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Newsletter #164

Greetings from Bill Boxer, Sr. Vice President, Apollo Sprayers International, Inc  

Have you watched Salvage Dawgs on the DIY network?   The guys travel the country to find  old churches, factories, homes, buildings and even a riverboat that are slated to be demolished. They rescue pieces and parts that can be reused in their current state or upcycled or repurposed into something new and exciting. The new piece has a new use, and perhaps is more valuable and is a higher quality than the original.



I spent time with them at their warehouse and yard, Black Dog Salvage, in Roanoke Virginia.  Of course they finish with an Apollo Precision-5 and we went over some of the finer points as we sprayed a large wooden sign.

William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their 2002 book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, write that the goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones. This reduces the consumption of new raw materials when creating new products. Reducing the use of new raw materials can result in a reduction of energy usage, air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions.

Upcycling is the opposite of downcycling, which is the other half of the recycling process. Downcycling involves converting materials and products into new materials of lesser quality. Most recycling involves converting or extracting useful materials from a product and creating a different product or material.

All of us woodworkers surely upcycled before there was a name for it. Years ago, I had a small grand piano that was hopelessly damaged.  I took the back part of the top, refinished the gorgeous mahogany, attached 3 cut down legs with wheels and I had a great coffee table. A friend who is a sculptor used bits and pieces of the piano as bases for her work. The ornate music stand became a book rest.


I hope you will tune in to Salvage Dawgs on the DIY channel for lots of fun and ideas.


Two Tips on Keeping Your Spray Guns Ready to Go:

Bob Flexner: When to Clean Your Spray Gun  

 Here’s a frequently asked question. Do you really need to clean your spray gun every  single time you use it? Do you  need to clean it when you go to lunch? What if you are  putting it away for a week? Which coatings mean clean “right  away?” Here’s the scoop:  always clean your gun immediately if you are spraying a quick set up coating such as a  two  part urethane or epoxy paint. Clean it even if you are going to lunch. If you are  using a pigmented coating and are  finished with that color, clean the spray gun. If you  are going from a water based coating to a solvent based, or the  other way round, clean  the spray gun. Other coatings can wait until you are finished for the day. Some finishers  keep  2 or more spray guns and dedicate each one to a particular coating, such as water based or solvent, pigmented or  clear, 2 part or simple.

 Bill Boxer: This week I am going to go over all my spray guns to  make  sure everything is in order. Here’s what I do:

Here’s how I prepare my spray guns on a regular basis:

  • First, I test the spray guns for pattern accuracy to make sure the spray pattern is even from top to bottom.  
  • If it is heavier on one side or another, I rotate the air cap. If the problem moves to the opposite side, the first thing I do is thoroughly clean the air cap with spray gun cleaner and my cleaning kit brushes. Generally the problem is solved.
  • If the problem persists, I look at the nozzle and needle assembly. Again, I clean with my spray gun cleaner and brushes.  If that’s not the solution, it’s time to replace the nozzle and needle.
  • Next, I lubricate all the threads with Spray Gun Lubricant.
  • I check the gaskets and replace if necessary. Then my spray gun is good to go.
  • At this time I also make sure I have a supply of cup gaskets, and non return valves.

Nothing is as frustrating as being shut down for such a simple problems.

Specials of the Month: Here are 3 products

to keep your Spray Gun performing at its best.

Kleen-Again Brush & Spray Gun Cleaner
KEEP YOUR BRUSHES & SPRAY GUNS CLEAN AND LOOKING NEW! Made from soybeans, Kleen-Again is biodegradable, environmentally friendly and cleans without odors associated with traditional brush and gun cleaners.​

Apollo Rebuild Kit for 7500T or 7500C Spray Gun

Apollo Rebuild Kit for A5510 & A5111 1 Qt. Cup Spray Gun

Cleaning Kit 17 Piece Kit is perfect to clean all spray gun parts

MSA Paint & Pesticides Respirator Mask Only

And Spend $100 or more and we will include an EzPro Sander


 Waterborne FAQ and Issues: by Charles Neil 


 You have to be careful of any waterborne finish left on the spray gun tip  between coats, it sets up hard  and fast. Once set, some M.E.K. is all I have  found to clean it. I simply drape a wet cloth over the gun tip  between coats.

You want to use a Teflon lined cup. Nylon isn’t bad but with aluminum and steel, the finish likes to hang  on the sides and can semi-setup and contaminate the finish.

Waterborne finishes are typically water clear and afford no slight amber tint or warming of the finish like a solvent base finish does which is more of a reaction of the wood and the solvents. I find a quick seal coat of 1 lb. cut of either a blond or amber shellac cures that.

Waterborne finishes are more expensive but when you compare solids content it isn’t really. Add to that fire insurance, employee workman’s comp insurance, and the whole environmental issue, not to mention hazmat shipping, it’s actually cheaper.

Overspray, while minimal can be an issue in multi-piece application. Unless you have adequate air movement to remove any airborne particles, you can get overspray settling in the finish and because of its quick set, it will ‘grit’ the finish.  My solution is to spray multiple parts toward the exhaust, meaning I spray the farthest distance from the fan, moving toward it and tacking my pieces as I move forward. Remember, unlike solvent based, waterborne does not dissolve itself.

If a finish is to be rubbed out, with micro-mesh or other means, if you go through one coat into the next you can get ‘ghosting’. My solution to this is what I call a double or back-to-back final coat, meaning I typically will spray a light first coat, just to get finish on the surface. As soon as it tacks, I apply a full wet coat. Once dry, I do my mid-coat scuff sand with 320 grit, then apply a full second coat and again a more aggressive mid-coat sanding. Then I apply another full wet coat and as soon as it tacks I apply another full wet coat

While one coat of waterborne will not dissolve the other, it does have enough burn-in to allow for a chemical adhesion. So the objective here is to catch one coat before it is fully set and apply the second, they then bond together to form one heavy film which has yet to give me a ghosting issue.

On the topic of waterborne and rubbing, having overcome the ghosting issue, I personally find the non-dissolving properties are a blessing. I have no ‘shrink-back’ meaning when I do a mid-coat sanding to a glass smooth surface, the next coat isn’t going to soften it or disturb the surface. After a day or two cure I can sand and rub, wet or dry. Six months or even two years later, the piece I sent out the door was the same.

The heavier solids allow for better grain filling properties and it doesn’t shrink back, so for me the ‘what you see is what you get’ is a super plus.

One last thing, waterborne finishes often lack that warm butter feel solvents offer.  It is because there is always a slight amount of overspray. A quick rub with a paper bag or some brown craft paper and it’s like glass.

You will also find chemical and wear resistance is far better.