Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.

How do I choose a Dust Collector?

There are many types of dust collectors.  This entry addresses a ducted dust collector that would have fixed pick-up points in a woodworking shop.  There are two types of dust collectors used in this application: single-stage and two-stage or cyclone dust collections.

Single-stage dust collectors draw the chip/dust/shavings from the pick-up points and separate all of these particles from the air by using a single filter, usually a sock-type felt, cloth or paper filter.  These collectors are best for very small shops or for a single machine when efficiency and noise are not a consideration.  These units are typically less expensive and less effective than the two-stage cyclones.  You get what you pay for.

A two-stage or cyclonic collector draws the dust/chip/shaving laden air through the collector body where a twisting or cyclone action is imparted on the air.  This feeds into a drum and the larger shavings and chips are separated from the air by centripetal force.  The finer dust is carried with the exhaust air to sock-type felt, cloth or paper filters.  This system is much more effective as the majority of the dust/chips/shavings is collected in the drum and does not build up of the secondary filter.

The collector is part of a complete system that includes pick-up points at the machinery, ducting, gates and the collector.  The collector is the heart of the system, but a system must be correctly designed to provide enough air velocity to pick up and carry the dust to the collector.  Wood dust/chips/shavings require 4500 linear feet per minute (LFM) to be carried to the collector.  Collectors are measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).  The translation of LFM to CFM requires complete information including:

–          the number of machines to be connected

–          the size of each pick-up (usually in the machinery manuals)

–          the location of each pick-up

–          the type of dust/chips/shavings being picked up

–          the amount of usage for each pick-up (in hours or percentage)

Tools USA can help design the complete system.  Duct manufacturers like NordFab can also perform this task.  Systems that demand over 5000 cfm are required to meet a higher level of codes and often integrate fire detection/suppression.  Tools USA recommends breaking a larger system into smaller systems of less than 5000 cfm in most cases.  There are significant savings in installation, power and maintenance costs by dividing these larger systems.

Please contact Kelly at Tools USA to help select and design your dust collection system.  This will go quicker if you have machine details (duct diameters, cfms recommended) and a general layout drawing of your shop.  Our collectors are designed to be located inside your building for ease for emptying and maintenance.

Powder Coat versus Wet Paint

This is a daunting and ongoing question that most paint coaters ask.  What are your options?  What are the positive and negative features of each?  Which is best for your application?

Wet Paint is a material that is often sprayed onto a surface be means of air-powered sprayguns.  This is a proven process with many suppliers, materials and a significant workforce of experienced coaters.  The paint can be solvent-based as in oils or thinners.  Water-based paint is being required by many environmental-focused areas to reduce air-borne volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) from release into the atmosphere during the spraying process.  Common applications of wet paint include most all automotive exteriors, items with multiple colors and extremely large or heavy items.  Textured finishes require at least two coats.

Powder coating is a process of spraying a dry film over a surface and baking the item to cure the film into a durable coating.  Powder coating is a process that is much easier to perform once key requirements have been met.  In the spray process the powder is drawn from a bin and through a gun while being electrically charged.  The part being powder coated is also charged or grounded so as to attract the powder to its surfaces.  This charging is a key requirement to the process and greatly aids the coating evenness and the speed of applying the coating.  Surfaces have to be prepared in a manner to aid this charging and the application of the coating.  Curing is usually a simple process of raising the coating to 300-350º for 15-30 minutes.  The gloss, surface texture and color are designed into the powder and are consistent from one spray operator to another.  Powder coating is a newer process than spraying wet paint, but there are a number of groups and websites that expedite the learning curve.  Common applications are lawn equipment, furniture, cabinets and tools.


