Friday, December 2, 2016

The Work Table Spray Booth Is Completed!

I am happy to report that I completed work on the table spray booth project this afternoon.  The project went together without any major stumbling blocks along the way so that was a big plus as it always is on any project.  In my last post I had just completed construction of the spray booth itself. In this post we'll look at the assembly and painting of the window exhaust mount as well as the spray booth. 

This is the window exhaust mount that I needed to put together.  It is a simple box that I needed to build to have the exhaust hose from the spray booth connect to the workshop window.  I thought at first that all I would have to do is throw the hose out the window but as you will see in the next picture this simple would not work.

The window that you see in this photo is the closest window to my work table.  The window opens up from the top.  It unlocks and then tips inward at an angle from the top.  I thought the hose for the spray booth would fit between the top of the window and the window frame.  It was not even close so this box had to be constructed.

The 1/2" plywood box is 31" long, 12 1/2" high and 10 1/2" deep.  I still wanted daylight to come into the workshop so I cut an opening for a plexi-glass window.  On the end of the box I also cut a 3" diameter hole for the 3D printed hose mountings. The box was simple screwed together using  #6-1 1/4" deck screws. 

The hose fittings slid into the 3" diameter hole in the box with a nice snug fit and the red part and white elbow then connected to one another in the same manner.  It could not have worked out any better.

Once I was happy with the construction of the paint booth and the window exhaust assembly I primed and painted each with a couple coats of flat white paint.  I thought it best as the white will be nice and bright when I am spray painting to see easily what I am doing.   I can always repaint these assemblies some time down the road if I feel the need to spruce them up a bit.

Once the paint had dried I then started final assembly of the paint booth.  In the photo above you can see the lower exhaust fan and the mountings for the hose fittings.   These fittings were secured using zip ties that ran through the mounts and the back wall of the spray booth. 

Here the assembly is completed with the fans, connectors, hoses and electrical all in place. 

The electrical hookup for the two exhaust fans was pretty straight forward.  I wired the two fans together at the back using twist on wire nuts and then led all the wiring to the switch box.  From the switch box there is a power cord that is around four feet long  so it's easy to plug the unit in and turn it on or off. All the external wiring was then covered with protective split plastic tubing.  This cleaned up the look of the wiring and will give a little projection as well.

Here the spray booth is nearly complete.  All of the electrical is installed and the fans pump out a good amount of air.  In the photo above you can see light reflecting off of the Plexiglas window that I installed into the top of the spray booth to allow more light to come into the compartment. 

In this photo you can see the 18" diameter turntable that I mounted to the inside of the spray booth.  This was another simple task of just mount a bearing ring on to the wooden turn table and then mounting it to the inner base board of the spray booth using additional wood screws.  Should be a nice addition to the unit while I am spraying parts.

Here's an inside view of the window exhaust mount with the plexiglass installed in it now.   The plexiglass was just positioned over the hole and the brackets that I 3D printed hold it in securely with #6-1/2" wood screws.

In this shot of the paint booth interior you can see the mounts that I made for that assembly.  These mounts do not hold the window in but rather hold it up.  The window is dropped in from the top of the spray booth when it is sitting on the work table.  I could have mounted the plexiglass the same way I did the window exhaust mount but it would have been a smaller opening and I wanted to keep it as large as possible to allow more light to come into the spray booth while using it.  I also can cover up the plexiglass with clear plastic wrap to protect it from paint spray and then replace it as needed to keep things cleaner.

One last addition that I added to the spray booth was this hanger rod.   This is so I can hang small parts in the booth when I want to spray them. In the second photo you can also see the mounting tabs that I 3D printed to hold the plexiglass window in position.  I may put Velcro mounts on to these tabs and on to the underside of the window to keep it from falling out when I move the paint booth in or out of the workshop.  Not sure about that yet but it is possible to do.

