Painting [DIY Mobile Spray Booth]

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Painting [DIY Mobile Spray Booth]

Post#1 » Feb 25 2008 04:24

DIY Mobile Spray Booth
Compiled by ZuluHutu

Here is something some people may be interested in. I just build a mobile spray booth.
The reason for this: My big spray booth is 4 floors away.... but i really like to work with my airbrush As you know it is a little bit messy and smelly, so a booth is a must. So I decided to make my own small, mobile spray booth, so that i an use my airbrush in my apartment.
And before I did something really fancy, I also decided that everybody with a little wood working skills should be able to replicate this. For the greater good^^
I had the wood sawed to the right sizes at my local hardware store (i really don't know what the situation is in other countries, but in germany every hardware store has a cutting service).
After this you only some basic tools.

So here are some facts: (everything is metric)
The size is 40 x 30m x 11m and it has a foldable screen. The basic design is a big box with a smaller box inside. In the space between this boxes the screen is insert. The screen is made of thick cardboard, hold together by duct tape. Cheap and replaceable.
The ventilation is done by 2 120mm 230V fans, both together have a nominal power of ~400m³/h. Filters are a layer of polyester sheets (for paint), 2 layers of non-woven polyester mat (for paint particles and fumes), one sheet of activated charcoal (for organic solvents)....avaible as kitchen supplies (for the fume hood).
The air outlet is 80mm, so standard air pipes can be fitted to the box if it should really be smelly.

Part List. Price: (48€)

Wood, 12mm MDF 5€
Screws, 3x30 2€
3mm cardboard, 1m² 2€
Switch 1€
Fans, 120mm (2x) 2x20€
Filter material (3x 1m²) 8€
Power Socket 0€ (old pc psu)

Wood glue, duct tape, computer power cable, tin-solder,....
Solder, Drill, screwdriver

Wood (all dimension in cm)
12mm MDF
A 1x 30cm x 40 cm
B 2x 40cm x 10,7 cm
C 2x 27,6 x 10,7
D 2x 8,9 x 8,5
E 1x 25,8 x 8,5
F 1x 36,4 x 8,5
G 2x 25,8 x 3,0
H 1x 32,8 x 3,0
I 1x 32,8 x 3,0

J 2x 27,0 x 3,0
K 1x 30,4 x 1,2
L 1x 30,x 2,4
M 1x 32,8 x 25,8

just noticed my scanner is broken...i have to scan the drawing tomorrow at work....edit: I going to upload the plans as drawing.

General advice: You have to predrill and counterbore MDF before screwing the parts together. I used a 2 or 2,5mm drill and 3 x 30 (3mm thick, 30mm long) screws. I also used wood glue to strengthen the connection.

Step 0:
Cut a 80mm hole in one Part C.
Cut two 120mm hole in Part M.

Step 1: Build outer box.

Step 2: Add inner box. I recommend to put some small pieces of wood (5-6mm) between the two boxes.
Step 3: Screw together the filter recess, fix the fans to M. Pay attention to mount the fans in the right direction. There is always a small arrow printed in the fan casing.

Step 4: Before fixing the filter box, cut two hole for your power plug and the on-off switch. Wire the fans to switch, don't forget to ground the everything (use 3 conductor wire). Insulate everything properly using either heat shrink tubing or self-sealing tape. Test if the fans are running before putting everything together. WARNING: Don't play around with electricty if you don't know what you are doing. But if you try anyways and get yourself roasted you probably done humankind a favor.

Step 5: Cut the screening.

(from left to right, from top to down)
1. The fans and the recess for the filter material (without fan grill)
2. The box without screen.
3. Layour of filter material
4. Screen folded
5. Box. WIP.
6. Box in use.....And it works really good.


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Reakto Faktor
Posts: 5

Improvement suggestion to make the spray booth even cheaper.

Post#2 » Mar 05 2008 03:21

First this is really a great idea for building a mobile spray booth. I really feel inspired now to build my own. When I was reading through your instructions and plan I thought about a few things which might help to build it even cheaper and easier.

