I'm looking to purchase a spray gun and all the neccesary equipment.

It's not so straight forward to find ot what you should by, what kind of gun, kompressor, turbine,....

Anybody has experience to share? Thanks and happy holidays!

Tags: gun, srpay

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Hey Peter, thanks and yes, I will link this forum and promote it.

You are right, this IS the best forum out there, I am always amazed how many people share their knowledge and as you said, with a very low noise level!

The other forums with more traffic, members and posts have a lot more noise - it's up to us to keep this one clean but everybody is doing a great job at that.

Thanks again!

I have switched to using gravity feed 99% of the time, they are just easier to use and clean,   the larger the gun the more solvent to clean it after each use. I figure a one qt cup will take one qt. solvent to clean

   your compressor will depend on the type of equipment you have,  normal( non HVLP) will use 10-15 cfm @60 psi, an airbrush needs almost no air,  

I never liked wobble piston compressors but I think they are cheaper.

  buy the best you can afford, the cheap stuff pisses you off perpetually.

you will want a pressure regulator, and a water separator.

Peter's post raises some interesting points.

Please appreciate that it is not my intention to debate or argue with any of those points.

Rather, to use them as a basis to amplify, expand and widen thinking and understanding on some of the issues that surround them.



Gravity Feed Pot Guns.

Are a good choice for small workshops using small quantities of material at a time.

The biggest advantage, is that unlike a Suction Feed Pot Gun System, the Job can be addressed applying the material with the Gun in an Horizontal Position if needed.

If you use a Suction Feed Pot Gun then the Job HAS to be in a vertical position to properly apply even coats. As when the job is in an horizontal position, a Suction Feed Gun can only be angled so far without dripping from the Hole in the Pots Top.

This can also happen to a Gravity Pot depending on how full you fill the Pot, so you need to take how you are going to Spray the Job into account, when you are filling the Pot itself with Material. And is a possible reason to go for bigger pots, dependant upon how you work.

But with Suction Pots in practise this means at the bottom edge of the Guns Fan, the edge closest to the Job, a thicker band of material will be applied than at the Top of the Fan giving an uneven Coat. This is why a Spray Gun most efficiently applies material by being kept at a Right Angle to the Job, with the Hands Pass, Parallel to the Surface of the Job.

Of course, Continually Curvaceous Surfaces will require a Continually Curvaceous Stroke or Hand Pass with the Gun at Right Angles and Equidistant from the surface all the time. Sometimes, this Ideal might not be possible because of the nature of the Task at Hand. But it is possible to Properly Enact this Technique, far more often than many people might think.

However, it means behaving somewhat like a Robot, by the Hand or Arm adjusting one Axis at a time, whilst the others remain constant. Which is a rather unnatural way for the body to move, but if you can Master the Technique, (and it's perfectly possible to practise the pattern of strokes involved, without using any material), then it's possible to completely avoid the undesirable result of Heavier Areas of Material Build, along with subsequent areas of Weakness.

In other words the Film Build will be More Even all over the Entire Job. Less Time spent on further Sanding Operations will be required, and costly material will be more efficiently applied, with less wastage, and less re-work, all of which reduces cost, reduces time and wasted materials, be it in Lacquer or Fine Sanding Equipment. There is no point in Spraying Material onto a job, that simply has to be Sanded away again, if you can APPLY the Material in a more efficient, more even manner, right from the start. Its a better way to work.

I know Guitar Companies, that Completely Sand, Half the Material, they apply off in subsequent, heavily Manual Processes. Could they achieve just as Fine a Finish, but with less waste in cost, material, processes, time, and effort? Well I certainly think so, for the Company I am thinking of in particular, is often unable to fulfil its Customer Orders for Instruments in a Timely Fashion. Is there a link to their Production Methods? I believe so.

Of course, you need sufficient thickness to allow enough material for necessary Fine Sanding and Polishing, but the point is, you don't need Problems, that are Expensive to Correct. Created by Poor Spraying Technique in the first place, if they can be avoided. And the Good News is they can. What you want, is a First Run, OK Job out of the Shop. And Superb Spraying Technique is the best way to get that, First Time, Every Time.