Here finally is the end result of this project and another nice tool that will come in handy very quickly.  The window exhaust mount slid into the window frame perfectly.  This is actually a very quick process to install.  I simply have to remove the inner window which is about a 10 second operation and then slide the exhaust mount into the window frame.  It then is held in place using two small chains that are mounted to the window frame and the exhaust mount. 
  Again this part of the installation only takes another 10 seconds or so to do.  The nice thing about it is that the exhaust mount is fairly light weight and it rests securely in the window sill when I am using it.  Once I have finished painting whatever I am working on it can be removed from the window and put back to the way it was in short order.
  I really like the look of the spray booth and the exhaust mount. It looks good in the workshop photos above and still allows light to come in while using it. I'll put it to use very soon as I will need it to get back to working on the custom cooler for my motorcycle that I started before this project.  One thing leads to another but in this case it has led me to another nice tool that will come in handy when I want to spray paint parts any time the need arises.  Have a good day in your shop! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Work Table Spray Booth Project Pt. 2

This week brings great progress on my work table spray booth project.  Everything from more 3D printing of exhaust parts to construction of the enclosure itself.  So let's get to it.

This photo is of all of the 3D printed parts that will be used in the exhaust system of the spray booth. The large part at the center of the photo is a "Y" connector and slid into it are extensions for the flexible hose that will connect to the two exhaust fans.  All of the parts have an outer diameter of three inches.  Just the "Y" part without the smaller extension took 8 1/2 hours to print.  But it like all of the other parts simply cannot be bought.  Cost to make the parts were around $8.00. 

The top photo above is the same "Y" connector with the extensions along with the mounting parts that you see in the lower photo.  The "Y" connector and it's parts will be tied together to the lower mounts using zip ties.  The zip ties that will be fed through holes in the back of the spray booth and should stay in place rather nicely.  Simple is always a good thing.  So with that sorted out I started working on the construction of the spray booth itself.

The photos above are mountings of the framework for the spray booth that surround and hold the furnace filter in place.  I stacked and glued two pieces of 1/2" plywood on two side of a 2 X 2.  I needed two complete assemblies that were exactly 1" square.  I didn't have any wood that I could cut down to that size so I used what I had on hand.  Doing it this way was a bit more work but I still managed to get what I needed and the parts end up inside of the spray booth and will not be seen once the booth is completed so it really didn't matter how they looked as long as they did the job.

I then attached a three inch wide strip of 1/2" plywood to one side of these first assemblies.  This strip of wood is the guide for the furnace filter so that it can easily be installed into the spray booth.

I next took the two small assemblies and attached them to the front filter face that was cut out of 1/2" plywood (top photo).  The middle photo is another small assembly that was used in this portion of the build.  It is simply two pieces of 1/2" plywood 2" wide and 25" long glued together.  They are used in the final assembly to center the furnace filter vertically with the front filter face opening. The lower photo is the backside of the assembly with the furnace filter installed into the assembly.

Next after carefully checking my computer model dimensions of the assembly I positioned the filter frame assembly on to the base of the spray booth which again was made using 1/2" plywood.  I clamped the assemblies together.....checked and rechecked that I had it all in the right place and then screwed the base to the filter frame assembly.

With the filter frame assembly nice and secure I mounted the sides and top of the spray booth.  I made sure that the slot for the furnace filter matched up with the top plywood  part slot.  I again clamped everything in place and then screwed it all together using fine thread #6 -1 1/4" drywall screws.  At this point things were coming together nicely as you can see from the photo above.

I then got to work on the turn table that will be used in the booth.  As with the rest of the assembly I used 1/2" plywood to cut out a nice 18" diameter circle.  I had marked center lines on the square part before cutting it to get my holes lined up for assembly of the bearing plate that will make the turn table work.

Here is the bearing plate along with the mounting holes set up for it.  The bearing plate will be screwed to the circular 1/2" wooden piece and then in turn it will then be screwed to the inside top surface of the base of the spray booth.  The larger holes in the photo are there so that the turn table can be rotated to allow the lower screws to mount to the spray booth base. 

I figured right with the size of the turn table as you can see in the photo above.  The turn table is 18" in diameter and the inside of the spray booth is 20" x 29" in size.  I thought this might be to large but from the looks of it..... it will be a nice sized area to spray parts in.

Back to completing the spray booth construction I assembled the mount for the upper exhaust fan.  It was simpler to assemble the little shelf while the back of the spray booth was not mounted to the rest of the assembly.

I was really happy that I had more than enough clamps to get the last large piece of the spray booth held in place.  There is no such thing in a workshop as to having to many clamps.   Before I started clamping this last part in place I was not sure I had worked everything out correctly.  Once I clamped it all down I breathed a sigh of relief as the fit-up was near perfection.  Nice to see for sure.

