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Old 05-04-2013, 07:24 PM   #1
ajb667
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Air compressors for spray guns for finishing guitar

Hey guys,
I'm going to be finishing my first guitar soon, and I just realized I don't know what kind of air compressor or spray gun to get. There's no kit or anything, as far as I can see, so I don't know where to start. Any recommendations? I wanna try to keep it under 130 bucks, since I don't have a lot.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #2
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That won't be doable at the price, a decent air compressor alone is about 200.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:24 PM   #3
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^^+1

The closest you can get is to get an airbrush kit with compressor from somewhere like Harbor Freight.

You can use rattle cans and get a pro finish if you prep and take your time. There are quite a few videos on Youtube showing how to do this.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:30 PM   #4
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I gotta disagree about the not getting anything for under $130.....I got my compressor for $99nz and spray gun for $25nz (that's about $105us), yes they were on special but keep your eye out for sales ..... both new and it works fine

http://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/onl...s.aspx?id=80101

the thing with the cheap compressor is to empty the air out after every use because they are made of thin crap metal and most likely will explode if left full

you can use an air brush compressor but your finish is a lot harder to get smooth and even and the compressor for air brushing is quite expensive to

Last edited by sytharnia1560 : 05-04-2013 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sytharnia1560
I gotta disagree about the not getting anything for under $130.....I got my compressor for $99nz and spray gun for $25nz (that's about $105us), yes they were on special but keep your eye out for sales ..... both new and it works fine

http://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/onl...s.aspx?id=80101

the thing with the cheap compressor is to empty the air out after every use because they are made of thin crap metal and most likely will explode if left full

you can use an air brush compressor but your finish is a lot harder to get smooth and even and the compressor for air brushing is quite expensive to


I would never buy anything from a site that is called super cheap auto...
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:34 AM   #6
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I'm pretty lucky that my Dad is a painter and I have any spray painting gear readily available to me whenever I am spraying. I don't use the big, powerful spray gun he uses to spray houses with, but he has a small spray gun that attaches to an air compressor. It's small enough to work with easily and only cost him like $50 from an auto parts shop (Supercheap, in Australia).

As for air compressors, I really don't know but a cheap alternative would be to try and get a decent second hand one. Ours is old but works fine, so it definitely doesn't have to be brand new.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:28 AM   #7
sytharnia1560
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I would never buy anything from a site that is called super cheap auto...


funny its not just a web site it is a chain of store thru australia and new zealand that is pretty much the go to place for most things auto. I get my thinners and lacquer from them for all my builds, works out a lot cheaper than going to a specialist store
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ajb667
Hey guys,
I'm going to be finishing my first guitar soon, and I just realized I don't know what kind of air compressor or spray gun to get. There's no kit or anything, as far as I can see, so I don't know where to start. Any recommendations? I wanna try to keep it under 130 bucks, since I don't have a lot.
The good thing about a guitar is that it's small. Modern spray guns use a lot of air, as they're designed to atomize the heavier enamels and polyurethanes of today, as opposed to the lacquers of the past. In any case, even with a small compressor, you should be able to make a full pass before you run the air pressure too low. (Low air pressure actually causes more fluid to flow from the gun. That may seem counter intuitive, but it's absolutely true).

This small compressor from "Harbor Freight & Salvage" looks like it would be ideal for spraying a guitar: http://www.harborfreight.com/air-to...ssor-67501.html

I'm thinking this detail gun: http://www.harborfreight.com/air-to...-gun-66871.html should work for an overall pass on something as small as an electric body.

Grand total, $129.90, not counting sales tax or shipping.

Granted you'll have to spring for an air hose http://www.harborfreight.com/25-ft-...hose-69709.html , coupler, and ideally a small regulator at the gun: http://www.harborfreight.com/media/...image_16063.jpg

Should you rather have a full size spray gun, you probably wouldn't have to spend more than about ten bucks extra. (actually two bucks, but that's because the detail gun isn't on sale this month): http://www.harborfreight.com/air-to...-gun-93205.html

Your profile doesn't say from where you hail, but it's possible that Harbor Freight has a walk in retail store near you.

That compressor would also be ideal for airbrush, in spite of the fact it might seem too large. IMO, airbrush compressors are normally too small, and some don't have tanks

(You're going to have to follow those links for pictures. I had no luck in posting the pics).

Last edited by Captaincranky : 05-05-2013 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sytharnia1560
the thing with the cheap compressor is to empty the air out after every use because they are made of thin crap metal and most likely will explode if left full

Well I really meant one worth having, no offence but I don't want to advise people to buy ticking timebombs, and that's what a poorly made pressure vessel is, a bomb.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:11 AM   #10
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Actually the biggest thing with getting a compressor is you want one that has an H2O filter so water does not mix with the paint. A standard compressor does not have this( you can buy it, but that would put you over budget). Another thing to consider is the CFM required to keep the spray gun running correctly, a small compressor will work, but only intermittently.

And yes you dump all the air out when your done, but not because of risk of explosion. It is to remove the water from the tank, so the tank does not rust on the inside.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
Actually the biggest thing with getting a compressor is you want one that has an H2O filter so water does not mix with the paint.
Water filters aren't standard on compressor even up to hundreds of dollars in price. Water filters work best when stationed many feet away from the compressor. This gives the air a chance to cool, limiting its ability to hold water.

