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Buy Before January 1st to Save Thousands.

It’s December already, can you believe it? Where does a year go? With the year coming to a close, you may hear a lot about “Section 179” and how you’re business can benefit if you are looking to purchase some equipment before 2013.

We get just as confused as the next guy when you start talking “tax rate”, “deductions” and “depreciation”. We thought we would do a little research and try to explain how this could be a HUGE benefit to small businesses.

When we say ‘equipment’, we mean any large purchase you buy to benefit your business. Some examples: a paint booth to help your productivity, a car lift to increase your repair business or a frame machine for the busy winter months. If your business needs it to increase business and it’s an ‘investment’, it is most likely included in this category.

You can even finance it in 2013, but write it off in 2012 and save thousands.

So, section179 is what exactly? It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves. Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment purchased (or financed) during the tax year. Wow! The FULL PURCHASE PRICE will be deducted from your gross income. (As long as the total purchase price is less than 139,000.) Continue reading Buy Before January 1st to Save Thousands.

Are Your Filters HAZARDOUS?

Waste SymbolsJust as you would in your house, your paint booth filters must be changed to protect the quality of air you breathe and the environment. For the health of painters, spray-painting operations must use paint booths with exhaust filters. Exhaust filters are designed to collect paint and other particles, preventing them from polluting the air outside the shop with paint overspray. Because the paint being collected on the filters can be hazardous, it can also make the used filter potentially hazardous.  So how do you know if your booth filters are considered hazardous waste?

1.)   Evaluate Your Filters. No matter which type of exhaust filter you use, all types must be evaluated to determine whether or not they are hazardous. Avoid conditions that could lead to spontaneous combustion in dumpsters. Both hazardous and non-hazardous filters have been known to spontaneously combust.

2.)   How Can You Determine Hazardous Filters? Determining a hazardous filter can be done in two ways.

a.)   Through knowledge of waste

-Only use paints and coatings which contain regulated metals.

b.)   Use of laboratory testing

-Arrange a testing with a company capable of performing TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure) test.

Get more information on paint booths, filters and environmental concerns from the Environmental Protection Agency.

If your filters are hazardous, you must store them in a non-leaking container marked with the words “Hazardous Waste” with the waste description attached. To select the proper container you may want to contact the disposal facility you are planning to use. A licensed hazardous waste transporter is required to ship the hazardous waste to the disposal facility. A special paper called a hazardous waste manifest must be accompanied with the shipment.

Non-hazardous filters cannot be disposed of in or with your normal trash. Your waste is to be sent to a permitted landfill or burner by a waste hauler. Make sure filters and the paints they contain are completely dry prior to disposal to minimize the chance of fire.

In North Carolina, if the paint on the filters is DRY then it is not considered Hazardous. If the paint is WET, then it is Hazardous. Consult with your jobber, filter supplier, and/or your local authorities for assistance in properly characterizing and handling your waste filters.

Manufactured vs. Homemade Paint Booths

A homemade paint spray booth

We all love a handyman, a professional who can fix anything. And not just any handyman, we want the best handyman. When our pipes burst, we call the plumber. When our cars break down, we call the mechanic. So why would you try to make a homemade paint booth?

Whenever you are dealing with highly volatile products such as paint and chemicals there is the possibility of fire or the risk of an explosion. This is why homemade paint booths are not quite the route to take. Of course they are cheaper, and that is exactly the quality you will get. Dealing with something as serious as mixing harmful chemicals, a topnotch manufactured paint booth is required to keep you safe. Homemade Booths rarely, if ever, meet NFPA 33 and OSHA codes.

Many homemade paint booths have no ventilation system. A paint booth is essentially a sealed area with a powerful fan or air circulation unit installed in it. Your circulation unit should be powerful enough to circulate all the air in the room every five minutes to prevent the buildup of fumes. Both the inflow and the outflow vents should be equipped with air filters. A non-ventilated paint booth may be decent for painting small objects such as a dice; however, when painting big projects like car parts, your breathing is in trouble.

Manufactured paint booth systems are more pleasant, less likely to cause painting problems and a whole lot less likely to blow you to Kingdom Come! The technology is available to keep you alive. At Standard Tools, your safety is number one on our list. Our booths are quality to keep you safe and will not damage your pockets. Everyone wants to have quality and save money at the same time. Let Standard Tools do that for you.

A Paint Mixing Room is a Dangerous Place to Be

There are always “do’s and don’ts”, whether it’s fashion, workplace etiquette, or paint mixing rooms. That’s right! There are “do’s and don’ts” to using paint mixing rooms. Paint mixing rooms can be very dangerous work areas because of the toxic, flammable and hazardous materials stored in it. Use safe precautions to ensure your health & safety.

