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Yeah those RAC X tips are pretty sweet. I actually switched to Tritech on the advice of some folks on here and I think they're even a bit better than the Graco, seem to maintain a better fan pattern without tails.

As to the AAA that's good to know, maybe I should save my money and not buy one. I know repaint Florida on here uses the AAA with breakthrough and seems to get great results, so I figured maybe it was easier to lay down a smooth pattern without putting as much on there, similar to an HVLP.

Which brings me to why not HVLP? I was loaned a nice capspray 115 from a friend, and spent a couple afternoons trying to dial it in with a few different waterborne finishes. I got some good results, but I seemed to have more problems than success. I even ordered a #4 and #5 needle set, thinned down 10-20%, etc and was still having problems. Whether it was the machine clogging, or getting dry spray. Then there is holding the cup gun full of paint, and the fact that it does go a bit slower than an airless, especially when you're doing 40 or 50 doors. Long story short after 15 years with an airless and knowing I could get pretty good results with the experience i have on that machine, I decided to not go for the HVLP. Although I will say when it was dialed in it did lay down a beautiful finish!
Gun makes all the difference with HVLP. Graco and Titan HVLP guns feel like cheap knockoff after thought products. If your doing large sets of doors you would feed it with a pressure pot maybe a 2 gallon pot.
 

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I'll check out the tritech tips and see if my guys like them. Honestly, never even heard of them. I live in SW & PPG world... if one of those two companies isn't selling it I generally don't know it exists. I like this website for that purpose. Also, I've never attended a PDCA (now PCA I guess). A buddy told me he goes or sends a couple of his guys and they feel like they get a lot out of it. I don't believe they've schedule a live annual meeting this year due to covid, but when they do I may start checking those out.
I wouldn't say that the AAA doesn't do well - I just say we didn't do well with it. I'm not a good painter... I came from the mfg side before opening my company and am more a sales/mgt guy. I love the tech and coatings side of it...but just not where my value/experience lies. If I put that AAA in other hands with someone determined to figure it out, it may produce an entirely different result. I've also never made anything look good with an HVLP, but we probably own 5 or 6 of them and I have guys that make things look beautiful with them. When it comes to bulk doors... we do the same thing though. It's all airless FF tips. We're production guys mostly though... so we need a good finish, not a 10 million dollar home finish on most of what we do. If we push forward with this cabinet finishing thing - we have to figure out the details on how to do beautiful work that will be durable and give the customer what they're paying for. We have a lot of guys, so I don't mean to group everyone together. They all have different skill sets, all shine in some area or another. I have one foreman who's an artsy detail oriented guy with some history in furniture refinishing, and loves doing cabinets.... he's who we're going to have run this stuff if we do it... but I want to have input and help make sure we're doing the best that we can reasonably do.

If you weren't so far away, I'd happily tell you you could borrow our AAA for a couple months and see if you like it. I bet if you asked, Graco would find a demo unit and let you borrow it for a couple weeks. Buy if you like it, return to demo stock if you don't.
You'll be happy to know there is a whole world of sprayers beyond what graco manufacturers. Kremlin, CAT, Tritech, Apollo are but a few.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Gun makes all the difference with HVLP. Graco and Titan HVLP guns feel like cheap knockoff after thought products. If your doing large sets of doors you would feed it with a pressure pot maybe a 2 gallon pot.
So what gun would you recommend? I don't want to replace all the machines, but I'd be more than happy to replace a gun or two and try something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
You'll be happy to know there is a whole world of sprayers beyond what graco manufacturers. Kremlin, CAT, Tritech, Apollo are but a few.
Yep... I occasionally see something on a sprayer type I'm not familiar with and look into them. I almost bought a Wiwa a while ago because I know they're supposed to be great...but in the end I stuck with the Graco 70:1 b/c they're what everyone around here uses and there is good sales and service on them. Ranging out would have been more to accomplish a feeling of bucking a trend than because I thought it would bring a tangible benefit over the Graco.
I looked at the CAT website... I see that they have a huge array of different specialty HVLP guns. That's interesting. I like some of the high end specialty stuff on the site...but it would be hard for us to pick the right one(s). We spray a wide range of coatings, and I'm guessing a lot of those guns are made for shop application where you're spraying the same material day after day? Not all...but many appear geared toward that. Is CAT the same company that makes the CAT pumps for pressure washers?
 

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I'll check out the tritech tips and see if my guys like them. Honestly, never even heard of them. I live in SW & PPG world... if one of those two companies isn't selling it I generally don't know it exists. I like this website for that purpose. Also, I've never attended a PDCA (now PCA I guess). A buddy told me he goes or sends a couple of his guys and they feel like they get a lot out of it. I don't believe they've schedule a live annual meeting this year due to covid, but when they do I may start checking those out.
I wouldn't say that the AAA doesn't do well - I just say we didn't do well with it. I'm not a good painter... I came from the mfg side before opening my company and am more a sales/mgt guy. I love the tech and coatings side of it...but just not where my value/experience lies. If I put that AAA in other hands with someone determined to figure it out, it may produce an entirely different result. I've also never made anything look good with an HVLP, but we probably own 5 or 6 of them and I have guys that make things look beautiful with them. When it comes to bulk doors... we do the same thing though. It's all airless FF tips. We're production guys mostly though... so we need a good finish, not a 10 million dollar home finish on most of what we do. If we push forward with this cabinet finishing thing - we have to figure out the details on how to do beautiful work that will be durable and give the customer what they're paying for. We have a lot of guys, so I don't mean to group everyone together. They all have different skill sets, all shine in some area or another. I have one foreman who's an artsy detail oriented guy with some history in furniture refinishing, and loves doing cabinets.... he's who we're going to have run this stuff if we do it... but I want to have input and help make sure we're doing the best that we can reasonably do.

