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Food Dehydrator for paint drying

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  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Food Dehydrator for paint drying
Posted by Greg on Monday, June 20, 2022 8:39 AM

I have heard a few of you mention your dehydrators, I have a couple of specific questions. The last thread I can find here on subject is from 2003 and it doesn't cover my questions.

1. What temperature do you use?

2. At least one YouTube 'expert' mentioned letting parts air dry for 20 minutes prior to putting in the dehydrator. That seems counterintuitive and time-wasting to me. Anyone doing this and if so, why?

Any general comments on experience and/or specific info on actual dry/cure times for various paints and coatings would be great, too.

Lastly, I know Don and maybe others have made drying booths. I'm too lazy and have already procured a dehydrator.....but I'd love to know what temperature you use.

Thanks.

-Greg

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, June 20, 2022 9:16 AM

Greg
Any general comments on experience and/or specific info on actual dry/cure times for various paints and coatings would be great, too.

MRP lacquers fully cure in less than an hour with no drying booth or dehydrator.  Wink

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Monday, June 20, 2022 9:39 AM

I use my dehydrator nearly every time I paint regardless of brand. Not so much for speeding things up, but I do want everything fully cured by the next day, and this makes sure that happens.

As far as temp, I set mine at 113 deg. Time set usually 2-4 hours, perhaps more for cars where I will go 6-8 hours. The dehydrator speeds drying time, but for me it makes absolutly sure it is fully cured when I go to work on it next and I am not waiting for that. And you can dry parts after washing them to make sure no water remains before painting.

As far as time before I put it in, maybe 5-10 minutes. As long as I can safely move the parts and not have dust stick when I do that or dust stick once it's in the booth.

Using one is a game changer and I will never go back. I've had mine almost a year now and I can't imagine not having it. It really is a massive help in the paint phase.

BK

 

On the bench:

Tamiya 1/35 M4A3E8 "Fury" with crew,

1/32 Kittyhawk Kingfisher,

1/35 Meng Panther Ausf A Early,

1/48 Pro Modeller P-51C "Boise Bee"

2022 Completed:

1/25 Revell 29 Highboy

1/48 Tamiya Sea Harrier

1/25 Revell 70 Boss 429 Mustang

1/48 Hasegawa D3A1 Type 99 Val

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, June 20, 2022 9:41 AM

Eaglecash867
MRP lacquers fully cure in less than an hour with no drying booth or dehydrator. Wink

Interesting you mention that......

I have decided that waiting for paint to dry is a real fun-killer for me in this hobby. I'm already using MRP and that's sort of why I got the dehydrator, having lost my patience waiting for everything else!

That said, your message recieved, and you are right. Wink

-Greg

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, June 20, 2022 9:54 AM

Greg
I have decided that waiting for paint to dry is a real fun-killer for me in this hobby. I'm already using MRP and that's sort of why I got the dehydrator, having lost my patience waiting for everything else! That said, your message recieved, and you are right.

I still have an Oster toaster oven that I bought a few years ago to use as a drying booth since we use one at work for the same thing on small parts that we paint.  Shortly after buying it, I tried MRP...the toaster oven is still pretty much brand new...never used it.  Wish I had been able to mix some MRP to make the corrogard paint I just airbrushed onto my F-4B wing leading edges last week, but I had to use Model Master enamels for that because I'll be brush painting the leading edges of the engine intakes with it.  If I could have done that, I wouldn't have had to wait a week for the Model Master paint to fully cure.  Big Smile

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, June 20, 2022 2:49 PM

Brandon,

Thank you for addressing both of my questions, and for your comprehensive comments. I truly appreciate your thoughts and time.

Happy to hear the dehydrator has been such a help. Hope I find the same. I'm running a few tests right now.

-Greg

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, June 20, 2022 3:07 PM

Eaglecash867
Wish I had been able to mix some MRP to make the corrogard paint I just airbrushed onto my F-4B wing leading edges last week, but I had to use Model Master enamels for that because I'll be brush painting the leading edges of the engine intakes with it. If I could have done that, I wouldn't have had to wait a week for the Model Master paint to fully cure. Big Smile

Well...... put it in the Oster, then! Big Smile

-Greg

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, June 20, 2022 3:30 PM

Greg
Well...... put it in the Oster, then!

LOL!  Wish I could, but it won't fit.  Smile Burger

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, June 20, 2022 6:14 PM

Ah....Darn it!

