Greetings from Bill Boxer, Sr. Vice President, Apollo Sprayers International, Inc
Happy Spring! Lots of us, in many parts of the country, survived some rough weather.
This month we again welcome the wise words of wisdom from Scott Burt who always provides us with timely topics and great advice. Be sure to read his article this month.
Let me tell you about Apollo’s Spring offering.
In both April and May Apollo is providing a coupon promotion to entice those of you who have been sitting on the fence and thinking about purchasing an Apollo turbine system, with a special valued offer.
Our thoughts were in line with Spring Cleaning so we are including a 17 piece cleaning kit and our ever popular blow-off tool that add another dimension to any Apollo HVLP turbine spray system.
Next, I wanted to mention that in 2016 Apollo will be celebrating 50 continuous years of innovating, manufacturing and selling HVLP spray systems. With numerous firsts and awards we are extremely proud of our USA made products. We are going to celebrate through the entire year. We have some great projects in the works. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas of things we can do to make our 50 years in business memorable.Please take a moment to tell us how you think we should celebrate in 2016. Write to me at [email protected]
That’s it for this month. I will have more for you next month.
Finishing Feature Article: by Scott Burt
I’ve always said, it’s not the elephants that’ll kill you, it’s the mosquitoes. The little things that quietly sneak up on your finish, that you don’t realize until it’s too late. We all focus heavily on spraying technique as paramount to achieving high level sprayed finishes. While technique is important, product control begins before you even pull the trigger. Here are a couple of tips to help eliminate product based variables.
This is about product handling. Sometimes, finishers take for granted what the product itself needs in order to be happy in the process. Product happiness directly relates to spray gun happiness, which transfers right to the finish you lay down. If the product and gun are happy, and your technique is good, the finish should be a thing of beauty.
Tip 1: Strain Product: Always
Straining is a topic that we talk a lot about in our Prep to Finish paint training program (preptofinish.com). Conventional wisdom and common sense dictate that straining is a great way to remove contaminants from product while it is still in liquid form. This is certainly true, but there are other, more subtle considerations that make straining a good idea.
Specifically, building the habit of straining ALL product every time you load your cup gun is cheap insurance at a deeper level. As the product world transitions more into waterborne platforms, the practice of shaking a can of product is not recommended. Shaking a waterborne tends to bubble it up right in the can, and even after the bubbles appear to have settled out, they often still transfer through the gun and into the finish.
This makes sense, because even in a low pressure system, there is still pressure and force driving the liquid through the needle. You may not be able to see large bubbles in the cup, but there can easily still be tiny ones inside the liquid form product, that will pass through your gun tip, and lay down with the finish as micro bubbles. This creates backwards motion, because usually we will have to sand the dried micro bubbles smooth to remove the nubs, and do another round of spraying.
I recommend a soft stir and then a full strain of all new product. Using a fine mesh cone style strainer, the product actually gets a “combed” effect through the strainer, so that it enters your cup with ideal consistency and viscosity.
Lately, we have rediscovered the convenience of using a filter stand when preparing product for HVLP spraying. If you don’t have a strainer stand, I highly recommend that you pick one up, as it makes it easier and more convenient to ritualize the straining habit. You don’t have to stand there and hold the cup and can. You can be finalizing your tack wipe on the piece to be sprayed, so there is a bonus efficiency gain through this simple implementation. Simple multi-tasking at its best.
Tip 2: Never Spray Outside. Ever.
Another concept we drill in finish training is controlling the environment in which spraying occurs. It always amazes me how many finishers tell me that they prefer to spray outside, because it is just easier than creating clean, controlled conditions in the workshop.
While this may seem convenient to you as the technician, it is not at all appreciated by your spray gun, or the product being sprayed.
Aside from the obvious risks of contaminants and unpredictable lay down of product, the primary problem with outdoor spraying is the unpredictability of wind. The slightest random breeze outdoors will wreak havoc on the transfer efficiency of your gun. In other words, you are shooting at your target, and wind is passing through the surface area, moving and diffusing your sprayed fan.
Remember, HVLP spraying is low pressure. The sprayed fan is very fine, which is the benefit of HVLP spraying to begin with. Because of product loss in the air, outdoor spraying often requires 4-5 coats to achieve the level of finish that can easily be laid down in 2-3 coats in the controlled environment of the workshop.
The wasted product is a big deal, because fine finishing products are often pricy. Why spend twice as much on materials? Further, the time that it takes to create additional finishes due to loss of transfer efficiency puts projects behind schedule. Whether you are a hobbyist or a pro finisher, time is just too precious to waste.
So, with spring coming, rather than embracing the nice weather for outdoor spraying, open up the windows in the workshop and give it a good spring clean and organize. Set up a dedicated spray area that you can control, both in terms of cleanliness and air flow (a simple exhaust fan out a window). The best way to exhaust is to be drawing air away from the finish area, not randomly into it or through it.
These two simple adjustments – straining habits and controlled environment – will make a profound difference in your finished results, while saving you time and money. It’s all about quality and efficiency.
Happy spring and happy spraying!
Product of the Month:
Apollo Filter Stand
SAVE HOURS IN CLEAN UP AND SPILLAGE
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.
Glen Huey Sprays a Monticello Bookcase with His HVLP Apollo Spray System.
Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Spray/No-Wipe Staining
If you have a spray gun, you can use it to create an entirely different look on the wood than you get wiping or brushing the stain and wiping off the excess. Simply spray the stain and leave it; don’t wipe off the excess.
The key here is whether or not you wipe off the excess, not how you apply the stain. You could also spray the stain and wipe off the excess. But you can’t get an even coloring by wiping or brushing the stain and leaving the excess. You can’t help but leave more coloring in some areas than others. Only by spraying can you get an even coloring everywhere.
The trick is to thin the stain a good deal (say three-to-six parts) with the appropriate thinner and build the color slowly with several coats. You can spray the coats on top of each other while still damp, or you can wait until each coat of stain has dried before spraying the next.
If you try spraying just one coat of full-strength stain (rather than multiple coats of thinned stain), you’ll have great difficulty getting an even coloring. In fact, I feel comfortable saying that unless the object is small and flat, you won’t get an even coloring. You have to thin the stain and apply multiple coats.
You can see from the accompanying photographs the difference spraying and leaving makes. I used the same stain on both sides of both panels.
On the oak panel, I wiped off the excess stain on the left side, and I left the thinned, multi-coat sprayed stain unwiped on the right side. Not wiping off the excess stain caused the oak grain to almost disappear.
On the pine panel, I also wiped off the excess stain on the left side, and I left the thinned, multi-coat sprayed stain unwiped on the right side. Spraying and leaving reduces blotching to almost nothing, but it also muddies the contrasting spring- and summer-growth grain.There is no right or wrong way. It depends on the look you want.
Finishing Terms Defined by Bob Flexner: What is Pickling?
In wood finishing the term “pickling” is generally used to mean adding a white coloring to the wood. (“Liming” is sometimes used to mean the same thing.)
There are two broad methods of pickling. One is to wipe on and wipe off a white stain. The other involves sealing the wood with a first coat of finish, thenwiping on and wiping off a stain.
There is a big difference in the appearance you get.
In the sample shown, a white stain was applied directly to the lower half of the panel and wiped off. The same white stain was applied over a sealer coat on the top half of the panel and wiped off. The sealer coat prevented the stain from coloring the wood as thoroughly. The white coloring was left just in the pores when the excess stain was wiped off.