Does anyone have some advice for spraying glazes?  I use a small airbrush to spray underglazes and of course, have great luck with them going on smoothly.  I don't want to use my really good airbrush for my glazes though because I understand it is very hard on them due to the particle size, and of course I don't want to screen the glazes too finely because the particles give me the effects I'm looking for.  I'm using a larger automotive spray gun I bought at Canadian Tire but it constantly plugs on me and sometimes won't even start spraying.  I did brush my glazes on but really want a much smoother effect and I use a lot of different glazes in a small studio so don't have the space for more than a couple of them in big pails.

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Sorry George I was too quick with the post button and put this in the wrong place!

Hi Kathy,

    Harbor Freight has an HVLP Spray Gun that they had on sale for $14.99 last weekend.  They are normally between $25-30.  I usually stock up on them when they go on sale like this.  It makes it nice when you are using multiple glazes as you don't have to clean out between each one.  They also sell stands for them.  They will clog if you have a glaze with illmenite or something like that, but they come with a wrench & a brush & are fairly easy to clean out & you can't beat the price!

Economy HVLP Spray Gun      I don't know if I did this right, but here is a link to the picture.
Thankyou Jeff. The last link was the right one to the spray gun and it is still on sale.  I don 't use granular illmenite or manganese in the glazes I am attempting to spray and if you find it works for you without clogging constantly I'll give it a try.

Hi Kathy,

      I can spray several big pots without a single problem.  The only time I have a problem is when I am doing macros that have illmenite in them.  Also when I clean the guns out I will find a lot of RIO. I am using a 2 hp. compressor with mine.  Got it on sale at Harbor Freight for $89.00 a year or 2 ago.  Also make sure you use a regulator in line to keep the pressure under 60lbs.  You also get a little bit of water with the compressed air, but since glazes have water in them, it's not a problem.  You would need an in line dryer if you were spraying something that was sensitive to having water in it.  These are great little guns & will last for quite a while if properly cared for.  Jeff

I second the advice. I've had one of these guns for over a year and it's still working great. I don't even take very good care of it - just pull the filter, rinse it out, and turn it upside down to dry - and it's only got a little rust on the outside of it. I only have trouble with clogging if the glaze turns to gel in the container (too much bentonite or whatever). I read something in Clay Times about how to clean these and it works great. Just shake the gun up and down vigorously as you're running water through it. I run a small stream of water into it through the top hole with the trigger pulled, then give it a good shake. You'll see a glob of glaze come out. Just repeat until the globs stop.
Thank you for the advice and I'm going to see if I can find one in Calgary.  I'm feeling pretty frustrated with the whole glazing business as I thought I'll just try some brushing and see if I can make it work but I unloaded my kiln and most of it looks so much differently than I intended.  It's a lot of work handbuilding the pieces and I have a form of muscular dystrophy that really affects my hands so I'm feeling pretty disheartened.
Harbor Freight is online and they will ship to your door, if you don't have a local store.

Jeff, how fine a line can you do with this gun.  I am looking for a gun that is sort of the "touch up" category, the airbrush is too finiky for me, and the Little Critter, which I like for general spraying is too wide a pattern.  I am wanting to use Steven Hill's approach to oxide accents and need something between the 2 guns that I have.

Kathy, Something you might want to consider is getting a manifold and several short hoses, so that you don't need to do as much changing of sprayers and glaze cups, might help with the stress on your hands.  I have found that nothing takes the place of spraying for certain effects, and once you get a spot sett up that suits you it will be much less daunting, I promise.

 

Kathy, I had another thought .  The Little Critter sprayer uses mason jars, and I have buncher of the jars labled with the glaze names that stay filled and on a wall shelf, so I just grab the ones I want each time.  The big glaze buckets are stored somewhere else.  Would that work in your small space?  It helped me with organizing things in my spot.  I do jar refilling on maintance days.  The feed tube on the sprayer is long enough for a pint jar, so they last a while.

For glaze spraying, gravity fed hvlp guns have a definite advantage. Glaze is being supplied to the mixing chamber by gravity through a hole in the top of the gun that is about 3/8 inch in diameter.  It takes a lot of settling out to clog that opening. Other guns siphon the glaze upward by negative pressure created by air passing rapidly over the top of a very small feed tube. The tubes are easily clogged by settling at the bottom of the tube. The outer two of the Harbor Freight guns shown below hold 20 onces which is enough to spray 3 or 4 large pots (over 12" x 12" tall)

 

The gun above is specified for oil based paints, but several members have gotten good use with glazes This detail sprayer is likewise designated for oil base paints but seems to hold up for small area glaze spraying This model has stainless steel internal parts and costs about double the others. On sale for $40 it is still quite affordable.

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