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Old 04-08-2008, 02:31 PM
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HVLP vs. old-school suction paint guns

If this has been discussed before, please point me in the right direction....I am about to strip the cab of my 55 Chevy 2nd series truck. Cab is off the frame and on a dolly. While I'm worlds away from needing to finish-paint, I WILL need to prime the cab shortly, after I chemically strip/sandblast it to bare metal. I have a few nice old-school suction type spray guns (DeVilbiss) that I've used before to paint my cars/motorcycles/etc, but am wondering if it's time to switch to an HVLP gun. Keep in mind this is only a hobby, I'm not looking to paint again for a few years! My compressor is an IR model, 18cfm at 90 psi, hard-piped in 3/4 steel, well designed, no water issues. I'll be painting in the garage or driveway in some sort of makeshift "booth" that I cobble together, my property is 15 acres so no neighbor/DEP issues, but am wondering if an HVLP is the way to go. Any issues? Do I need to change anything in my compressor setup? Any pros/cons regarding the finished product? Am I better off sticking with what I know: the old-school guns? Sorry for all the dumb questions, I want to prevent a mistake.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 04-08-2008, 03:47 PM
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One thing to think about is the cost savings. If you haven't bought paint supplies in a while, you will be in for a shock. The prices are crazy! That being the case, the HVLP will pay for it self in material savings alone. The transfer rates is considerably better than the old guns. Then there is the lost paint issue. That is the paint that is left in the bottom of the gun that can't be picked up by a suction feed gun. That adds up really quickly when doing a large project that will take some time to complete. The newer quality guns also atomize considerably better also, and that is definately needed with the newer paints.

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Old 04-08-2008, 04:13 PM
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To add to what Aaron said, Id take it even a step further and bypass the HVLP and go straight for an LVLP, which I consider far superior. They atomize very well, use less air, produce much less overspray, and therefore save paint. They really have no down-side, none that Ive found anyways
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:21 PM
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I would definately switch over to Gravity Feed HVLP. I used the tried and true JGA-502 devilbiss for years and it was tough for me to make the switch 10 years ago but definately the right decision. Moving to a gravity feed your gun balance will be different and may feel uncomfortable at first but soon you'll realize it is actually better ergonomically. Use your old guns for guidecoat, I keep a JGA loaded with black elcheapo lacquer primer just for guidecoat use and it works good for that.

An Iwata LPH-400LV would be a wise investment, an awesome gun IMO.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:30 PM
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I really use to hate hvlp guns in the 90's, after learning with conventional and lower solids clears then we have today. Regularily using a gravity feed was a bit of an adjustment as well, being mainly use to siphon feed. Now with the way material costs have skyrocketed, and the way they improved the better models of hvlp,figure you better learn to like em. Many of the old conventionals don't handle the higher solids clear as well as the better (ie pricey) hvlps, requiring you to dump on the clear to get it looking the way you want. If you do a decent amount of painting, as mentioned, a good hvlp guns will soon pay for itself in material savings and ease of appling the material the way you want it. I just a fairly recent convert to using an hvlp for clear, even though been spraying base with an hvlp for quite awhile. Also consider besides the material savings, your spraying at lower pressure out the gun with an hvlp, meaning less overspray clouding up the area you are trying to see in, or stirring up dirt. I still use my old conventionals for high build primer, cause its harder to keep clean from the passages of the gun, My jga has a pretty big tip to handle spraying it, and don't wan't to run primer through one of my higher dollar hvlp's that I dedicate to spraying either base or clear.
Not saying you can't still paint with a conventional and still get good results, I got along okay for quite awhile, but using one of the better brands of hvlps is probably the way to go today. But you need the equiptment to keep up to them. Most hvlp's have higher air requirements from the compressor, and need high flow fittings to operate correctly.
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