Saturday, December 10, 2016

Back To Work On The Motorcycle Custom Cooler Project

Having just completed my work table spray booth project I'm now able to get back to work on my motorcycle custom cooler that I started back in October.  For those of you who have not been following the blog for very long, I started work on a custom cooler for my Honda Goldwing motorcycle.  The trunk of the bike is a good size but I could not fit a small cooler into the trunk along with a full coverage helmet.  So the project was born. I got to the point of the project where I knew that I would need to paint it and winter was already well on it's way so I set the project aside until the spray booth was completed.

Here's a couple computer images of the final design for what I've called the "Micro-Cooler".  The hinges that you see here are my own design that I printed using my 3D printer.  They are a bit of overkill but I think they look good just the same. The original hinges that I had purchased for this project just did not work as well as I hoped so I made these replacements and I'm happy I did.

I got the Styrofoam cooler parts cut and glued  together, then sanded all of the edges smooth to give it the shape to match what  I had designed in the first photos. 

The hinges turned out great and so no more work was needed on this portion of the project. Again the design is a bit more heavy duty than I need for this little cooler but I think the look is great  so I'll leave them the way they are.

In order to mount the hinges I first needed to make what I call "Hard Mounts" for the lid.  This is simply done by cutting out part of the foam on the lid and then mounting in wooden blocks and sanding them into shape to match the shape of the lid.

Then I mounted the hinges in place and marked out the hard mounts for the cooler box itself.  This way I would be sure that I had the lower hard mounts exactly where I needed them to secure the hinges properly.

I took my hot wire tool and bent the wire to remove the Styrofoam so I could install the lower hard mounts.  The fiber glass that I had laid up inside of the cooler could not be cut with the hot wire so it made this step in the project simply a matter of removing enough foam for the hard mounts.

Here in the photo I've attached the lower hard mounts to the hinges and puttied the mounts into the cavities that I had made to secure them.  I placed the cooler on it's front face to keep all the parts where I needed them while the epoxy resin cured. The photo above shows the cooler upside down so the lid is on the lower portion of the photo because of the coolers' position on the work table. 

After the hard mounts had cured enough I filled in any voids around the mounts with more resin putty mixture and let the mounts sit for another day. 

To get the name plate into the lid of the cooler again I designed it so it could be mounted into a cavity that I had made for the 3D printed name plate.  This will be bonded into the cooler lid once all of the fiber glassing , sanding and priming of the lid have been completed.  Then I will again lay in an epoxy resin putty mixture to fill any voids around the name plate.  Once I am happy with the installation of the name plate I will paint the entire lid white.  The final touch will be to paint the letters for the name plate in black.  A simple process with a small  paint brush should do the trick.

Lastly here is the cooler just starting to be painted in the new spray booth.  The cooler at this point had been completely fiber glassed inside and out and coated with the resin putty mixture to start the smoothing process before final paint.  I am happy at this point as this is the hardest part of the project. At least it seems like it to me anyway.  I will completely prime the cooler lid and all inside and out several coats at least.  Sanding and filling any imperfections that I find along the way.  By the end (I hope) it will turn out just like my computer image that you first saw in this post.  It will take a bit of doing but I know I will get it to my liking and will be more than happy when I do.   I'll post the final results of my efforts  to keep you up to date. 
  The spray booth by the way works perfectly and the addition of the turn table makes spraying parts a breeze. So that's about it for today.
  Have a good day in your workshop and good luck with your latest project as well.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Work Table Spray Booth Is Completed!

I am happy to report that I completed work on the table spray booth project this afternoon.  The project went together without any major stumbling blocks along the way so that was a big plus as it always is on any project.  In my last post I had just completed construction of the spray booth itself. In this post we'll look at the assembly and painting of the window exhaust mount as well as the spray booth. 

This is the window exhaust mount that I needed to put together.  It is a simple box that I needed to build to have the exhaust hose from the spray booth connect to the workshop window.  I thought at first that all I would have to do is throw the hose out the window but as you will see in the next picture this simple would not work.

The window that you see in this photo is the closest window to my work table.  The window opens up from the top.  It unlocks and then tips inward at an angle from the top.  I thought the hose for the spray booth would fit between the top of the window and the window frame.  It was not even close so this box had to be constructed.

