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Drying booth....

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  • Member since
    November 2005
Drying booth....
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 5, 2004 3:52 PM
I've decided that I want to have some sort of drying booth. I've been thinking of getting a dehydrator for a while, but am thinking I can build one on my own for fairly low $. I use lots of enamels, and would like to shorten the cure time. Here's my thoughts, tell me what you think:

- I'm planning on building/using a small box with a hole on either side (one for intake, the other for exhaust.
- I'm thinking of just using a small computer cpu cooling fan (12v) that would exhaust air out one side of the box. The other hole would serve as an 'intake' and it would have some sort of filter on it to minimize dust.
- I figured a small 12v automotive-type light bulb would provide heat.

Obviously, I'm going to have to do some various tests to find the right combination of fan speed and heat. Don't want to melt anything...

What do you guys think? Will this work as a substitute for a dehydrator? Does anyone know what a good temperature should be inside the booth (ie. warm enough to speed drying, yet not to warm to cause any grief re: melting, etc.)

Murray
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Friday, March 5, 2004 7:59 PM
Murray, I have something like that on my workbench that I made from some old scrap aluminum sheeting, a computer fan, a light socket with a 100 watt light bulb and a Rubbermaid storage box that has the lid with the flip up ventilated flap. It's about 12"x18"x24". Large enough for most any armored vehilcle and most 1/72 a/c. Mostly fighters, I think, in 1/48th. Cars are no problem either. I have my intake and outflow area by the fan filtered with cotton batting, the kind that comes in bulk at the craft store. Works well. I replace it monthly. You could use most anything for the motor housing. I've seen one using an old overhead projector body: it already has the light AND the fan built in! Mine will dry a gloss enamel finish on a kit in a few hours, will dry silver-type enamel paint overnight thoroughly and will dry flat finished paints, both enamels and acrylics in less than 30 minutes. My wife's convinced it's a keeper after I used it to dry the kids' homework after a particularly heavy rain.
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 5, 2004 8:34 PM
Whoa!!! That's how you guys dry your paint so fast!!! I'm definately going to invest in one myself!!! Thanks for the ideas gentleman!!!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 5, 2004 9:09 PM
I went out and bought one that is sold locally here by one of the Kit makers.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 7, 2004 1:24 PM
Keyworth.

Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad to see that someone else has thought of this too. Even more glad that it seems to work!! I was planning on just using 12v. for the entire wiring, so I was just going to use a 12v general purpose auto bulb. I'm wondering if that would be enough heat??

Is there any way you could put a thermometer in the booth to find out what temperature it gets to?

Thanks again.

Murray
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Sunday, March 7, 2004 8:36 PM
Murray, I forgot to mention that I put the light fixture in the body of the base and not in the area where the model would be. I wanted to avoid overheating. This seems to have worked quite well. I use a 100 watt bulb to expedite the drying process. You can use a high wattage bulb with the setup I have and not risk damaging your builds. What you wind up with is heated air flowing over the model instead of direct heat from the lightbulb. The bulb doesn't get hot enought to heat up the metal base because of the continuous airflow. I have filters set up where the air enters the base and also inside the box above the fan so that no debris is sucked into the drying chamber from outside, and it also protects the fan motor from the same stuff.
I'm a bit afraid to apply direct heat to any model I put in the box, so that's why I set mine up the way I did. I'll take a few pictures and post them this week. Hope it helps. - Ed
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Central USA
Posted by qmiester on Monday, March 8, 2004 7:44 AM
Murray,

I think you will find that a 12v bulb won't generate enough heat. The first drying booth I ever saw was a wooden box about a foot tall, and six inches on each side (it was for figures) with a full length door on one side. There was a 110v light fixture in the bottom, a shelf (filled with holes) above that and the top of the box was filled with holes. It was lined with tin foil and had a 75W bulb installed. The guy who built it used it to dry his oil painted figures and loved it. Just popped the figure in and left it overnight. Cut the drying time from two to three days to 8 to 12 hours.
Quincy
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 8, 2004 10:22 AM
Quincy,

I was afraid of that...(not enough heat...) I'm going to experiment a bit, but I expect that I'll need to put in a 110v bulb. I have a small 12v halogen bulb that gets stinkin' hot (burnt my fingers on it more than once), so I'm going to experiment with that too.

I'm still not sure what the 'temp' should be? I recall from other threads on 'food dehydrators' that they usually set the temp around 100-110 F. My thoughts were to put a rheostat of some sort on the bulb and hopefully I could regulate the temp that way?

Hopefully I'll get to put a prototype together this week. I'll let you all know how it turns out. Thanks again for the input!

Murray
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Central USA
Posted by qmiester on Monday, March 8, 2004 7:30 PM
Murray
You should be able to find a rheostat that will work for what you want. Check your local hardware store or homesupply store for a light dimming rheostat. My understanding that the tinfoil was to reflect the heat away from the walls of the box and it would exit vertically throught the holes in the top of the box.

My other thought, as you did not mention it, is what size are you going to make your drying box? You may find that you need more than one bulb in it. Guess the only way to find out is to build it and see how hard it is to maintain the temp you want . I would think somewhere between 100 and 125 degrees.

You want to be carefull if you use a halogen bulb. As you said they get very hot and that can lead to problems, expecially in a closed invironment. When people started using halogen lamps in houses and buildings, there were initailly problems with them setting fire to objects around them.
Quincy
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 11:50 AM
Interesting, I have a spray booth with Halogen lights at the top. When I am done spraying, I leave the model in there for a while. It dries the model a lot faster than if I had it outside.

I did not see this, but if you are using halogen, make sure that when you install or replace bulbs that you are using some kind of cloth to keep the oils from your fingers off the bulbs. They will blow quickly if you don't.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 10:52 PM
Thanks ngc,

I still haven't built a proto-type, but I'll remember your tips re: halogen bulbs.

Murray
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 7:49 PM
aAn update. I wouldn't recommed the elevated temperatures described earlier. It can do evil things to thin styrene. I placed my light/heat source away from the model staging area intentionally and allowed the heated airflow to dry the model, rather than bake the finish on directly. That has caused the fewest problems for me, and believe me, I made a number of errors when I built the prototype. Another added benefit of the indirect airflow option is faster drying time for decals after placement. Just a few thoughts.- Ed
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 8:37 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Keyworth

I've seen one using an old overhead projector body: it already has the light AND the fan built in!



I never thought of that.
I have an old overhead projector sitting unused in the garage.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 5:28 PM
Possible change of plans. See this post:

http://www.finescale.com/fsm/community/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17493

Murray
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