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Another spray booth build

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Another spray booth build
Posted by JimT on Sunday, February 8, 2015 8:13 PM

Just thought I'd post some photos of a DIY spray booth I've nearly finished. I spent lots of time looking at photos of similar booths online, in particular while trying to figure out how to mount the Dayton blower to the back of the cabinet. I settled on mounting the blower to a piece of galvanized sheet metal and then screwing that whole assembly to some furring strips on the back of the cabinet. The main trick is supporting the weight of the blower from underneath--you'll see I did that with a stack of 1x4 blocks centered under the fan motor. It will all vent directly out the back with very little ducting via a window at the same level as the booth.

Materials-wise: I used a 36" wide bathroom sink base cabinet harvested from a salvage shop ($25); 2'x3' sheet of galvanized steel ($20); a piece of lexan on the top in the sink opening ($20); 3/4" plywood for the back, and 1x2s and 1x4s for the furring (all on hand); 6" ducting collar and 6" to 4" reducer ($15-ish?); and of course the blower, which I got new on fleabay for $120 (Dayton model 1TDT2, 549cfm, 1640rpm). Wiring, plugs, switches etc., all stuff I had on hand, plus I'll need to put a light over it. So basically a $200 project, whereas the large Pace booth I might otherwise have bought is $500. The main thing is that I had no intention of skimping on the blower.

Here are some pics:

 BEFORE: spray booth base cabinet open

 spray booth fan mounted to galvanized sheet

 spray booth back framed, ready for blower

 spray booth back with blower mounted

 spray booth wiring box

Big box store sells sheets of this 2'x3' filter material, so I stuck the entire sheet right in the back of the cabinet:

 spray booth with filter in place

We'll see how the airflow goes, if I need to box in a small plenum at the rear of the cabinet, I'll do that.

Anyway, hope these photos help someone else who is trying to build a booth. I wanted a big booth in order to be able to spray built-up structures, and I like a lot of room to work in. Hopefully this will do the trick.

Jim

Tags: spray booth
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Posted by JAMES MOON on Sunday, February 8, 2015 8:58 PM

Where did you obtain the blower?

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Posted by JimT on Sunday, February 8, 2015 9:24 PM

JAMES MOON

Where did you obtain the blower?

ebay seller a1locator, actually the price was 129--it was missing the original box, I had been seeing that blower for $155-165. I was too impatient to wait for a used one to pop up. Tested the flow today, it does pretty well.  There's a brand called Rotom that makes "replacement blowers" for various Dayton models, but I read some pretty iffy reviews of those. I'd stick with the Dayton ones if you can.

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Posted by Paul D on Monday, February 9, 2015 1:00 PM

Jim - Consider a 5 1/2" clamp-on work light for 6 bucks at Home Depot. Then you can position it anywhere you want, it'll be out of the line of fire, and you can use it on other projects around the house. And if you line the inside with cheap aluminum kitchen foil you'll greatly enhance the light in there, and keep your booth lookin' spiffy. I spray 2-3 times a week and have never had to replace the foil in two years. Use something else to test the spray, not the side walls.

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Posted by JimT on Monday, February 9, 2015 2:25 PM

Paul, thanks for the foil tip, I had no idea, I will definitely try that. When I used to spray fairly often (I used a friend's booth), we rigged up a piece of cardboard on a spindle stuck in a block of wood to take preliminary passes with the brush before painting for real. And the clip-on lights are in the works, I've got a couple we've used to raise chicks but I will also put some flourescent tubing up top for overall light. We also used to put a heat lamp in one of the clip-on lights to assist with drying models and baking the paint after airbrushing.  I'll probably do that again.

at some point I will need some advice about paints and paint brands--my entire spraying experience is rooted back in the Floquil era . . . I don't see much of that in hobby shops anymore.  The first acrylic subsitutes were pretty bad (I vaguely remember some abomination called "accu-paint"?) but I understand they've gotten better.  Finding weathering colors and things like brick and rust are high on my list if anyone's got some recommendations.

Jim

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Posted by Paul D on Monday, February 9, 2015 2:59 PM

One more - with a small eye-screw on each side, you can rig a "clothesline" across the inside made from a wire clothes hanger and hang a building wall on it with small office supply binder clips attached to those little tabs you get on the edge of a wall. If you run the 'clothesline' through just one of the thumb handles on the clip, you can turn the wall nearly 180 and paint both sides in the same session.

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Posted by JimT on Monday, February 9, 2015 3:18 PM

Paul D

One more - with a small eye-screw on each side, you can rig a "clothesline" across the inside made from a wire clothes hanger and hang a building wall on it with small office supply binder clips attached to those little tabs you get on the edge of a wall. If you run the 'clothesline' through just one of the thumb handles on the clip, you can turn the wall nearly 180 and paint both sides in the same session.