Whether Paint is fed from a Mix House, Sucked up from a Pot or Gravity Fed.

Usually with High Quality Gun Designs (apart from the Aperture in the head of Gravity Guns) the actual Layout and Parts used are exactly the same.

If you Pour Thinners into the Pot of a Gravity Feed Gun to Flush it through, then you need a lot of Thinners. But if you Strip the Gun Down, at least Strip the Pot from the Gun, and clean all the parts as you should when you have finished with the Gun. Then there is really little difference in the Tasks Involved or the Cleaning Material Required.

Furthermore, the release of Volatile Emissions into the Atmosphere, (and Squirting any more Thinners through Pot Guns than is absolutely necessary, contribute negatively to that, even if the Thinners seem to be mostly water) is highly undesirable, and Shops should closely Monitor, both use of Aggressive Thinners especially (some of which may include carcinogenic agents), which do need to be used at times, and the Release of Volatile Emissions into the Local Environment.

Over the last few years, we have Targeted Reductions in both the use of Heavy Thinners, and the Release of Volatile Emissions into the Atmosphere, and achieved and sustained quite incredible reductions in both areas. We now use only a very tiny percent of the amount of these costly and dangerous materials, we were using just a few years ago. It is amazing how little is really needed to do the job, and how much is normally wasted by traditional practise and inefficient methods of Cleaning Equipment. Given that every Turbine Bell (which does the job of an Air Cap on a Spray Gun) will be examined under a microscope, and cleaned thoroughly in every respect. I have no hesitation whatever in writing that every Shop, could substantially improve, by implementing better cleaning procedures, saving material and money, improving the Outside Environment, and providing a Safer Internal Working Environment in this way.

The improvements involve better cleaning methodologies and efficiency by Hand Sprayers and Machine Minders with Robotic devices alike.



Wide Experience with Smaller Guns, has led me to conclude that they are no easier to use, unless, you are Creating an Art Work.

Even when they definitely appear to be needed, in High Production Sites for a Specialist Purpose, my experience has been that they are generally more trouble than they are worth. We have drawers of them, lying about, no longer used as the Job is been found to be able to be done with Larger Guns.

They are infinitely more fiddly for the average workman to Completely Strip Down to their Individual Component Parts for Regular Cleaning Procedures. The user adjustable parts are smaller, more difficult to remove and replace, most easily jumping from the rubber gloved hands or dropped down the Water Weir Sump in Professional Spray Booths. In my experience at least, they are more difficult to readily obtain replacement parts for, as there is far less demand for them, with a far Smaller Commercial Market for this type of Gun.

So although we have them, we no longer use them or hardy ever at all. There is nothing that can be done with a Smaller Gun, that cannot be actually be achieved with a Larger Gun, if the Sprayer has the Necessary Skills. If they don't, then a Smaller Gun may certainly seem extremely attractive at first, but they do have their own problems, and my view of this is. Improve The Spraying Skill to a Higher Level, and the consequence will be that Innumerable Benefits will simply cascade throughout the Entire Shop, as a result of that Superior Class of Skill, at an Absolutely Crucial Stage of the Paint Process.



Some people will definitely have Small Pot Guns, use them for applying small amounts of material, and will have learnt to handle them very well indeed. They have got used to using the Equipment they Own. No argument!

But for a New Installation, purchasing New Equipment I think that a Larger Gun affords many advantages, not the least being that a Large Pot can easily Hold a Small Quantity of Material. Whereas a Small Pot has a Far Lower Threshold regarding the Quantity of Material that is available to use. Easy to hit that Limit. And holding the Gun Horizontal, proves and validates the point.