Wet Paint

Powder coating

Preparation of parts Wipe clean Clean by sandblasting, etching or high-pressure wash
Preparation of coating Requires mixing Use straight from supplier
Hanging of part Best practical means Part has to grounded
Difficulty of spraying Must access all surfaces before paint dries/clogs the gun Electrical pulse pulls powder to most surfaces
Curing Process Air-dry, usually normal air temp Heated in oven
Durability Fair Very durable
Consistency Based on sprayer’s experience Built into powder product
Ease of removing Sanding, Chemical Heating required, Sanding, Chemicals
Waste Management Licensed waste handler Cure excess and send to landfill
Positive factors Less expensive start-up Ease of finding experienced help Quicker to apply coatingDurabilityConsistency
Negative factors Waste managementFlammabilityToxicity Cost of startup includes oven and pretreatment

Tools USA manufactures products for both of these application processes and can answer any further questions.

Why do I need a Spray Booth at all?

This actually is a very common question even from people who have been painting for years.

A spray booth:

– provides exhaust filters and air flow that moves overspray-laden air away from your parts being coated so that you can see clearer and work more quickly

– provides the overspray-laden air (toxic and combustible) to be filtered and vented out of your shop which greatly reduces the potential for fire or explosion

– filters the incoming air to remove dust from sanding or other processes to help produce a cleaner finish (requires intake filters)

– provides lighting onto the object being painted

– provides a structure for containing and suppressing a fire

– provides a process for expediting flash-off and curing if used with a heated air-makeup unit

OSHA code requires a spray booth or spray room with proper ventilation and fire protection for ANY spray operation of combustible materials beyond the simple spray can per day of touch up tasks.  Worker’s comp insurers generally require a spray booth for production-level painting.  Tools USA provides cost-effective paint booths designed to exceed OSHA and federal spray process requirements.

We never hear customers who have bought their first paint booth say “I wish that I had never bought a spray booth and had just continued to spray in the open area of my shop.”   Buying a spray booth is an investment with significant rewards in efficiency, quality and safety.

PAINT BOOTH Assembly Comparison

“TEK” SCREW ASSEMBLY vs. nut and bolt!

What’s the difference in assembling my Spray Booth?

First of all, beware of the salesman double talk. Keep in mind that if a company can’t compete in the market with price, delivery and quality, than they have to find another way. Misinformation is just one of those ways.

 Assembly for Paint Booths manufactured by Standard Tools & Equipment / Tools USA

Clamp the panels, then use an electric drill with a hex nut bit to run a self-drilling high quality “TEK” screw in about every 6 to 8 inches on the panel flange.

When the assembly is complete, caulk the seams when you are done.

It’s that easy!  Screws won’t back out or loosen like a nut and bolt might have a tendency to do over time.  These types of screws are designed for use specifically in sheet metal.  They are used in vehicles, metal buildings and other applications with significant stress and vibration.

Assembly for Spray Booths manufactured or distributed by others… 

First, hope all the holes line up on an uneven floor, clamp it (same as ours), then put a bolt and washer in the hole, lock washer and nut on the back side, then take a wrench and ratchet and hand tighten each and every last one.

Then just like the “Tek” screw assembly, caulk the seams when your done.

Actually it is almost double the assembly time and it is tougher to install when reaching across a 4’ ceiling panel with both hands rather than the one required to install a “Tek” Screw.

I know, because I have installed both kinds.

Neither hardware option is a ‘bad’ assembly technique. 

The nut and bolt requires pre-punched holes that may or may not align during the installation process and increases the assembly difficulty ultimately adding to the cost of the Paint Booth and the installation.

We have tried both techniques and believe that the “Tek” screw method has the most advantages for you, the customer, and allows Tools USA to provide the most competitive pricing.

I hope this info will help you make an informed decision.  If you would like to discuss more, call me at 1-800-451-2425.  Kelly G.

Spray Booth Finish

Why does the finish of my spray booth matter?

There are three common options for the surface finish of a spray booth’s walls, doors, etc. Choosing the correct finish can help in showing defects in the item being sprayed and seeing the actual finish applied to the item being coated.

Most spray booths are made with galvanized steel which is a zinc coating applied at the steel mill and results in a spackled gray finish that reduces corrosion (rust) on the metal. The finish has little reflectivity and will lessen as the finish darkens over several years of exposure. This is a very suitable choice for spray booths used to spray many colors including a high volume of white paint or powder coat.