 

that's great, I'll have to try that as well.  I used to put together Magnuson resin kits, and for those we found out it was best to assemble the model first and paint afterwards. But with plastic kits I think your method is better than sticking them on tape and waiting for one side to dry before doing the other side.

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Monday, February 9, 2015 5:27 PM

SPRAY BOOTH OF LION...

 

Is cardboard box glued to the wall.

 

For amount of spraying that LION does, is sufficient.

Computer /  Radio is below.

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by Paul D on Monday, February 9, 2015 8:14 PM

Jimster - Shudda mentioned another good hanger. I have a half dozen wire spring type shower curtain hooks/rings that some people use for key rings on my 'clothesline' that I can hook through a building window or doorway. Some combination of that thing and the binder clip enables getting at any side of anything to shorten up the project of getting something painted.

OK, you've done a great job of engineering that booth. I'll leave ya alone now.

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Posted by JimT on Monday, February 9, 2015 9:22 PM

Paul D

Jimster - Shudda mentioned another good hanger. I have a half dozen wire spring type shower curtain hooks/rings that some people use for key rings on my 'clothesline' that I can hook through a building window or doorway. Some combination of that thing and the binder clip enables getting at any side of anything to shorten up the project of getting something painted.

OK, you've done a great job of engineering that booth. I'll leave ya alone now.

 

thanks Paul, that's another great idea, and I will try this one as well.  I did do some searching here and online and have found some color matching info for the "Floquil to something else" conversion, one thread here on MR: 

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/218231.aspx

So that's going to be a big help.  anyway, thanks for the tips and the kind words. I'll let you know how the painting goes!

Jim

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, February 9, 2015 11:11 PM

Accupaint wasn't an acrylic, and was, in my experience, one of the nicer brands to use, as was their line of decals.

Paint and striping from Accucal, while the roadname is from a Champ alphabet set:

For painting rolling stock, locomotives, or small structures, I have a pile of assorted small lumber (modified 1"x1", 1"x2", etc.) which I use as slip-in handles, while larger structures that won't fit in the booth are done outdoors.  For weathering, I prefer to hand-hold the model and/or roll it (or run it if it's a locomotive) on an old Bowser turntable bridge - disposable nitrile gloves work well for this, even with lacquer-based paints.

Wayne

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Posted by JimT on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 6:30 AM

Wayne, that's a beautiful model--I misspoke on paint brand, I believe it was actually Badger's Accu Flex, which when it first came out had problems coagulating in the bottle. It was weird stuff, I never got it to work and then went on my vacation from the hobby for 20 years.

I like the idea of using the nitrile gloves to hold stuff for light spraying, I'll have to get a box.

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 11:53 AM

What are you guys using for a paint filter?  Ordinary furnace filters won't do the job I fear.

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by JimT on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 12:10 PM

DigitalGriffin

What are you guys using for a paint filter?  Ordinary furnace filters won't do the job I fear.

 

this is a good point, what's in there at the moment is this stuff: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Flanders-PrecisionAire-24-in-x-36-in-x-1-in-Permaire-Pad-Air-Filter-40655-012436/100178722

which I fear has too much space between fibers to be effective by itself. So I'm pretty sure I'll be doubling up with an ordinary carboard-framed filter behind it, something like this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-20-in-x-25-in-x-1-in-EZ-Flow-Heavy-Duty-Air-Filter-Case-of-12-10255-012025/203143872

From what I've read the pleated filters clog too easily with the overspray, but I'm open to recommendations.

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Posted by maxman on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 12:35 PM

JimT
From what I've read the pleated filters clog too easily with the overspray, but I'm open to recommendations.

I use the more expensive pleated filters, and you are right that they "clog" faster.  But I suppose the other way to look at it is they trap more stuff that would otherwise pass through and either deposit on the fan or get blown to the outside to deposit on the side of your house or on your car.

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Posted by JimT on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 1:04 PM

maxman
JimT
From what I've read the pleated filters clog too easily with the overspray, but I'm open to recommendations.

I use the more expensive pleated filters, and you are right that they "clog" faster.  But I suppose the other way to look at it is they trap more stuff that would otherwise pass through and either deposit on the fan or get blown to the outside to deposit on the side of your house or on your car.

another good point and makes me think I'll try both. I did a search to figure out where I had read that about pleated filters and it led me right back here to this thread:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/227701.aspx

And one person there mentioned using the large mesh sheet as a prefilter in front of a pleated filter. So I'm thinking that may be the ultimate solution.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 3:17 PM

Thanks for your kind words, Jim. Big Smile
And I do agree with you concerning Badger's original Accu Flex - absolutely terrible for coagulating, whether in an airbrush or on a paint brush.