Undoubtedly the biggest problem faced by every Paint Shop in Existence. Is the intrusion and incursion of Dirt and Contamination onto the Newly Sprayed Surface of the Job that has been worked on. To my mind, should additional material suddenly and unexpectedly need to be mixed, (which can introduce differences in the material being subsequently applied), and a Pot Gun required to be refilled, (which may mean using cleaning materials, and certainly at least, a small degree of practical work, in the vicinity of the Wet and Waiting current job, so not the best plan) before the Finish can be Completed. Then, the Risk of Contamination and Dirt falling onto the Waiting Job, is Significantly Increased.

The Potential Re-Work in this High Risk Scenario, seems an easily avoided, quite unnecessary problem to my mind.

Provided one has a System, entirely sufficient to the Task in Hand.



To that end.

And for those without a Mix House and an On Demand Supply of Material in their Spraying Area.

There is a Spraying System that I very much favour, in Small Scale Shops where none the less, a reasonable amount of work is done, as these Systems have certain advantages, though they will be more expensive initially.

We used to call them "Throw over the Shoulder Pots." Basically these work EXACTLY like a High Production Spray Gun. The Spray Gun has NO POT attached to it directly, so it can easily be manipulated by the Hand Sprayer, in the most sophisticated manner possible, involving the Greatest Skill, and with the Greatest Facility and Ease.

The Gun has an Air Supply and a Paint Feed Pipe. But No Pot attached directly. The Pot has an Air Pipe for Pressure and attaches by a Big Hook to the Sprayers Belt, located behind his back (or he can throw it over his shoulder), and allows Great Facility for the Sprayer, whilst providing for a rather larger Material Capacity (handy if you have a number of Jobs waiting in line in the Larger Shops) yet can be Operated from a Semi/ Professional or Professional Compressor System of the Type I described in my first post, that would be used by most everyone in Small Shops anyway. So no extra cost there.

They give many of the Advantages that Sprayers would have in the Largest Spraying Operations, whilst using the Skills and Operating Methods Normal to the Smaller Shop, with a Potential Larger Material Capacity for multiple jobs of a similar type, applied in a more efficient run of work. But to me, the big advantage is, you can Place the Gun how you want to when you Address it to the Work, as achieved in the Best Spray Booths, without worrying about problems from the Pot, and you simply don't run out of material using it in in a Smaller Shop, that is none the less, quite busy indeed. It's an Ideal Solution, for a Shop, between two worlds.

The Next Stage up would be to use Static Pots that Stand on the Floor and which are available in a wide range of storage capacities, but these use too much material for anything but a Production Scenario, and are best utilised for On Demand Systems with Mini Mix Capabilities for Small Production Runs. The "Throw over the Shoulder Pots" as I called them give the best of both worlds, and are a cost effective, alternative solution for an ever busy, growing Shop, so well worth knowing and thinking about if you find you are always spending a lot of time Cleaning and Refilling, rather than getting more Finished Jobs through the Shop, which is really where your eye should be.



As I described earlier.

The message on the Air Gauge at the Compressor is meaningless, unless you have the Experience to Interpret what it Means.

The only important factor is what the Air Pressure is at the Air Cap, and that can only be ascertained by fitting a Specialised Air Cap Gauge to the Gun itself.

For a High Volume Low Pressure Spray Gun commonly today that would usually be 40 PSI, but to achieve that Level of Air available to Finely Atomise the Material at the Cap a far Higher Pressure will be required at the Compressors Air Valve.  The longer the length of Pipe from the Compressor, the Higher Pressure will be needed as the Greater will be the loss of Air Pressure.

It's not uncommon for the Type of Compressors discussed to  be supplied with a perfectly workable Valve, Gauge and Filter. When no Job is at Hand, every now and then turn a little tap at the bottom of the Filter, and you may find a lot of oily water will clear from the System. It's a good, but rather noisy thing to do. There is a similar Tap in the bottom of the Air Tank itself which should be similarly regularly maintained.

The weak spot in these Systems in my experience is the Quality of the Filter, which is sometimes no more than a piece of sponge to soak up oil, and you might want to wash and dry that from time to time and think about buying a Superior Charcoal Filter Valve, Gauge and Filter Unit to place in line with or to replace the current Unit. As mentioned earlier, Water Traps are the other thing to consider, and you will probably find that Combination Units are available that compact all these elements into a Single Multiple Unit, but at a commensurate higher price.

