Sunday, September 27, 2009
Finishing up the spray box
The last few days we have been assembling the working area of the spray booth. This part is separated from the fan by a length of ductwork. The idea was to make the area pleasant for painting, which meant isolating it as much as possible from the sound and vibration of the fan. I have found that I have a bad habit of angling myself away from booths as I paint, largely because the noise bothers me. A spray booth doesn't provide much protection if you don't spray inside of it!
The other problem I have found with most spray booths is that they have so little light. This is a big problem when working with ceramic underglazes because the layers do not have a lot of visible contrast. We decided to install five puck lights - two on each side and one overhead - to ensure a well-lit working area. The lights are 20w compact fluorescents daisy-chained together. This gave us a great deal of light without adding a significant amount of heat to the box. Since underglazes don't show their true color until after the final firing, we didn't have to worry about the types of lights and their effect on color accuracy.
Here is the almost-finished box with the filter installed. For simplicity, Alan designed the box to use the same size filters as our home HVAC system.
The filter just slides in to a slot along the back of the box. The filter sits in front of a plenum box. That's an area where the air can circulate after it is pulled from the workspace. There is a second plenum located at the fan, too. (The two hooks on the top left of the plenum are left over from when the piece was hung for painting. They'll be removed before the box is finished.)
Here is the placement of the exhaust duct. (It had not yet been attached when this picture was taken.) The box will have a solid back when it is done, but that piece is just leaning against the filter in this picture.
We'll finish the box up this weekend, and then it will be time for me to do the final finish work. That will mean an extra coat or two of paint, and a bit of white electrical tape on the exposed light wiring. Meanwhile Alan will start working on the box that will hold the squirrel cage fan. Two more weeks to go, and I'm beginning to think we'll make it!
at 3:15 PM