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Old 12-06-2008, 12:45 AM
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Default Fuji Mini Mite 3

I have expanded my business model to include finishing of my woodwork. I was just tired of coordinating with the finisher or finishers and then sometimes being disappointed with the results.

I ordered the Fuji MM3 with the gravity feed gun based on research and it was suggested by the owner of hvlp sales based on my needs. I had wanted the q4 but since I will be only shooting clear finishes I was told I didnt need the extra power. It wasnt quite in the budget anyway.

My first project will be finishing some quarter beech veneer bookcases with target's EM2000 waterborne varnish.

Any pointers in getting started?

Thanks,
Eiji
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: Fuji Mini Mite 3

I can't tell you anything about the gun, but the waterborne I can write a book on. If you already know all about the finish though, it'd be moot. Which were you looking for?
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: Fuji Mini Mite 3

both. This is my intro into finishing.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Fuji Mini Mite 3

I probably know even less about finishing than you do Eiji. But I am thinking along the same lines about wanting to start doing it myself. It would help me keep more money in my own pocket, that's for sure.

So what about the Fuji made you pick it?
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Fuji Mini Mite 3

Ok, in a nutshell.
Waterbornes are a hybrid. We've come to think of most finishes as curing by evaporation or chemical reaction. Most wb's do a little of both. I read in one of the books out the term "coalescing" and think it's apt. The carrier evaporates, which lets the solids settle, at which point they do undergo some reaction.
Waterbornes in the can settle. You have to stir them thorougly, and invest 17 cents in a paper filter and use it to strain the mix before it goes in the gun. Not doing so can get you little chunks or clog the gun.
Waterbornes are typically not as "sticky" as, say, poly in a can. More viscous. While you can treat flat work similarly, spraying waterbornes on vertical surfaces you have to play around with the product a little at first to avoid getting it too thick. Runs and sags, or curtains as I like to call them, will probably be part of your test boards.
Waterbornes typically have a higher solids content than a comparable solvent based finish of the same type. So you do not need the same wet mil thickness to net the same resulting dry mil thickness.
Waterbornes can raise the grain with the first coat. If you've adequately sanded the piece to begin with, actual sanding between coats really isnt necessary but scuffing (more in a moment) is very prudent.
Waterbornes don't melt into the previous coat, on this read the can. There should be a recoat time where the previous finish hasn't really cured out yet but is dry enough to put a 2nd coat on. You get better bite than letting it dry completely. One product I used was very specific that you had a 30 minute recoat time but then STOP after the 2nd coat and if you were going to do a third let it dry for X amount of time, a variable strongly influenced by temperature and humidity.
The "cool" appearance of wb's is much talked about and still present in some products. But sample boards will tell you readily if your product makes the wood lifeless or not. Fuhr sticks in my head as one that came really, really close to the look of a solvent lacquer. If it is bland, you can do a little tweaking to what the eye perceives by adding transtint or other dye to the finish before spraying. It doesn't take much. The stuff in my cup often looks like weak chocolate milk, but you don't get a brown finish. You just amber it up a tad.
Sanding - since wb doesnt melt one coat into the next, sanding nibs if not removed will trap between layers. I've grown very fond of the scotch brite style abrasives for between coat sanding. They're available in a variety of "grits" and to some extent, trap the debris. They're certainly enough to remove nibs and show you bumps or mistakes.
Filling holes - like nail holes. Color putty works just fine, but the oils in it always worried me. I'd shoot a coat, then fill, then scuff sand, then recoat, trapping the putty between coats, and evening out the sheen. But I also worked a good deal of whiting into the putty to dry it out into a firm clay consistancy and avoid oil marks.
Mistakes. You can do one of two things. Mistakes you catch immediately wipe away easily with a clean rag and a little alcohol. Mistakes that dry, like a run, I usually held a straight razor and cut as much of the high off as I could, flattening it out, then sanded gently until it was level, and recoated.
Gun cleanup is with alcohol. You can start with water to get everything out cheaply but alcohol removes the water from the gun. And alcohol dissolves semi-cured stuff in the lines better.
I've been told wb's take more work. I don't agree. They take a different technique. I've been told they take forever to dry. That has not been my experience. To me its like the difference between Celsius and Farenheit. They're the same thing, a little different. If its cool and humid, a day you'd be foolish to spray solvent lacquer, wb will still dry. It will dry slower, but it won't blush, and on flat work like a table top, it will level out so nice you'd think you shot liquid glass. On a warm day when solvent lacquer would go great and dry fast, wb will dry half way between the gun and the piece, and you'll get orange peel.
As far as what your coats should look like, it's not easy to just type. You want full coverage and wet, but you don't want so much that it takes forever to dry and sags. Its a fine line, but if you play with your gun and your product a little, its also not hard to find that spot and not hard to maintain it while applying.
Splatter is too dry. You could take a piece of ply and shoot 4 places at different speeds and go drink a soda. Come back and you'll see which ones were too wet.
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:08 AM
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Default Re: Fuji Mini Mite 3

