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Old 01-03-2020, 01:16 PM   #1
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Constantly thinking about getting an Air Assisted Airless setup, for fine finishing. They look amazing. But $4000 plus to get one of those puppies.
Could a guy not just buy the AAA gun and hook a pancake compressor up to it with regular airless sprayer??
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:30 PM   #2
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You could. I have a Graco ProFinish II, that's basically what it is all on one compact unit. It came with an awesome gun that can use both reversible tips and flat tips.

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Old 01-03-2020, 02:10 PM   #3
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You don't need the fancy AAA setup just a modest compressor & filters. The only expensive part is the gun its self, entry level models starting around $500+.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:43 PM   #4
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You don't need the fancy AAA setup just a modest compressor & filters. The only expensive part is the gun its self, entry level models starting around $500+.
Yeah the Graco g40 gun that comes with the ProFinish is around $900 by itself.

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Old 01-03-2020, 03:14 PM   #5
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Yeah the Graco g40 gun that comes with the ProFinish is around $900 by itself.

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That's crazy!
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:17 PM   #6
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You don't need the fancy AAA setup just a modest compressor & filters. The only expensive part is the gun its self, entry level models starting around $500+.
I imagine the CFM's required to run that gun would be less than a regular cup gun set up? Because it would be mostly airless driven..
How big of a tank do you think I would need??
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:26 PM   #7
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I imagine the CFM's required to run that gun would be less than a regular cup gun set up? Because it would be mostly airless driven..
How big of a tank do you think I would need??

Basically any compressor would work, bigger you go less work on the compressor to keep up.

https://www.graco.com/us/en/contract...ii-395-pc.html

Graco finish pro 395:
"Delivers 3.2 cfm at 35 psi—enough air to break up the heaviest of materials"
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:41 PM   #8
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Constantly thinking about getting an Air Assisted Airless setup, for fine finishing. They look amazing. But $4000 plus to get one of those puppies.
Could a guy not just buy the AAA gun and hook a pancake compressor up to it with regular airless sprayer??
I never had one, but wouldn't hesitate if still in the biz today. Staying on the cuttin' edge (although AAA has been around a long time now, can't believe it never caught on more) is seldom a bad thing. I think the increase in productivity over an HVLP would be worth the investment. Most expensive tools tend to pay for themselves, and usually in less time than expected.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:18 PM   #9
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I never had one, but wouldn't hesitate if still in the biz today. Staying on the cuttin' edge (although AAA has been around a long time now, can't believe it never caught on more) is seldom a bad thing. I think the increase in productivity over an HVLP would be worth the investment. Most expensive tools tend to pay for themselves, and usually in less time than expected.

IMO they didn't catch on because the advent of FFLP tips made the difference between finishes minimal. Plus a lot of companies don't like giving an $800 gun to the daily grunt, at least that's the conversation I had with a door shop running a fleet of silver plus guns.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:47 PM   #10
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The difference is minimal but better with less over spray and I wouldn't trust a grunt with that gun either. I haven't used aaa option in quite some time. I use the machine all the time but as a regular airless because no matter how much I try I can't get the higher voc version of Breakthrough to spray nice with the air. I'm convinced that it's just not possible with that paint.

I've heard through the grapevine that I might finally be able to locally source Cali Ultraplate very soon. Plus, if bm ever releases this new product I've been hearing about for ages now I'll have better options and might finally be able to kiss Breakthrough goodbye and aaa I'll go again.

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Last edited by Rbriggs82; 01-03-2020 at 10:54 PM..
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:31 PM   #11
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First of all, what new BM product?

I have a CA Tech AAA and one of the original 395 Finish Pros.

For me, they both tend to sit. My guy who sprays when I do not likes the simplicity of the airless. I hate the tip clogging on the flat tip AAA. Even an ultrasonic does not fix it once something dries in it. And, I tend to leave pumps in finish until a project is done if I am spraying every day. I know, clean out every day. But, for me that just does not happen. Also, the hose is too short for me on the CA Tech.

The 395 FP had a little of a bad first impression since the first guns where the RacX tips only. The Graco rep kept telling me that "no one else has a problem with finish build up" but lo and behold version 2 has an option flat tip assembly. I tend to be an early adopter and my first edition Graco products tend to be a bit problematic. I still think Graco owes me a new hand held sprayer because the first one was absolute junk.

I do think the AAA have good promise, but like Cocomonkeynuts said, the FFLP tips have offset some of the plusses.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:01 PM   #12
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First of all, what new BM product?

I have a CA Tech AAA and one of the original 395 Finish Pros.

For me, they both tend to sit. My guy who sprays when I do not likes the simplicity of the airless. I hate the tip clogging on the flat tip AAA. Even an ultrasonic does not fix it once something dries in it. And, I tend to leave pumps in finish until a project is done if I am spraying every day. I know, clean out every day. But, for me that just does not happen. Also, the hose is too short for me on the CA Tech.

