Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Scale Modelling: Spray Booth

One major issue I anticipated was the inconvenience that would be brought about by my painting built kits inside one of the rooms in our apartment. Building the kits itself  was already an issue with the wife (but enjoyed by the kids!) which could be further exacerbated by the fumes from the actual painting, detailing and then drying the kits. More importantly, the fumes itself is hazardous to health. I had to have an indoor spray booth and a dryer at the same time
from doodlebugonline.blogspot.com

A spray/paint booth provides a painting and drying work space that will draw hazardous paint particles and fumes away from the room and send them safely outside. Available options for this are commercial spray booths ranging from small units to the more complex ventilation systems. A common and more practical option is to build a custom airbrush work space at home for less money. In general, the main components of a spray booth are the enclosure, the air filter, the fans and the exhaust duct. You can also add amenities such as a work light and an airbrush hook.

1. Commercial Spray booths examples:
a. Airbrush Spray Booth Kit Paint Craft Odor Extractory Hobby Spray Booth- This booth kit comes with a powerful fan, fiberglass filter sponges, spinning turntable and a set of hose. It is geared more towards  a hobby spray-painting business.
b. Sbcglobal Brand Hobby Paint Spray Booth Tabletop Airbrush Spray Booth Portable Paint Booth This comes with a lightweight compact portable and easy to assemble 15" exhaust extension with a fan power of 20 Watts Voltage: 110 Volts with air flow of  50 LFM. Of particular note is that this is not intended for use with hazardous, flammable or explosive paints or materials
c. Paasche HSSB Hobby Shop Spray Paint Booth-   This portable, compact and easy to assemble booth  is made of galvanized metal for easy cleaning and durability perfect for hobby and craft spraying. It uses a carbon and fiberglass filter system and  is intended to remove larger particles from the air but will not remove all hazardous materials from the air. When spraying materials that have strong vapors or harmful chemicals the exhaust should be vented to the outside.
2. DIY: Obviously, most of the above are too expensive and a bit overkill for my purposes so I decide t explore DIY options:

a. Building A Paint Booth 

This DIY paint booth project is a bit intimidating as there appears to be an amount of construction needed to complete. There a lot of details though in the article on the materials, drawings and schematics to be used as a guide. The project uses a kitchen stove hood principle as it's general theme. I found this article as a good resource but may be too much for my capabilities and present needs.

b. Spray Booth Design And Fan Selection- If you crave for the technical aspect of booth making then you'll have loads full with this one. It discusses topics like the DIRECTION OF DRAFT, AIR FLOW REQUIREMENTS, CFM Calculations, Cross-draft CFM, Downdraft CFM, DUCTWORK angulations, ductwork STATIC PRESSURE- the works! Not for me but I guess it explains a lot of things I don't understand. Check it out for yourself and maybe it can help you build a paint booth you can use in outer space (kidding).
c. Build an Inexpensive Spray Booth   This simple spray booth made of wood is intended mainly for containing over-spray when spraying paint or air brushing a model.  The only aspect missing though is  ventilation as this is meant to be vented to the outdoors so that paint particles do not build up in the air of your work area. This does not entirely fit my requirements for indoor painting but this nevertheless a good DIY resource just for the schematics alone.
d. Homemade Spray Booth- This project was a major basis for my own booth project as it utilizes the same material as I did though he described it much better and with more details.
e. Homemade Spraybooth and Filter-  This project looks more like the old Popular Mechanics magazines I used to read as the illustrations themselves are actually drawn by hand. It uses simple materials ( like a gallon plastic pail) but it takes the DIY booth a step further by incorporating a filtering system made of activated charcoal. Something to think about also in improving already built DIY booths.

f. Home Made Spray Booth- I only included this one for varieties' sake. It's a a You Tube video! I guess it should be self explanatory.

After all of the research (a bit too much information and superfluous in retrospect) I decided to build the simplest Spray booth for my purposes mostly from readily available materials:

1. Plastic laundry storage bin
Plastic Storage Box
2. Exhaust fan

3.  Exhaust duct
10" Flexible Aluminum Foil Exhaust Duct

I was able to mount the entire booth on top of an old computer table and placed it in a corner of a room near the window. Small shelves were made to accommodate the Tamiya Spray Work Basic Compressor with Airbrush beneath the table. An old desk lamp was installed on top of the booth which was able to impart diffused light to the work area as the plastic itself effectively diffuses the light passing through.

My Spray Booth

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I was able to do some minor adjustments on the computer table itself wherein I can tuck away the booth when not it use.

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The booth is now serving as my workstation for painting, detailing and drying built kits. I also convert the set up into a photo booth by placing additional lights on both sides of the booth with a paper background inside the booth. The plastic storage bin is a very good light diffuser which imparts soft lighting ideal for scale model photography.

An old Desk Lamp is mounted on top with diffused lighting due to the plastic material itself.
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  1. This is nice! :) I like the idea of making your own paint booth! I'm definitely subscribing to this blog! :)

    Thanks for visiting http://yesyoucanarchie.blogspot.com.. appreciate the support sir!

  2. Thanks Archie. I saw your blog at VWCP. Did my subscription to it already register? I was a member of VWCP forum for a long time as I was able to restore my 1973 Bug (see VW resto series in this blog).I stopped for a while at VWCP only to find out that there is already a membership fee ! :-). Let us support each other's blogs. Please subscribe to my blogs. Thanks.

  3. Archie, you might like my new post on another scale modelling DIY. Check this out:


  4. Thanks so much for sharing this information! I have been looking into spray booths san jose to get some things painted! Can you tell me where I can find more information about this? I think it is super interesting!

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog Suzy...The information above is all I have right now. I was actually considering buying a built one before like the commercial ones above but thought it best to make one on my own- which turned out to be way, way cheaper! I recommend that you consider building one yourself with the simple, readily available materials above. Let me know also if I can be of any help if you do decide to pursue this simple project.

    Thanks for the visit. Please visit this blog and my other blogs also if you have time. Keep in touch! Thanks.


  6. That is an awesome paint booth ! I just discovered this blog which is very helpful.I'm very pleased to discover this site. I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it.

  7. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!

    Airless Spray