thinking of trying a turbine sprayer, tips and advice please

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:26 pm
father in law has a croix cx710 turbine sprayer, with a pressure siphon feed gun, that he used to use to spray ultra light aircraft. wondering about trying it on my car with ss urethane. currently i know nothing about using a turbine sprayer. i’m new to painting with anything really, but have used a cheap hvlp gun a few times. i’m a little leery of trying it out, but curious too. it hasn’t been used in probably 8-10 years, but has been rebuilt since last used. looking for tips and advice about using one of these. curious if this is a decent turbine or not too. thx

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:27 pm
Welcome.....okay, the short version here would be to simply punch in "turbine spray" in the search box on the tool section here. That should get you a lot of reading with most of it written and responded to by me. I've been using, selling, and building turbine systems for near 40 years now.... Your 710 was a decent turbine spray system for the times consisting of a fairly strong 2 stage turbine motor. Each stage produces about 1.5 to 2 psi of pressure at just about 100 cfm with your unit. That was a common wood finishing with some metal finishing thrown in system of that time. Now we are up to 4 stage units at minimum with 5 stage proven to be the most adaptable for auto finishing. That is a dandy gun with it which is a SICMO clone (stands for the old Shanghai Industrial Machine Org.). Parts are still readily available for it. As far as the reliability of a rebuilt turbine that is of no concern. There is nothing that goes bad on those motors except the brushes and that is what is "rebuilt" on them. Anything worse than that and the entire unit is just pitched.
My suggestion? Get with a local paint jobber and buy some off spec., mismatched, single stage or base/clear auto coatings and try some test spraying. You might be able to "tweek" the mix enough to get some decent results. Use the absolute slowest reducer/thinner combo. If you have enough hose put the turbine box just outside the building to pull clean air and go for it......
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:29 am
sounds promising. i did do a quick search and actually read some of what you wrote in them, but i couldn’t find anything specific about the one i had. looks like it should be fun to try. thx for the reply, glad to hear it was a decent unit.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:26 pm
There has just been so much re-branding and selling of the companies making the units....that's why it is sometimes hard to track down particular models. Even though Graco bought Croix years ago if you try to call them about Croix they no almost nothing about any of the spec.s or tech. If you need any parts for your guns or turbine you can contact American Turbines.....http://www.american-turbine.com/ You can't really order from that site but if you call them you can do phone orders. Oh, and they don't always pickup the first time you try them....
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:00 am
Hello.

I’ve benefited so much from this site that after reading your post last night I decided to join and give back. All the information provided above is spot on and matches my experience using turbine equipment. I am knee deep in restoring my 1979 TA and did my 1979 AMC Spirit GT back in 2014 using an old 3 stage unit borrowed from my uncle. I believe it was a Capspray unit. I just built a 5 stage unit myself for the TA project I am working on now. The AMC was painted with a BC called switchblade, a GM silver. I had never painted a whole car and really believe the metallic laid down as good as it did due to the airflow and ease of use provided by the turbine. I feel the 3 Stage unit struggled pushing and atomizing the clear though. Hence; the building of the 5 stage unit.

One thing that I feel lends turbine units is that in my experience it seems easier to get the gun dialed in and be consistent vs. using compressor driven guns. The turbine output is pretty much set. Another aspect is the nature of the gun settings. The gun from my uncle and the gravity feed unit I purchased for shooting the color and clear had similar controls; simple airflow, material and the fan pattern adjusted by screwing the cap in or out. Bottom line is I think it makes things a little simpler and forgiving for a novice.

I have access to a large compressor at my cousin’s shop and used some cheap HF guns with lousy results pushing HB primer, even thinned out. The turbine setup is doing way better at putting down a fine layer, and I wish I built the unit sooner.

Anyway, I hope this helps your selection of whether to go to a turbine unit or not. And good luck with your project.

Jim

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:58 pm
Welcome, RamblerRacer..... Ahhh.... Capspray... I was a dealer for them for about 4 years or so. Control Air was one of the first of the turbine spray people to design their own gun which could take advantage of their 3 stage turbines. They made their mark with wood finishers but didn't really bleed over much into the auto scene. In my opinion the 5 stage turbine is pretty much a "standard" for turbine spraying automotive. I'm still using a modified 4 stage for most of my finishing and have been doing a little industrial shopping for a 5 stage motor at the right price. Thanks for sharing over here. Turbine guys are kind of an endangered species in automotive coatings......
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:05 am
I bought the 5 stage turbine from centralvacuummotors.com. They have a brand called Lighthouse that is made in TN I believe. I can post a pic from imgur if you would like to see how I made it. I think anyone willing to try their hand at bodywork or woodworking could make their own. Full disclosure is that making my own worked in my case because I had previously purchased a gun so I was already $300 or more in. The motor and other parts needed cost about $350. The hose required is also a pretty pricey piece. One thing I found is a low pressure relief from McMaster Carr since I have non bleed guns.

I think upgrading a unit with fewer stages with one the company mentioned above may work for some models.

JT

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:02 am
Yep, I've been waiting to see if the Lighthouse units drop more in price. They are down to $249 and they have been much higher before..... For hose I've had a lot of luck picking up used stuff on ebay, craigslist, etc.... I use heavy duty tool boxes for my portable turbines and hard plumb my wood shop units.
Metal, wood, fiberglass, we work it all... www.furniturephysicians.com We can restore the irreplaceable!

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