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Home-made paint booths seem to be a popular subject


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#1 LOBBS

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:18 AM

IMG_2361_zpsea3dbbcd.jpg

I finally got around to bringing home from work my latest creation and thought I'd mock it up for you guys to see.

I've made a few paint booths following the instructions that Klaus Raddatz posted years ago on the Hobby Heaven Message Board. My first attempt was made from plywood that I had handy at the time. My second iteration was from MDF and made some design improvements to fit my personal preferences. It was a good booth for me and serves on as I sold it to a friend at work to get the seed money for this current one.

I've always wanted a "professional" sheet metal booth. I work for an aerospace supplier that back in the day was a good old fashioned tool and die shop. Although we're mostly all CNC now, the old school tools (Bridgeports, brakes, shears, etc.) are still around. I'm a QC guy, so after taking a healthy ribbing from the machinists, they showed me the ropes on how to actually put those "dinosaurs" to use. I picked up the raw sheetmetal from a place here in Kansas City that sells "by the foot" and with some sage advice, and a little help, from the guys at work was able to come up with what I brought home tonight.

All my previous booths have been of the downdraft design and this one follows suit. This particular one is a little bigger at 16" x 25" and will be fully carbon filtered to capture the VOCs from the paint. Following the charts in Klaus' guide I ordered up a new Dayton blower from Grainger through work.

1TDR3_AS01_zpsd8f68029.jpg

This particular model (1TDR3 in the Grainger catalog) has more than enough pull to work with my planned carbon filtration or if I choose later to go back to standard filters and venting out the window. The blower will hang from a plate with a hole in it that'll rest on a shelf down inside the "box" of the booth and blow out the back. A few inches of head space to help equalize pressure and there'll be another shelf holding the filters (carbon on the bottom, standard on top). I've always tried to stay with standard furnace filters sizes, hence the 16" x 25", to make finding filters a non-issue.

booth_zpsc5bb00dd.jpg

Finally my surface to paint on, the "stage" if you will, is a sheet of expanded metal that fits down over the top filter. This gives me a sturdy platform to paint on while still allowing for good airflow.

Overall, I've got around $250 dollars in materials including the blower. Compared to a similiar carbon-filtered downdraft booth from one of the professionals at $500-900 I'm OK with that. There are some starter booths on the market for around the same price but I much prefer the downdraft style to the side draft booths.

If anyone's interested I'll post some pics along the way as I get this thing up and running.


Edited by LOBBS, 12 June 2013 - 10:27 PM.


#2 ra7c7er

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:35 AM

WOW a downdraft booth. I have never seen a homemade downdraft in the 10 or so years I have been messing around with paint booths. Kind of like the unicorn of the homemade paint booth world.


Sadly though don't forget to post a disclaimer in your post before some so called "expert" jumps down your throat.

#3 crazyjim

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:18 AM

Keep the updates coming - please! I'm going to look up that exhaust fan with thoughts of upgrading my bathroom exhaust fan.

I looked up that fan on the internet and it says there's no power cord or switch. How you supposed to run it? Hardwire from a remote switch?

Edited by crazyjim, 11 March 2011 - 03:24 AM.


#4 LOBBS

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:58 AM

Keep the updates coming - please! I'm going to look up that exhaust fan with thoughts of upgrading my bathroom exhaust fan.

I looked up that fan on the internet and it says there's no power cord or switch. How you supposed to run it? Hardwire from a remote switch?


Neither of the Dayton blowers I've had come with a switch or cord. A trip to Home Depot yielded an 8' medium-duty pre-made grounded cord, a toggle switch, and the necessary fittings and such.

#5 LOBBS

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:04 AM

WOW a downdraft booth. I have never seen a homemade downdraft in the 10 or so years I have been messing around with paint booths. Kind of like the unicorn of the homemade paint booth world.


Sadly though don't forget to post a disclaimer in your post before some so called "expert" jumps down your throat.


I've been a quality control guy for my entire adult life. I've lost count of how many so-called "experts" that I've had to defend my position against over the years. Anything I'm unsure about or trying for the first time (in the past wiring, machining, etc.) I verify with some one I trust that knows what they're talking about. I make friends with a couple of the "old" guys that've been doing it for years, ask questions, then shut up and learn.

Edited by LOBBS, 11 March 2011 - 08:12 AM.


#6 crazyjim

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:34 AM

Neither of the Dayton blowers I've had come with a switch or cord. A trip to Home Depot yielded an 8' medium-duty pre-made grounded cord, a toggle switch, and the necessary fittings and such.


Okay. Then I could probably run some wire to the switch I already have running to the bathroom exhaust fan. Maybe I'll wait to see how you mount that Dayton fan. Every pic I've seen of it shows the same angle.

#7 Aaronw

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 05:50 PM

Nice job on the booth.

Keep the updates coming - please! I'm going to look up that exhaust fan with thoughts of upgrading my bathroom exhaust fan.

I looked up that fan on the internet and it says there's no power cord or switch. How you supposed to run it? Hardwire from a remote switch?



Grainger offers an 8 foot cord for use with the blowers, a nice heavy duty 3 prong deal for about $6. There is a plate that unscrews on the side of the blower, 3 screws and 3 wires, so it is a pretty simple wiring job although I'll admit it took me about half an hour to figure out there was a plate to remove. :blink:

As far as a switch, not sure about that. It is probably not hard to do, but I just plug it in when I want to use it, and unplug it when I'm done.

