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Food Dehydrators & Paint Dryers

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#121 cherokeered


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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:05 PM


Great....I thought a light dimmer would work but they say to only use for light sources not anything like this.  They also make an in-line light dimmer switch that allows you to plug the dehydrator in to the dimmer and the dimmer into the wall....(See Pic)  Would this work ok?

#122 Guest_G Holding_*

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:25 PM

Actually, you can buy a dimmer control, as used for dimming say, a table lamp, and that will work I'd be pretty sure.  It's like an extension cord, with a slide dimmer control in the circuit.




Thats true Art, and post #50 in this topic shows how to build a simple dimmer and the poster used it with sucess . I built the same deal in a box and I love it!. Another poster had a fan type and due to the wiring inside, when you dropped volts it stopped the fan and the temp was bouncing around.  Jason posted a picture of one of the corded type.

#123 Faust


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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:14 AM

Hey guys!


I've heard some of the guys at shows say something about baking their kits. They say that if you heat a kit up before applying paint, the paint goes on much more smoothly and dries better. I think they meant for lacquers, but I wonder if it would work for acrylics, too.


Here's what I'd like to know:


1.) Has anyone done this, and does it work?
2.) What kind of oven do you use? Would a toaster oven work, or is it not big enough?

3.) What temperature?

4.) Can you use this method to dry the paint once it's on?

5.) How do you support the kit inside the "hot box"? Clearly wooden splints would be a bad idea, but I'd be worried that a metal frame or support would cause localized heat zones and warping

6.) How long can you leave a car in heat before it melts?


I'm seriously considering this approach, especially for power drying the cars I build. I currently wait weeks for my Future to dry, and more in the summer (model room in the basement, near the furnace, which runs the A/C, so it's cold in the summer, hot in the winter... go figure...). 


Thanks for any input! 

#124 Ace-Garageguy


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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

Plastic melts, distorts, gets all wavy and bent when it reaches its 'glass transition temperature'.


"A round robin test was performed to determine the reliability of values for the glass transition temperatureT g as determined by DTA on polymers. Ten different instruments were involved. The test material was high molecular weight polystyrene. Values forT g (midpoint) were reported in the range 107°C±2 K. The respective heat flow curves differed considerably in shape. In the literature aT g of 100°C is often given for polystyrene. The discrepancy between this value and the value of 107°C found in the round robin test is due to three differences: the thermal history of the sample, the evaluation of the heat flow curves, and the effect of finite sample size."


That's around 225deg. F. Boiling water.


I really don't recommend baking your models.


What you MIGHT have heard is guys using food dehydrators to cure paint faster.


#125 CadillacPat


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Posted 10 February 2013 - 04:48 PM

I could not do without the CadillacPat Fact-O-Bake Ovens I have used since 1998.

Very simply answered, and Derick has hit it square,Sure, raising the temp slightly will not only speed up drying and curing time, but it will make your paint and Clear lay down like glass.

I paint both DieCast and Plastic and my Ovens allow me to move on to multi tape paintjobs. or applying Decals, or spraying final clearcoats, in a fraction of normal drying time without them.


My Ovens perform several duties that the final results benefit from.

Here is a copy of part of one of my Tutorials on my Ovens,----------------


In line with the posting I've been doing about the tools I invent and employ to create my Customs, I would like to show here a very useful tool that any of you can build to improve your paint jobs and speed up the time it takes to create your Customs.

My CadillacPat Ovens allow me to create even complex 2 or 3 tone paintjob Customs in less than 24 hrs. from Disassembly all the way to Reassembly.  Everything including Decals and ClearCoat in less than one day.


This shot of the first 21 of a total of 50 HWCGermany Convention cars were all  Primered, painted with 3 coats of Shimrin White, Decaled, Detailed, ClearCoated with House Of Kolor Urethane Enamel Clear and then reassembled in less than 24 hrs with the help of my CadillacPat Ovens.





As a kid I remembered the banks of flood lights used in Automobile paint shops so when I began Customizing DieCast I knew I could incorporate this idea into my own brand of Ovens for causing paint to warm up and lay down like glass.

