Finish Room Wish List

Qualities of the ideal finish room (which most lack). February 18, 2006

I have just purchased the unit next to mine in the industrial park where our shop is located. We plan to move our finishing operation into the new building to make room for an eventual CNC router. The unit is 30 x 30 with a twelve foot ceiling. There is a 10 x 10 garage door and an entry door next to it, a small bathroom and that's it. I'm interested in any ideas regarding layout of the spray booth (10 x 10) and benches, etc.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor G:
I suggest a downdraft spray booth with a couple of Kremlins and a dedicated compressor, a heated, dust-free drying room with good airflow, and plenty of wheeled racks to get the pieces there. If you're going to be doing the white wood finish sanding in that unit as well, get a downdraft sanding table and another compressor for the sanders. As for the actual layout, you should ask your finishers what is most efficient for them.

From contributor D:
You need proper lighting. There are times when I am spraying that I cannot see the spray pattern of my fan at all as it lands on the piece. At least airplane pilots get to use radar when they fly blind.

You need a proper area for the items to flash. The flash stage is more critical in terms of eventual flowout than the curing stage of the drying process. Once flashed, you need good airflow on the items so that you can flip them as soon as possible without them suffering print from the stickers they rest on. Too often I am pushing a finish, flipping it before it's time. If I only had a drying area that had air movement. If I only had a flash off area that sucked out the smallest amount of air (so that solvent fumes do not accumulate and hover in that area, preventing further gassing off of the solvents we need to get rid of as the fresh coating flashes).

Stay away from that overhead door if you cannot do an air makeup unit. Your booth fan will suck air in and around every so-called seal that the overhead door pretends to have. Block it off with a bank of filters. No unfiltered air should enter your booth or your flash area.

The more items you can put on wheeled benches, the more you can feel like a factory and not a bake shop with a baker's rack. You need a good size bench to mix up finishes and stains. A bench for pouring ought to be close to eye level (splash goggles ought to be mandatory and wearing them ought to be part of the job description).

The tripod of finishing woes is:

1. There is never enough light.
2. There is never enough room.
3. There is never enough time.