BTW, Brandon, I forgot to mention that I like your idea of using the dehydrator to dry parts after washing and before painting.....a really good tip. Yes

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 8:26 AM

Be sure you get a dehydrator that has a temperature setting.  I know people who did get a cheap control-less one and melted their models.  I built a cheapy using a 60 watt incondescent bulb and a light dimmer, and have a spare thermometer in the box.  I run it at about 110 F.

 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 10:43 AM

Don,

I was hoping you would chime in. I know you have had good success with your home-made unit but couldn't find specific threads.

The dimmer to control the incandescant bulb is brilliant, I'd wondered how you controlled the temp, which you probably explained but I forgot.

Great to know the temp you use. 110 degrees, got it. Yes

Thanks, Don!

BTW, mine does have a temp control. You made me think it might not be a bad idea to put a thermometer inside to check accuracy, more or less.

-Greg

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 6:28 PM

I have read a lot;

       And I think I would rather take a break and read than Use a Dehydrator or Toaster oven. Thing is, I have never gotten in any kind of hurry at this phase. I build to my schedule not any Show or Contest schedule. I just simply refuse to. If I don't show the model til the next time so be it! I only show now( Display Only Table), I don't do contests because of the Attitudes of some folks toward newbies and their classical mistakes.This is one thing that will make my blood Boil. Boiling Blood and Temper are not a good mix!

       That and I got in a heated arguments with some judges once where we had to go in a closed room. Why? Well some Nit-Picker said and argued vehemently that My Piping was wrong on a Scratch-Built Tanker, Deck Piping, that happened to be a model of the ship I was Captain of at the time. Even with On deck Photos he was insisting I was wrong and it should be pulled because it wasn't "Up to Snuff!" (His words). I don't put up with that anymore by not competing.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 8:18 AM

Tanker-Builder
I have read a lot; And I think I would rather take a break and read than Use a Dehydrator or Toaster oven. Thing is, I have never gotten in any kind of hurry at this phase. I build to my schedule.......

Understood, Doc, and it's neat that you are able to do that.

Wish I could too, but I need to keep some sort of rythem/progress going or I lose interest. Too many delays stack up, and I end up frustrated and on modeling haitus like my last 18 months.

We are all wired differently, and I respect your position and even envy your patience in waiting for paint to dry. Smile

Thanks for joining the discussion.

BTW, for any visitors landing here from a search, don't use a toaster oven (which TankerBuilder mentioned, (inadvertantly, I'm sure) instead of a dehydrator or dedicated paint-dryer like Don's above. Lowest adjustable temperature is far to hot and will almost certainly warp styrene of certain shapes.

-Greg

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 9:17 AM

Greg
BTW, for any visitors landing here from a search, don't use a toaster oven (which TankerBuilder mentioned, (inadvertantly, I'm sure) instead of a dehydrator or dedicated paint-dryer like Don's above. Lowest adjustable temperature is far to hot and will almost certainly warp styrene of certain shapes.

Yup.  The Oster I bought is the only toaster oven I know of that can have its temperature adjusted as low as 100 degrees.  All of the others are way too hot for plastic.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 9:21 AM

Eaglecash867
Yup. The Oster I bought is the only toaster oven I know of that can have its temperature adjusted as low as 100 degrees. All of the others are way too hot for plastic.

Ahhh,

Glad you pointed that out, I wasn't aware there were any toaster ovens on the market that went that low.

I stand corrected, and thanks!

-Greg

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 11:07 AM

One tidbit of advice from a secondhand source. Don't forget about your model in the food dehydrator. One of the guys did from So Cal AMPS did that during our 12 hour GB challenge and accidentally destroyed his model that way.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 12:22 PM

stikpusher

One tidbit of advice from a secondhand source. Don't forget about your model in the food dehydrator. One of the guys did from So Cal AMPS did that during our 12 hour GB challenge and accidentally destroyed his model that way.

 

Yikes! I'd sure like to know more details about that, especially at what temperature that happened, but how would you know.

Good tip, Stik, and you've given me an idea. Clear out a some of my test spoons (ha ha) to make room for a test sprue with a nice thin or skinny or both piece and run some tests, for sure.

Thanks!

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Thursday, June 23, 2022 9:31 AM

Greg

 

 
stikpusher

One tidbit of advice from a secondhand source. Don't forget about your model in the food dehydrator. One of the guys did from So Cal AMPS did that during our 12 hour GB challenge and accidentally destroyed his model that way.

 

 

 

Yikes! I'd sure like to know more details about that, especially at what temperature that happened, but how would you know.

Good tip, Stik, and you've given me an idea. Clear out a some of my test spoons (ha ha) to make room for a test sprue with a nice thin or skinny or both piece and run some tests, for sure.

