Introduction: Small Spray Booth
Yes its yet another spray booth build, there a number of various methods for building one and this is my take. I'll be using this for airbrushing scale models, this will not have an externally venting duct.
When purchasing supplies for my spray booth I was originally going to go the route of using a small exhaust fan however upon seeing them in action at the display in the store it was clear that these fans were not idea for this implementation. A standard window box fan at $20 moves about 2500 CFM where as a $20 exhaust fan moves 50 CFM and in previous builds I've seen where people have used exhaust fans they didn't have enough power to pull through a filter. So rather than getting a larger more expensive exhaust fan I opted to keep this on a budget and I used a window box fan. I already had a spare smaller twin fan which was closer to the size tote I wanted to use. My purchases for this project was an $11 tote and a $2 furnace filter, the rest of the items used I already had.
Step 1: Materials
The fan is a very common design its quiet, efficient, and cheap and common. There are a number of manufacturers that have identical units.
The tote was purchased at Menards but is another pretty common design. I wanted to stay away from the rounded design totes and get something more box like and with a sealed lid. I will reuse the seal in this build.
The furnace filter was12x20x1 it was the closest to the size of the tote. My original plan was to use it inside the tote but noticed that it fit perfectly on the bottom of the tote.
I also used about 4 sticks of hot glue, a dremel tool with a cutting bit, and some left over straps from a cosplay project.
Step 2: Reusing the Seal
Based on how well the filter fit to the bottom of the tote I was going to reuse the seal from the lid to create a gasket between the air filter and the base of the the tote. The foam seal was not glued in place on the lid so it was easily removed. Hot glue is my choice for projects like this and the tote surface needs to be scuffed up with sand paper to help the hot glue adhere. I glued the seal in place on the bottom of the tote. Note do not glue the filter to the tote we want this to be removable and it will be kept snugly in place with straps.
Step 3: Cutting the Tote
This should have been step 2 but I was getting ahead of myself.
I want the tote to remain pretty solid so I left a 1" border around the base of the tote. To cut the hole I used some of the items I had in my workshop, a plastic cutting blade and set my dremel on medium speed. Technically you could cut the tote with a sharp box cutter if you were so inclined. Sand the opening of any rough edges when complete.
Step 4: Strapping Everything Down.
This is where those extra cosplay supplies come in use. I have 1" nylon, elastic straps, and a plastic buckle to lock everything down. First I hot glued 2 elastic straps to keep the filter tight against the seal. It wasn't so tight that it would deform the filter it was tight enough to be snug.
A 3rd strap was placed in the middle of the tote this was to hold my fan up, the unit that I have will not stand on its own so I have this strap to basically keep the fan propped to the bottom of the unit. I used an adjustable plastic buckle with elastic on one end of the strap. This allows me to keep it relatively tight and it will hold the fan in place if its used vertically or horizontally oriented. Its not tight enough to move this around as one unit I would move them separately and assemble where it will be used.
Step 5: All Done
I hooked my fan up and gave it a test run. It works really well in my initial test, when I blew the candle out it sucked all the smoke up from it.
Build time for this project was an hour.
In conclusion I the tote is very clear and will pass through a lot of light, so I wont have a need to add a LED strip light to this which keeps the price down on this for me. So far this was a $13 build not counting items I already had.
I used the 2nd cheapest filter media if I feel that this doesn't do a good enough job I'll replace it with a more expensive hepa filter or add a second filter. There isnt going to be an external exhaust fan in this build I was looking for something pretty light duty for using a small airbrush.