The 395 FP had a little of a bad first impression since the first guns where the RacX tips only. The Graco rep kept telling me that "no one else has a problem with finish build up" but lo and behold version 2 has an option flat tip assembly. I tend to be an early adopter and my first edition Graco products tend to be a bit problematic. I still think Graco owes me a new hand held sprayer because the first one was absolute junk.

I do think the AAA have good promise, but like Cocomonkeynuts said, the FFLP tips have offset some of the plusses.
Apparently they're coming out with a new trim paint to compete products along the lines of Breakthrough and Ultraplate. I've heard it's been coming for over a year now but it's been in testing. From what I heard recently it's supposed to be released within a couple months, we'll see.

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Old 01-04-2020, 08:58 PM   #13
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I never had one, but wouldn't hesitate if still in the biz today. Staying on the cuttin' edge (although AAA has been around a long time now, can't believe it never caught on more) is seldom a bad thing. I think the increase in productivity over an HVLP would be worth the investment. Most expensive tools tend to pay for themselves, and usually in less time than expected.
i love staying on the cutting edge ... i've had the CA Tech AAA to Dean for years, still use it, we also have a dryer hooped to it which i love, keeps the moisture out and our a few of our latest cutting edge we use is in avertisment like short text , retargeting both help us in marketing

anyone else use short text?
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lightningboy65 View Post
I never had one, but wouldn't hesitate if still in the biz today. Staying on the cuttin' edge (although AAA has been around a long time now, can't believe it never caught on more) is seldom a bad thing. I think the increase in productivity over an HVLP would be worth the investment. Most expensive tools tend to pay for themselves, and usually in less time than expected.
You didn't miss a thing. I have a Graco Finish Pro and used the heck out of it spraying exterior metal siding. It has mostly sat since then.

The Pros:
1. The G40 gun is about as comfortable as it gets
2. ...that's it

The Cons:
1. It's a hernia and ruptured disk enabler
2. There's not enough air (especially when windy)
3. Too many hoses don't allow good flexibility
4. Pain to clean
5. The G40 tip clogs up and constantly needs cleaning while spraying
6. Not as mobile as any other airless
7. Over priced

It would work better in a shop setting
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by finishesbykevyn View Post
Constantly thinking about getting an Air Assisted Airless setup, for fine finishing. They look amazing. But $4000 plus to get one of those puppies.
Could a guy not just buy the AAA gun and hook a pancake compressor up to it with regular airless sprayer??

Yes. I use a Graco G15, ED655 diaphram, and larger 20gal compressor. The pancake one was ok, but it constantly ran to keep up with air needed.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:45 PM   #16
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FFLP instead is my advice. I don’t own a AAA but I used to use HVLP a fair amount and just prefer the simplicity of airless. Once I tried the FFLP tips I was sold.
I was a tester for a new “super premium paint” by BM. Just rolled / brushed some doors and trim in my house for testing. Didnt recoat as fast as Scuff X. Didn’t seem too amazing but was nice to work with
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:28 PM   #17
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FFLP instead is my advice. I don’t own a AAA but I used to use HVLP a fair amount and just prefer the simplicity of airless. Once I tried the FFLP tips I was sold.
I was a tester for a new “super premium paint” by BM. Just rolled / brushed some doors and trim in my house for testing. Didnt recoat as fast as Scuff X. Didn’t seem too amazing but was nice to work with
I agree. Although I like my HVLP for some things (stains, clear coats, thinned down oil based enamels) I never did manage to get it dialed in for spraying latex acrylics on larger surfaces such as doors.
The development of the FFLP tips was a game changer for me. I found installing a digital pressure gauge on my 395 allowed me to dial in desired spray pressures more effectively but I wouldn’t say it was absolutely necessary.
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:01 AM   #18
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FFLP instead is my advice. I don’t own a AAA but I used to use HVLP a fair amount and just prefer the simplicity of airless. Once I tried the FFLP tips I was sold.
I was a tester for a new “super premium paint” by BM. Just rolled / brushed some doors and trim in my house for testing. Didnt recoat as fast as Scuff X. Didn’t seem too amazing but was nice to work with

Its the new Aura, same as the old but with a few upgrades like more hide and longer open time etc..
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:37 PM   #19
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I do not know if this is widespread, but locally we have been having an issue with the FFLP tips and scuff-x. Micro bubbles have been forming with the FFLP tips. Switch to a regular blue Rac-X tip and they disappear. But, scuff-x in my tip has very faint tails still at 3,000 psi with a regular tip. No tails at 1000 psi with a FFLP tip.

Once contractor has older FFLP tips from a show order last year and those are NOT doing the micro bubble thing but new FFLP tips are doing it.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:21 PM   #20
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I do not know if this is widespread, but locally we have been having an issue with the FFLP tips and scuff-x. Micro bubbles have been forming with the FFLP tips. Switch to a regular blue Rac-X tip and they disappear. But, scuff-x in my tip has very faint tails still at 3,000 psi with a regular tip. No tails at 1000 psi with a FFLP tip.

Once contractor has older FFLP tips from a show order last year and those are NOT doing the micro bubble thing but new FFLP tips are doing it.
I saw some bad graco fflp tips recently. Brand new leaving tails. Gave a brand new one and issue went away.
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