I had been procrastinating finishing the paint booth simply because I had no clear game plan in place. Well my procrastination turned to frustration, depression, and finally anger to the point where I just sucked it up and went at it. People always say nothing good ever comes from getting mad, guess they were wrong. It was my rage and fury that got me to the finish line.
As a quick recap the paint booth frame had been all welded up, the ventilation fan assembly had been built and all the supports that would allow the booth to stand on its own, as well as collapse, had been completed. I managed to get my hands on a 30’ x 40’ tarp which I had planned to use to wrap the booth up like a birthday present. At this point in the project I am still unsure if any of the master plan is actually going to work out in the end. Gotta trek on…
So my rage day came where I went and purchased 175 feet of tarp tape, 15 feet of Velcro, and then came home and set the frame of the booth up. As I struggled to lay out a tarp with a footprint bigger then my entire garage I managed to actually incase the booth. From here on in it was simply a matter of cutting up the tarp as though it was gift wrap. All the seams were sealed with numerous different methods. Tarp tape was used on some, others had 1” x .125” 6061 flat bar sandwiching them, others got Velcro, and the floor was done by folding the tarp into the wall seam. I certainly will not bore you with every seam detail. The project took me a weekend and 5 evenings however in the end I had a 98% sealed booth that was still completely collapsible down to 4 inches thick.
I still had yet to deal with a lighting issue. I needed good light however it could not be installed permanently. I picked up 4 double tube T12 48” florescent light fixtures and rigged them up to see if the illumination would be sufficient. 4 fixtures would do however 6 would be better. So I picked up another 2 fixtures. I strung cables through the tops of the housings to allow for hanging them on hooks. Then using a 50 foot extension cord I wired them up together in 2 sets of 3. The lights all get hung on hooks inside the booth and when it’s time to disassemble it takes approx. 1 minute to unhook them all and hang them on a storage hook in the shop.
I still needed to get an air supply and electrical connection into the booth through the tarp sealed walls. I welded up a support plate that got bolted to the lower corner of the intake filter wall and then configured a stubby extension cord to fit through it along with a permanently mounted compressed air hook up.
So with everything sealed it was time to fire up the ventilation fan, face bitter disappointment and come to terms with the realities of my backyard engineering. Turns out the disappointment is going to have to come back another day cause the booth pressured up fantastic. The walls and ceiling all ballooned out which actually gives me more room inside the booth to move around. There appears to good airflow coming out of the exhaust filter. Now there are minor little spots in the tarp that have a few leaks, I’ll have to wait till I actually spray something to be able to visually see if the leaks are an issue. There is a slight breeze blowing through the center of the booth, it’s not bad and may not affect the spraying at all. Again I will have to wait till I spray to be able to evaluate the full booth performance.
Because of te size of the booth getting good pictures were difficult. The best I have is a video that gives a full tour, you can check it out below.
I measured the RPM of the ventilation fan using a digital tach. The maximum specified speed is rated at 1140 rpm and the way I have it pulleyed down from my 1725 rpm treadmill motor the fan’s actual speed is 1265 rpm. Not too bad, a bit high but until further testing it will have to do. I suspect I can re-pulley the fan to allow for lower RPM and lower CFMs and still have good pressure within the booth.
Well I can’t stop now, the booth is complete but it still needs to be stored. My current plan is to hang it from the ceiling however I lack a plan at this point. I’ll see what kind of ideas I can grow.