AWFS Spray Finishing Guns: No Permits Needed for These
Anest-IwataTOF-50 1.jpg

There were a number of interesting new pieces of spray gun equipment this year at the AWFS 2015 in Vegas. I have chosen two for a brief review: Anest Iwata, and C.A. Technologies.

First of all, the folks at C.A. Technologies have released their new CAT X Series of cup guns. These are hybrid technology guns that feature “extreme atomization.” As with their other recent releases, the CAT X features the transfer efficiency of an HVLP gun with the fine finish quality and speed of a conventional spray gun.

CAT offers these gravity feed guns in two packages. The Deluxe Series comes in a hard plastic carrying case with the gun, a mini-air regulator, a wall hook, wrenches, and two air caps (HVLP and reduced pressure).  Within that series, the automotive version comes with 1.3, 1.4, and 1.5 mm needle/nozzle sets included. The woodworking version comes equipped with 1.0, 1.3, 1.5 and 1.7mm needle/nozzle sets. In addition, one can specify the Deluxe with either an aluminum cup or in a PPS version.

Ever conscious of their customer’s pocketbooks, CAT also offers the same guns for reduced price in what they call an E-Pack.  The same needle/nozzle sets are included as are the two air caps and a gun wrench. The E-Pack is available with either the aluminum cup or in the PPS version.  Removal of the other accessories reduces the price of the gun by $70.

Now that we have all the particulars mentioned, it needs to be said that the CAT X’s great atomization also features a new more ergonomic handle as well as a significant increase in the fluid delivery rate. On top of that, there are five exterior finishes offered on these guns.  Those include the classic silver aluminum, black Teflon coating, stars and stripes, red marble (pictured), and green with skulls.

Pricing, depending upon Deluxe pack vs E-Pack, Woodworking vs Automotive, and aluminum cup vs PPS will be between $560 and $665.

Turning to spray #2, Anest Iwata USA has introduced their TOF-50 mini spray gun.  You can see from the pictures provided that this is a very small gun.  That’s my hand holding the gun in the pictures.  So you can see that it does fit in the palm of your hand.

This gun is designed and built specifically for use in tight spaces so, if your hand will fit in there, you can spray that space.  But this little beauty has more going for it than just that.  This one was designed from the beginning as a pressure fed gun.  That means that on top of its small stature, there is no gravity cup to get in the way.
Connect the TOF-50 to a 2-quart pressure pot with some ultra-lightweight 1/8” nylon/plastic air and fluid hoses and you’ll have a small spray outfit that will do things that the big guns will never do.  Couple that with the versatility of needle/nozzle sets from .4 mm to 1.4 mm and you can switch out to spray anything from a low viscosity dye to a full-bodied lacquer and get a 6 – 7” fan as you work.
Remember, the smaller the gun, the less air needed to push and atomize the fluid.  That means less turbulence and that means a gentle delivery.
I’d love to experiment with doing some shading and toning with this little guy.  Those operations are always problematic, if not impossible, with bigger guns.  Haloing is often a problem due to the turbulence caused by the higher atomization pressures and air volume through the air cap on the bigger guns.
Then too, shading and toning a bigger job with a cup gun can be a bit of a pain due to the capacity of the cup and how gravity affects the delivery.  With a good pot, one can get some serious rhythm going and develop some real consistency in the application.  You would be done before you know it and never have to stop to refill or change the direction of the air cap.
Look for these products from your local supplier or call CAT at 888-820-4498.  Anest Iwata USA can be reached at 513-766-3100.

Until next time…spray on!


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About the author
Bernie Bottens

Bernie Bottens writes and teaches on the subject of wood and wood finishing in industrial woodworking. He and his wife, Carol, live in Vancouver, WA. Bernie has been teaching wood finishing to shop owners, shop foremen, spray technicians and finishers all over Oregon, southwest Washington, and northern California for the past 9 years. Prior to that, he owned his own cabinet shop. His shop credentials include apprenticing and becoming a journeyman exhibit builder. Before that he taught in the public schools for 20 years. Bernie is the owner of Kapellmeister Enterprises, Inc. and Kap Coatings Consulting.