As for filters for a paint booth, I used regular fibreglass filters meant for furnaces - my homemade booth takes 1/2 of an 11"x20" filter (no longer available, so I'll need to modify the holder to accept another size when my supply runs out).  I'd strongly advise against pleated paper filters - they'll quickly become clogged and are too expensive to be as readily replaceable as the fibreglass ones.  The main purpose of the filter is to keep paint particles out of the exhaust air, and the fibreglass filters do an adequate job at a reasonable cost, allowing you to change them often.  My fan, an in-line one from an old air hockey game, has been in service for over 30 years without issue, and there's no staining at all on the garage wall where the exhaust outlet is located.

My spray booth was originally in a small room in my garage (where it could be heated in the winter) and it worked well.  When we moved into a new house with no garage, I put it in a small room in my basement workshop.   While it still worked okay, the tightness of a new house did affect its performance, as it laboured to draw "make-up" air as painting continued.
I eventually moved it to an acquired garage, again in a small room built only for airbrushing. One thing which greatly improved booth performance was to include a closeable vent to allow fresh air into the room.  (It's closeable to keep out both dirt and critters, as the "garage" is a converted 125 year old house, and not especially "tight".)  In winter, I pre-heat the room using a portable electric heater, then paint with the vent open.  The compressor I use is a rotary-type, which doesn't use a tank, so it runs continuously during painting operations, which may last 3 or 4 hours - the heat from the compressor and motor keep the room comfortable in all but the coldest weather.
Regardless of the booth or type of paint you use, I'd suggest using appropriate breathing apparatus when airbrushing.  A paper filter mask is generally sufficient for acrylic-type paints, but if you're using any lacquer-based paints, get a two-stage respirator.  These remove not only the paint particles from your breathing air, but also the harmful volatile components of the paint.

Wayne

 

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Posted by JimT on Thursday, February 12, 2015 2:02 PM

thanks Wayne for the advice.  Got everything set up this morning and played with it a bit after I making a run to Napa for some male-male fittings for my air hose connections (needed one for the water trap and I want to put a second regulator at the booth). 

I can already see where the acrylics might be a bit of a pain in terms of cleanup, so I'll play with the enamels to see which I like working with better. I lost a nice double action brush in a move at some point (or left it behind at the club I used to belong to is more likely), so right now just have a single action, but that's okay while I'm testing everything out. Need to pick up some foil to try the foil lining trick.

Made one mistake, put an incandescent clamp-on light on TOP of the booth (on the Lexan) and started to melt the Lexan . . .  Embarrassed  Won't make that mistake again. Unfortunately the flourescent tube I have on there doesn't throw enough light.  And I really didn't like the clamp-on fixture on the side of the booth, just too big and gets in the way. I'll have to frame some sort of box above but high enough to not melt the Lexan.

Now to start playing with some of my junky old Athearn cars for practice.

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Posted by JAMES MOON on Thursday, February 12, 2015 2:45 PM

Have you considered using hockey puck style LED lights in the top of booth?

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Posted by JimT on Thursday, February 12, 2015 3:29 PM

JAMES MOON

Have you considered using hockey puck style LED lights in the top of booth?

 

I may go back and give the LEDs another look, there's not much framing on the top of the booth to attach the puck style lights too, but an LED strip or three along the front and side edges might do the trick. I like the light from the 150 watt incandescent, but it does throw a lot of heat.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, February 12, 2015 11:53 PM

Here's the lighting set-up I used when my paint booth was still in the basement shop.  The only difference now is that the plastic duct has been replaced by aluminum:

As for clean-up of acrylic paints, I use lacquer thinner.  There is no water to the garage, and I find that it's not as effective or as neat to use as is the thinner.  I do thin the acrylic paints with distilled water, but that's done before heading out to paint.

Wayne

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Posted by Paul D on Friday, February 13, 2015 7:59 AM

I don't know the cost of lacquer thinner but I bought a gallon of Windex for 8 bucks at Lowe's, put about 4 ounces in a 6oz pill bottle with a screw cap, and drop in the airbrush parts or shake a used brush in it. I've been using the same 4 ounces for months. Wal Mart has a 4-piece set of fine mesh strainers for $1.97 in the kitchen dept. Pour the Windex through the strainer into a small pail from the paint dept, collect the parts, and pour it back into the pill bottle. The Windex doesn't look pretty anymore but still doing the job. Final rinse in warm water.

