There’s a new HVLP spray system series available. It’s aimed at small shops and do-it-yourselfer and that means your out-of-pocket suffers less. We like that.
The new series of HVLP sprayers is American made from the great state of California. The Eco series of spray systems is by ASI-HVLP. What do you know about this company? Not much is my guess. So why would a woodworking magazine editor be touting a new HVLP spray system from an yet-to-be-proven company? Good question, and here’s why. ASI-HVLP is a new brand from the folks behind Apollo Sprayers, and that’s a name you should know because Apollo is credited with bringing HVLP technology to the amateur woodworking market. Its line of premium sprayers have always been at the top of the category.
What is ASI-HVLP bringing to the market? The Eco series is available in a three-, four- or five-stage turbine and each system includes one of two spray guns. Before talking spray guns, let’s look at the turbines. Eco-series turbines have full-metal cases that are sleek, clean and painted black – think sports-car appearance. In your shop, the noise from these units is reduced due to a trademarked “Quiet Technology.” Also included is 25′ of air hose with a quick disconnect at the gun end of the hose, and a 6′ power cord. This allows you to set the unit away from your work area.
Your spray gun can be one of two units. The first is an E5011 bleeder gun. A bleeder gun always has the air running and the fluid moves with a trigger pull. The second choice is a non-bleed spray gun, the E7000. A non-bleed gun moves both the air and fluid with a single pull of the trigger. (I prefer non-bleed guns so I don’t churn up dust in the shop as I spray – my finish area is not a clean room when I work.) The E7000 ups the price by about $50.
So let’s talk price. A three-stage Eco-series HVLP spray system retails for $649. Can you get a smooth finish using a three-stage system? Yes. In fact, my first serious HVLP system was a three-stage setup. Finishes we use on furniture – solvent-based finishes such as shellac, lacquer, stains and some dyes – are easily atomized using a three-stage spray unit. But as we move more into water-based finishes – especially if you see yourself spraying latex paints – you’re going to need more power.
The five-stage turbine from ASI-HVLP is priced at $899. While it is the only HVLP system available for less than $900 today, it is a significant jump to the upside. But here’s my thoughts. With a five-stage Eco-series HVLP spray system, you should never need to purchase a better unit – I purchased three different units throughout the years. The Eco-series system will handle any product you choose to apply to your furniture, and the results will be a smoother surface that’s way easier to apply. And, you’ll be able to move away from wipe-on oils and polyurethanes and step up to better finishing.
You can purchase Eco-series HVLP spray systems through Apollo premium distributors, including the Finishing Store (thefinishingstore.com).
There is no better resource on finishing than Bob Flexner. To learn everything finishing, you need a copy of Bob’s book, “Flexner on Finishing.” But if you want to learn how to choose a finish, download “Choosing a Finish” also by Bob Flexner.