View Full Version : How about some thinkers I need a filter!

04-22-2008, 12:38 AM
I too have slipped off the path for the last few months. Was in Florida for a couple weeks (drove there) to get my son. Came back to a real wake up as I used Ebay for the majority of my tool sales and well most know what is going on with them. Needless to say I no longer sell there.

I have been looking, working on other selling venues without much success, all tool sales have stopped, since I have just recently switched my front line job to this venue (was working in real estate secured lending) so this is my only income or now lack of it.

Not to sob but that is where I have been, not sure who cares right!

But I could use some fresh thinking. I need to make a filter, needs to be adaptable to my homemade paint booth ( thread on here about it in the archives) It needs to be easy to make, maintain, be cheap, and work decent. Right now my booth filters out paint dust only, not fumes. I need to be able to run my exhaust into the filter so it takes a good bit of fumes out.

I am not a techie but I was thinking of either some type of water style or charcoal or combo of both.

I know many will say just cut a hole and vent outside. Not an option as my building is steel and I refuse to put holes through it. Will only end up a problem later on.

My paint booth is mobile as I have it in my actual car bay. I do not use the bay often but when I need it I want to be able to use it. My booth is on wheels so the filter if heavy will also have to be on wheels. If lite it will need to separate easy and move readily.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Lets hear what you guy think.

04-22-2008, 12:40 AM
what happened to Ebay?

I'll be interested to see the filter ideas, I need to do something similar

04-22-2008, 12:57 AM
Ebay...their new policy to run out all small time sellers in favor of power sellers.
I wont go over all the stuff as it has been talked about on here a bit ago. On top of the price increases, and not allowing any other checkouts other than Paypal, and Paypal holding your money for 21 days after auction is over if your not a power seller, the most negative for me was the premium search engine placement for power sellers only.

Since I am not a power seller I listed a couple tools to see about the search engine placement. Before I used to be in the top first two pages because there were not many items exactly like mine so the list was small. I got 50-100 page views a day before. Now I get 4 views in 6 days.

Now if you type in the search box the EXACT CORRECTLY SPELLED title of my auction it comes up in page 500+ (checked this the other day) My tool came up after other items that were not even close to my item. My deck bridge gauge came up after saw blades, motorcycle parts, clothes......

So you see by forcing my items into the tail end of all searches the chance it would be seen is slim and to pay their new ungodly fees for that is idiotic. This is just what ebay wants, for me to leave.

They have spoken publicly saying that small sellers are the cause for all their buyers woes. They say the small seller will cheat, be super slow at shipping, not offer 100% 30 day return policies with no questions asked. and the list goes on. They say power sellers are professional, have the financial backing to be able to have a Walmart product return mentality.

I agree I can't afford to lend my tools and after they have been used allow refunds for any reason under the sun just because!

The other points they make are bogus as far as they relate to me because I do not have a problem shipping and I do not cheat anyone.

Rather than bogg down this forum with ebay stuff go to ebay and read the forums/community boards. You will read for hours and see what others are saying.

back to my filter, I hope others have a few ideas.

04-22-2008, 02:10 AM
The filter thing- I know that different filters are recommended for different solvents, etc- I read about it on the package that my face mask filters came in. Sounds like what you need, beyond air moving devices, is larger pieces of those specific materials. One thought that came to mind- you are wanting to clear the air in the booth of the byproducts of paint spraying, but want the exhausted air to be 'neighborhood friendly'. That means the painting byproducts stay in the booth- paint particles AND the solvents. My mask filters are effective at keeping this out of my face, but they certainly can't be absorbing all the solvents that are evaporating out of the spray, otherwise they'd be soaking wet in no time. You will probably need to absorb those solvents in addition to not having them blown out of the booth.

I'm not sure if charcoal will do it, but maybe. A few bags of brickettes in a container, blow the air through it- after the paint particles have been gathered by a hepa filter- then do what with the brickettes when they are saturated?

Maybe there's an industrial process that can be scaled down for home use-

I would be interested to see what is the best way to deal with this as well.

A.K. Boomer
04-22-2008, 09:12 AM
Im sorry Klem, in my opinion your asking allot for the amount of CFS your going to have to filter, you could do it but its going to be massive and it will be expensive to maintain, I agree charcoal would be the thing that comes to mind but its going to take its toll on it in a hurry --- every shop Iv been into justs worries about the dust on the intake and then vents to the outside.

Edit; they do make some pretty good low vapor guns im told -- that could drastically cut down on the prob.

04-22-2008, 09:26 AM
I am sorry, I should have given a few more details. My booth is small roughly 4x6x8 I shoot mainly spray bombs, I do not use a gun except on a rare occasion when I powder coat.

I do trap 85-90% of the dust with dry filters on the exhaust fan. I would be thinking on making some type of flexible duct that would somehow connect to this filter. My result is so I do not kill myself with fumes as I vent in the shop. In the winter with things closed up the smell can get a bit much.

I may paint 2 times a month for maybe an hour or so. You can see it is not a large scale operation. If the need arises that I have to do much more, then I would certainly setup a much better system.

Does this change your thoughts?

A.K. Boomer
04-22-2008, 09:34 AM
What type of mask are you using? mine is so good that I dont even catch a wiff yet iv had it so thick in my shop that I cant see across the room very good, My eyes will burn however --- because my compressor is in the same room I pump it all the way up and then pull the plug -- I also dont flick light switches off and on, but Iv never painted an entire car or anything like that --- I just match up hoods and fenders and stuff after fixing a small crunch....

