nice to have and I use it more than I thought. I bought it for under $120 on sale.
    Scott
    Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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    • #3
      Randy, I really enjoy building gadgets! This is a fun project and I am looking forward to more pictures.
      Rolf
      RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
      Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
      Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
      And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

      Comment


      • #4
        Bruce got Wagner (?) I think from woodcraft when he did the kitchen cabinets. I think he spent more time cleaning after each use than the time spent spraying. He used water based finish so he could use it in the basement. Yes we planned on using it for our projects. No we haven’t used it for that yet. So it sits. All cleaned and ready to go.
        Betty

        "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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        • #5
          Any update on this project? People like me want to know.
          Rolf
          RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
          Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
          Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
          And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

          Comment


          • #6
            My project got postponed until I get back from Disney.

            I bought an scr controller to control speed, I may add that to the project. I also ordered a little 3” screened soffit vent to use to vent the hot air coming through the motor. So waiting on that from Amazon. Also waiting on hose and a few other parts.

            I did weld together a couple of brackets to hold the filters, so I’ll get a pic of that when I get back.
            "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
            website: http://www.coincutting.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Very interesting I might have to give this a try. The 3/16 hole in the manifold I am assuming that you are referring to the transition where the pvc and garden hose adapter meet? Are you drilling that hole right at the motor output so it also helps circulate air inside the box?
              Tim

              If you need a tool and don't buy it, you will pay for it and not have it

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              • #8
                Originally posted by evilbadger View Post
                Very interesting I might have to give this a try. The 3/16 hole in the manifold I am assuming that you are referring to the transition where the pvc and garden hose adapter meet? Are you drilling that hole right at the motor output so it also helps circulate air inside the box?

                The older guns were all "bleeder guns". Those guns always have air being released from the gun (bleeding), even when you don't have the trigger pulled. This keeps cool air moving through the turbine all the time. With this type of gun, you don't need the 3/16" bleeder hole.

                Newer guns are non-bleeders, meaning, there is no air coming out of the gun when the trigger is not pulled, so the 3/16" hole is a bleeder hole, allowing a continuous flow of air out of the turbine. Without out it, the turbine would get very hot very fast.

                I think the hole could be anywhere on the outlet side, even in the PVC. There is also air that flows though the motor itself (isolated from the turbine), so there is a vent on the side of the box for both the bleeder air and the motor air to exit.

                Here is the video that Fuji put out to convert their older units to use the modern non-bleeder guns. That is how I knew about the 3/16" bleeder hole: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tnfTbL7d3Q&t=88s
                "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
                website: http://www.coincutting.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  I understand the difference between the bleed gun and non bleed gun. I think I would opt for the Apollo A7538A External bleed adapter rather than drilling the manifold that way you can use either style of gun and your pressure would be higher on a bleed gun with the adapter removed.
                  Tim

                  If you need a tool and don't buy it, you will pay for it and not have it

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Had a little bout with Covid, so been a little fearful to brave the cold shop and incite covid's wrath. But I think I'm clear of covid now, so today, on with the winter coat, and out to the scroll saw to cut up an old license plate, to mount my switch/fuse. I tried to create a pattern for the fuse, but it was a bit small. I used the side of the blade to "file away" the excess. Took a while to ease in the fit, but it ended up pretty tight.

                    Wonder how people do this without scrollsaws.

                    The fuse pattern wasn't symmetric, and I put it on in the wrong orientation. It was a lot for work to get it to fit, so I'm going to stifle the OCD and live with that.


                    IMG_0465.jpg

                    IMG_0469.jpg
                    Last edited by hotshot; 02-08-2022, 01:54 PM.
                    "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
                    website: http://www.coincutting.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well pretty well done with this project.

                      I did like EvilBadgers idea to use the Apollo part to bleed air outside the case for non-bleeder guns, so I filled/sealed the hole I had drilled and have the Apollo part on order. I probably could have made that part easy enough, but I'm ADHD, and ready to move on, so I just bought it.

                      If I were doing this again, I would probably look a little harder for cabinet grade plywood, instead of the garbage (full of voids and delamination) I got from Home Depot.


                      . IMG_0473.jpg
                      IMG_0474.jpg

                      IMG_0475.jpg
                      Last edited by hotshot; 02-13-2022, 09:34 PM.
                      "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
                      website: http://www.coincutting.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the update. Have you run it yet? or still waiting for the bleeder?


                        When it comes to sheet metal or most metal projects is when I miss my job. One of my many hats was managing an experimental machine shop. So I could or have my guys make me most anything. We also had a press with an assortment of punches specifically designed for electronic chassis.

                        But I did buy and small x/y stage that I mount on my drill press. I have done some light milling in aluminum. It works surprisingly well.​​​​​​ especially after I bought the Nova drill press no belt chatter.
                        Rolf
                        RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                        Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                        Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                        And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rolf View Post
                          Thanks for the update. Have you run it yet? or still waiting for the bleeder?


                          When it comes to sheet metal or most metal projects is when I miss my job. One of my many hats was managing an experimental machine shop. So I could or have my guys make me most anything. We also had a press with an assortment of punches specifically designed for electronic chassis.

                          But I did buy and small x/y stage that I mount on my drill press. I have done some light milling in aluminum. It works surprisingly well.​​​​​​ especially after I bought the Nova drill press no belt chatter.
                          Yep, I don't have a bleeder gun, so I have to wait on the bleeder part. I can turn it on, and it pumps a ton of air. It's amazing, it feels like a fan at about 3 or 4 feet away, all coming out of a hole the size of a garden hose.

                          I have a prosumer combination mill/lathe that I got for very little, when a gunsmith had to move to Alaska. It is intimidating, so I'm waiting on some of my machinist friends to come show me how to set it up and work it. It is heavy, I would estimate 600 lbs, so I'll have to get a Harbor Freight shop crane if I want to move it around.
                          "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
                          website: http://www.coincutting.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Tim, here is your contribution to my project. Just got it in.

                            IMG_0479.jpg

                            "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
                            website: http://www.coincutting.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Prosumer combination mill/lathe is that the brand name?

                              Rolf
                              RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                              Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                              Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                              And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                              Comment

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