In Finishing, Shop Blog

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This is a common American DeVilbiss spray gun, not the brand I discuss in the text.

I was teaching a hands-on finishing class, including spraying, a while back when a student brought me a spray gun he had bought a year before from another teacher who was selling a line of spray guns. The spray gun wasn’t working right and he couldn’t figure out why.

We fixed the problems, but I remember thinking, why didn’t he contact the teacher who sold him the gun? He went an entire year without being able to use the gun, which was a little known (at least in the U.S.) foreign-made spray gun with no obvious national supplier except this teacher.

After thinking about it I realized that this fellow was probably too embarrassed or intimidated to contact the teacher. Embarrassed because he had attended the class and didn’t want to reveal that he might not have been listening well enough. Intimidated because this was the teacher, not some clerk in a physical or online store.

The lesson I learned is this: Don’t buy a complicated tool from a teacher unless you are sure you would feel comfortable getting in touch if you have problems.

— Bob Flexner


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