I’m living in the US and some of the materials like your air fans will have to be replaced with some which will work here. (110 V)
Since your plan already has an air outlet, I thought why I need those 2 fans at all. Can’t I just hook up an existing household vacuum with hose directly to the spray booth box? Today’s vacuum cleaners easy have a power of 1000 Watts, which should work.
This would also allow someone with limited electrical abilities to build the spray booth.

About the filters:
Sure you can buy filters for fume hoods (kitchen exhaust), but by looking around I saw that you might even use furnace/AC air filters which start at around $4.50 for a 10’’x20’’x1’’. You can easy either adjust the dimensions of the plan to that or just cut the filter to size. They also come in a big variety of filtration grades so you can choose what you like.
On top of the frame which olds the filer in place I would put some screen door screening, which you can buy here in any hardware store. The screen door mesh will then be covered by paper towels. (That’s something what I might have to try out to see if it doesn’t suck up too much paint.) What’s your bottom of the booth? It has to be some porous material which does not clog up too easily from airbrush paint.

Tell me what you think. I will start working on my version of the spray booth and might post some WIP pictures here.
In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it

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Posts: 174

Post#3 » Mar 06 2008 08:48

Thanks for your input.
Air Fans: I think it should be no problem to replace 230V with 110V fans, the size (120mm) is the standard computer fan size.

Household vacuum cleaner: I think you could try this version, only make sure that the connection is really air tight. I also think there is no reason why this shouldn't work.
I used the fans because they are also quite silent (~45db) and this allows me to use the booth even in the evening. The whole intention to build this booth was the reason to have one you could use even in your apartment without the neighbours notecing.

Filters: also a good idea. Are there also activated charcoal avaible? This was the expensive filter material, of the 8€ totally spend. 1,5€ for 1m² of polyester sheet, 1,5€ for 1m² of non-woven polyester mat and 5€ for 1m² of activated charcoal filter.
The first layer is the polyester sheet (~1mm thick) to catch most of the excess paint. Ok, you could use paper towels for this, but i think the polyester sheet is a little bit more porous (so even while clotted air can pass).
What’s your bottom of the booth?

Do you mean the activated charcoal filter? The black stuff?

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Reakto Faktor
Posts: 5

Post#4 » Mar 07 2008 11:51

Thanks for your reply. I see your point on using computer air fans (“Gehaeuseventilator”), they are really so much more quiet. I wasn’t aware that you could actually use them without the need for a power supply (“Transformator/Netzteil”). Did you just switch them in a “Daisy-chain” connection (“Reihenschaltung”) with a switch at the end? I can do that.
The vacuum cleaner is just a quick fix for those how don’t have access to computer fans or the electrical skills to put them in. (Though it’s much louder.)

My motivation to build the mobile airbrush booth is the weather. I usually spray my models in the garage, but since it’s winter now and my garage has no heat, I want to do it inside. The spray booth will also help me to calm down my “better half”, since it will prevent me from making a mess.

About the filters: Yes you can get here furnace and air-conditioner filters with a layer of activated charcoal (“Aktivkohlefilter”) and even with baking soda (for additional smell reduction).

You already answered my question about “the bottom of the booth”. Sorry, I should have expressed myself clearer. I meant the part where you place your models on, which is the first layer of polyester sheet.
This might cause a little problem, because I have to research if I can get that here in the US too or what to use instead. The material needs to be stable enough to support the weight of the models (thinking about metal models), also porous to let the air through and not getting filled with paint.

Maybe I get started this weekend….
In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it

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Posts: 174

Post#5 » Mar 10 2008 05:42

The size ist the standard computer fan size, but they also avaible for AC too. And with AC they have much more power than with DC, nearly 5-6 times.
Both fans are wired as a parallel curcuit.

For the first layer i use a furnace fat filter. It is ~1mm thick, made of polyester and more or less rigid enough. It that stuff that changes the colour while being saturated with fat.

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