by: Dave O'Meara [ ]
Originally published on:
where to start
Well this is probably one of the more difficult reviews Iíve been asked to do. Iíve been trying to figure out what to write about something as mundane as a large tin box that takes up a lot of room, isnít pretty, may help save your lungs and life, and keep it interesting. I certainly didnít feel like making it sound like another boring tech sheet.
After working for more years than I care to remember with the usual window fan on exhaust, I happened to come across a post here on Armorama.com from a fellow member. He was selling an almost new airbrush spray booth, for a really low price. After shooting off a PM, it was mine. After I sent the check for the agreed upon sum, he shipped it to me. The huge box arrived a few days later. Now my usual UPS driver is used to me receiving various size packages, but when this one arrived, he asked if I was now accepting bodies.
When I opened the package I found a huge, unassembled assortment of sheet metal, a separate fan assembly and a note stating the previous owner only used it once. I quickly assembled it on the floor in the living room. I suddenly realized that I had no place for something this large in my workshop, which is actually the corner of the bedroom. I also had nothing to place it on, so off to do a little shopping.
I went out and bought a three-draw metal file cabinet at the local Staples office supply store, as I could always use the draws for extra storage. I knew I would have to be able to shuffle this huge spray booth around to store and use it. As Grumpyís luck runs, of course they had no dollies for under the cabinet. So over to the Home Depot I went and they had none either so I ended up buying a small furniture dolly (which turned out fine, since its larger wheels make it easier to roll, and slightly larger size makes it more stable) Back to the apartment to get it set up.
location and setup
After I assembled the spray booth again, I placed it on top of the wheeled file cabinet, and plugged it in. Now on my initial start up I had minimal noise or vibration, but now had a lot. Being sheet metal, the bottom needs to be firmly supported, so back to the Home Depot for a 24x24 piece of 3/4inch plywood. I slipped this under the base and 95% of the noise and vibrations stopped. I then removed the fan plenum and sealed it, along with the sheet metal side panels with some silicone caulking. Now it ran quite and vibration free. Now I just needed to vent it. This is simply a dryer venting kit, which was kindly provided by another member, who even delivered it. Having no on/off switch, it requires you to plug it in to use, and unplug it when done. This can prove to be a pain in a certain area, so I installed a plug strip with an on/off switch, and now have a place to plug in the clamp on lights to see in the spray booth - youíll need them too!
Now what about this tin box and how does it work. Well it works great, runs quite, and since I spray a lot of lacquers and lacquer thinned enamels, it gets rid of the fumes out the window without smelling up the house, and killing my lungs and brains any more than they already are.
Providing an air extraction between 80 to 100 LFM (Linear Feet per Minute), it does warn you if you are spraying harmful solvents it needs to be vented to the outside, so be warned. The fan motor is mounted outside of the airflow, and poses no sparking danger. Measuring a large 24 inches by 24 inches work surface, and 18 inches high, it will take up a lot of room. Weighing 42 pounds, itís not something you will want to put up and take down, unless you like excessive work and self-torture. Listing at $288.99 plus shipping at http://www.dickblick.com itís not exactly cheap, but then again what are you and your familiesí lungs worth?
It uses a carbon and fiberglass filter to removes the larger particles from the exhausted air. I usually pick these up at the Home Depot, and simply cut them to fit.
For the average modeler and those doing smaller projects it is surely over kill, as there are smaller and much more portable spray booths available. For those that spray larger objects, and need something this size I would surely recommend it.
I also use it for my photo booth, for this I simply use some precut illustration board. I glued some magnetic strips on the back, and stick and slip them in place when I need to take photos.