Keep away from. Extreme care shall be taken by individuals mixing solvent-based paints to remove from all possible sources of ignition, such as matches, cigarette lighters, and steel buckles.

Avoid contact and wash your hands! Persons handling painting materials shall avoid contact of material with skin and eyes, and inhalation of mists or vapors. When painting materials are handled, care shall be exercised to wash hands before eating, drinking, smoking, or using toilets. No food or drink shall be allowed in the paint area.

Proper attire.Personnel shall wear nonskid, rubber-soled shoes or canvas boots over their shoes when working. It is also a good idea to wear a Paint Suit to protect your clothes, skin and hair.

Illness. Workers with a history of chronic skin diseases, allergies, or asthma shall not be permitted to work with paint compounds and thinners.

Always remember skin contact, eye contact, ingestion, and breathing mists or vapors in excess of the threshold limit value, (TLV) a level of chemical substance to which it is believed a worker can be exposed day after day for a working lifetime without adverse health effects, shall be avoided. Follow these guidelines when working in a paint mixing room, and your well-being will be protected.

Ventilation and Exhaust Systems: A Guide to Protecting Your Breathing

Today we are all more aware of pollutants and what they do to our environment and our health. We know that pollution is not good for our breathing, so we have been taught how to take precautions, such as buying electric hybrid cars and going green. You should also be taught how to take precautions to protect your breathing in your paint booth.

Paint booths are extremely important in providing an optimal environment in which to spray paint. Solvent based spray paints are the main source of isocyanate (a harmful compound) and are damaging to human health. If you don’t take special precautions, you may end up with Asthma, persistent coughs or something more threatening.

Paint booths protect the health of your shop employees by filtering the paint overspray and fumes through the booth’s ventilation system. Three popular styles of booth include the down draft, cross draft and open front.

Open face paint booths have three walls while the front end is left open, and this is where the air is pulled in from. It is extracted by the paint booth exhaust fans which are located at the back.

A cross draft paint booth pulls filtered air in through filtered doors, and paint booth exhaust fans at the other end extract the contaminated air. These paint booths will have filters on both the intake and outtake side, so the incoming air is clean and free of contaminants to the work, while the outgoing air sends the toxic paint fumes our and away from the shop area.

A downdraft paint booth ventilation works by having multiple fans bringing fresh air in from top of the booth and exhaust fans at the bottom taking air out.

When looking to buy your paint booth, make sure that you understand the style of booth you will need for your given application. It is also important to buy from a reputable company that understands that ventilation and exhaust systems should meet the applicable requirements of NFPA 33. Some of the requirements are to make sure each booth has its own dedicated exhaust stack. Each exhaust plenum on a paint booth should have its own pressure gauge called a manometer.  Manufacturers’ should supply the manometer with the purchased paint booth package. Keeping the fan clean also helps to extend its life.

“When Should I Replace My Filters?”

Proper spray booth filter maintenance is crucial to obtaining a great paint job. Without the proper air balance, your booth will perform poorly and your operating costs will be higher than necessary.

To achieve proper balance, filters must remove and hold contaminants but still allow for proper air flow in the booth. Delaying a filter change will result in poor quality jobs. We all know what that means…unnecessary added costs from buffing, sanding, booth cleaning, etc. I always say… “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right the first time”

Cross draft booth intake filters should be changed every one to three months and down draft ceiling filters should be changed every four to six months. This is on average because each operating environment is different and paint hours can fluctuate greatly. Exhaust paint arrestor pads/filters should be changed every one to two weeks or more often if the manometer/draft gage on your booth measures high.

We will be glad to assist you in determining which filters are needed for your booth. We even offer kits for our Standard Tools booths. Buying these in kit form can save you tons of money.

Kelly Goudy
Sales Manager
Paint Booths by Standard Tools and Equipment Co.

Standard Tools and Equipment Co. to be Featured on the “World’s Greatest…” Television Production



<May 18, 2011><Greensboro, N.C.>
Standard Tools and Equipment Co, a trusted manufacturer in the automotive aftermarket industry, announced today that they have been selected by How 2 Media to be a part of the popular television series, “World’s Greatest …”, featuring their paint booths. The show airs on the ION Network.

The company goes to market as Tools USA and, to sell hundreds of products through their mail-order catalog and their various Web sites. Products include auto lifts, frame machines, pulling posts and clamps, tire equipment, powder coating equipment and, or course, their paint booths.

One of the first online sellers of Paint Booths, their Tools USA internet store opened in 1999. Recognized by Google Inc. (1,000,000 Leads Generated), and Internet Retailer (America’s Top 500 Largest Retail Web Sites), they have a history as a successful online retailer.

