The current thread on airbrushes has me thinking about getting one.
But... seems like I ought to get a paint booth if I'm going to do that.
After pricing a few of the options, it seems that the cost of an
airbrush and compressor don't look so huge compared to the cost of a
paint booth. Yikes! Are they made of pure unobtainium, or what? Is
this something I can build myself? Seems like a box with a fan in it
should not be so hard to do.... what am I missing?
I use a fan, recycled from a computer power supply. It has a sparkless
motor, and is cheap (you can buy them seperately at an electronics store)
It is fitted in a tube, leading the explodable gasses outside.
In the spray bootk I mounted an old record-player, the belt-driven turntable
is powered by another sparkless motor. I fixed the speed to 78rpm, but I
think 45rpm would do fine, too.
This allows mee to easily airbrush objects on all sides - very handy for
painting trees etc.
More tips on
- this is my Belgian website,
but has an English translation.
"Steve Hoskins" schreef in bericht
On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 07:10:56 GMT, Steve Hoskins
The sort of fan you need is called a "squirrel cage" . It has
the motor offset to the side so it never is inline with the fumes. you
can find these easily at any surplus place or online. Also many
furnaces use them as do some cars (for the heater blower)
You can build the box from sheet metal, wood or cardboard. Put
a turntable/lazy susan in the middle and you are set to go. I usually
mount a cheap fluorescent light at the front top to see where the
spray is going. If you are a decent scrounger you can build a booth
as good as the commercial ones for a few dollars. You can even make a
simple cardboard vented box with no fan (using gravity as a vent
system) with nothing other than a cardboard box or 2 from the grocers
a knife and some tape. I have used them as much as the fancy ones and
they work fine (I won a "best paint" in a major car model contest
years ago using the cardboard box booth, so it works fine, just not
fancy) If anyone is interested I can write up details for the thing.
Buy a range hood and build a plywood box under it. Use disposable furnace filters
under the top to catch particulates before they go through the fan. If you are
volatile solvent paints, run the exhaust through a dryer vent duct to the
using acrylics exclusively, the furnace filters should be sufficient. You may
use double filters depending on the density of the ones you can get.
You're not missing much.
The important things are to get a adequate fan that does *NOT* have the
motor in the air stream ... that is, a "squirrel cage" type fan (widely
available and cheap at surplus stores). You do NOT want the motor IN the
potentially explosive vapor environment of the exhaust stream.
The other consideration is to run the exhaust hose OUT of you home/shop.
You want to get RID of the vapors. Filters merely remove the particulate
dust, no the potentially toxic vapors (depends on WHAT type paint you
are spraying). DON'T exhaust back into the room or house .. this defeats
90% of the reason to have a booth.
Other than that, I've seen decent spray booths made from old cardboard
boxes. Not pretty, but cheap and functional. When they get dirty, just
make a new one.
A turntable of some sort, to rotate the item being sprayed, is VERY
convenient in the spray area. Some form of 'pegboard' to retain a
variety of clips and posts for holding items being painted is also
desirable. All this can be cobbled up from junk ("lazy susans", spring
A commercial booth is nice, and will last years, but is not really
needed for adequate performance.
"Sparkless" (brushless) motors are better than the other kind for this
purpose, but the best solution with ANY motor is to get it OUT of the
exhaust stream. The fan has to be in the exhaust, the motor driving it
does NOT. The common 'squirrel cage' fans are the easiest of this type
I've seen 'sparkless' motors get so HOT they could be an ignition
source, sparks of not.
Model Railroader a few years ago (sorry I am vague, I can't find my copy
of the article and I don't have the original mag) had plans for building
a spray booth and a good article about the safety requirements. I built
one and I am pleased with it.
Don't scrimp on the fan, a range hood fan or bathroom fan doesn't move
nearly enough air. For my booth which has an 18" x 24" opening, I have
a 550 cfm fan and it is adequate but a bigger one would be better.
On 12/16/04 12:20 AM, in article
firstname.lastname@example.org, " email@example.com"
I'm more than happy to email the old MR plans again, and also to post them
A spray booth can make or break painting projects. The
main functions are to remove toxic fumes and control
overspray, without interfering with spray patterns. Our
tests have shown that most are not properly designed to
handle the latter due to their shape and venting
Air flow throughout the volume is the key factor.
Excessive velocity distorts spray patterns. Square
corners create eddy swirls, which can carry overspray
back to wet surfaces. Even the human body parts deflect
The easiest exhaust system can be made using a brushless,
computer box fan and dryer venting parts with some
heating/cooling duct fittings. Squirrel cage fans are
difficult to connect.
Along with test methods and construction, a good starting
example of a complete system is shown on my site.
For more details with methods and extensive discussion of
problems and solutions, see first site below in Methods
Hope this helps.
MODELRAILROAD TECHNICAL INFORMATION
PROTOTYPE TECHNICAL INFO FOR MODELRAILROADERS
(Revised. New address)
The Model Railroad article from 88 if I remember right, will get you on the
right track. I've been using mine since then and have made them for
friends. You don't even know that you are painting when you use it.
If I remember right, sometime later there was a follow up about some one who
didn't use a booth, that developed some type of neurological problems that
proved fatal. Made me wonder, I never paint with out the booth.
There are a couple of articles out there. The most recent one in RMC
Building a spray paint booth
Railroad Model Craftsman, September 2004 page 58
using commercially available materials
( BOOTH, "LEIDER, DAVID", PAINT, TOOL, RMC )
A Forced-Air Fan Spray-Painting Booth
Model Railroading, Winter 1981 page 70
A Simple Device That Makes Painting A Pleasure
( AIRBRUSH, PAINT, SPRAY, SPRAYBOOTH, MRG )
A deluxe spray paint booth
Model Railroader, August 1983 page 103
( AIRBRUSH, "BREHER, KEN", PAINT, SPRAYBOOTH, MR )
Paint Shop: Safety in painting
Model Railroader, November 1987 page 153
( AIRBRUSH, PAINT, PAINTSHOP, SAFETY, "SPERANDEO, ANDY", SPRAYBOOTH, MR )
Paint Shop: The Paint Shop spray booth
Model Railroader, January 1988 page 128
( AIRBRUSH, PAINT, PAINTSHOP, "SPERANDEO, ANDY", SPRAYBOOTH, MR )
that should keep you busy for a while...