With the back of the spray booth in place the fit looks great.  The smaller box on the lower portion of the back is the mount where the electrical switch will be located for the booth.  Again I put this little box together before mounting it to the main assembly.  Made things a lot simpler.

Now with all of the wood construction completed I was able to get this shot of the two exhaust fans that will do the work of moving the air while I am using the spray booth.

The wiring as you can see will be fed into the lower switch box and then wiring will come out of the box and be used to plug into a wall socket.  A nice clean installation.

This is how the entire exhaust system will look once I get it all wired and hooked up to exhaust hoses. But that will come in the next installment of this project.  I more than likely will paint the spray booth rather than varnish it as shown in the photo above.  This will make is simpler down the line if I should ever want to spruce up the spray booth after a couple of years of use.   So that's it for today.  I'll keep plugging along on this project and I should have it wrapped up in the next posting.  Have a good one.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Work Table Spray Booth Project

With my last post I talked about a custom designed cooler for the trunk of my Goldwing motorcycle that I am working on.  I realized early on with that project that I want to paint it once I have the fiber glassing work completed.  So this project was born out of that need to paint something during the colder months of the year and when I have a project small enough to do so in my shop without creating a mess or a hazard to my health. 
  I did some research once again online and found all kinds of designs for a small spray booth or box that would sit on my work table when the need called for it.  I wanted it large enough to handle a good size project or part but not so large that it would be a pain to pick it up and move it out of the shop when it was not in use.  So with some refinement and design work on my computer this is what I am also working on at the same time the motorcycle cooler project is underway.

My design is nothing fancy but does have some nice features.  The inside dimension of the booth are 20" high, 20" deep, and 29" wide using 1/2 thick plywood. On the base of the booth is a 16" turntable that is used so that any part can be rotated while painting it.  This was easily created using a 6" Lazy Susan bearing that I picked up at my local home and builders store.  This is attached to the inside base of the booth and then a 16" diameter 1/2" thick diameter piece of plywood is attached to the bearing.  Simple and easy to set up.
At the very top of the booth you can also see the Plexi-glass window that will allow additional light into the spray booth without the need for more lights and added cost.

In the back of the spray booth is a 20"x 25" furnace filter which will do the job nicely of cleaning up the air that the booth will extract while in use.  This filter is simple dropped into place from the top of the booth. With the filter removed as shown in the photo above you can easily see the two 50 cfm (cubic feet per minute) bathroom fans that will exhaust the air while painting. The filter will slow the air down a bit but should give more than enough airflow for the booth.

Here a good shot of the rear of the booth that I put together in the computer.  The white tubing in the view is flexible vinyl duct hose that is used with bathroom exhaust fans.  This is connected to various 3D printed elbows and joints that tie both exhaust fans into one exhaust hose which will be routed to a window and to the outside.

Here's a better look at the 3D printed parts that will be needed for the project.  The red elbow on the top exhaust fan is a 3" diameter 45 degree elbow.  The yellow pieces are 3" connectors for the white flexible hose and the green piece is a 3" 2 into 1 fitting.  The only reason that the yellow connectors are separate from the green fitting is that if all the parts were printed as one piece it would never fit into my 3D printer.

Here is what I have printed so far and it gives you a better look at what the real pieces look like.  The elbow at the upper left corner is the 45 degree elbow I spoke of earlier.  The other two cylinders are what will be connected to the 2 into 1 fitting.  The other various pieces in front of these connectors are the support tabs that will be used to hold the Plexi-glass window in place on the top of the spay booth.  I will need to add an electrical on/off switch to the paint booth yet and this I plan to mount on the rear of the booth.  The switch will allow me to turn off the fans when the both is not being used but still leave it plugged in while on the worktable.  