A Well Set Up System, will prove its worth though time and time again.



A couple of years ago, a close relative was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

Obviously a difficult time ,that happily appears to be behind them now, Thank The Lord!

Happily, the Hospital Facilities in this part of the world seem second to none, so that has been Great.

Amazingly, since then a Grand Piano has been donated to the Hospital, and Free Classic Concerts given to all the Patients, by a Range of Singers, Artists, Virtuoso Instrumentalists and Performers, to Lift The Spirits of All!.

Every Company I have "an interest" in, has also been involved in Fund Raising Drives, with Fun Run's, Racing Marathons and all kinds of Different Activities undertaken by individuals to help raise Awareness and Funds to assist in dealing with this Devastating, Life Threatening Sickness.

But an Old Colleague and Friend, Controls the Paint Operations of a Major Plant that Manufactures Fine Products, and the Company involved have made a Special Product and Donated its use for a Year to the Public, if they Give to this Charitable Cause. It's worth £250,000 and I thought you might be interested in the Quality of the Paint Job.

Happily, Celebrities like Pop Group, Take That's, Gary Barlow, Ace T.V. and Radio Broadcaster Chris Evans, Professor and T.V. Broadcaster Brian Cox and T.V. Program Top Gear (Filmed in the next town) James May have got on board with the Project.  They drove the FAB1 pink Rolls Royce from Lands End to John O'Groats to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Care.

The Target is to Raise £1,000,000 within a year, for this Worthy Cause.


Please watch the Movies Below.

If you are a Fan of Thunderbirds, you are Bound to Enjoy it.


Here is the Website for FAB1


The question I would ask is "Do I have enough need, space, electrical service and money for a large air compressor?"  If that is no I would be looking at the Apollo ( ) and Fuji ( ) HVLP units.  I found a used 4 stage Apollo unit on Craigslist but was looking for a 3 stage setup.  Now I'm glad to have the extra grunt for more viscous finishes like I sprayed on my kitchen cabinets.

Just a quick update, after researching about spray equipment and the great info here on the forum I have my rig together. I managed to find a used 5hp 25gallon tank compressor and for a gun I'm going with the devilbiss finishline model.

I'll share my progress here! I'll also build a "drying cabinet" for my guitars. I will spray outside, and the days here in California are ideal probably all year round, but the night's get cold and humid close to the beach so I'll install a small heat lamp with temperature contol to keep it warm and dry in there.

I'm still figuring out the dimensions for the cabinet, it should hold 2 guitars and 2 necks at the same time. To determin the size I'll have to figure out how to spray and hang set neck guitars, but I'll start another thread about this.

Greetings to everybody!

The 5 HP Compressor will be more than adequate for your needs.

Before you buy it, ensure it does not need Industrial Type 3 Phase Electrics to the Power Supply, and can be successfully run on whatever Type of Electrical Supply you have Available.

Especially, Check out the Amperage requirements. Usually, in this Country after about 3 HP Motors, better basic Electrical Systems are required. It may not be a problem for you at all in your Country, or in your Shop. I trust so, but I would just check that prior to purchasing. Make sure you plug into an Adequate Amperage Power Supply anyway.


If you are going to Spray outside, Sprinkle Water around the Ground to help kill the dust and hopefully create a helpful, protective zone that will encourage the cleanest most conducive environment possible for good results. Keeps your Tack Rags out of Direct Sunlight or they may start to eke their Sticky Material through Heat.

Keep a Air Blow Gun Hand or Simply use Air from the Spray Gun, to Blow the Instrument Clean, before Spraying any Paint Material. Don't point either the Air Gun or Spray Gun toward the Ground and pull the trigger before you Spray, to minimise Dust in the Environment. Point it elsewhere if you do that. It's easily done, in an unthinking moment.


