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Woodworking Tips and Tricks Spray can Tips


When I am dead and gone, my boys will find a pint tin can full of lacquer thinner containing about 100 spray-can nozzles in it.  And they will wonder what that was all about, another of dad’s crazy collections?  Well, it could be but actually they are there for good reason.

How many times have you been spraying away with a spray can and the tip clogs?  You fiddle and fuss and you just can’t get it to work.  You use small drill bits to dig out paint from the bottom side and blow it out with an air nozzle, but with no success.  Now what do you do?  Throw the can way?  No, you go to that can that has the little nozzles in it and pull out a matching one and keep spraying.

I have been saving these tips for a long time and dig in there about once every year for a matching tip.  But that one time is worth the little effort it takes to keep the tips fresh, ready for use.

Now if the can clogs inside, well I’m not sure what you can do.  I have tried a lot of things and none of them work.  This just happened to me with a can that was about half full.  I banged on it, removed the tip and pushed the little round tube a bunch of times, but with no success.  So being one not to waste anything, I punched a hole in the top of the can to release the pressure.  I then poured the paint into a can.  If fizzed and fizzed vigorously, releasing the super duper fast drying solvent that was put in the paint to make the paint to dry quick.  I thought I would hasten the process and put a stick in to stir it.  Huge mistake.  I guess the room temperature heat of the stick was enough for the paint to instantly boil over the side of the can all over my bench.   Lesson learned.

Now I have a small can of gloss white un-spray paint to use when it’s needed.  Which will probably be never.  Because spraying always puts on a better finish than brushing.  But I feel better not being wasteful.  I’ll leave those feelings to my sons.

To learn how to keep the tips from clogging to start with, go here.

In thinking about it now, if the can clogs, you could probably take the tip off and use an air nozzle on the little tube, push down at the same time releasing air from the nozzle to push the crud back down past the valve.  If you try this and the nozzle sticks open and the can empties itself all over you, your workbench and garage floor, I didn’t give you this trick.  Actually I just did this with a can of spray oil that had lost all it’s propellant.  Re-pressurized the can with the air nozzle and it worked great!  Another save!

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