Phoenix chopper gun

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by glassdave, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. glassdave
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    glassdave Junior Member

    Hey guys, long time member dont post much though. I have a Magnum MVP chopper that i use for backing up molds and quick and dirty projects and i recently acquired a brand new Phoenix gun that i am going to try. Going to use it as a wetout and chopper as well but have not hooked it up yet.

    Any thoughts or tips on these guns tips? thanks all . . . as always i enjoy this site and all its archived info.
     
  2. KD8NPB
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    KD8NPB Junior Member

    Which model?
     
  3. glassdave
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    glassdave Junior Member

  4. glassdave
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    glassdave Junior Member

    just hooked it up this afternoon for the first time btw. Seems to work nice, i like the ergonomics of the body of the gun. Just did a few test panels waiting to see how it cures out. Triggers a little funny, thought it was not working at first but the way it works theres a slide thing thats required to be in a certain place on the tripper to push the plunger to activate. Not sure if this is a safety feature or what but the round trigger is an oddity to me. . . . seemed to work fine once i figured that out. Nice pattern and good material transfer

    I'm a thirty plus year fiberglass veteran and just started using a chopper gun several years ago, mostly to do quick and dirty very low production ( two to five parts) molds. So far it has helped me tremendously for just that and i am pretty happy with how its working out, care and maintenance isnt to bad if you keep on it. When i bought my Fit MVP Magnum my thought process was it just seemed simpler and less prone to issues with an ext mix gun. I am curious if anyone could give me a quick pro/con on internal vs. external mix guns?
     
  5. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    Quick no, but I’ll try.

    There are two advantages of external mix, no solvent flush, so it’s less likely to gel in the gun head. The other one is you have visual indication that you are getting catalyst, if you use red catalyst it not as much help, but if you use clear it’s great.

    The downside is that atomized catalyst is being dispersed into the air, you are just hoping that it finds the resin and does an “adequate” job of mixing with it.

    Some of this catalyst is likely to hit the chop first before it finds resin, this results in over catalyzed strands of glass. The resin that comes in contact with these strands doesn’t cure correctly, which may cause surface imperfections and/or blisteres.
     
  6. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    When gel coating these catalyst droplets may land on the mold before they come into contact with gel coat, again, this can cause surface defects and blisters.


    Much of this depends on the skill of the gun operator and his attention to detail, get sloppy and the results get worse quickly.

    Most of the industry uses external mix guns. The reason is that polyester chemistry appears to be very user-friendly and forgiving, but the defects may not show up for a few years. So the perfect looking part that ships looking defect free, looks terrible 5 years from now.
     
  7. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    This is why polyester boats and other products get a terrible reputation when compared to epoxy. Epoxy doesn’t tolerate poor handling and use, it demands that you pay more attention to detail, so these are built better right from the start.
     
  8. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    Internal mix doesn’t have the problem of random droplets landing where they shouldn’t, but with clear catalyst you don’t know how well it’s mixing with the resin. The catalyst may be concentrated off to one side of the fan, so the cure can be uneven, resulting in surface defects.

    Red catalyst helps a great deal to ensure properly catalyzed resin.

    You also run into the occasional gelled gun head, it happens, the parts to rebuild it can be pricey
     
  9. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    That’s the short version.
     
  10. glassdave
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    glassdave Junior Member

    great info, and thanks for taking the time to post it. I have been in the FG biz for long enough to know consistency and attention to details goes a long way, again i only use my chopper gun for quick back up of limited use molds and i have been using tinted catalyst almost since i first got it. So far i have had very little trouble with the system as a whole and it does just what i needed it to do. the only resin/cat ratio issue i have ever had was when i left the pin out of the cat pump and built an entire four foot by eight foot hatch . . . . with no catalyst lol . . . only learned that lesson once. that was when i switched to "red pop" as we call it :D

    The external gun that came with my MVP system (think its a Graco or Binks) would occasionally gel up a bit in the air/fluid cap i think the cat would swirl around in the air and there would be a bit that would activate the residual resin on the cap. I solved this by always having a cup of acetone and a brush handy to give it a quick cleaning between triggering.

    layed up some test sections last night with the Phoenix and it worked well.
     
  11. KD8NPB
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    KD8NPB Junior Member

    I like Phoenix’s pump design. Their spray guns are a little chintzy, but the price is good.

    External mix for gelcoat only.

    I cannot stand atomized MEKP.

    My experience is with
    MVP Patriot, Ultramax, APS, and MiniPro pumps

    MVP Talon XG external mix, Talon IC internal mix, Pro internal mix, and ATG external mix dispensers.

    My personal favorite spraygun is the MVP Talon TLN-IC-200S-INT with VRC-1000 chopper.
     
  12. glassdave
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    glassdave Junior Member

    KD my chopper is the VRC1000 not sure what the gun is it has the MVP logo on it but its what came with my mini pro system. I like it and it works well, no probs with it so far. I got a good deal on the Phoenix gun and wanted to give it a try. Gun feels real good in the hand and i like the compact-ness of it. Sprays nice and is easy to trigger, so far so good.

    see now ya got me thinkin about internal mix guns. How is the maintenance and how high is the risk of gelling in the head? I'm assuming its something you have to get use to and there are steps to take to avoid this.

    Thanks all for the input
     
  13. KD8NPB
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    KD8NPB Junior Member

    ATC4000 comes standard with the MiniPro models.

    Internal mix is fine as long as you flush it after every spray. About 30-40% less overspray too, and no catalyst in the air. Less fumes.

    The internal mix head snaps on to your spraygun. They have a pour/RTM head as well.
     
  14. glassdave
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    glassdave Junior Member

    thanks i think i will have to try it. Are you speaking of the Pheonix gun or the ATC gun that the ext head snaps on?
     

  15. KD8NPB
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    KD8NPB Junior Member

    Phoenix gun has the changeable heads.

    PS ; I’ll buy your ATC for parts if you’re not looking to keep it...
     
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