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Newsletter #134

Exciting News: New HVLP Spray Systems from Apollo

I closed my February letter telling our readers to look for some exciting news from Apollo in the March Newsletter. Here it is:

We proudly introduce ECO-3, ECO-4 and ECO-5 our newest three, four and five stage turbine models designed for small workshops, DIY and semi-pro.

Complete Systems Available from $599.00!

New Products Carry a New Apollo Brand Name ASI-HVLP


For many years Apollo Sprayers International, Inc. has been recognized as the HVLP innovator, producer and manufacturer worldwide of TrueHVLP™ spray guns and TrueHVLP™ Mobile Turbo Spray Systems. Our premium products have benefitted the industrial and professional finishing market as well as serious craftspeople who could invest in our premium finishing products. 

While we continue to successfully expand our premium products and markets, the new challenge to Apollo was to produce a range of economical and ecological TrueHVLP™ Mobile Turbo Spray Systems. These spray systems must provide the finishing performance of Apollo premium sprayers, yet be affordable to allow a wider segment of the finishing marketplace to explore, enjoy and utilize Apollo HVLP products. We have achieved this with our new ECO Series.

ECO-3, ECO-4 and ECO-5 FEATURE Unique Design Strengths:5eco.jpg

• Power to produce the perfect finish with today’s modern finish formulas
• Computer designed Quiet Technology™ lower dBa levels
• Air efficient design and filtration
• Handsome all metal Euro style compact case
• Easy carry handle and Handi-Hold™ spray gun docking station
• Quick disconnect – air hose to spray gun
• The ECO-5 priced at $849 is the first and only 5 stage HVLP  system under $1000

Two Spray Gun Choices Are Available:

Apollo E5011, a bleeder style turbine HVLP spray gun supplied with a 1 quart (1 liter) cup assembly and a proven history of performance, reliability and longevity along with minimal overspray.
Apollo E7000, a non-bleeder style turbine HVLP spray gun supplied with a 1 quart (1 liter) cup assembly providing full pattern control, excellent atomization, low maintenance and minimal overspray.

Bleeder and Non-Bleeder Style Spray Guns: Understanding the Difference

Bleeder style spray guns have a continuous flow of air through the air cap when the HVLP turbine is “on”. Bleeder spray guns are the original style HVLP spray gun supplied with Apollo turbine spray systems. They are simple in design, extremely reliable, and very easy to clean and maintain. The perception that the continuous air flow will displace dust and dirt in the spray area and workshop, or in any way affect the performance when spraying is incorrect. It originated when HVLP manufacturers began offering non-bleeder style HVLP spray guns and circulated inaccurate information to promote the alternative non-bleeder concept. HVLP manufacturers continue to successfully offer bleeder style spray guns. Apollo 5000 Series bleeder style spray guns have a proven history and proven performance and have even been copied by other HVLP producers.

Non-Bleeder HVLP spray guns do not bleed air when the HVLP turbine is “on” until the trigger on the spray gun is pulled back. Non-bleeder spray guns are slightly more complex than bleeder style HVLP spray guns. Non-bleeder HVLP spray guns require a turbine system to have some form of air relief to prevent backflow air pressure to the motor. This air relief can be internal or external. There is no advantage or disadvantage to using a non-bleeder HVLP spray gun. It is a matter of preference and/or choice.

Generally, HVLP bleeder spray guns are less expensive than non-bleeder HVLP spray guns.

We are proud and excited about the new ECO Series HVLP Turbo Spray Systems. If you have been waiting for an Apollo manufactured HVLP spray system within the reach of the small workshop, wait no more. ECO-3, 4 and 5 are available through woodworking and alternative suppliers worldwide.

Check out the ECO Series at

Sr. Vice President
Apollo Sprayers International, Inc.  

Finishing Feature Article By Bob Flexner: The Benefits of Wetting a Surface. 

Here’s one of my favorite tricks. Wet a surface to see what it will look like with a finish applied, or to make it look better if the finish already exists and is in good shape.

If you’ve done much finishing, you’ve probably discovered this trick on your own. But just in case, here’s an explanation. Wood, whether it’s stained or not, looks darker and richer with a finish applied. The finish soaks into the wood and gives it a “wet” look, which becomes permanent when the finish cures.

Therefore, the color you see on unfinished wood, or on wood with the finish removed due to wear, is not the same as it will be when finished. If you want to see how the wood will look with a finish, all you need to do is wet the wood with a liquid that will READ MORE

Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Rubbing vs. Using a Satin Finish

There are two ways to get a satin (matte) finish—that is, a finish with less shine and reflection than gloss: rub the finish with abrasives or use a finish that contains flatting agents. There are pros and cons to each.

The easier of the two, by far, is to use a finish that contains flatting agents, usually labeled satin, matte, flat or semi-gloss. The terms are vague approximations of sheen (amount of shine or gloss) you will get. Some manufacturers selling into the professional trade use a numbering system to indicate sheen, with 90 being gloss and 10 being very flat.

Rubbing with abrasives is much more time consuming because you have to sand and abrade throughrubbing-a-finish-with-rottenstone.jpg a number of grits. Usually, you begin with fine-grit sandpaper, then advance through several abrasive powders, such as pumice and rottenstone, or rubbing compounds.

However, rubbing produces a much more perfect finish, with no flaws if you do it well, and with a much more pleasing soft, silky feel. This is good, and the extra work is often worth it for tabletops. But rubbing, by definition, leaves fine scratches in the finish. (It’s the scratches that create the lower sheen by reflecting light randomly.) And the scratches show marks easily when objects are moved on the surface. Even lightly dragging the back of your fingernail perpendicular to the polishing scratches will leave a mark.

So rubbing can produce a much more perfect finish than using a finish containing flatting agents, but rubbing also creates a fragile finish. To reduce the likelihood of scratches showing, apply a paste wax or a furniture polish that contains silicone to the surface. Most aerosol furniture polishes, with the exception of Endust, contain silicone. They are very effective at reducing scratching and they usually make the wood and finish look deeper and richer.

Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Ruining Your Woodwork with a Finish

It’s common to hear woodworkers lament that they don’t like finishing because they are afraid of ruining their woodworking project. So the following is an important point to keep in mind.

The only thing you can do in finishing that can’t be fixed fairly easily is to blotch the wood with a stain or decide after you have applied a stain that you don’t want it. All other problems can be fixed, with the worst case being that you have to strip off the finish and begin again. Nothing is ruined.


Blotching, like that in the accompanying picture, occurs on softwoods such as pine, and tight-grained hardwoods such as cherry, birch and maple. It’s difficult-to-impossible to totally avoid blotching on these woods if you use a stain.

So, depending on the wood you use, it’s really the stain you have to be concerned about, not the finish. You can’t “ruin” anything with a finish. Choose your wood and whether or not to stain with this in mind.