Additional benefits include a dust free environment for the painted cars to sit in and vastly speeded up curing time of any type paint used.

These 3 benefits make these Ovens a Grand Slam when added to anyone's Custom Shop.


One of my small portable Ovens I  show at DieCast Conventions,





Here you can see a piece of 1/4" glass that is placed between the light bulbs and the Customs.

This glass absorbs and radiates heat in a uniform manner.

It also serves as a shelf for quickly curing ClearCoated Printed Decal pages and curing body mods where QuikSteel, J.B. Weld, Milliput, or Apoxie Sculpt is used.


It serves as a dust barrier.





My large Oven which holds 55 to 60 painted castings.















And my oldest and most used middle size CadillacPat Custom Fact-O-Bake Oven directly below my Custom made tabletop Paint Booth.



These Ovens of mine are easy and inexpensive to make.

With their use it is no sweat at all to create and finish a complete Custom, or even several, in less than 24 hrs.


Stay tuned as I am drawing up plans to show you how to build your own CadillacPat Custom Fact-O-Bake Oven from a single inexpensive length of 1" x 12" by 10' board of lumber.


I also Customize a lot of Plastic bodies.

For those of you making Models of Plastic you just need to think of the words Baking or Oven as gently assisting in raising the temperature.

You just want to raise the temp to somewhere below or around 100 degrees, for Plastic Models.

Your curing and drying times still decrease greatly, your paint stays safe and dust free, and everything lays down like glass, expeciall solvents like House Of Kolor paint.


For plastic Models just envision the size of the body and Paint Stand used, and build your Oven accordingly.

Size your Oven so you can place and remove Plastic Bodies on a Paint Stand without harming the paint.

An Oven 22" on a side will suffice for up to 1/18 scale

Built with 2 or 3 light receptacles wired in parallel you can slightly unscrew 1 or 2 allowing only 1 bulb to burn when curing paint on Plastic, and then screw in all 3 bulbs for Metal DieCast.


All you need to do is determine what kind of Paint Stand you want to use.

I prefer the ones I make from wooden dowels that go from Paint Booth to Oven and vice versa.

See my "CadillacPat Paint Stands" thread.

However, for Plastic Bodies I would lean towards fabricating some kind of X-Frame setup (stiill on a dowel) to secure the body from the inside.


Just slightly raising the surrounding temperature, in the case of Plastic, to say 95 degrees doesn't sound like a lot,

But if you're in a shop that is 60 degrees it means a great deal to have a small enclosed controlled environment dedicated to drying your projects.



Edited by CadillacPat, 10 February 2013 - 09:47 PM.

#126 cobramike


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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:54 AM

Anyone here have a favorite food dehydrator for paint drying,and food drying also?
I had one of those "Ronco's" and it almost melted the body of the car, This was about 20 years ago, and I never used one again for that purpose.

#127 Casey


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Posted 11 March 2013 - 08:42 AM

Anyone here have a favorite food dehydrator for paint drying,and food drying also?
I had one of those "Ronco's" and it almost melted the body of the car, This was about 20 years ago, and I never used one again for that purpose.


Here are the fine points of this topic:


1) Whatever you choose to use, don't let the temperature exceed 105*F for styrene when curing the paint.


2) For curing paint on resin cast parts, it's a gamble on your part. Some don't recommend heat curing painted resin parts at all and other say 95*F is safe, so try it at your own risk. I tend to agree with Jeff B that curing resin-painted parts should be avoided, just to err on the safe side.


3) Use some form of temperature control for your paint dryer, be it integrated into the dehydrator (best and easiest IMHO), via a rheostat, or via venting. An accurate thermometer is a good tool to have on hand, too, to verify the temp is correct.


4) If you're using a store-bought dehydrator, cut out the horizontal tray grids, leaving the outer rings/walls in place, but DO NOT remove the bottom grid.


5) Remember, the idea (for plastic at least) is to warm things, not bake them. You want to speed up the drying/curing process by increasing the temperature which increases the rate of evaporation of the solvent when using one-part (1K) paints.


6) Don't not use your dehydrator for both model and food use.

