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Gravity Feed Spray Guns, a Top Mounted Cup gun

 A gravity feed spray gun is a type of spray gun where the paint or finishing material is stored in a cup mounted on the top of the gun. It is the air spray gun type, where the compressed air flow through the air line into the nozzle and atomized the finishing material before it is sprayed onto the surface. The (liquids) finishing material flow by the natural gravity force into the nozzle room where it is atomized and directed to the wood surface.

Gravity feed spray guns is very popular in the wood finishing industry.  It is handy, simple, has high efficiency, good precision, and ease of use. This is the basic tool for the finishing man, from the industrial engineer, professional finisher to the hobbyists. In the big finishing industry, the spray gun is still much used as a tool to make sample, develop the color and support the big spraying equipment.  

cup gun gravity cup gun


The Advantages of Gravity Spray Guns

As a basic tool for finishing, the cup gun is important tool in the wood finishing industry. It is always available in the small finishing shops to the big woodworking manufacturer that uses modern finishing process. Here are the advantages of the gravity feed spray gun.

  • Simple

The tool is small handy and simple in uses. You can easily find how to use it when you start to hold and run it. Most people will understand this tool after use it for few days. The tool is also quite safe and can be explored to apply many coating types. 

  • Flexible

The toll is very flexible in uses. He has equipment to adjust the air pressure, fluid flow, and spray patterns, offering precise control over the application process. 

  • Excellent result

The gravity cup gun provides the best atomization for the finishing material. He can give the perfect layer of finishing material. With the proper adjustment and technique the smooth and even finishing material layer can be obtained with the tool. 

  • Inexpensive

The cup gun is simple tool, it can be made with simple technology. The tool is quite available in the market in various brand and can be purchased easily with small money.

The Disadvantage of Gravity Cup Gun

Even the cup gun is very powerful tool for wood finishing, it is also having limitations. Mainly it is small tool that more suitable for small work. It is not suitable for the big volume job. Here are some disadvantages of the gravity cup gun.

  • Small volume

The tool is using a cup mounted on the top as material container. It makes the material volume is very limited. Mostly the material volume that can be filled in the cup is about half liter. To much material in the cup will complicate the spray movement. The cup that is mounted on the top, make the tool tend to be unstable and more difficult in the movement. 

The gravity cup gun is not suitable to spray the big furniture, such as big cabinet, big table or other wide and long product, since the spraying process need to be run continuously to make the even and smooth surface. 

  • Inconsistency

The cup gun has widely adjustable. The finisher has to control and adjust the setting and also the tool movement to get the good result. It risks to make inconsistency result especially for big volume job. 

  • Need skillful person

The cup gun is manual tool that need to be used in correct way. The finishing result highly depend to the application, then a skillful person is needed to run this tool. For the big volume job, the result can be affected by the fatigue factor of the operator. If many peoples is needed to do the project, then the style and skill of each peoples may also affect the result. 

Things that Need to be Considered When Using Gravity Cup Gun

If you start to learn and start to be wood finisher, then the gravity feed cup gun is first tool that you need to provide. It is the basic tool to do many finishing processes for wood finishing, such as: application of stain, sealer, top coat, primer, base coat, enamel etc. The cup gun is the basic tool to start the finishing work from the simple and basic to be finishing master. The skill of using cup gun is the basic skill to be mastered before go to the next step to handle the more complicated spaying equipment. 

  • Technique of use

The tool will give you the best finishing result if you use it correctly. There two important things that are needed, first is the tool setting and the second things is the tool movement. The spray gun setting is how to set: the air pressure, the fluid volume and the spray pattern. Make sure you set the tool properly before run the tool. You can find more in our previous article : Setting the spray gun  Setting the spray gun 

The second thing is the spray movement, it is how to set the distance and to move the spray gun to get the smooth and even layering. The skill to use the spray gun is the basic skill needed by the finisher that only can be obtained by practicing. You can find more information in our previous article : technique spray technique spray 

  • Maintenance

Proper maintenance is very important to get the maximum benefit of the tool. The most important thing in maintaining the spray gun is the cleaning. Make sure the spray gun is cleaned soon after it is used when the finishing material inside is still in the liquid form. The lateness in the cleaning with make the process very difficult to do. The dry and hard paint is very difficult to be removed and cleaned and potentially damage the tool.  

  • Safety

Spray gun is quite safe tool. It is simple tool with low pressure and almost no harm, but the finishing materials could be harmful. They are chemical that could endanger health. The finishing material that is inhaled could harm the respiratory. It is also potentially create injure if spread to eye, nose or other sensitive body.  Most of finishing material are inflammable material, then it has to be carefully handled. Make sure you consider the safety when you dealing with finishing materials. 

Tips for Buying Gravity Cup Gun

The woodworking machinery provides the spray gun in many types and many brands to fulfil the finishing industry, then you can choose and by the cup gun easily. But however you may need some tips to guide you before you choose and buy spray gun.

  • The type and size

Spray gun has types and sizes, usually described in number. Make sure you choose the proper size and tips. For the gravity cup gun, you need to choose the air spray type, the HVLP type may be good for pumped spraying equipment but is not recommended for the cup gun especially when it is going to be used for wood finishing materials. The air spray system is the spray gun that will give the best atomization of material. It will give the best layering of finishing material, smooth and even layer with the most flexible in arrangement.

The other important spec is the tip size, it is the size of the opening at the gun. It will determine the volume of finishing materials that be able to deliver by the gun. The 1.4 to 1.6 size tip is the best choice for gravity cup gun, since it can deliver most of finishing material for wood finishing, stain, sealer, top coat, base coat and enamel. Smaller tip size may work better for the less viscous material such as wood stain but will create difficulty in application of more viscous material such as top coat, sealer and base coat. 

  • Spare part and service

As a tool used, the spray gun will be damaged after a certain amount of use and require repair. Some spare parts may need to be replaced due to damage and wear. For long term purpose, then make sure you buy the tool that provide the maintenance and spare parts. The service center is also helpful to help you in handling and using the tool properly.

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