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Newsletter #139

Knowledge Is Power

At and Apollo Sprayers Inc. we strive to build our knowledge about finishing so we can provide you with the best and most accurate information to guide you towards the perfect finish.

We certainly are experts in HVLP technology. With our long history and hands on experience we can answer and advise you with the best information in the industry. But finishing is more than just a brush, a spray gun or a spray system. An in depth knowledge of coatings and alternative surface finishing products is essential for us to know and to be able to communicate with you, the product end user. To this end we are constantly in touch with manufacturers of the wide range of finishing products, their formulation, and application characteristics and how it relates to HVLP technology.

The next step in our process of communication is our staff training. This is an ongoing process at Apollo Sprayers Inc. Our experienced sales team, with many years of fieldwork among them, participate in regular team meeting. They discuss new applications, new coatings, new products and bring to the table ideas for all to share and further improve your finishing experience.

Our biggest challenge is training new sales team members. Everyone joining the Apollo sales team spends time in the factory building turbine systems and building spray guns from the ground up. This .of course, is possible with our USA factory in California and our USA made products. Once that training is complete, each sales team member spends time alongside one of our veteran salespeople to learn hands on what’s happening out in the field. Add to that our ongoing weekly team meetings and you have the formula for success. As we said knowledge is power and this is the knowledge we want to share with you.

This month we feature photos on the training of a new sales team member.

When you want accurate information on HVLP technology and spray finishing, the Apollo team is your number one choice.

Sr. Vice President
Apollo Sprayers International, Inc.

Product of the Month: Apollo Filter Stand

Our Apollo Filter Stand is our own invention, and and we think it’s unique. We created it to fill a specific requirement – to save spray finishers hours of cleanup and keep your workbench clean..

This handy device allows you to place a filter cone into the filter holder, place a 1 quart or a 2 quart coating container underneath the filter cone and easily pour your favorite coating through the filter cone. The cone traps any unwanted particles, dirt or lumps. It not only prevents wasted hours of clean up from spills, but filtering your material before filling your containers ensures that nothing will ever clog your favorite spray gun again

Finishing Feature Article:

Best of the Best! By Popular Demand

This month we want to celebrate three of our most popular feature articles of the past three years. When we went back and looked at the excellent information they contain, it’s not surprising that they were popular. We thought we’d give you another chance to see all three.

Viscosity, Finish Thickness, and the Magic of the Wet Mil Gauge

Posted on February 6th, 2012 By Bill Perry 

Bill Perry’s article on two inexpensive instruments to insure a perfect finish received much appreciative feedback. Many woodworkers were aware of viscosity cups and mil gauges but were at a loss as to how to use them. Sometimes the simplest methods become invaluable and Bill let us all know how to do it

Great Furniture: A Sum of All Parts

Posted on July 12th, 2011 By Glen Huey 

Glen Huey reminded woodworkers how important it is not to cut corners. We all look for bargains, but when it comes to making something useful, beautiful, and meant to last for future generations, sometimes we need to go the extra mile.

Finishing the Finish

Posted on June 14th, 2011 By Charles Neil

At we all loved this quote from master finisher, Charles Neil: “A finish should invite you, it should ask to be rubbed and touched and it should feel like warm butter.”
In this article Charles tells woodworkers how to achieve this. 

Learning the Ropes

Joe Boxer grew up around finishing. Now he has become an East Coast sales consultant for and Apollo, we brought him to our Vista, CA headquarters for in depth training. He built turbine systems from the bottom up and learned the hands-on process of building spray guns. Joe visited customers with our National Sales Manager, Don Vargo. He got to know all our West Coast staff so now he’s a full-on member of the Apollo team and knows our equipment inside out. 



Meet Alisandra Del Nero, Customer Service Representativephoto-19-.jpg

We’re delighted to welcome Alisandra Del Nero on to our team. Alisandra is a dynamic carpenter with over 20 years’ experience in the Exhibit, Sales Office, and Museum Display Industry. She also has over 15 years of experience in the field of repairing, refurbishing and handyman maintenance of residences and rental properties. She has strong finish carpentry skills and a thorough knowledge of finishing methods and coatings. She knows our products, too. All this makes her a real asset to Apollo Sprayers, and our customers.

Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner 

Stains can change color over time

Many, probably most, store-bought stains are made with both dye and pigment. If wood stained with these stains is exposed to sunlight or fluorescent light for a while, the dye color will fade away, but the pigment color will remain. The effect is that the stained wood changes color.

In the accompanying picture the red dye in this “cherry” stain has faded on the top half (I covered the bottom half) after only a few days in direct sunlight, leaving the color significantly different. It’s definitely no longer cherry color.


The fading occurs much more rapidly in direct sunlight than indoors with a window providing a partial barrier to UV light. Nevertheless, you need to be aware of the problem when choosing a stain, depending on where the object will be placed.

To my knowledge manufacturers never tell us if there is dye in the stain, so we have to determine this ourselves. The easy way is to open the can after it has sat on a shelf for a week or two to allow the pigment to settle. Tthen insert a light-colored wood stirring stick an inch or so into the stain. If it colors the stirring stick, there is dye in the stain because dye dissolves; it doesn’t settle.

If you insert the stirring stick to the bottom of the can, and the pigment has fully settled, you should be able to bring up a little pigment. Very few stains contain no pigment, but some do.

Finishing tip by Bob Flexner:

Differences between shellac and lacquer

The principle differences between nitrocellulose lacquer and shellac are ease of application and their ability to block off problems in the wood. Both finishes are evaporative finishes, meaning that they dry entirely by solvent evaporation; there is no crosslinking as there is with varnish and catalyzed finishes.

As a result, both lacquer and shellac are more vulnerable to being damaged by coarse or sharp objects, heat, solvents, acids and alkalis. Shellac is more vulnerable than lacquer to being damaged by alcohol spills, of course, but keep in mind that beer, wine and mixed drinks are usually very watered down, so the vulnerability is much less than a straight alcohol spill.

Lacquer is much more user friendly than shellac because of the difference between thinners. Lacquer thinner is made up of a number of different solvents (usually about six, except in areas with strict VOC rules) that evaporate at different rates. This allows finishers to control the drying rate of the finish to avoid blushing, and runs and sags. With the right lacquer thinner, lacquer can even be applied successfully in cold temperatures. We have almost no control of the drying rate of shellac with just alcohol as the solvent.

But shellac has the advantage of being able to block off problems in the wood, such as silicone, which causes fish eye, various other oils, resin in oily woods, wax, etc. Shellac, therefore, can be useful as a sealer coat if you have one of these problems. For the most part, shellac is a great tool for refinishers who often encounter silicone problems, but of almost no advantage for finishing new wood.

The greater user friendliness of lacquer was the principle reason lacquer replaced shellac as a finish in the 1920s.