Make your Drying Cabinets big enough to allow a Good Balance of Air to Circulate, rather than having Hot Spots and Cool Spots where the limited Air Flow creates Temperature Differences.

People think that Heat Rises. It does not. Heat is very Often Highly Localised and Controlling and Smoothing, Averaging Out Temperature Differences in  a Limited Area, is in reality, far more Complex than most people think, Boil Up can be the Result with Modern Materials.

Hot Air Rises and it is the Flow of Air through the Curing Environment that is the Key to Smoothing out these Potential Problems. Assuming you have an Inlet (you may well not) Having some Form of Filter particularly on the incoming air, however basic will be beneficial.  The last thing you want is any form of incoming contamination falling onto Drying Material. Letting the Cabinet be a Little Bigger then you think you need, will probably help smooth things out.

Filtering doesn't have to complicated, but you might find it helpful. Depending on the Type of Clear Coat Material you use, and how its cured, a Short burst of Reasonable Additional Heat or Warmer Air in a Readied Cabinet, can help greatly by Case Hardening the Drying Finish. So if any Dirt Falls onto Finish, it doesn't sink deeply into it, and is easily Polished from the Surface, or even wiped or Flicked Away later.



Fabricate some Slaves.

These enable you to Manipulate the Instrument as you Spray it and allow you to hang it whilst the Finish Cures.

You'll need different ones for different purposes, some to fit the Neck Sockets of Acoustics and  Solid Bodies, Metal Hooks that can be inserted into the End Pin Hole, Wires to Hang Necks by the Machine Head Holes Etc.

Get Wire that is supple enough to bend as you desire to the Shape you Want, yet Strong Enough to bear the weight of whatever you need to hang. Doubling up can sometimes help with heavier Jobs

And Make a Minimal Floor Footprint Base Unit these Slaves can Fit into on a Variety of Positions and Planes and an Overhead Facilitator they can Hang by when your are Spraying. Sometimes it's easier to hold the Work whilst you Spray it to manipulate it, but sometimes it's nice if the Work is held by Slaves and Stands there, while you work on it.

Different people will have Definite Views personal to them on this, but as far As I'm concerned, I find it easier if the Instrument is held in a Static Optimal Position that allows for Complete Access, and I adjust Myself and the Spray Gun without the difficulty of also holding the Material whilst I do it. (But do think about where your overspray will be going too).

In other words I only have one thing to adjust differentially, at a simultaneous time, thus have eliminated a variable. Consistent Quality in Manufacturing Processes is always Achieved by Eliminating Variables. The More Variables you can Eliminate in your Processes, the Better and More Consistent will be your Results. It's the Same for a Factory as it is for a Small Workshop.

Try to do everything so that you are working Comfortably. I tend to Hold and Control the Air Pipes in my other (left) Hand, so they don't touch the Job or Anywhere I don't want them to, or get under my feet, causing me to stand on the Pipe, cutting off the air supply and Spluttering Paint Blobs all over the Job. Keep in Proper Control of Everything, by your Working Methodologies, and you will Avoid the Silly Problems, most people experience, at some time or another.

Try to work out a Pattern, a Consistent Way of Working, that allows you to evenly cover the Job with Material. Think of the Width of the Fan especially, and Work out and Eliminate Areas where by virtue of that Fan Width, Spots of the Job get Hit Repeatedly without you realising it. Practice this with just Air if you like, so when you come to Painting Clear Coat, your idea of going about it is already pretty clear in your mind. You might be deliberately Spraying one part, and then another, but in a Particular Area the Job is  "catching" more and more Material, as the Passes with the Gun continue and the Material builds up.

Let your Eyes do the Work, watch out for these things and remember it's easier to add a little more slowly over a period, than have to take some off.

A friend of mine once wrote something  helpful "Proper Preparation Promotes Perfect Paint Performance."

Get that right, and with a bit of common sense, everything else should go o.k.

Use a Hook or Eye with a Screw End into the End Pin Hole.

Of the Solid Body Les Paul you enquired about.

Elsewhere on the Fora.

Good Luck to You!




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