Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:51 pm

If you are only painting a little bit at one time, you can get all the equipment you need at Home Depot for less than $5. Just buy a Preval sprayer. It is equivalent to buying a spray can but you put your own paint in it.

When I did this mower, the blue was put on with a brush, the white came from a rattle can and the red was put on with a Preval sprayer.


Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:13 pm

Daniel H Wrote

Which sprayer did you get from TSC? I got the Farmhand, which was $300, for $80.00 on clearance, new in box. I haven't had a chance to try it yet. I hope it will spray good paint.

Daniel I had purchase a HV 2000 back in 96 to put a old pickup in primer since then i have use it to spray my house with a oil stain twice and painted my 55 with Tractor and implement enamel
if i remember you have a better unit then mine

Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:45 pm

Jim Becker wrote:. Just buy a Preval sprayer. It is equivalent to buying a spray can but you put your own paint in it.[/img]
How much spraying will each of those power units do?

Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:41 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:How much spraying will each of those power units do?

I don't think I can quantify that very well. I think you can push more paint with one than you get out of the typical rattle can. I found that the labeling on the power unit dissolves in paint thinner. Kind of a nuisance if you clean one to save it after a small job.

A year or so ago, I ran across a Preval booth at an auto body repair conventon. I mentioned the label/thinner problem and he said I was the first person to ever menton it. I'm probably the first person to clean one. At $4, everybody else probably just tosses it after each job.

Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:33 am

Well, I gotta jump in on this one. Although I do not have a lot of experience spraying automotive type paints, I have been spraying cellulose and catalytic lacquers for well over 30 years, so I think I just may qualify to add my 2 cents. :roll:

Firstly - always buy the very best compressor you can afford. After I opened my cabinet shop back in the 80's, I could not afford the compressor I wanted (still can't), so I ended up purchasing a Pony. This is a nice little compressor that will pump out enought air to do limited functions sufficiently, but it is a struggle. At 40 psi, the compressor will do a comfortable job even spraying, but it will run continuously which is hard as can be on these little compressors. Personally, I would never use it again to spray squat - the finish is passable but not top grade.

The main problem here is cycling - there is a surge of air which translates into bubbles and excess material being forced through the gun (negligable, but noticeable), and at the end of the cycle there is a substantial drop in pressure before the next cycle begins. This causes a loss of air, hence pressure at the nozzle, hence less material being ejected from the nozzle causing misting on the finish.

Soooo, the solution was for me to buy a DeVilbliss 5hp compressor with a 100 gallon laydown tank. This solved all my problems, but is still not the compressor I always wanted. It is missing the dryers and a few other goodies that I consider advantageous, but not mandatory. This compressor can run ALL of my air tools and my spray guns at the same time without a noticeable drop in pressure, not that I have that many hands, but when I had employees, it was a real boone.

Oh, a word here on buying compressors. You can go to TSC or HF or almost any store and spend little or a lot and end up with a low quality or middle of the road compressor. To prevent this, let your fingers do the walking. Investigate your yellow pages. Look under Compressors or Air Tools. Find a business that sells comercial compresssors and also services them. Then go shopping. They usually will have well used but reconditioned commercial compressors for the same or usually less than a Campbell Hausfield or a Coleman or any of those other so called Hobbyist compressors. Then you will have similar to what I have. I bought mine used and it has served me faithfully for over 20 years!

So with the air pressure problems solved we can go on to guns.

The first gun I bought was a DeVilbliss 312 - over $650.00 Canadian. Top flight gun no doubt, but beyond the reach of the hobby painter and is overkill even for pros.

A couple of years later, I needed a cheap gun to do some catalytic lacquers with embedded pigments and did not want to ruin my good guns. So I tried out the Chicago brand of guns. Big surprise :shock: and I do mean a big surprise. This gun was as good if not better in some respects to my 312 which blew me away. Since then I have never spent more than $40 - $50 on a new gun. Some of the cheap guns that are available at Princess Auto and I imagine Harbour Frieght although marketed under different names are produced by the same manufacturer as the Chicago brand. I assume they are Chicago's cause all the parts are a perfect fit and can be interchanged without worry. I know this, cause I have about 8 or 9 guns and I never worry about which parts fit which guns.

There are a few factors that determine how a finish job turns out.

One is finish material quality. Buy the best you can reasonably afford and stick with that manufacturer/brand. This includes Paint/Lacquer/Clear Coat, Reducer and Hardener.

Two is air - buy the best compressor you can find. Oh, and I am not a fan of HLVP -- no where near the quality of a traditional compressor, but then I am kind of stuck in my ways. :roll: :wink: :?

Three is median humidity levels. I always try to spray in a 45 - 65 % humidity environment. Not much more as I find the tendency for fish eyes and orange peel is increased. Too much less and the finish will become misty due to the lack of moisture.

Four is dust - keep it down - wet your floor lightly if possible.