Jerry Work use Target Coatings waterborne finishes almost exclusively. Look at his "Getting the Most from Target Coatings Water Based Finishes" document in the Manual section of his website The Dovetail Joint
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Fuji Mini Mite 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky977 View Post
I probably know even less about finishing than you do Eiji. But I am thinking along the same lines about wanting to start doing it myself. It would help me keep more money in my own pocket, that's for sure.

So what about the Fuji made you pick it?
Cost was a big factor. I still wanted to get the best system for me. I did the research - reading all the online reviews. I found www.hvlpsales.com and pretty much read everything on the site and watched all the videos. I had pretty much made up my mind on the fugi Q4 w/ gravity gun but I still couldnt justify the cost with the amount of work I had lined up. I then figured the MM4 would be a good choice and called Roger Phelps at hvlp sales about it. I told him what I was planning to do and he suggested the MM3 w/ gravity gun. One plus is that the turbine is so compact that I could probably fit it, hose and gun into a sys5.

Weber,
Wow, that is one awesome post. thanks for the info.

Tom,
I am aware of Jerry's manual and have read it many times. I actually saved it to my desktop so i could access it faster.

One thing I am afraid of is that I will not be naturally gifted in the finishing process and actually have to work hard to get good at it. Maybe not. I'm crossing my fingers. :sdrool:

thanks,

Eiji
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Fuji Mini Mite 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by EijiFuller View Post
Cost was a big factor. I still wanted to get the best system for me. I did the research - reading all the online reviews. I found www.hvlpsales.com and pretty much read everything on the site and watched all the videos. I had pretty much made up my mind on the fugi Q4 w/ gravity gun but I still couldnt justify the cost with the amount of work I had lined up. I then figured the MM4 would be a good choice and called Roger Phelps at hvlp sales about it. I told him what I was planning to do and he suggested the MM3 w/ gravity gun. One plus is that the turbine is so compact that I could probably fit it, hose and gun into a sys5.

Weber,
Wow, that is one awesome post. thanks for the info.

Tom,
I am aware of Jerry's manual and have read it many times. I actually saved it to my desktop so i could access it faster.

One thing I am afraid of is that I will not be naturally gifted in the finishing process and actually have to work hard to get good at it.
Maybe not. I'm crossing my fingers. :sdrool:

thanks,

Eiji
Since when, are you afraid of hard work?

RW, thanks from me too!
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Fuji Mini Mite 3

Hey I wasn't aware of Jerrys write up. Very interesting. Makes me want to try Target. That sounds like a heck of a line, and available in smaller quantities. What I've been buying comes in 5's, and you need 5 of sealer and 5 of top coat. So your up front cost is about $330 just to get the product.

Which would be Sherwins Kem Aqua. But it is a beautiful, and very durable finish.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Fuji Mini Mite 3

Hey Eiji,

After you've done some experimenting I'd like to talk with you and look at some samples. Finishing is definitely my weakest area in the furniture/woodworking part of the business. I'm still using the very basic finishes, which I generally like, but they are not always appropriate, especially for heavy use furniture, and the labor is prohibitive. There is no way to get paid for the time it actually takes me.

I've been wanting to find out more about spraying. I've even thought about taking the finishing class up at Palomar.

I'll be psyched to hear what you think.

- Kit
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