Clear Coating with the Kobalt SGY-AIR87

Yesterday, I finally got to test out my new spray gun from Lowes. It’s an SGY-AIR87 and costs under $50. It sprays very well despite the low price tag. I’ve tried cheap guns┬ábefore (Harbor Freight & Wal-Mart/Coleman that all got returned), and this one does not feel cheap at all and appears to be very well made. One great feature on this gravity feed gun is the adjustable filler cup. While the gun is pointed straight down, the cup can be positioned straight up. Perfect for spraying playfields!

I pulled out a left over Firepower playfield from a part out and prepped it for spraying (wiping it down with Naptha.) I masked off 1/2 of the playfield and setup 3 oz for clear coating. I only did 1/2 so I can keep this in the shop and show people exactly how this process affects a playfield. There was no touch up, no mylar removal, etc. It was simply a test so I sprayed over everything. Pressure was 35 psi at the regulator that I think could have been a little higher. I could really use a pressure gauge at the gun to know exactly what I’m getting at that point since there is pressure lost through the hose and fittings.

In retrospect, 3 0z would have done the whole thing for a decent first pass as I had some left over. I kept spraying to use it up and ended up with a nice looking, although thick, clear coat. Laying it on so thick, I was expecting to see a lot of solvent pop (pinholes) that I’ve experienced when using SprayMax 2k in a can (that I will never use again.) But, that was not the case with the PPG Shopline JC661 urethane clear coat.

Today, I took a few photos of the playfield out in the sun. It turned out very nice and I look forward to using this Kobalt spray gun on many projects in the future. I might go out and buy a spare just in case this one ever breaks! It does have a 3 year warranty, but if they ever discontinue it I’d find it pretty difficult to search for another paint gun that I’d like as much as this one.

03/08/13 – *EDIT
I returned this gun to Lowe’s last week. The bottom of the cup started to rust after one use. And in retrospect, this thing uses and wastes a lot of clear as it is not an HVLP gun. I have switched to an Iwata LPH50. It’s a smaller HVLP detail gun that uses very little air and has better transfer efficiency when spraying clear coat from it’s stainless steel cup. That’s very important when dealing with clear coat that costs $65/quart.

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