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Cleaning Hvlp Gun


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I was just wondering if, when using a HVLP gravity-fed gun, do you have to clean between every use or just at the end of the day? I figure it will have to be after each use since the lacquer hardens pretty quickly and I don't want the tip to clog. I just thought I would ask the more experienced sprayers since it seems like a lot of wasted time and materials to clean after every session when you're on the 1-2 hours apart schedule.

Maybe a better question is how long between spraying sessions can you go without cleaning?

I guess the worst thing about the gracity feed is that you can't remove it from the gun and cap it while you clean the gun. I take it you just pour the remaining nitro back in the can and then clean.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

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Yes clean between coats during the same day, unless you are doing multiple guitars at the same time, then clean when done. Don't pour the left overs back into the original can but use a clean glass container. This will keep any stray particles out of your original can. Strain any particles in the glass container and add more finish if needed for the next coat.

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In my experience it depends on your material (and how much you've thinned it) and tip size. Nitro doesn't set up that much in an hour.

I use a cataylzed conversion varnish that is hard to the touch in 10 minutes, and can be sanded in as little as 50-60 minutes. I've left my gun sitting for and hour between coats with no problem. I just pull the trigger part-way and blow air through the tip/nozzle before setting it down.

If it will sit any longer than that, I'll dismantle and clean it.

With nitro, I'm sure you can dump out the unused finish into your holding container (I also use a clean glass jar for my CV), then pour some thinner into your cup and shoot that through the gun before you let it sit between coats. Then when you're ready to shoot again, refill the cup with nitro and have at it.

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Nitro is nice because you can always dissolve it in lacquer thinner. When I used to shoot nitro, I never did much for cleaning besides shooting a bit of thinner through the gun after each coat. Never had a problem. Now I'm using conversion varnish and I have to be a lot more careful about gun cleaning. I dismantle if after each coat, go over it with a brush and xylene, then blow it out with compressed air.

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I use 2K for my bike plastics and I ran a good quantity of thinner after and I have had no problems with it. If I had an expensive gun, I might go thru the trouble of taking it apart, but my gun is $28 worth, so no biggie...

I have Sata and Iwata guns and I do not dismantle very often. Just run laquer thinner through the gun to ensure that it is clean. I shoot mostly 2k clear and it can sit in the gun for a hour or so with no issues on cleaning. The issue with ultiple coats in hot weather is that the clear does thicken so the last coat may not spray well. If It is a big job I will mix enough for the first coats and then a new batch for the last coat.

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