Now that I have outlined the finishing product type I use, I think I should also outline the equipment I used
I have found through my personal experience that the water base finish I use is very forgiving. Back when I was building archtop guitars and spraying lacquer, I went to great lengths to make sure My equipment was top shelf. Funny thing about my water base finish of choice is that one could brush it on and level it and get great results!
That said, I prefer to spray it on. I find that spraying makes for a less labor intensive process.
And also one can get nice even coverage with less coats.
Here is a run down of my equipment. I will cover the sprayers in this first part.
Stew Mac Sprayers
My primary sprayers are two Stewart Macdonald $36. Mini HVLP gravity feed spray guns. These are pretty inexpensive for the performance. I use two. One is for clear only while the other is for pigmented (color) finish. I have modified them with traps. Even though I’m working with water base finish, I am very persnickety about impurities in my finish. ( wait till you hear what I thin with! ). The important thing to remember about these is that they are not forgiving to less than a very detail cleaning when done spraying.
The maximum regulated pressure is around 45 psi. I should also mention that the instructions suppled with these sprayers is very minimal. However a quick phone call set me on the right path to set them up properly. I use these spray guns for overall coverage. Sealer coat, clear coat and pigmented coat (color).
Grex Tritium TS3
Grex 0.3mm fan spray nozzle
Next is my Grex Tritium TS3 double action airbrush. It is both a gravity feed and a siphon type. Also its pistol grip. It feels more like a spray gun than a pen type airbrush. The standard Nozzle on it is 0.3 mm that gives pretty narrow stroke. I purchased the accessory 0.3 mm fan spray cap. This little upgrade works like a micro version of a full size spray gun. It has a nice wide fan pattern compared to the stock nozzle. Also like a full size sprayer, the fan can be rotated to suit the application needs. I will cover the pressure setting for this one in the next post about my compressors. Thats right, compressors!
I use this gun primarily for fades, gradients and burst. I shoot alcohol dyes, water base dyes and straight finish with it. Also it is very useful when I shoot masked effects. I absolutely love this gun. It is very durable, forgiving and accurate. Also It is serviceable . It cost close to $300, but has paid for itself three times over. I am and a model kit builder as well. The hobby shop I frequent turned me onto this particular sprayer and I’m glad they did.
These are the two sprayers that I use. The Grex is obviously the more costly of the two. I am sure you can find or have comparable spray guns that can get the job done just the same. If you are looking to get a sprayer, look around and do some comparing. I would be very interested in what others are using to spray water base finishes.
In the second half of the equipment posting I will cover the compressors I use.
Hope this is helpful. And please, hit me with any questions you may have.
See you in two weeks.