I'm a high-end custom furniture finisher in South Florida and I am looking to set up a small finish shop to take on some overflow work from other local shops and such. Most of the work is dyes and glazes, with the occasional polyester job. Currently, we have two side downdraft automotive booths with doors. I'd like to hear about other people's experiences with booths. I'm not looking to spend a fortune, but is there any technology that is cutting edge, or worth the extra investment?
From contributor R:
First off, unless you own the building, you need a landlord who will allow you to install one on his property. Building permits, local fire marshal laws, and zoning concerns can certainly cost as much as, if not more than, a spray booth. I'd grab the yellow pages and look under "spray booths" and spray equipment and I'd do a Jeeves or Google search.
I suppose you could call me a high end finisher, and I'll be darned if I haven't done some high end finishes under cruddy situations. Right now I'm in a shop that has a Binks wall booth and 15 feet of accordion type filters attached to it. The room is about 20X15 and the front wall is the exhaust booth. The two large doors used to enter the booth have eight filters per door. Once I spray something, I just roll the item in front of either of those doors, and the warm, clean air coming in from the outside helps to dry what was just coated.
P.S. As per code in California, I enter and exit the booth from a separate door, not one of the two filtered doors.
I have a large open face booth with air makeup. The booth exhaust has a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD), which was an upgrade I am very glad I went with. The VFD gives you this: as the exhaust filters load, the fan senses the increase in static pressure and then automatically increases the fan speed to compensate. This way, you maintain a constant air flow in your spray zone. Without VFD, you size the exhaust fan to pull a significantly greater airflow than you need when the filters are new, so that when they load, you maintain an acceptable air flow. The bottom line is your airflow is going to be within a range, versus with VFD, it will always be exactly what you want it to be. VFD was not a costly upgrade.
I'd have to dig through some old paperwork to find costs on the variable frequency drive option for the exhaust. I'm going to guess that option was in the range of $1500. It might be more expensive on a retrofit.
VFD is one part of the package. You also need the extra cfm capability on your fan for a VFD to work with. For example, my 14'x10'h booth is adequately served by 14,000 cfm exhaust fan, however I have a fan rated for 16,000 cfm, so that when the filters load, I will have the extra fan horsepower to maintain my airflow when the VFD asks for more exhaust.
I'm just regurgitating some of what I learned from my equipment rep. He has spec'd thousands of systems. The professional help is out there and I strongly advocate finding it.