#8 crazyjim

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 03:31 AM

Hey thanks Aaron. I looked again at my spray booth that sits atop a moveable cart. I mounted junction boxes to the cart and the junction boxes have switches in them (my friend connected everything). So I would just have to connect the power cord and plug it in. Cool and easy.

#9 ra7c7er

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 02:30 AM

I've been a quality control guy for my entire adult life. I've lost count of how many so-called "experts" that I've had to defend my position against over the years. Anything I'm unsure about or trying for the first time (in the past wiring, machining, etc.) I verify with some one I trust that knows what they're talking about. I make friends with a couple of the "old" guys that've been doing it for years, ask questions, then shut up and learn.



Same here I always learn as much as I can.

#10 LOBBS

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 08:28 PM

Finally getting back to this project. I hate painting without a booth and I can't get back to building with out painting.

I'm riveting this booth together and the idea of laying out a couple of hundred holes got me looking for a better solution. So I finally came up with an idea while inspecting some aerospace assemblies we were doing at work. Most aerospace assemblies rely on a handful of tightly toleranced (for size and location) holes to temporarily fit mating parts. When using these ATA or "Advanced Technology Assembly" holes, mating pieces are pinned while the rest of the pilot holes are drilled to size and riveted. When the other holes are done the ATA holes are finished up. In this spirit, I found this piece of angle in the scrap bin. After truing it up, I got four holes put in it with a 5" spacing a 1/2" off the inner bend. With this little tool, I only have to worry about locating one hole dead center along the edge of a panel, attach my bracket and drill the other 3 in perfect relationship. On the longer panels, I can walk my bracket to the next set of holes and repeat the process always assured of 5" spacing a 1/2" off the bend.

BRACKET1_zps2644575b.jpg

It's a simple little thing but will save a ton of time when it comes to banging this booth out.


Edited by LOBBS, 12 June 2013 - 10:28 PM.


#11 Dr. Cranky

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 01:51 AM

Very cool indeed.

#12 Ron a.k.a. Grouchy Pants

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:35 AM

Nice! Very interested... cant wait for updates B)

#13 pharr7226

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:04 AM

I have a metal spray booth, but would move more air. I'm very interested in the construction on yours. Could you post pictures of the wiring on your Dayton Blower? B)

#14 LOBBS

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 06:14 PM

I'll get some more pics up hopefully this weekend. Life keeps pulling me away from getting this thing finished.

#15 Gregg

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:31 PM

I love when people take on their own projects like this, but what got me was that LOBBS said was that he has over $250 in parts alone
I hate to do this, but I am doing a review of the Pace Spray Booths in the next issue of Model Cars, and they start at $225, and the one I am reviewing is $245, with FREE SHIPPING!!!
I know it's not a downdraft, but so far, I love it.
http://www.pacepaintbooths.com/pace/

Hope I don't make anyone mad with this.
I will post the review online as soon as it is pau and approved.

#16 pharr7226

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:14 PM

I love when people take on their own projects like this, but what got me was that LOBBS said was that he has over $250 in parts alone
I hate to do this, but I am doing a review of the Pace Spray Booths in the next issue of Model Cars, and they start at $225, and the one I am reviewing is $245, with FREE SHIPPING!!!
I know it's not a downdraft, but so far, I love it.
http://www.pacepaintbooths.com/pace/

Hope I don't make anyone mad with this.
I will post the review online as soon as it is pau and approved.


I'm curious about the cfm of Lobbs booth with the Dayton Blower versus the Pace booth. If Lobbs booth moves more air, is it worth the price of the parts? I don't know the answer to this question... just curious.

#17 LOBBS

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:21 AM

No offense taken Gregg. I don't mind having $250 ($150 if you consider that I sold my last booth to get the seed money for this one) in my booth when the only other carbon-filtered, downdraft hobby booth of a similiar size starts around $570.

Artograph 1530

I've been in manufacturing my entire adult life and one of the tidbits of knowledge I've picked up is to always buy the best tools/equipment that you can afford. I'll have a lot less in this booth than what I can pay someone else for and it will be customized exactly as I want it. This is my third go around building my own downdraft with Klaus' instructions, improving on design and materials each time.

My Dayton blower is rated at 273 cfm @ 0 SP. A downdraft booth should be pulling 50 feet per minute. That is in contrast to a crossdraft or updraft booth that requires 100 feet per minute. I selected this particular blower as it would provide me with 100 feet per minute through standard filters and no exhaust. Since I am choosing to run slightly more restictive carbon filters, this fan will still have plenty of pull no matter what ducting I go with.

Edited by LOBBS, 09 July 2011 - 10:45 AM.


#18 shucky

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 03:24 AM

The artograph 1530 can be had for a touch over $300.00 online. I've been researching paint booths for quite some time and this is the one I plan on going with myself.

#19 mr cheap

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:08 PM

if i had $400 id pay my rent olololololol i still have to go cheap my $30 under the bed .. im going to have rise it to $50 ... still looking for a fan

#20 Jantrix

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:37 AM

if i had $400 id pay my rent olololololol i still have to go cheap my $30 under the bed .. im going to have rise it to $50 ... still looking for a fan


Yeah, the fans are the expensive part. As squirrel cage type blower motor just aren't widely used in any old appliances or anything so that they would be common. There was one guy that adapted his lawn/leaf vac/blower. He figured if he could suck wet leaves through it and not damage the motor, it had to be pretty well sealed. I haven't tried that yet.