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Newsletter #151



You’ve Never Seen Anything Like It: Apollo Sprayers at IWFiwf2014-logo-dates.jpg

It’s once again time for the bi-annual International Woodworking Fair (IWF-2014) August 20 – 23 in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia World Congress Center. No matter what your involvement with wood, this is a great opportunity to see everything from hand tools to automated machinery and everything related in between. This is your chance to not only see it all but also to talk with the experts who are available in the product booths throughout the show. Take your time. There’s lots to see.

Apollo Sprayers International has been a major participant at IWF since its inception back in the 1980’s. We have not only been a part of the show but also new product showcases, seminar presenters on Turbospray Technology and participants in award programs. This year we proudly achieved semi-finalist status for the Challenger’s Award.

At IWF 2014, we are introducing the new Apollo PRECISION-5 Turbospray System (Challenger’s Award Semi-finalist). We added new spray gun options and value to our popular ECO-Series. You can see all of our PRECISION, POWER, PRODUCTION and ECO Series products in person and in action. As always there are surprise show specials available to those who attend and stop by the Apollo booth. (5453). You are sure to see Apollo products that will meet your individual needs as well as transform your woodworking projects to a highly professional end result.

On a reminiscent note: I personally have been at every IWF show dating back to the 1980’s. It was my opportunity to connect with old and new customers both domestic and international. It was the best place to meet many of our distribution partners, magazine and advertising representatives and trusted associates. I have watched how the personality of the show has changed over the years yet still remain an important part of the woodworking marketplace.

I reflect on all of this as this will be the first time in my long Apollo history that I will not be in our booth this year. Not to worry, all is just fine. This senior guy at Apollo is on to new projects as Apollo continues to expand its horizons beyond woodworking into new markets.

Be assured I will continue to share all that is happening in the finishing world with you in future newsletters.

If you have the opportunity to attend the IWF-2014 show in Atlanta this year, please be sure to stop by the Apollo booth (5453) and say hello to our sales team and see everything that’s new for this year. Don’t be surprised if you see Apollo Turbospray products in other booths in the show as well. We do have some great partners representing and selling our products.

bill boxer signature

Sr. Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Apollo Sprayers International, Inc. 


Product of the Month #1:

PRECISION-5 HVLP Turbospray System: More Precision + More Power

IWF Challenger’s Award Semi-Finalist!


We are introducing to a worldwide audience our most advanced Turbospray System ever: The Apollo PRECISION-5. It takes precision and performance to a new level: setting the standard for the professional and serious craftsman.  What makes it so different? First, you can expect 21% more power than our previous 5-stage. In addition, Apollo presents refined engineering and optimized performance through the these significant innovations:

NEW: Throttle Back Control (TBC)™. Patent Pending, this unique control permits the highest available flow pressure and promotes motor longevity.

NEW: LCD Message Center – Accurate Pressure Display – Motor Idle – Temperature – Hour Use Meter

Precision: Pressure Control System (PCSTM) controls motor speed, voltage and amperage adjusting automatically for altitude and barometric pressure assuring precise atomizing pressure worldwide.


Power: Documented 80% transfer efficiency and 38% savings on coatings when compared with compressed air systems.

Use the PRECISION-5 for the widest range of coatings, solvent or waterbase, clear or pigmented as well as specialized materials: faux paints, gelcoat, latex (emulsion) and multi-spec. This is serious equipment for anyone who takes their finishing seriously.  See for yourself at Apollo’s booth 5453 at IWF Atlanta!

Product of the Month #2: Versatile ECO-SERIES Turbospray Systems with Expanded Spray Gun Choices

Apollo Sprayers International announces an expanded array of spray gun choices for the popular ASI/HVLP ECO-Series of 3, 4, & 5 stage Turbospray systems. Buyers can pick the spray gun that meets their needs and budget. See the complete ECO-Series range and 5 Apollo Spray Guns at Apollo’s Booth #5453 at IWF Atlanta.

The ECO-Series, made in the USA, provides more power than other turbine systems in their class.

  • ECO-3 HVLP Turbine: 1508 Watts 
  • ECO-4 HVLP Turbine:  1568 Watts 
  • ECO-5 HVLP Turbine: 1858 Watts 

Take your pick from five great Apollo Spray Guns

  1. ASI-HVLP E6000 – bleeder style turbine spray gun.  Paired with the Apollo ECO-3 HVLP Turbospray System at a $499.00 selling price this is super value.
  2. ASI-HVLP E5530bleeder style side mount gravity cup gun 
  3. ASI-HVLP E7500GT-600cc – non-bleeder style turbine spray gun 
  4. ASI-HVLP E5011 – bleeder style turbine spray Apollo E7000- non-bleeder style turbine spray gun 
  5. ASI-HVLP E7000– non-bleeder style turbine spray gun


Remember, You’re Invited to Apollo Booth #5453 at IWF. Mention Our Name ( and Get an Apollo Blow Off Tool FREE!

When you are in Atlanta at IWF 2014 (August 20-23) visit our booth, check out all our products, and take home a new Apollo Blow Off Tool, FREE. All you have to do is say “I love” and it’s yours!. Who knows, you may be tempted to get an Apollo/ASI-HVLP Turbospray System or Turbine Spray Gun!  See you soon!

Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Wiping Off Excess Stain

The rule for applying stain successfully is to apply a wet coat and wipe off the excess before the stain dries. There’s no problem doing this with water-based-stain-drying-before-i-get-all-excess-wiped-off.jpgcommon oil-based wiping stains. They dry very slowly, so there’s plenty of time to get the excess wiped off before the stain dries.

