Sunday, December 30, 2012

Air Brush Spray Paint Booths - Part 1

We were chatting about spray paint booths on our club group this morning, so I thought I'd post some information that I've collected on them.  I've built all of my own booths since they are very expensive to purchase, and usually too small to be effective.  Here's what I've learned.

Here is an article on my old paint booth, still being used by a friend.

Here is my current booth:

The box is wider than than the ones that you can buy, and taller.  This gives you room to paint larger objects like bridges.   It is just a simple two chamber box.  There is a room behind the filter.

I use an elevated lazy susan that is designed for working with clay that I bought at Michael's.  It is aluminum, so it is heavy and won't tip over.  It also cleans easily.

Here is the part I love about the booth.  I paint things for other people and never quite know what kind of lighting I'll need.  So the top of the booth is a glass panel.  Now I can sit any kind of lighting that I need on top of the booth!  Currently I use a 2 foot long double florescent fixture with 6800 Kelvin clear bulbs, like my layout has.

Here of some photos of my booth disassembled for a fresh coat of paint:

Here are some photos of a clever unit built by a fellow on the FineScaleMiniatures forum.

That squirrel cage blower is perfect for getting the kinds of CFM's pulled through the unit.  Be careful that it is not too powerful as it will pull the paint away from the model in mid-stream!

When I built my last booth I made sure that the filter I used was the same as the furnace filter I use in my house.  That way I always have a supply handy.

Here is one big problem.  Lighting is VERY important in a booth and should match the lighting used on your layout.  Be sure to use strong lighting and to keep the electrical parts outside of the box.

Here is a great and inexpensive spray booth design by Gary Phua.  Our NMRA Division built four of these for an airbrush clinic that I taught many years ago and I hear they are still in use today.  It is totally portable and can be made for less than $50 I think.  The only thing we did different is that we used a storage box with flip up lids.

Here is a photo of where the flip top portable spray booth was used:

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