Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Spray gun fun

I almost sprayed my port float today. How's that for an informative post?

The trigger on the spray gun has been getting more and more sticky, apparently due to a gummed-up needle spring, so this morning I decided it was high time to break the gun down and do a thorough cleaning. After removing all fourteen screws, eventually I got the two halves of the gun popped apart and (somewhat gleefully) tossed all the gizzards (everything except the two molded gun halves) into a container of solvent.

Trouble came when I went to take the parts back out. I had let some of the O-rings remain on their respective parts, and it turns out that rubber O-rings don't like solvent: it seems to weaken them greatly. I broke three with only gentle handling. Great - now what, Einstein?

Long story short, after first calling Accuspray, then calling each of their local distributors - of which there are apparently only three, and two don't stock Accuspray anymore - and then driving for over an hour to visit the only local retailer with actual parts in stock, I was able to get replacement O-rings for two of the broken ones; they were out-of-stock on the the remaining O-ring's size. After getting home I ordered a repair kit online, but it wouldn't arrive for a few days at least. This was depressing, because I can't make much more progress until both floats are done and placed outside the boat tent. Around five o'clock this evening, I had a brain flash that the spray gun probably wouldn't care if the missing O-ring was genuine Accuspray or not, and a quick trip to a local auto-parts store was sufficient to find a reasonably suitable O-ring (also, it was one hell of a lot cheaper!). The gun is all put back together now and I hope tomorrow will be a good spraying day.

So the bad news is that I lost most of a day. The good news is that I now know how to disassemble my spray gun really well. And I got some education along the way -- when I called Accuspray, they explained that the needle can be removed for cleaning by unscrewing the fluid adjustment knob all the way out, and that it is rarely if ever necessary to disassemble the entire gun. Duh, now you tell me -- chalk up another minor gain on the learning curve.

I did get the starboard float moved outside today. Here it is, in its new home for the next several months (it will be covered by a tarp, which also cover the port float when it is done):

It wasn't very sunny today, but the float still looks pretty good even outside -- it's about a five-foot paint job, IMO. (Tom - for now this is about as good a side-on shot as I can get, hope it works for you.)

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