Fuji MiniMite 3 HVLP - Adequate?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:45 am
I'm Pete and am new to this forum and HVLP spraying. I purchased a very lightly used Fuji MM3 setup this past weekend for taking care of my kitchen refacing job. I have a variety of needles and air caps ranging from 0.82 up to 2.0, so the system should be more than capable of handling my primer, milk paint, and topcoat efforts on this and other woodworking jobs.

So why am I here and presenting this to you guys in an autobody arena? I bet you already know!

I do virtually all my own automotive repair, and that is now moving into minor coating touchups and re-sprays. I have no intention of doing full body work, but would like you guys' perspective on the appropriateness of my "new to me" Fuji MM3 setup.

In particular, I have a top rear spoiler on my wife's '10 RX450h which is in horrible condition. It was painted form the factory with a single paint system (base and clear combined), but the top surface has been badly eroded by something... looks like sandpaper scratches. I've polished and wet sanded and buffed and polished, and it's better, but still bad enough to where you can feel the roughness with your fingers. My plan is to use a filling primer and repeat that process until smooth, and then base coat it 2-3 times followed by 2-3 clear coats. I had been planning on doing this with rattle cans until I snagged the MM3 this past weekend. I think the MM3 is capable of giving me better results than rattle cans, though probably not perfect, would be OK for a hobbyist like me and do well enough to not detract from the vehicle's appearance and value.

What say you? Is my MM3 going to be a good tool for my project? Any additional insights you can offer will also be greatly appreciated.
Pete
Woodworking and minor automotive spraying.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:29 am
Well, you are talking to a guy that used to be back in the stone age with a hotrodded 2 stage units so.....see the little car in my avatar to the left there...that was an overall shoot with that system 25 years ago. Your Fuji is a 3 stage putting out about 6 psi max. at the tip. You may find that you have to add a little % more of reducer but that's about it. For no more than you are doing you won't be getting much heat build up and you've got some tip selection to play with. If it came with a viscosity cup that would be helpful and try to match up with Fuji recommendations for your paints/clears. I've been using turbine systems (sold them and built them as well) for 35 years now.....you can make them adapt to almost any liquid.....
Metal, wood, fiberglass, we work it all... www.furniturephysicians.com We can restore the irreplaceable!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:27 pm
Thanks, Darrell. I appreciate your insight and suggestions. I've already secured a Fuji viscosity cup, and I also went ahead and purchased the 10-foot Fuji "whip" hose for improved "hose flexibility" while simultaneously providing some extra air cooling ahead of the gun. I'm not sure how much real world cooling I'll get with the 10' whip, but I'll take every benefit I can obtain.
Pete
Woodworking and minor automotive spraying.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:37 pm
Actually, I think the whip is quite helpful. Both from a cooling aspect and more importantly with cars, from a maneuvering point of view. Just remember....if you do need to knock down temp.s at the turbine air input even simple freezer packs slung alongside it help a lot. You can also do the hose in a bucket of ice thing.... similar to this.....
http://www.turbineproducts.com/brands/B ... dCool.html
Metal, wood, fiberglass, we work it all... www.furniturephysicians.com We can restore the irreplaceable!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:42 pm
Thanks for that suggestion. I'll keep it in mind, for sure.

It's good to know that I have a tool that I'll probably never outgrow, too.
Pete
Woodworking and minor automotive spraying.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:50 pm
UPDATE:

I spent last Friday night and off and on all day Saturday spraying my doors and drawer fronts. Total spraying time on Saturday was about 6 hours. The finish came out wonderful with a 10% dilution and 3 coats of the General Finishes milk paint. I accidentally got a tad more water in the last quart (still less than the GF recommended max of 15%), and it sprayed even 10 times better than the previous batches. During the last (thinner) batch, the gun actually felt different in my hand, almost like the paint was nearly exploding out of the gun as opposed to being pushed out of the gun on all the previous batches with the ever so slightly thicker paint. The GF milk paint has such a high degree of self-leveling that the end result is absolutely beautiful. My wife and I were both impressed with the ease of use and quality of finish from the very first piece I sprayed.

That little MM3 is a real work horse!
Pete
Woodworking and minor automotive spraying.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:23 pm
Viscosity is a lot bigger factor with all turbine style guns no matter how many stages are used. You always must remember that the gun cup can only be pressurized as much as the limit of your turbine pressure. I've always felt that about 6 to 10 psi is what is needed to the gun cup for less tweeking/reduction. We found this out back in the days of 2 stage turbines. When we went from a gun cup to a 5 gallon pressure pot (which we pressurized to 8 to 10 psi) we could lay down coatings like glass with very little thinning/reduction. Today's 3,4,5, and 6 stage turbines easily make that extra pressure for the cup to get that fluid out into the air stream. Bottom line.....better atomizing.
Metal, wood, fiberglass, we work it all... www.furniturephysicians.com We can restore the irreplaceable!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:52 am
I got away with my initial "heavier" viscosity because of the GF milk paint's tremendous self-leveling properties. When I got to that last "thinner" batch, though, my eyes opened and I made a mental note that when I move over to the very thin GF water-borne clear topcoat (and eventually the automotive paint), I'll need to be more diligent in controlling viscosity and make sure I match the needle and air cap to the fluid.
Pete
Woodworking and minor automotive spraying.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:36 pm
Well, a little bit of temporary drama this past weekend while spraying the GF water based Top Performance Clear Coat. That stuff is like water, but they (GF) still recommend thinning by 10-15% anyway. I started out 10% thinning and the same "medium" nozzle I used with the milk paint, but was fighting micro air bubbles. I payed around with the finish flow volume knob, then reduced the spray pattern size, then reduced the air flow valve into the gun, and finally concluded that I needed to drop to the next smaller needle and air cap combo (Fuji #3, which I think is 1.0).

After dropping the needle size, I went back through the routine of playing with the finish volume and spray pattern knobs with the air flow valve slightly closed off, and then wide open on the air valve. Ultimately, I finally got away from the micro bubbles with a wide open air valve and lightly open fluid flow valve, and had the best results with that combination at about 12-13% thinning. The few micro bubbles which occasionally showed up cleared themselves out as the finish dried.

Overall, I'm still quite pleased. I had a few sags and minor runs on a couple of pieces, but otherwise the doors came out very nicely. I'll put the last topcoat on either Tuesday or Wednesday night when I get home from work.
Pete
Woodworking and minor automotive spraying.

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