#128 MikeyB08


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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM

Here is my dehydrator at work. Today, March 12, 2013 was the first time I have ever used a dehydrator to help with the curing process. The paint is Rust-Oleum Black Knight Metallic (2 coats) with Rust-Oleum Crystal Clear (2 coats). No polishing or sanding has taken place on this enzo. Hope this helps some people.


About my Dehydrator: Not sure of the brand. Believe it's an El-Cheapo from Wally World. Has a simple On/Off switch (no temp control). I use a Meat Thermometer to help measure the temp of the Dehydrator.





Excuse the blurriness as the dehydrator was running when I took the picture. The Enzo was in the dehydrator for about 2 hours when I took this picture (after 2nd clear coat).


For me, this was one of those, "How did I ever paint without one?" I really like using one but I highly suggest experimenting before throwing your current project in. Watch your temp (I modified mine so it sits between 100 and 108). Hope this helps someone.

Edited by MikeyB08, 15 April 2013 - 04:19 PM.

#129 gluebomb


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Posted 15 April 2013 - 01:31 PM

I want to purchase a food dehydrator, but the one I want to buy has one setting and puts out 400 watts.  My qusetion is, can I put a dimmer switch on it to control the wattage/temp. with no problem or should I just stop being cheap and buy one that has a temp. control. Any comments and/or suggestions will be graetly apperciated.

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:21 PM

Get a copy of bob Downies article.....other mag..... The "cheapie" seem to work great....


You can do the dimmer if it is a "convection / fanless"  otherwise , no 

#131 sportandmiah


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Posted 15 April 2013 - 03:44 PM

Bought mine at Harbor Freight for $15.00. Best money I've ever spent. I have put tons of bodies and parts in it from almost every major model brand and had ZERO problems. I did add a $2.00 power switch. As long as youre using it to dry model parts and bodies, theres no need for a temp control.

#132 MikeyB08


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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:26 PM

Mine is an El Cheapo from Wal-Mart. Not control temp or anything. Just a simple On/Off switch. However, I would highly suggest that if you get one without a temp (cheapo) either get a Meat thermometer or find someone that has one you can use. Put your meat thermometer directly on the bottom rack (since it's the lowest part where your model will be) so you know where the temp sets. Let it set for about an hour or two so you know the dehydrator has a good time frame to warm up.

#133 Modelbuilder Mark

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:31 PM

what temp are you guys that use these shooting for?

#134 MikeyB08


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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:33 PM

I set at 100-108 F. 




Here is my Enzo (bottom of thread) painted with Rust-Oleum Metallic Black Enamel Spray Can.


The entire thread has a lot of info you might want to check in to.

#135 gluebomb


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Posted 16 April 2013 - 07:10 AM

thanks I will be buying one today

#136 LongRoofNut


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Posted 28 April 2013 - 11:43 PM

I was about 12-13 years old when I read in the other mag about these. My folks showed up with a Ronco from Sams Club, same model Harbor Freight carries. The ol gal is now on it's 20th year with me. Every car you see me post all have been in there. Both resin and plastic, new and old. Key is simple. You are not baking a car body but just warming the air around it. Most bodies sit on the third rack and the top vents open. I have always uses Testors paints, no issues with them ever.

#137 Quick GMC

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:51 PM

I have found a ton, from $30-$200+. I'm assuming any of them will work, just take the tray out?


I don't want to spend more than I need to, is there a specific issue with the cheaper ones?

#138 LOBBS


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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:11 PM

I've had one of these for years.  Picked it up at WalMart fairly cheap off season and even found another set of racks for it.  I cut all the centers out of the trays but one.



#139 kataranga


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Posted 24 May 2013 - 02:05 AM

I picked this one up at Canadian Tire. I had a $50 gift card so I didn't mind the price. :)




Still have to set it up and use it one of these days; I can only paint outdoors so I've been waiting for warmer/drier weather.

#140 Harry P.

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 02:59 AM

I just bought this one a few days ago. Cheap and simple, been using it every day. It works great! I only wish I had bought one sooner!




It has 5 stackable trays. If you need more room between trays you can take one or two of the trays and cut out the mesh part, leaving just the outer ring that will now act as a spacer between the other trays.