Thanks!

 

Why the "ha ha?"  A lot of my modeling friends have spoons just for paint testing, and refer to them as their test spoons.  I thoroughly endorse doing experimenting when there is a question about a new technique.  BTW, I consider spoons better than sprue- closer to the shape of model parts.  Drying times do depend on local curvature of surface.

 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, June 23, 2022 11:04 AM

missileman2000
Why the "ha ha?"

Oh, I don't know, Don. I guess at the time I must have found it funny that my fancy new dehydrator was full of plastic spoons. It really doesn't make sense on re-read.

Yes, I go through so many plastic spoons for testing that I happen to have a new box on my grocery list right now.

I've often wondered if spoons are really a good test substrate seeing as I don't know if they are polystyrene or not, and they are so slippery smooth. I'm taking your endorsement as a last-word "yes" on that question, and thanks for that.

-Greg

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, June 24, 2022 8:27 AM

Oho!

       I do get asked by folks if I eat a lot of Pudding, Because they see spoons everywhere! Yes, even on Brush painting the Spoon is the go to. Why? Well, you certainly tell if the coverage is what you want or if the paint product is too thin for brushing ,Yada,Yada,Yada!. Like others I now buy them buy the 100 count. The change in paint brands has me back to Old Methods with Testors,mainly Mixing their enamels for the Color I need .The acrylics are okay but, you have to many steps to Brush. I don't have the time to add,Retarder,Thinner and so on.

       Yeah, Mixing takes time. But, when I get the shade and temperature I need then I can create a larger than normal batch for my projects. remember Models of ships and Stuff are NOT the only models I build for folks. I have at least Twelve colors for Brick Red and Brick Yellow. I have at least two you might be puzzled about.Aged ,burn't Brick and Industrial Aged Brick. Did you know the bricks used on Buildings in steel Mills used to turn Black ,Blackish and very dark Burnt Black red! So for some folks who cannot handle modeling buildings, I help them out.They are members of the Club and Museum after all.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Friday, June 24, 2022 10:36 AM

I actually use an air fryer that has the dehydrator mode and use heat setting from 105-112f. It works great. I dry enamels at about 112f for 4 hours if I just want to handle the parts and let air drying do the rest over time. That 4 hours does shorten up the overall time to full cure. But full cure in the dehydrator is 6-8 hours or basically just leave it overnight. I'll give lacquers 10-15 minutes at around the 108 setting. Acrylics tends to be around 30 min to an hour depending on brand. But all my acrylics tend to have retarder in them. Acrylic get anywhere from 105-110, it's not a specific plan the just actually need the airflow and warm is faster than cold. You can actually flash off manycrylics with air from your airbrush between coats or use a hair dryer. But full when using retarder takes longer. I've seen Tamiya acrylic with retarder take three days to be fuller cure if not using the dehydrator.

Edit: I seem to notice with Tamiya acrylics in gloss, addition gloss when drying with heat between that 105-108 setting, going to 110 doesn't really change that much. Could be my wild imagination but it's something worth observing and see what you all think for yourselves.

Like you guys are saying with RMP lacquer, Tamiya LP in the bottles don't really need the dehydrator even with Mr Leveling thinner which has some retarder in it. But my disclaimer there is it depends on your environments drying conditions, dew point etc. The dehydrator levels that playing field a lot. These are nice paints and my local hobby store stocks them.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, June 24, 2022 12:00 PM

TB,

Your input is always fun to read. Thanks. Yes

-Greg

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, June 24, 2022 12:09 PM

Thanks for taking the time to share specifically some of your routines, OMG, very helpful.

Any particular reason for 108 (vs 113) on the lacquers? And also lower on the acrylics?

Speaking of airflow, I've been pretty routinely drying stuff in moving air for quite some time. But the heat and also increased airflow in the new machine sure makes a big difference.

My most notable test result so far has been Vallejo Model Air on 2 spoons, one in paint booth with fan on (so it has had airflow about half of the time), other in the dehydrator at about 110 degrees.

Vallejo is interesting to me cuz I use it all the time, it remains 'rubbery' for up to 3 weeks, depending on how heavily it's sprayed, and never cures rock hard like some paints.

The test spoon Vallejo was definitely handle-able in an hour, in two it 'felt' fully cured, even though I doubt it was, not quite. Now 5 days later, the air/fan dry control is approaching almost fully cured. Even more interesting, the dehydrator one is almost impervious to scratching off. The other one, not so much. (no primer, right on the spoon).

-Greg

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Friday, June 24, 2022 12:44 PM

Greg

Thanks for taking the time to share specifically some of your routines, OMG, very helpful.

