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Advanced Finishing II

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  • Advanced Finishing II

    These questions are mostly for JohnTheClockMan:

    When I took up scroll sawing, I started out using an air brush to apply general finishes to my projects. As I Learned the hobby of scroll sawing I started to just dip my projects in BLO and be done with it. The cleanup and ease of use of BLO dipping was just too good to be true.

    However, time and situations change. I am now looking into pre-cat lacquer as you have suggested on several occasions from Homestead finishes.
    (scroll down to the EMtech 8000 finishes)

    My airbrush just cannot push out Water based finishes (at least WB products which I tried from Woodcraft). I am speculating that the molecules are just too big for my Airbrush, and I may have to move up to a HVLP gun (stainless steel?) version like being sold at Homestead finishes.

    So, I am looking at the following expenses: new air compressor $200 to $300; new HVLP spray gun $200; and other misc hardware say $50.

    But what stopped me cold was the shelf life of a gallon of pre-cat lacquer:
    gives a shelf life of only 12 months. I doubt that I will ever use more than a quart per year. My fret work is too small to use such larger quantities. And at $44.00 per gallon plus shipping charges..... (to quote the baseball movie: "Ju-u-st a little bit outside.")

    So finally my question:
    Do you stick to the 12 months shelf life rule of your pre-cat lacquer?

    Do you use up a gallon in a year?

    Most spray guns I have seen are for furniture sized projects, spray is up to about 10 inches wide. What is your experience with adjustable spray pattern sizes on your HVLP gun?

    BTW: I know I am asking a lot of you, but this seems to be a large investment to me in just finishing. I really want to justify this because I have limited funds.

    Thanks to all who reply


  • #2

    I just pulled a real bummer because I do not type fast but I typed a whole message and then went to find the link for Homestead finishing and erased the entire thing. So I will try this for the second time and if other have used the questioned product feel free to chime in here.

    I used to use spray cans of Deft lacquer for top coating then after talking to Warren Kaftz on this forum and others I went to an airbrush but found it would not keep up with my demands. I have never used water base lacquer in it but am sure it would handle it because I spray acrylics paints with it. It has an adjustable nozzle so that was not an issue. I needed something larger but not too large. So after talking to William Young on this forum and others he convinced me to try water base lacquer and an HVLP gun. I went to the Homestead site and started talking to Jeff Jewitt who is the owner and has written many finishing books. Along with others on their forums there I went ahead and purchased a ( Walcom Slim S ) Hvlp gravity fed gun and started using Oxford Ultima water base lacquers. I had the gun set up for the product I was to use with the proper nozzle. Of course the compressor is important in that it has to handle the air demand. I have a 20 gal. 5HP compressor which is fine for this gun which is a mid size gun. It suits my need for the kinds of projects I do. I probably could do large furnature if I broke the project down into stages.Yes the spray pattern can be adjusted for small projects or larger ones and the fan pattern is also easy to adjust. You ask about the shelf life of the product well I have never had this stuff around long enough to answer that. I order by acording to my needs. Sometimes I order quarts and this last time I ordered 2 gals. If I do not use all I will break it down into quarts which you can get empty quart cans at Home Depot in the paint section. The thing that kills a product is oxygen in the can. If no oxygen it will last longer than 1 year. Some people use that product BLO-Oxygen when sealing leftovers but I do not know how well that works. So to sum this up and I do not know if I was any help but, yes it is a great investment but for me it has paid off already not only for the ease of use but the saving of my brain cells from the fumes. I do not have many left. It is easy to clean with water and then run some denatured alcohol through the gun and you are ready for the next time. Because it is so easy to use I think the longest thing is waiting for the compressor to fill.

    Hope this has helped and for a look at the gun and the products they carry check the web site out and join and you can ask all the questions you want. They are very helpful there.
    John T.


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