“We started selling to Body Shops and in the early 80’s, the company developed the very first national catalog for the body shop professional,” says Michael Kestler, President of Standard Tools and Equipment Company. “Our many years of experience in the collision repair industry helped us to develop the superior paint booth products that we offer today. The value, quality and efficiency of our paint booths have been major factors in our expansion into other industries and our overall success.”

With over half of their paint booths being sold outside of the body shop industry, Standard Tools has supplied paint booths to such industries as NASCAR teams, Woodworking shops, military, schools, government and many varied manufacturing industries.

After a careful interview process, the show determined that Standard Tools’ experience, technology and customer-service made for not only a great paint booth, but a great story too.

“We think they have an interesting story to tell and we will help tell that story in a meaningful way to our viewers,” said Gordon Freeman, Executive Producer of the show. “Standard Tools is a major company operating in the somewhat fragmented Spray Booth manufacturing industry. The difference is that they sell direct, which affords and enables them to offer products at the lowest possible prices without sacrificing quality.”

“World’s Greatest…” is a 30-minute television show from the producers at How 2 Media. The show features the world’s greatest companies, products, places and people. Past businesses featured include Anheuser-Busch, Lenox China, Land’s End, Samsung, and Xtreme Motorsports.

A film crew will be visiting Standard Tools’ facilities in late June to get the story behind the story on why Standard Tools makes the World’s Greatest Paint Booths. They will begin shooting the segment, scheduled to air later this year.

“We are thrilled to be a part of ‘World’s Greatest…’ and honored for the selection,” Kestler continued. “We are excited to highlight the company’s history, manufacturing process and the story of who we are and why we do what we do.”

Standard Tools and Equipment Co. LogoAbout Standard Tools and Equipment Co.
Tool USA, founded in 1979 is an operating company of Standard Tools Holding Corp. (Standard Tools and Equipment Co.), a privately-owned holding company.  Standard Tools and Equipment Co. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of automotive body shop equipment. Manufacturing and corporate offices are located in Greensboro, NC.

For more information, visit or or contact Kat at


Tracy Beach, Plant Manager
Standard Tools and Equipment Co.

Tools USA Dust CollectorsCombustible dust was to blame for 348 explosions, 793 injuries, and 133 deaths from 1980 to 2008. It is a terrifying hazard that goes overlooked in many facilities because it is not fully understood. Are you taking all the precautions necessary to ensure that your shop, and your employees, are safe?

“Dust becomes fuel for fires and explosions when it builds to hazardous levels,” noted Standard Tools and Equipment’s plant manager, Tracy Beach. “Sources such as sugar, flour, feed, plastics, wood, rubber, furniture, textiles, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, dyes, coal, and metals can form combustible dust.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show some of the materials that may become explosive when divided into small enough particles here (PDF).

There is a directive intended to reduce the occurrence of explosions and fire due to combustible dust. OSHA has launched the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (or Combustible Dust NEP) to administer safety requirements and fines where there currently is no code. Immediate action is to identify findings and impose fines on companies that have combustible dust that is not being managed or not managed adequately. The long-term action is to develop a suitable requirement.  Click here to read more information about Dust NEP.

Standard Tools and Equipment provides cyclone dust collectors, cartridge filter systems and spray booths designed specifically for powder coating.  These items are designed to meet, or exceed, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and OSHA requirements.

Our suggestion is for your safety team to review the processes for handling or creating combustible dust and to call us at 1-800-451-2425 if you find that combustible dust is a concern for you.

If you have combustible dust, you will need processes and equipment to handle it.  Please do not wait until after a catastrophe or visit from your OSHA inspector.  Dust is an item that is much less expensive to handle before any such event occurs.


5th Dimension
The 5th Dimension

Pop group The 5th Dimension had a hit song in late 1960’s called Up, Up and Away.  It was an upbeat, feel-good song that was about riding in a hot-air balloon.  It was played over and over on AM radio stations around the country and won a Grammy in 1968.

Today, the idea of “up, up and away” defines the costs of materials.  We have all been shocked by recent increases in fuel prices, but steel prices have risen more dramatically in the same timeframe.  In 18 months, gas prices rose from $2.50 to $3.50 per gallon… a 40% increase. In the same timeframe, steel prices increased by 65%.  This increase can be attributed to the rising fuel costs, increasing global demand and negative influences in supplies.  One such negative factor was the torrential rains and flooding in Australia that filled coke mines.  This coke is deemed the best in the world for smelting the high-tech steel ores used today. Continue reading UP, UP AND AWAY

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