04-22-2008, 10:16 AM
I do not use a mask. My booth works real well and draws everything out, catching the dust in the dry filters. My problem is after I am done painting the shop is loaded with fumes for hours. This is why I want to filter the fumes if possible.

Bill Pace
04-22-2008, 10:48 AM
I pretty much go the way Boomer does, and I agree that, while this could no doubt be done, I'd think the bother/aggravation/expense for the little bit of painting youre describing wouldnt off set.

First thing I'd do is get one of the HVLP guns -- shooting at 10-15psi just doesnt raise a lot of stink! Yeah, it'll be a bit more bother than a rattle can, but it oughta beat the bother of putting together what youre describing. Besides the added benefit of a better more durable finish, you can research out the low VOC thinners/reducers/paints and gain even more (less?) there. Try one of HF's HVLP guns and see what you think, theyre usually on sale around $30-40, go talk to the automotive paint store and pick up a quart of your most used paint (black, I'd bet!)and thinner/reducer that they recommend along with whatever you need to start spraying -- they usually give you the strainers/paint paddles. All this shouldnt run but in the $100 range (Geez, ... I better not guess on that... we're talking petroleum products here!!)

I tried one of HF's guns thinking if I liked it, I'd get a Sharpes or DeVilbis, etc, but the dang thing shoots so good, I've never bothered to replace it....

Pete H
04-22-2008, 10:57 AM
Briquettes won't do much toward absorbing solvent fumes. You need "activated" charcoal. There are activated-charcoal filters available for range-hoods, air-purifiers, and the like - Home Despot would be a decent starting point - and those might work. But you'll still need the regular "dust" filter in front. We used to use fibreglass central-airconditioning filters in our spraybooth, but we just vented it outside, never worried about the vapors.

The alternative - for personal protection only - would be a good mask, with "organic vapor" cartridges. That won't help with the potential for eye-irritation or for a fire, if the vapor concentration gets high enough and there's an ignition source. Also, if you wear a beard as I do, it's impossible to get a good seal around the mask.

I've seen water-curtain filtering arrangements, but I don't know how effective they are, esp. for organic solvents that aren't water-miscible. IIRC, they mostly were used to catch smoke and dust. The one that I recall best was a woven-aluminum screen, like the grease-catching filter in a range-hood, with water constantly trickling through it.

Pete H
04-22-2008, 11:00 AM
Boomer, I was using my little Sears compressor the other day, and was surprised to see the size of the spark that happened when it switched on. Made a mental note to use the 50-foot hose the next time I'm shooting lacquer.

04-22-2008, 11:23 AM
An activated charcoal filter will remove most of the VOC fumes from the air. You can then return the air to the shop or exhaust to the outside. The best type of activated charcoal I have found was made from coconut shells.

Another idea is to use a fume scrubber. I made one years ago that used a 10" diameter PVC pipe section stacked full of PVC mesh for the filter. A nozzle on the top sprayed water down through the mesh to a small holding tank. The water was pumped back to the top in a closed loop. The air to be scrubbed was blown in from the bottom and exhausted from the top of the filter to the outside.

It works by keeping the large surface area of the PVC mesh wet which contacts the contaminated air. The water then picks up the VOC's and falls down to the holding tank. These systems work great but you have to add feed water as even a small unit can evaporate several gallons of water per hour. Then you have to treat the contaminated water before dumping it. Something like this might work fo your application.

04-22-2008, 09:44 PM
Ok, for small scale use like that, maybe the activated charcoal filter is the way to go. If there's enough surface area of charcoal in the filter bed, it should pretty much absorb all the solvents being released as the booth air is cycled through it. Then- just my idea- you turn off the booth fan and turn on a small brushless fan that cycles outside air through the filter bed. The idea here is that several hours of operating the small fan would allow much of the solvents to escape, and at a slow enough rate that it doesn't bother the neighbors. I don't even know if you can extract the solvent from the charcoal this way, but maybe the idea has some merit.

If you do use some kind of water mist blowdown solvent removal process, the water should release the solvent easily enough for this slow fan method to work. You could in fact just recycle the same water and not have the disposal problem- more practical would be to cycle some 'contaminated water' out and top up with fresh in some appropriate percentage.

One problem I see with the water method is that it could lead to high humidity in the booth. You'd probably want to have the water cold, so cycling in some fresh will help keep the filter tank cool enough.

I like the water idea better than the charcoal, but maybe the charcoal could be the last 'filter box' in the air loop returning to the booth. That way if the water method removes much of the solvents, the remainder wouldn't 'fill' the charcoal so fast.

Thinking about this a bit more, you'd probably have to heat the charcoal to remove the solvents that have been absorbed, so that could easily be a safety issue. I don't know, do you use the charcoal in the barbeque later? :) MMMM, toulene burgers-

Roy Andrews
04-22-2008, 11:04 PM
i would try an incinerator. put a heavy shell around a salimander heater element or just a blower into a tube with a weed burner head burning into it. would have to watch for co2 and possibly other problems but thats what i think would be the cheapest first try.

04-23-2008, 09:45 AM
If the fumes are bad enough after painting I seriously doubt you can find enough surface area and a good enough filter medium to remove enough of the fumes.

Why not use pumped in fresh air from outside to your mask. I'd never spray unless I had a mask and a darn good one at that. If your spraying any isocyanates (automotive clears are often this) you need a positive pressure mask. No amount of filtering the air will work in that situation. That stuff will kill you. See here:


Of course your compressor should have a clean source of air to begin with and then air out the shop after your done. My two cents.