The 1/2" plywood box is 31" long, 12 1/2" high and 10 1/2" deep.  I still wanted daylight to come into the workshop so I cut an opening for a plexi-glass window.  On the end of the box I also cut a 3" diameter hole for the 3D printed hose mountings. The box was simple screwed together using  #6-1 1/4" deck screws. 

The hose fittings slid into the 3" diameter hole in the box with a nice snug fit and the red part and white elbow then connected to one another in the same manner.  It could not have worked out any better.

Once I was happy with the construction of the paint booth and the window exhaust assembly I primed and painted each with a couple coats of flat white paint.  I thought it best as the white will be nice and bright when I am spray painting to see easily what I am doing.   I can always repaint these assemblies some time down the road if I feel the need to spruce them up a bit.

Once the paint had dried I then started final assembly of the paint booth.  In the photo above you can see the lower exhaust fan and the mountings for the hose fittings.   These fittings were secured using zip ties that ran through the mounts and the back wall of the spray booth. 

Here the assembly is completed with the fans, connectors, hoses and electrical all in place. 

The electrical hookup for the two exhaust fans was pretty straight forward.  I wired the two fans together at the back using twist on wire nuts and then led all the wiring to the switch box.  From the switch box there is a power cord that is around four feet long  so it's easy to plug the unit in and turn it on or off. All the external wiring was then covered with protective split plastic tubing.  This cleaned up the look of the wiring and will give a little projection as well.

Here the spray booth is nearly complete.  All of the electrical is installed and the fans pump out a good amount of air.  In the photo above you can see light reflecting off of the Plexiglas window that I installed into the top of the spray booth to allow more light to come into the compartment. 

In this photo you can see the 18" diameter turntable that I mounted to the inside of the spray booth.  This was another simple task of just mount a bearing ring on to the wooden turn table and then mounting it to the inner base board of the spray booth using additional wood screws.  Should be a nice addition to the unit while I am spraying parts.

Here's an inside view of the window exhaust mount with the plexiglass installed in it now.   The plexiglass was just positioned over the hole and the brackets that I 3D printed hold it in securely with #6-1/2" wood screws.

In this shot of the paint booth interior you can see the mounts that I made for that assembly.  These mounts do not hold the window in but rather hold it up.  The window is dropped in from the top of the spray booth when it is sitting on the work table.  I could have mounted the plexiglass the same way I did the window exhaust mount but it would have been a smaller opening and I wanted to keep it as large as possible to allow more light to come into the spray booth while using it.  I also can cover up the plexiglass with clear plastic wrap to protect it from paint spray and then replace it as needed to keep things cleaner.

One last addition that I added to the spray booth was this hanger rod.   This is so I can hang small parts in the booth when I want to spray them. In the second photo you can also see the mounting tabs that I 3D printed to hold the plexiglass window in position.  I may put Velcro mounts on to these tabs and on to the underside of the window to keep it from falling out when I move the paint booth in or out of the workshop.  Not sure about that yet but it is possible to do.

Here finally is the end result of this project and another nice tool that will come in handy very quickly.  The window exhaust mount slid into the window frame perfectly.  This is actually a very quick process to install.  I simply have to remove the inner window which is about a 10 second operation and then slide the exhaust mount into the window frame.  It then is held in place using two small chains that are mounted to the window frame and the exhaust mount. 
  Again this part of the installation only takes another 10 seconds or so to do.  The nice thing about it is that the exhaust mount is fairly light weight and it rests securely in the window sill when I am using it.  Once I have finished painting whatever I am working on it can be removed from the window and put back to the way it was in short order.
  I really like the look of the spray booth and the exhaust mount. It looks good in the workshop photos above and still allows light to come in while using it. I'll put it to use very soon as I will need it to get back to working on the custom cooler for my motorcycle that I started before this project.  One thing leads to another but in this case it has led me to another nice tool that will come in handy when I want to spray paint parts any time the need arises.  Have a good day in your shop! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Work Table Spray Booth Project Pt. 2

This week brings great progress on my work table spray booth project.  Everything from more 3D printing of exhaust parts to construction of the enclosure itself.  So let's get to it.

This photo is of all of the 3D printed parts that will be used in the exhaust system of the spray booth. The large part at the center of the photo is a "Y" connector and slid into it are extensions for the flexible hose that will connect to the two exhaust fans.  All of the parts have an outer diameter of three inches.  Just the "Y" part without the smaller extension took 8 1/2 hours to print.  But it like all of the other parts simply cannot be bought.  Cost to make the parts were around $8.00. 

