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Newsletter #126

It’s Getting Easier Being Green

When I look back at my early days demonstrating and selling HVLP spray equipment, I recall that my biggest selling points were that our HVLP sprayers cut down on bounce back, saved money on coatings, and provided a level of accuracy unattainable with standard high pressure equipment.  

Those were the days when we didn’t recycle, dumped unused coatings on the ground or in the sink, drove without seatbelts, and ate red meat eight times a week.  Keeping the air clean, not adding particles to the atmosphere and developing low VOC coatings were not in my sales talk. The bounce back talk was more about not working in a cloud rather than long range environmental issues.

Then California became the leader in the quest for cleaner air and our company, already producing efficient machines, succeeded in leading the way for all finishers.  California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SSAQMD) set standards and when Apollo was independently tested, our machines far exceeded the regulations.  

Some finishers might remember these earlier machines. They were simple and efficient. The original model 700, for example, produced 3 1/2 PSI,which was perfect for the most common coating, nitrocellulose lacquer, thinned appropriately. As the coatings world changed and higher viscosity, lower VOC coatings were developed, our HVLP sprayers stayed ahead of the curve, with more powerful machines.

There are now industry-wide transitions to higher efficiency spray application technology. The development of Apollo’s Precision Series turbines was inspired by further changes in state clean air regulations and increased attention to environmental impacts. The more precise the machine, the more environmentally friendly it becomes.
The Apollo 1050VR Features:

•    The 1050VR Precision 5-stage power atomizes higher viscosity coatings with ease.
•    Precision LCD displays atomizing pressure that is accurate to 0.10 PSI.
•    Precision Pressure Control System (PPCS®) controls motor speed, voltage and amperage worldwide, adjusts automatically for altitude and barometric pressure assuring precise atomizing pressure anywhere in the world.
•    Precision FreeFlo® Filter warning LED indicates when a filter is restricted. Green for clean, red for clogged or partially blocked filters.

What a difference! It reminds me of the difference between my old heavy, huge, slow desktop computer and my sleek, light weight, lightning fast laptop and tablet.

Our company, helps the finisher continue to protect his/her health and the environment, by showcasing products that do both. If you are unfamiliar with our products, take a look at the soy stripper, respirators, safety glasses, coatings and of course our HVLP equipment.

We are interested in aiding companies that are doing world-changing projects. Burn Manufacturing is responding to a crisis in several African countries.

“Nearly 2 million people – mostly women and children – die every year from respiratory diseases related to indoor cooking smoke. This is more than double the number of deaths caused by malaria each year. Harvesting wood for cooking also diminishes tropical forests. In Kenya, for example, wood gathering has contributed to the destruction of 94% of the original native forest.”

Burn Design Lab is researching and building super fuel-efficient cook stoves.  The lives of women and children will be saved as well as the forests.

Apollo Sprayers donated an Apollo 1050VR to Burn Design Lab.  It pleases us to know that our systems can be used to help save lives and the environment.

You can always recognize Apollo Sprayers’ turbines by their distinctive green color–our way of saying we are committed to being green and do our utmost to be socially responsible.

bill boxer signature

Sr. Vice President and COO

Apollo Sprayers International, Inc.


We Hope to See You at IWF!


If you are coming to the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta August 22-25. Bill Boxer and other Apollo Sprayers’ staff willl be in booth 5465 and we’ll be featuring the Apollo Precision Series, the world’s most advanced HVLP systems and further improvements to our award-winning AtomiZer™ Spray Guns. We’re looking forward to seeing some of you in person!


Finishing Feature Article by Bob Flexner:

Dealing with the Cherry Blotching Problem


1-the-rust-red-of-old-cherryopt.jpgCherry was long thought of as the poor man’s mahogany and was used as a substitute for mahogany. But as quality mahogany has become harder to get, cherry has become increasing popular and is now widely thought of as a quality wood in its own right.

Though cherry has a beautiful color and is easy to work, it is difficult to finish nicely because of its tendency to blotch. Blotching is uneven coloring caused especially by stains, but also by just a clear finish, that leaves some areas darker than other READ MORE


Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Spraying Outdoors

One solution for spraying your project when you don’t have a spray booth or adequate exhaust in your shop is to spray outside. There are some conditions, however, for getting good results.

First, you need to pick a day with temperatures in the high sixties to low eighties. Colder will cause the finish to take much longer to dry and this will create more time for debris and bugs to land on and stick to the finish. Hotter will cause the finish to dry too fast, which may lead to dry spray—the finish drying before it lands on the object. Dry spray results in a sandy look and feel.

Of course, you could slow the drying if you are spraying lacquer by adding a lacquer retarder to the finish.

Second, pick a day with a light breeze. You don’t want wind, but unless there is some breeze, the “bounce-back” finish will settle back onto your work, also causing a sandy look and feel.

Third, spray in the shade but not under a tree. Sunlight will cause the finish to dry too fast, and trees shed leaves and other debris.

Fourth, if you are spraying lacquer, shellac or water-based finish, pick a day that is not too humid. High humidity causes lacquer and shellac to blush (turn milky white) and slows the drying of water-based finish considerably.

This may seem like a lot to take into consideration, but there are always days that meet these conditions throughout most of the year.


Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: When Finishes Craze from Body Sweat

All finishes craze—that is, develop small cracks—as they age, especially if they are exposed to a lot of sunlight. But there’s another type of crazing, and it can happen much faster. This is crazing caused by body sweat.
You commonly see crazing of this type around cabinet-door pulls and drawer handles, and on chair backs, arms and seats. The picture shown is a close-up from the crest rail of a chair.

crazing-from-body-sweatopt.jpgThis crazing is caused by the acids in body sweat slowly breaking down the finish. The finish softens and becomes dirty as dirt sticks to it. In severe cases like that shown, the finish separates up into small islands.

The finishes most prone to this type crazing are lacquer, shellac and water-based finish. Cross-linking finishes such as oil-based varnish and polyurethane, and two-part catalyzed finishes, are much more resistant.

If the crazing is superficial, you may be able to remove it by abrading with steel wool or an abrasive pad and still leave enough finish in good condition underneath to be functional. But usually, when the crazing has become bad enough to get you to do something about it, it is too late for this. The finish has to be stripped and replaced, which usually means stripping and refinishing the entire door, drawer or chair.