Any particular reason for 108 (vs 113) on the lacquers? And also lower on the acrylics?

Speaking of airflow, I've been pretty routinely drying stuff in moving air for quite some time. But the heat and also increased airflow in the new machine sure makes a big difference.

My most notable test result so far has been Vallejo Model Air on 2 spoons, one in paint booth with fan on (so it has had airflow about half of the time), other in the dehydrator at about 110 degrees.

Vallejo is interesting to me cuz I use it all the time, it remains 'rubbery' for up to 3 weeks, depending on how heavily it's sprayed, and never cures rock hard like some paints.

The test spoon Vallejo was definitely handle-able in an hour, in two it 'felt' fully cured, even though I doubt it was, not quite. Now 5 days later, the air/fan dry control is approaching almost fully cured. Even more interesting, the dehydrator one is almost impervious to scratching off. The other one, not so much. (no primer, right on the spoon).

 

Lacquer just doesn't need much heat, my kits range in age from modern plastics to really old original Entex and Minicraft and such. If I don't really need the extra heat I don't use it.

Vallejo for me gets an hour. It doesn't feel sticky and as you say ( and actually you bring up an awesome point I hadn't thought too hard on) it's more hard shell finish with some heat. I've done acrylics at 108 and 110, pretty much the same result which makes sense. it my craft paints that I use quite a bit of that I just don't feel matters how hot so much. I've even done those at 100 from time to time. But that is about the lower limit where I use retarder in my thinners and if I want accelorated long term dry without airing a couple of days.

So back to that point though of the harder finish. I've had no issues with Vallejo scratching overly easy but always have used both primer and the dehydrator. Now I'm wondering if the heat setting up of Vallejo is the difference in what we are getting from the product and those whom we hear complaints from on the same product ? Could be, which makes sense because those folks get to making me scratch my head lol.I just don't have that issue.

On another note I added an edit to my previous post.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, June 24, 2022 5:02 PM

Thanks for your additional thoughts, and additional info on your 2 posts up.

Back to the Vallejo for a sec, I've never, ever had a situation where unprimed Vallejo Model Air has passed an aggressive scratch test, and I almost fell over when I did it on the one that had been in the dehydrator.

Important disclaimer: that wasn't after just 2 hrs in the dehydrator, though. It was, as I said, as 'hard' as VMA gets, but it didn't pass a very aggressive scratch test. I surely did pass a regular scratch test, and after 2 hrs, that surprised me.

It is now 5 days later, and it's been sitting inside the dehydrator cycling with everything else all week, 5 days later that I can hardly get the Vallejo to scratch off. It's nuts.

Sure is interesting that you've never used Vallejo without using a dryer/dehydrator.

-Greg

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, June 25, 2022 9:00 AM

Greg

 

Sure is interesting that you've never used Vallejo without using a dryer/dehydrator.

 

Not that I recall Greg. I started using Vallejo MA though 4-5-6 years ago and more recently added the MC to the list.All my acrylic adventures in fact have been tons of experiments and also actual paint jobs using acrylic on some of them for about 8 years or so. And the dehydrator drying came in about the same time the Valljo MA came into my life. But prior to 8 years ago all the way back to around 1960 I shot all solvent based paints. So ya, Vallejo is fairly new to me, especially MC and the dehydrator in place at the same time. So I never questioned it, into the dehydrator it went and still does to this day.

Course I use other paints too including solvent based.

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Saturday, June 25, 2022 10:04 AM

I use alot of Vallejo paint. It's a pretty delicate paint and scratches or rubs off easily. Since I started drying with my dehydrator I have had nearly no issues with it like I had before. I'm sure some of that is the dehydrator curing the paint fully, but also my learning to handle those paint jobs with more care. I will never go back to air drying any of my work now that I've seen how much better dehydrators make painting.

BK

On the bench:

Tamiya 1/35 M4A3E8 "Fury" with crew,

1/32 Kittyhawk Kingfisher,

1/35 Meng Panther Ausf A Early,

1/48 Pro Modeller P-51C "Boise Bee"

2022 Completed:

1/25 Revell 29 Highboy

1/48 Tamiya Sea Harrier

1/25 Revell 70 Boss 429 Mustang

1/48 Hasegawa D3A1 Type 99 Val

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, June 25, 2022 2:22 PM

Thanks, OMG.

Appreciate your Vallejo-specific comments, Brandon.

BTW, I just got done stripping a part and it's in the dehydrator drying off so I can start over. Thanks again for the tip.

-Greg

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