But water-based and lacquer stains dry rapidly, so it’s often difficult to get all the excess wiped off before the stain begins to set up. An example of the problems with water-based stain is shown in the accompanying picture.

Here are three ways to overcome the problem:

  • If possible, divide the project into smaller sections and work on just one at a time.
  • Wipe or spray the stain onto the wood, rather than brush it on, which is very slow, and work faster to get it all wiped off.
  • Get a second person to help you. One applies, the other wipes off before the stain dries.

Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Water Warps Wood Opposite from What You May Think

Water causes wood to swell, so most people think that wetting one side and not the other will cause the wetted side to bow – that is, increase in widthsiding-protected-with-just-a-deck-stain.jpg so the center is higher than the edges.

second-story-oak-floor-wet-mopped-for-many-years.jpgIf the wood is thin enough, this will be the case initially. But the overall swelling or shrinking after many wettings and dryings out, no matter what the thickness of the wood, will be the opposite. The wetted side will shrink and the wood, or boards, will cup. The four accompanying pictures show examples of this. With a little thought, you will most likely come up with examples from your own experience.

The explanation is a phenomenon called “compression set” or “compression shrinkage.” When one side of wood is wetted the wood cells want to swell. If the thickness of the wood prevents them from doing this, they compress from cylinder shapes to oval shapes, and they don’t return fully to their cylinder shapes when the wood dries out.


The compressions are cumulative. So after many wettings and drying outs, the result is shrinkage. Eventually, the wooddeck-protected-with-just-a-deck-stain.jpg can’t shrink enough on the wetted side, so it splits. On a deck, for example, this shows up first as small “checks,” or splits all across each board.

None of this has anything to do with heartwood or sapwood up, or planesawn vs. quartersawn. The continuously wetted side will be the side that shrinks.

This is the reason wood exposed to water on one side should be protected with a finish in good shape and thick enough so water can’t get through. It’s the reason deck stains and water repellants are not very effective, and it’s the reason the message of the Antiques Roadshow, “Don’t Refinish,” has been so destructive to our furniture heritage.


Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Remove Watermarks With Steel Wool

Watermarks can happen in all finishes after they have aged and become somewhat porous. The marks appear light gray to white and are almost rub-with-fine-steel-wool-to-remove-water-marks.jpgalways very superficial – that is, right at the surface of the finish.

So one way to remove them that almost always works well is to abrade off the very top surface of the finish with fine steel wool or abrasive pad. Usually, the discoloration will be removed with very little effort, as shown in the two accompanying pictures.

The downside of removing watermarks in this manner is that you may change the sheen of the finish, making it flatter or glossier, and there’s no easy way to disguise this.

The first choice would be to blend the sheen of the rubbed area in with the sheen of the surrounding area. Do this by choosing a grit steel wool or abrasive pad that does this well. You can try several times with different grits to try to achieve a match. You can also use different pressures to “feather in” the rubbed sheen.

No matter how close you get however, a rubbed sheen never looks exactly the same as a sheen created by just the finish because a rubbed sheen is composed of scratches.

To get the entire surface, almost always a tabletop, uniform, you’ll need to rub the entire surface with the same grit abrasive. You could also applywater-mark-removed.jpg another coat of finish on top. The least risky, if you don’t know the finish you’re working on, would be shellac, or wiping varnish padded on.



Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Applying Finish With or Across the Grain

It’s common to be instructed to apply a finish in the direction of the grain, called “with the grain.” Doing this is usually best when brushing a finish, but it’s rarely necessary when wiping or spraying a finish.

Brushing with the grain is best because the grain will help disguise the brush marks, the ridges and troughs caused by the movement of the bristles along or across the surface. If you brush across the grain, the brush marks will stand out in contrast to the grain of the wood.

There are exceptions, however. These include solid or veneer with their grain running in different directions – for example, sunburst, parquetry, etc. If the grain of the boards or veneer runs in the same direction, it’s always best to brush with the grain.

Spraying, and wiping on and wiping off, are different. With spraying, as long as you build the finish enough so there aren’t dry streaks or areas with too little finish, it doesn’t make any difference in which direction you spray. For example, you might find it easier to spray horizontally on installed vertical panels rather than turn the air nozzle 90 degrees and spraying up and down.

With wiping, as long as you wipe off all the excess, it doesn’t matter in which direction you wipe on the stain or finish. The only consideration is in wiping off. If there is any chance that you may leave streaks, because you don’t get all the excess wiped off, you should wipe off with the grain.

Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Finishes Differ in the Color They Impart

You might choose a finish for its durability, drying speed, ease of use or cost, but you might also choose for the color it imparts to the wood.

The accompanying picture shows unfinished oak at the top left, then seven common finishes and their color. If you haven’t done this comparison sidefinishes-differ-in-the-color-they-impart.jpg by side, you may be surprised at the amount of difference.

On top row from the left: unfinished, clear paste wax, water-based finish and nitrocellulose lacquer.

On bottom row from the left: clear/blonde shellac, amber/orange shellac, polyurethane varnish and boiled linseed oil.

In practice, wax would be an unusual choice because it offers almost no moisture resistance. Linseed and other oils offer only a little more because they can’t be built to a moisture-resistant thickness. But they are easy to apply, so they work fairly well on objects without tabletops.

Of the remaining film-building finishes (they dry hard, so they can be built to several layers) water-based finish and amber/orange shellac are the most unique. Water-based finish imparts no color; it just darkens the wood a little. Amber/orange shellac imparts a lot of orange color.

You may choose either of these finishes just for the color.