I still have a few more supplies to get into the shop before I can start construction of the booth but just getting some of the 3D printing out of the way will be a good thing to accomplish.  The 3D printed parts above took 14 hours to make.  I figure to get all of the parts made the number of hours will climb to around 27 hours of print time.  But where else would you ever find custom made fittings like these that didn't cost a small fortune. I'll post more about this project once I get into more assembly along with progress on the custom cooler for my bike too. Stay tuned for further details in the coming weeks.  Have a good day on your current project too!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Paracord Binoculars Neck Strap Project

This past weekend I took a long cruise on my motorcycle and ended up in La Crosse, Wisconsin which is around 100 miles from my home. The purpose of the drive was to get a few more miles on my bike since the weather was good and also to see one of my favorite scenic spots in La Crosse called Grandads Bluff.  This is a small park that sits on top of a high peak which overlooks the city.  It is quite spectacular to see and if you every get to La Crosse it is worth the time to check it out. 
  I had the forethought to remember my binoculars and so I pulled them out of my closet and opened the case they were in only to find that the neck strap for them was missing.  I looked all over my house for the strap and simple gave up on finding them.  Probably they were lost when I moved to my home a few years ago.  So to put it simply I used the binoculars without the neck strap which worked out ok and set this project in motion today to make what I needed for next time.

I did a little research online to figure out how to make the binocular neck strap using parachute cord  or paracord as it is mainly called.  I had some of this cord in one of my drawers next to my work table so I knew what the stuff was and where to get more.  After searching online for a little while I found what I was looking for in how to make a nice looking strap.  I just needed a few little items and a small jig to get started with this rather simple project.  The picture above is of just a small scrap of wood with another small block glued to both ends if it.  Sitting next to this little jig are two metal flag clips.

The flag clips are held in place using P-clamps on both ends of the jig.  I figured out that the total length of the neck strap for the binoculars needed to be 24 inches long.  The jig was 32 inches long and with the flag clips on both ends of the jig I would get the length I was looking for.

Here's what the jig looked like once both flag clip were mounted on to the P-clamps. The eyelet on the ends of the P-clamps were where I needed to tie the paracord to.

On one end of the jig I looped the paracord through the end ring of the flag clip as shown in the photo above.  You can also see that the paracord is blue as well as black in color.  I took the two colored cords and pushed them together and then put a lighter to them to join them.  This fused the two lines together.  It will make more sense why I did this as you follow along in this post.

On the opposite end of the paracord jig I looped and tied one end of the blue cord as shown above to the ring end of the other flag clip.  Then I did the same for the black end of the paracord as you can see in the last photo above.

Now the looping or weaving of the paracord to actually make the neck strap begins.  I turned the jig around to make it simpler for me to shoot this next sequence of photos.

The first step was to take the outer black cord and come over the inner black cord then slide it under the blue cord.  Simple and easy as are the following steps.

Next take the outer blue cord and go over the inner blue cord and the first black cord then underneath the outer black cord.

Then continue with the blue cord from the last step and go over the out black cord and then again under the blue cord just as I did with the first black cord.  Then you start again with the black cord as I did in the first step.  The easiest way I could remember this process was to think to move the left most outer cord over two cords, under the right most outer cord, around the right most outer cord and then under the inner cord once again.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Here's what it looked like after I had done these steps over and over again about eight times or so.  I had to keep everything as tight as I possibly could and had figured out the starting length of the paracord that was needed before I started weaving it together.  For a two foot strap I need two pieces of paracord nine feet long.  Luckily paracord is pretty inexpensive.  $3.50 for fifty feet.  I had the black already I just needed the blue to give it a good look.

Once I had finished weaving the strap and had come to the opposite end where the flag clip was at I had to finish it out.  I tied a half knot at the end to hold the two ends of the paracord in place for starters.

To finish things off I took a paper clip and fed one end of the black paracord through it like a needle.  With this then I used the paperclip to slide under four or five loops that had been already tied to feed the end under them to keep everything nice and tight and neat looking.

Here's another look at the process.  It looks a bit messy in this shot but you'll have to see how it all turned out in the next photos.

In order to get the new neck strap attached to the binoculars I simply attached two key rings to the mounts that were already on it.  The flag clips would then be able to be attached or detached from these rings when needed.

Here's the end result.  A rather spiffy looking neck strap  that clips on to my binoculars. I like the black and blue color scheme and the fact that the strap is just the right length and is comfortable around my neck.  Also the strap is very strong and should hold up well for years to come. It even fits into the carrying case the binoculars are stored in!  A win-win in my book for sure.  The strap could also be used for a DSLR camera too.  Something I will have to make again when I do spring for new photo equipment some time in the future. For now this will be an excellent replacement for the original strap that has gone missing.