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Posted by JimT on Friday, February 13, 2015 8:34 AM

These are both extremely helpful pieces of advice, I didn't know about using laquer thinner with acrylics but I had also forgotten I'd read somewhere about using Windex to clean airbrush parts, so I'll try both of them as I've got them both on hand. Wayne, I also like the hooded lamp you've got to the left of your booth in the photo, that might work better than the clamp-on work light I've got.  At any rate I appreciate the airbrush cleaning tips for acrylics, this is a whole new ballgame for me . . . .

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, February 13, 2015 10:18 PM

JimT:

Here is another option for lighting. It gives good light coverage and leaves the face of the booth fully open. There are three halogen bulbs:

Here is something else that I find handy. I don't have to turn around and walk to the compressor to adjust the pressure:

Booth is home built.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by JimT on Friday, February 13, 2015 10:28 PM

Dave, I really like the look of that light, and it would fit along the thin piece of framing along the top of my booth. You wouldn't happen to remember where you got it?  and the regulator on top of the booth is something I've already planned, I've got another regulator, I just haven't hooked it up yet.

do you find the halogens throw off a lot of heat? seems to me like it would almost be at eye level, and depending how long you're painting, could get a bit warm? But I like keeping the face of the booth open.

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Posted by G Paine on Friday, February 13, 2015 10:38 PM

maxman
 
JimT
From what I've read the pleated filters clog too easily with the overspray, but I'm open to recommendations.

 

I use the more expensive pleated filters, and you are right that they "clog" faster.  But I suppose the other way to look at it is they trap more stuff that would otherwise pass through and either deposit on the fan or get blown to the outside to deposit on the side of your house or on your car.

I have used fiberglass furnace filters for many years. Yes, they do pass some of he paint solids through but last longer. Maybe once or twice a year, I will take out the filter and clean the Dayton blower impeller of the solids buildup. Jusy lightly scrape each blade with a long handled screwdriver, then turn on the blower to blow out the dust that falls to the bottom of the blower. Cleaning like this increases the blower air flow. My blower exhausts in a "non-senstive area", so outdoor cleanup is not necessary

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, February 13, 2015 10:39 PM

JimT:

I likely got the light at Home Depot, but I'm in Canada so the same fixture might not be available south of the border.

This is a similar fixture which I found on Home Depot's US site:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eglo-Extend-3-Light-Chrome-Linkable-Under-Cabinet-Light-86356A/203767936?N=5yc1vZc7phZ1z0qkzkZ1z10h32Z1z10h7qZ1z1153m

Its just over 23" wide. The current price is a real bargain. Bulbs are included as is the power cord. I noted in the installation instructions that the bulbs should not be handled directly.

Heat from the halogens is really not an issue because the airflow takes it away from you. I have never noticed any heat when I have been working with the booth.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rdgk1se3019 on Friday, February 13, 2015 11:05 PM

The story I heard at first and keep hearing once in awhile about the early Badger paint.......

 

.........several gallons ......maybe hundreds......of unfiltered city water got mixed into the paints during manufacture..........turned the paint into poop.

Somewhere along the line an employee did not have the right filter on hand and just ran the water straight into the paint mix.

Dennis Blank Jr.

CEO,COO,CFO,CMO,Bossman,Slavedriver,Engineer,Trackforeman,Grunt. Birdsboro & Reading Railroad

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Posted by JimT on Saturday, February 14, 2015 7:59 PM

hon30critter

JimT:

I likely got the light at Home Depot, but I'm in Canada so the same fixture might not be available south of the border.

This is a similar fixture which I found on Home Depot's US site:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eglo-Extend-3-Light-Chrome-Linkable-Under-Cabinet-Light-86356A/203767936?N=5yc1vZc7phZ1z0qkzkZ1z10h32Z1z10h7qZ1z1153m

Its just over 23" wide. The current price is a real bargain. Bulbs are included as is the power cord. I noted in the installation instructions that the bulbs should not be handled directly.

Heat from the halogens is really not an issue because the airflow takes it away from you. I have never noticed any heat when I have been working with the booth.

Dave

 

thanks Dave, this is great, and didn't think about the airflow pulling the heat away, good point. 

eager to get painting for real. Have some Model Master samples (enamel and acrylic), ordering some MicroLux this weekend, and also rediscovered my box of TWENTY OR SO BOTTLES of Floquil that have been stored upside down for 20 years and still look viable.  Big Smile  That was a nice surprise!

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Posted by JAMES MOON on Saturday, February 14, 2015 10:27 PM

Jim, recently opened a 40 yr old bottle of Floquil paint and used it to paint my first attempt at a scratch built building.  I was amazed the paint mixed up without any lumps or scum.  It had also been stored upside down, it spent four years in an outdoors mini-rent and survived.  Pretty impressive.

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