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Archive for January, 2012


Spray Both…er..Booth

Having an airbrush means you get to atomize paint in to tiny droplets and spread the rainbow of acrylic around the…well.. pretty much everywhere within a ten foot circle of where you’re spraying. Which may not exactly make you popular with your better half.

Having looked at the outlines of past projects on my garage floor for several years now, I knew I was going to need some sort of containment area. Googling spray booths on the net brought up anything from a transport container that had be converted for spraying to people who obviously don’t recycle much cardboard because they got a lot of it to make into oh..say a Campbell soup spray booth…

In either case, they tend to be big, vented (with some sort of extraction fan) and anything but compact or portable. By chance I happened on Paasche’s web site and found a small fold up spray booth. And of course, with a little more searching a knock off of the same.

Essentially it’s a folder up box, smaller than a Fender 1963 Spring Reverb Tank (everyone should know that size)…and it unfolds. There’s a couple of filters inside that look like they came out of someones furnace and an exhaust fan that looks like a power supply fan.

Spray Inside.JPG
The little 7″ turn table is moveable and stores inside when the rig is folder up. Takes seconds to unfold and put together.

SprayBooth Sideview.JPG
There’s a retractable cord for the power for the fan and when you fold it all up, it’s small and portable.
Of course, one of the problems with these things is lighting. Even if the box is made out of translucent plastic you get the shadows (not the UK instro band)…so I took some of my LED strip lighting and modified the lid.. The bottom right corner is a power jack that takes a 12VDC adapter (like you’d use on a guitar stomp box).

Inside the wiring is pretty simple since it’s just LED strip lights:
So we have a BEFORE (with room lights on, the spots were aimed down inside so it’s probably better lighted than a standard room):
And AFTER with LED (and the camera really wants to cut down on the light because it’s picking up the LED’s brightness so it’s brighter than the image shows.
Any way, the idea is that you can see the reflection of the paint as you’re working. Next step will be to try it out and see if it really helps. Of course if the LED’s are covered in paint the light is going to get darker. Yep. But you don’t normally spray UP at the lid where the lights are and the fan is hopefully taking all the spray to the filter. In any event, I have lots of strips left so I can replace them easy enough.
For a size reference of the inside, that’s a Blade SR120 helicopter. About a foot of rotor span. Here’s another size impression.
Maybe not the be all, but ti should help contain the “rainbow”…

Compressor Part Deux…

The bits and pieces for the airbrush to compressor have been not only a challenge but a bit of a test of patience as well. None of the local suppliers carry the required adapters so it’s online dealers or eBay to source out the pieces needed.

Of course, the pieces tend to be in abroad and the expression “Slow Boat From China” tends be bluntly painful when dealing with overseas shipping. Things do arrive, but it can be anywhere from two to six weeks.

The hose is standard 1/4″, the airbrush is .5mm.

airbrush fittings

Nope, definitely need an adapter…or a LOT of duct tape…



Apart from the fact it’s been a LONG time since I wrote in the blog, cause I’m too busy to write every day, my new goal is to turn over a new leaf and get back into it. We’ll see how long that lasts…

I’m slowly getting back into some of the hobbies I had a lot of years ago and one them requires that I do some painting…airbrush style, not HPLV nor rattle cans. So the first thing is a source of … yep … air…

Senco PC1010

I first seen one of these compressors in use when we had our living room mantle custom installed. I couldn’t get over how light, small and quiet it was. I asked the installer a lot of questions about it and eventually found out that it’s next to impossible to get in our area. Lots of distributors carry Senco, none of them carry this little guy and none would bring it in. So I ended up ordering it up from the US and having it shipped here. Even with shipping, it was a lot cheaper than my big twin tank Hitachi or my other pancake compressor.


However, there’s only one quick connect on it, and airbrushes need a moisture trap inline for obvious reasons…

Airbrushes need a max of about .6 CFM, the Senco can pump out .7 @ 90PSI. Thus it’s a perfect airbrush fit.

Senco Modification

I ordered the moisture trap from eBay ($12) quality isn’t too bad, but I didn’t expect much so I wasn’t disappointed. Then it was out to local Princess Auto to find a manifold, some piping and a few other pieces.

After an hour or so later, my compressor now looks like this:


I can still use the standard quick connect for my brad gun or finish nailer, but the airbrush is on it’s own outlet. The moisture trap fits a little snug between the compressor head and the tank, but it does fit.

Senco_Moisture Trap.jpg

In hindsight if I’d have been thinking, I’d have got another 2 way manifold to allow me to connect up the brad and finish nail guns at the same time. If I tried to add one now, the pipe would have to come out since it’s in the way, then put in the splitter and then re-assemble the thing. The only time I use both guns is when I’m doing crown molding so I’ll just put up with it…

At this point I’m still waiting on the airbrush hose and the adapter fittings that will connect the hose to the tank. Amazingly enough, they actually sell quick disconnects for airbrushes.

Compressor Performance…

Should you be curious as to how the compressor works with a finish or brad nailer…

Milwaukee 15 gauge finish nailer – 6 nails.
Bostitch brad nailer – 16 brads
Rigid Pin Nailer – lots…friggin lots.
Milwaukee Framing Nail (clipped head) – 1.5 Yep. One point five….

For charging the tank, about 2 1/2 minutes. When it’s time to top up the tank, about 40 seconds. I’ve ran 75 feet of air line from the garage into the house but there’s some pressure drop in that length of air line. I normally run a 20 or 25 footer and that’s the way it should be used.

The other unusual attribute about this compressor is that it only draws 4 AMPS. Use long extension cords, don’t overload circuits, it’s a wonderful thing…


Power Source: Electric
Max Amp: 4 amps @ 115V
Horsepower: 1 hp. (peak) .5 hp. (running)
Pump: Oil-less
SCFM: 90 psi: 0.7
Pump Up-Time: 0-120 psi: 128 seconds
Recovery Time: 90-120 psi: 35 seconds
Max Pressure: 125 psi
Tank Capacity: 1 gallon
Tool Weight: 20 lbs.
Height: 13″
Length: 14″
Width: 10″