If you weren't so far away, I'd happily tell you you could borrow our AAA for a couple months and see if you like it. I bet if you asked, Graco would find a demo unit and let you borrow it for a couple weeks. Buy if you like it, return to demo stock if you don't.
Gun makes all the difference with HVLP. Graco and Titan HVLP guns feel like cheap knockoff after thought products. If your doing large sets of doors you would feed it with a pressure pot maybe a 2 gallon pot.
Yeah i had been watching some videos of the pressure pots, was probably going to pick one up if I stuck with the HVLP. What's a good brand of HVLP gun?
 

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Thanks for the offer. Yeah maybe I should look into Graco loaning me one, wouldn't mind giving one a go for a month or two. Sounds like you've got a pretty good-sized operation out there and plenty of good machines. I bet some of those specialty 2K Coatings @Wildbill7145 and @cocomonkeynuts among others have mentioned might be your ticket, if you're going into large quantities. The Breakthrough and Scuff X is great but if I were large company that was looking into doing a whole lot of cabinet sets, I'd probably try to dial in one of those specialty 2K Coatings, as they seem to be the bees knees from what I've collected on various threads. I just don't do quite enough sets per year to put in the time and energy to figure that out.
 

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So what gun would you recommend? I don't want to replace all the machines, but I'd be more than happy to replace a gun or two and try something else.
Yeah i had been watching some videos of the pressure pots, was probably going to pick one up if I stuck with the HVLP. What's a good brand of HVLP gun?
I've owned the graco edge gun for ever and just not happy with it overall. I've started carrying apollo equipment. Apollo 7700 is the best HVLP gun on the market no question.
Eric reason on YT does several apollo videos and this guy does too:
 

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I've owned the graco edge gun for ever and just not happy with it overall. I've started carrying apollo equipment. Apollo 7700 is the best HVLP gun on the market no question.
Eric reason on YT does several apollo videos and this guy does too:
I own two Graco Edge, two Graco Edge 2, and an Apollo 7700. I agree that the build quality of the Apollo is much better than the Graco, however I don't think it sprays or atomizes any better than the Graco Edge 2 gun. This is with waterborne products FWIW. To me, a big plus with the Graco guns is the ease of disassembly/cleaning.
 

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I own two Graco Edge, two Graco Edge 2, and an Apollo 7700. I agree that the build quality of the Apollo is much better than the Graco, however I don't think it sprays or atomizes any better than the Graco Edge 2 gun. This is with waterborne products FWIW. To me, a big plus with the Graco guns is the ease of disassembly/cleaning.
Yes the graco gun is easy to clean, one of the things I liked about it. You do need to make sure to periodically remove the needle housing to clean the oring that sits behind there. It accumulates with paint quite quickly.
As far as spray pattern, graco just has the one aircap which is equivilent to the apollo B high solids cap. The various apollo caps give you a bit more control and finer atomization with thinner materials like BIN.
Also I absolutely dislike the graco PPS system and the gravity conversion kit is just garbage.
If the graco gun was less expensive I wouldn't be so critical but its probably the highest price HVLP gun on the market.

eric reason does a quick comparison here though I think he could have taken some more time to adjust the graco gun to his liking:
 

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Yes the graco gun is easy to clean, one of the things I liked about it. You do need to make sure to periodically remove the needle housing to clean the oring that sits behind there. It accumulates with paint quite quickly.
As far as spray pattern, graco just has the one aircap which is equivilent to the apollo B high solids cap. The various apollo caps give you a bit more control and finer atomization with thinner materials like BIN.
Also I absolutely dislike the graco PPS system and the gravity conversion kit is just garbage.
If the graco gun was less expensive I wouldn't be so critical but its probably the highest price HVLP gun on the market.

eric reason does a quick comparison here though I think he could have taken some more time to adjust the graco gun to his liking:
Agree on the Graco PPS system. It works fine until you have to refill, then it's a PIA. I switched over to the 3m pps system on my Edge guns. Worth every penny.
 

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What's the difference between the two pps systems?
Graco's PPS is a knock off of the 3M PPS1.0 system. It has one cup, a non replaceable lid and replacable liners. I find this system to cause spits due to pressure drop when you let off the trigger and also its really hard to fully clean the cup over time solvents eat away and swell the plastic so the lid no longer makes a good seal too.

3M PPS2.0 fixes the issues of fluid pressure drop, has replaceable lids with built in filters and has a quick disconnect instead of a threaded connection. The graco system is cheaper as you just need the liners but its a real PITA to work with.
Graco gravity cup just chuck in the garbage, for some reason graco thought it was a good idea to make an expensive plastic cup with a lid that doesn't have a gasket so its easy to spill material all over your finish.
 
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