Note: these archives were compiled from past Parking Lot Planet Forums. The answers and opinions are those of the posters. Things may have changed since then, so be sure to get up to date information from the current Parking Lot Planet forum
Graco Bead Dispenser
Date: 12/8/99 10:53:52 AM
You mentioned quite some time ago that you had designed a drop spreader that mounts on the Graco. In your last e-mail (exactly a year ago) you said you were re-designing it using sign blanks for the hopper and you only had to drill one hole in the gun trigger to activate your gate. If you have pictures or design drawings I would sure appreciate seeing your ideas. You can e-mail me at
Date: 12/8/99 2:25:55 PM
Sorry about that. After looking into redesigning the gun part, I decided that I could not regulate the amount of beads that came out. And because I do not want to end up in a lawsuit because there were not enough beads, I decided to finally breakdown and buy the Graco dispenser. In between I changed around a drop spreader that also worked great.
If you come to the show, I will bring one of the guns I made so you can see what it looks like. Its not hard to make.
Graco Bead Dispenser
Date: 9/10/00 9:55:36 PM
If anyone has to use glass beads, the Graco Dispenser is worth the money. I just used it for the first time and did not have one problem with it (except in mounting it, Graco has a lot to learn in retro fitting onto the old machines) As someone said a while ago, the only bad point is that it is hard to see the tip of the gun. But other than that its well worth it for less then $600.00.
Date: 9/10/00 11:20:17 PM
Forget all those "I make dispenser myself joes" I second your motion, that dispenser can lay an even reflective line worth braggin about. Butt.... you're right on about not seeing that spray tip, takes some getting used too. When I’m not spraying beads I use that hopper to hold my tape measure , magazines, beers etc... ya know?
From: MCS Parking Lot Marking & Design
Date: 9/11/00 1:00:10 PM
Are you serious? The only comment I have for the GRACO dispenser is that it beats spreading the beads by hand.
I found that the dispenser has a hard time feeding the beads into the tube(s), especially when the hopper is full. It dispenses just fine when 1/2 full or less.
I would complain about the this part of the set-up if the unit only cost $200.
Like I said... it beats spreading the beads by hand. When I was in TN doing a mall there the maint. manager said that's what the last company did. UGH!!! Over 4 miles of double strips... can you imagine?
Date: 9/11/00 4:28:51 PM
You'll get accustomed to striping "blind" with the dispenser in your view rather quickly. However, anyone else having problems keeping a steady flow of beads(I shortened the tube, that made it a little better. I was thinking of raising the hopper a couple inches also). Lastly, anyone think of a way to keep beads from constantly leaking?
Date: 9/12/00 8:06:44 AM
Our experience with leaking beads happens when the gate gets paint mist on the foam seal then debris or beads get stuck there. Just a simple cleaning or replacement of the foam solves the problem - - you have to do maintenance to keep your equipment working properly.
On feeding of beads from the hopper to the dispensers, keeping the hoses as vertical as possible is essential as is keeping the beads 100% dry. If you don't do these two things, you WILL have problems.
I love the Graco bead dispensor and would not consider building my own - it is a well thought out piece of equipment and set up properly works great.
Date: 9/12/00 8:15:17 AM
Jim, an interesting note in bead application. As you know the bead disp. is about 6" behind the airless tip. If you just let go of the actuation lever, as you normally would, you miss the last few inches of the painted line. A trick is to "feather" the gun into the off position which will turn the beaders off last. You can see this by slowly squeezing the trigger and you will notice the beads turn on first before the paint and the paint shuts off before the beads. You can use this feature to finish beading the last 4-5 inches of the line.
Date: 9/12/00 7:30:41 AM
All the talk about bead dispensers has me curious. I guess you guys frequently use beads on parking lots. Around here that's almost unheard of, we use them mostly for street type work. The reason being there's always loose beads left on the lot, which are very slippery. How do you guys pick up the excess? (If you blow them you just move the problem) Or who has the liability for the slip & falls if your customer spec's beads?
Date: 9/12/00 8:09:52 AM
The only place I've seen the requirement for beads on parking lots is on the center lines for ring roads around malls, stop bars and entrance/exit markings (ie arrows, lane dividers etc.). We have never put beads on any other lines in a parking lot.
Date: 9/12/00 12:40:15 PM
I have not yet run into a situation where beads are required but have decided to add it to my striping service. I have been successful in selling the customer on the idea especially when their lot is dimly lit.