Typically, spray guns are equipped with small disposable filters, directly on the gun's air inlet. You do your paint job, and throw the filter away.

The detail gun I published above, (post#8), should be able to be used continuously with the companion compressor.If you go with a smaller compressor, it likely wouldn't.

The trouble with going too small with the compressor is they don't have tanks. That limits your choice of spray guns to "bleeder" types.

Modern auto body guns are either "HVLP" (high volume low pressure(*), or use an enormous amount of air to break up the heavy clear coats of today. They won't work on a continuous basis with compressors much less than 10HP.

(*) I think these are a result of EPA regulations regarding hazardous waste.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 05-05-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
Actually the biggest thing with getting a compressor is you want one that has an H2O filter so water does not mix with the paint. A standard compressor does not have this( you can buy it, but that would put you over budget). Another thing to consider is the CFM required to keep the spray gun running correctly, a small compressor will work, but only intermittently.

And yes you dump all the air out when your done, but not because of risk of explosion. It is to remove the water from the tank, so the tank does not rust on the inside.

I have an H2O filter on all of mine even though I don't use them for painting, from what I understand it's better on your tools. As far as the other goes, I won't buy any tool where I question it's safety for even a second, especially a high pressure metal can.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Viban
Well I really meant one worth having, no offence but I don't want to advise people to buy ticking timebombs, and that's what a poorly made pressure vessel is, a bomb.


really it is only a "ticking time bomb" if you're an idiot though...use common sense and its as safe as anything else out there

I should state that "blowing up" is very unlikely to happen to any compressor....a small pin hole is the most likely thing to happen and then the air would leak out...it would be loud but that's about all
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:02 PM   #14
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really it is only a "ticking time bomb" if you're an idiot though...use common sense and its as safe as anything else out there

I should state that "blowing up" is very unlikely to happen to any compressor....a small pin hole is the most likely thing to happen and then the air would leak out...it would be loud but that's about all

I'm a very "what if" kind of person, even if you put statistics in front of me I still worry.
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:14 PM   #15
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I'm a very "what if" kind of person, even if you put statistics in front of me I still worry.


It's a recipe for anxiety man. There is a lot of shit that can happen in life. You've just got to prioritise what is and not worth worrying about. I highly doubt that the thing would explode. It's almost certain that there will be one or more safety valves. Once that goes, there is no more energy left. Having said that, I would avoid getting a cheap one. There are all sorts of annoying little things that can go wrong with cheap powertools. As the proverbial saying goes, you either buy nice or you buy twice.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:36 PM   #16
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Cheap compressors don't have safety relief valves?
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:07 PM   #17
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Cheap compressors don't have safety relief valves?
Cheap compressors for the most part, don't need safety valves. They simply can't develop enough pressure to blow the tank.

Single stage compressors top out at about 130 PSI, operating within standards set by the automatic cut off. Tank blowout standards are, (at least I believe), a minimum of 200 PSI, likely more.

So, for all reasonable intents and purposes, you need the pressure cutoff switch to fail, the tank to be mostly rusted out, and a dual stage compressor unit, in order to cause a catastrophic failure.

Additionally, the electrical contacts are the most likely failure in the pressure regulator / cutoff switch, and they are much more likely to fail open, (compressor won't start at all), than to fuse closed, (compressor won't shutoff).

I've worked in the auto repair business, auto refinishing business, and had your run off the mill $300.00 air compressors in my living room, for the past 30+ years.

Over the years, if I felt I needed to worry about all the crap you people are putting out, I probably wouldn't have gone to work, sat in the corner sucking my thumb, and f***ing starved to death.

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Old 05-05-2013, 09:08 PM   #18
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Actually hearing all of that puts me at ease significantly. as far as being worrysome goes, really the only effect it has is that I buy nicer things and take proper precautions before touching things. It has affected my sex life some, but I'd rather stick to foreplay than be a teenage father, I don't really want kids at all honestly.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:16 AM   #19
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Actually hearing all of that puts me at ease significantly. as far as being worrysome goes, really the only effect it has is that I buy nicer things and take proper precautions before touching things. It has affected my sex life some, but I'd rather stick to foreplay than be a teenage father, I don't really want kids at all honestly.


You sound a lot like me at that age, and this age to be honest, except you're at least getting some foreplay All I'm saying is you can spend years trying to reduce risk, and then you will find there are some risks you can't reduce the chance of. I'm not sure what the factor of safety for a pressure vessel is but I should imagine it would be at least 3. I highly doubt the piddly little motor in your compressor would be able to create that sort of pressure.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:13 PM   #20
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You sound a lot like me at that age, and this age to be honest, except you're at least getting some foreplay All I'm saying is you can spend years trying to reduce risk, and then you will find there are some risks you can't reduce the chance of. I'm not sure what the factor of safety for a pressure vessel is but I should imagine it would be at least 3. I highly doubt the piddly little motor in your compressor would be able to create that sort of pressure.

actually, I found a compressor in the back of a truck at a junk yard, it's got a honda 6Hp and two cylinders in the compressor part of it, I was thinking of picking it up because a replacement tank wouldn't be much work and I could probably get the little honda in working order in no time at all. good luck on the other.
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