Five is operator experience. This is a fluid factor - the more experience the better you will get. Take your time, make sure that you have set up your spray pattern properly, the volume of air to material is correct, your overlap is sufficient yet not excessive and pay attention to your stroke. Stroke is very, very important. Master this and you have 90 percent of spraying all locked up.

Remember to watch out for sags!

I imagine there is a few things I have missed, but I will leave that for another time when I can think of it or to others with more experience than I. Hope this has helped a little and not muddied up the waters too much :roll: :D

Sat Apr 24, 2004 1:44 pm

Thanks Everyone

I have always wanted to do now I am.

This is cheaper than therapy...I have started telling my wife this and so far she seems to be in agreement.

I'll get up to Tucson and look for a good recon. or new commercial grade compressor, and at least one Chicago gun.

Besides the Monk, I have alot of exterior wood work that needs finishing and maintenance too....( new front porch turned spindle roof supports, and cabinets and furnture I've built for the porch and grill). I have brushed four coats of WATCO and two coats of sanding sealer on everything and have sanded everything with 400 paper. I have already sprayed one of two coats of Minwax Spar Urethane as the final finish, but have spent way too much money on the rattle cans. The compressor is getting more cost effective now. I think it will be much faster and better. I will tell this to my wife too.

My other hobby is trading in, and collecting antique (1930's) Zenith wood table radios (known as tombstone radios). I would like to be able to mix my own laquers for finish touch up and refinishing these beautiful old walnut veneer radio cabinets. I am thinking a separate smaller compressor and gun for this..right or wrong?

Please tell me what size guns I should have for tractor work, exterior wood work, and radio cabinets. Is an air brush just a small spray gun or is there something different about them? Any other painting accessory items I should know about.

What about regulators...?? Won't a good one stop the surging and spray pressure differentials you were describing?

I am going to Home Depat this afternoon too for one of those Preval sprayers too... just to try it out.

Is this getting off the subject too much?



Sat Apr 24, 2004 5:17 pm


My other hobby is trading in, and collecting antique (1930's) Zenith wood table radios (known as tombstone radios). I would like to be able to mix my own laquers for finish touch up and refinishing these beautiful old walnut veneer radio cabinets. I am thinking a separate smaller compressor and gun for this..right or wrong?

One, I have not seen a tombstone radio and a pic would be nice.

Two, I have redone a few of the Mantle style (Philco), Cathedral style (GE) and the floor model Cathedrals (RCA) over the years. It is interesting as a change from larger pieces of furniture.

I use my large compressor for ALL my spray jobs. The Pony is now relegated to running the finish nailers when I am doing baseboards and such in the house.

If you can get used to the new guns and new compressor, you may not have to cut your lacquers. I have not cut lacquers in years. I spray uncut. Takes a lot of practice though.

Figuring out the ratios will depend on your humidity, temperature and most importantly how you spray. Trial and error. Usually you should start at a 90% lacquer and 10% thinners, mix well, then practice your spray pattern and weight of your material - adjust both as necessary.

Yup, I assumed (shouldn't do that) that regulators, water filters and in-line dryers are automatic when considering anything other than a portable.

The small Pony has a regulator built in just like the CA and Coleman compressors -- still cannot regulate what isn't there and can be pushed on startup.

Oh, before I forget -- all guns are pretty much the same size. Usually 1 quart cans with a head.... air brushes are much smaller and require substantially less air, but can be used with any compressor provided you regulate according to manufacturers instructions. I don't use them myself, or maybe I should say, haven't yet cause I never needed them.

I touch up with my regular guns (different spray pattern).

Sat Apr 24, 2004 7:11 pm

Here ya go Rudi....


This is one of my favorites. Its a 1937 Zenith 10-S-130. Ten tubes, am, 2 sw, and police, and something very cool called target tuning...a little bb centers into a target at the top of the tuning dial to tell you when signal is at peak strength.

Pulls in sw better than my Sony with the correct 6 ft stranded wire antenna.

Cathedrals and tombstones are about the same, but cathedrals usually have a pointed top.

This is also good therapy.

Thanks again for the good information.

I think we are way off the subject now. The 10-S-130 could be redone in 2150 though.

Mike :lol:

Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:19 am

I wish I had a 60 gallon compressor but we really didn't want to spent that much so we purchased a 30 gallon Crafstmen. It came as a kit from Sears with 3 air tools. I used it with a cheap paint gun from Harbor Freight to lay down a two part base coat clear coat paint on our van hood and front fenders. It looks better than factory. We also use it to sand blast. When it is set to 90lbs. it will run continuously so we don't use it all day long hopefully it will hold up. Although it works, if you are going to use it a lot, save for the 60 gallon compressor.

Tue Apr 27, 2004 4:55 pm

Steve, something that could be helpfull is if you should come across another air tank that you could get cheaply or maybe free. I added another tank to my compressor and now have 120 gal. Another good thing is it will cool your air better and that helps with condensation down line. Just be sure to test the tank before you use it. Fill it almost full of water then put the pressure to it. Water doesn't compress so it isn't a bomb if it splits.