The top photo above is the same "Y" connector with the extensions along with the mounting parts that you see in the lower photo.  The "Y" connector and it's parts will be tied together to the lower mounts using zip ties.  The zip ties that will be fed through holes in the back of the spray booth and should stay in place rather nicely.  Simple is always a good thing.  So with that sorted out I started working on the construction of the spray booth itself.

The photos above are mountings of the framework for the spray booth that surround and hold the furnace filter in place.  I stacked and glued two pieces of 1/2" plywood on two side of a 2 X 2.  I needed two complete assemblies that were exactly 1" square.  I didn't have any wood that I could cut down to that size so I used what I had on hand.  Doing it this way was a bit more work but I still managed to get what I needed and the parts end up inside of the spray booth and will not be seen once the booth is completed so it really didn't matter how they looked as long as they did the job.

I then attached a three inch wide strip of 1/2" plywood to one side of these first assemblies.  This strip of wood is the guide for the furnace filter so that it can easily be installed into the spray booth.

I next took the two small assemblies and attached them to the front filter face that was cut out of 1/2" plywood (top photo).  The middle photo is another small assembly that was used in this portion of the build.  It is simply two pieces of 1/2" plywood 2" wide and 25" long glued together.  They are used in the final assembly to center the furnace filter vertically with the front filter face opening. The lower photo is the backside of the assembly with the furnace filter installed into the assembly.

Next after carefully checking my computer model dimensions of the assembly I positioned the filter frame assembly on to the base of the spray booth which again was made using 1/2" plywood.  I clamped the assemblies together.....checked and rechecked that I had it all in the right place and then screwed the base to the filter frame assembly.

With the filter frame assembly nice and secure I mounted the sides and top of the spray booth.  I made sure that the slot for the furnace filter matched up with the top plywood  part slot.  I again clamped everything in place and then screwed it all together using fine thread #6 -1 1/4" drywall screws.  At this point things were coming together nicely as you can see from the photo above.

I then got to work on the turn table that will be used in the booth.  As with the rest of the assembly I used 1/2" plywood to cut out a nice 18" diameter circle.  I had marked center lines on the square part before cutting it to get my holes lined up for assembly of the bearing plate that will make the turn table work.

Here is the bearing plate along with the mounting holes set up for it.  The bearing plate will be screwed to the circular 1/2" wooden piece and then in turn it will then be screwed to the inside top surface of the base of the spray booth.  The larger holes in the photo are there so that the turn table can be rotated to allow the lower screws to mount to the spray booth base. 

I figured right with the size of the turn table as you can see in the photo above.  The turn table is 18" in diameter and the inside of the spray booth is 20" x 29" in size.  I thought this might be to large but from the looks of it..... it will be a nice sized area to spray parts in.

Back to completing the spray booth construction I assembled the mount for the upper exhaust fan.  It was simpler to assemble the little shelf while the back of the spray booth was not mounted to the rest of the assembly.

I was really happy that I had more than enough clamps to get the last large piece of the spray booth held in place.  There is no such thing in a workshop as to having to many clamps.   Before I started clamping this last part in place I was not sure I had worked everything out correctly.  Once I clamped it all down I breathed a sigh of relief as the fit-up was near perfection.  Nice to see for sure.

With the back of the spray booth in place the fit looks great.  The smaller box on the lower portion of the back is the mount where the electrical switch will be located for the booth.  Again I put this little box together before mounting it to the main assembly.  Made things a lot simpler.

Now with all of the wood construction completed I was able to get this shot of the two exhaust fans that will do the work of moving the air while I am using the spray booth.

The wiring as you can see will be fed into the lower switch box and then wiring will come out of the box and be used to plug into a wall socket.  A nice clean installation.

This is how the entire exhaust system will look once I get it all wired and hooked up to exhaust hoses. But that will come in the next installment of this project.  I more than likely will paint the spray booth rather than varnish it as shown in the photo above.  This will make is simpler down the line if I should ever want to spruce up the spray booth after a couple of years of use.   So that's it for today.  I'll keep plugging along on this project and I should have it wrapped up in the next posting.  Have a good one.