Many spray booths are powder coated during the manufacturing process. This white or light gray durable finish adds a high degree of reflectivity to aid in increasing the light in a spray booth without actually adding lights. A powder coated spray booth used for powdercoating parts may also help in the process since the walls are less conductive than plan or galvanized steel. Powder coating a spray booth can be problematic with permitting in some locations; check with your local inspector before specifying this finish to your spray paint booth manufacturer.

The third option is to purchase a galvanized spray booth and to coat the interior walls with a spray-on booth coating like KATS as offered by ToolsUSA (item # 7905130). This material is easy to spray onto the booth interior and later remove once the overspray has built up to an undesired amount. Applying a new coating of KATS results in a like-new appearance in the spray booth interior.

How much air flow does my Spray Paint Booth require?

OSHA 29.1910 and NFPA-33 have minimum requirements for air flow to decrease the concentration of flammable materials in a spray paint booth.  The old standard was 100 linear feet per minute (lfm), and this is still stated in the International Fire Code (IFC).  This air velocity is calculated with the spray paint booth empty and using a cross-sectional area of the air flow direction.  The more current codes require a minimum of 4 air exchanges per minute for wet or solvent-based paints.  Powdercoat booths are required to have 60 lfm.

Standard Tools uses 4 air exchanges to design our spray paint booths and uses the 100 lfm as a secondary reference.  This can be a difficult task as a spray paint booth with 100 lfm when empty may be 150 lfm when a large auto or other obstacle is in the paint booth.  This higher air flow can cause problems with the painting process.  An appropriate sized spray paint booth should be ordered to prevent this from being a problem; requesting the spray booth too small can lead to painting issues that are difficult to overcome.  Kelly can help you decide what size booth fits the needs of your body shop.

A concern of some new spray paint booth owners has been ‘my spray booth is a tornado’.  Air velocity of 100 lfm calculates to 1.1 miles per hour.  Comparing this to a normal walking pace of 3-4 miles per hour shows that no spray paint booth made by Tools USA is a tornado.  The perception of air velocity can be amplified by the sound of the fan(s) and the noise of air flowing through steel ductwork.

The real issue with air flow in a spray paint booth is having adequate air.  A 14’ wide x 9’ tall x 26’ long spray paint booth will exhaust at least 13,104 cubic feet of air per minute.  Running this spray booth for twenty minutes requires 262,080 cubic feet of available air.  This requires a building at least 17,472 sq ft with 15’ ceilings or 10,483 sq ft with 20’ ceilings.   This issue of an undersized building can be addressed with booth design and/or an air make-up unit.  Please contact Kelly at Standard Tools for more information.

Why is now a good time to buy a Spray Booth?

Spray booths are generally made of steel.  Due to the dramatic decrease in demand based on global markets, steel prices are as low as they have been for several years. Steel mills are reducing the amount of steel available on the market in order to increase prices as we go into 2010. Market specialists all agree that steel price will increase by 10-20% over the next six months. The price of paint booths will be affected by this increase.

You need time to install a booth and get it through the permitting process. In this slower economy most shops have time to get the spray booth installed and through the permitting process. The permitting process can take from a couple of days to months depending on your local inspectors and other factors. Also, most inspectors are more available now as construction levels are slower than normal.

Now is good time to start installing your spray booth so that you have it ready to use when your business level increases. To wait may mean getting that spray paint booth when you are too busy to install it and the inspectors are too busy to be easily available

Ground Level Ozone

What is ground-level ozone?

Ground level ozone refers to environmental standards regulated by your state pertaining to ozone emissions from your facility.  Information about your state’s specific requirements and helpful hints are available by googling spray booth + ozone + (your state).  Virginia has a very good page on this topic for Auto Body and Collision Repair Shops.

How do I comply with this requirement?

This requirement has little to do with the spray booth design and much to do with processes.  Practices that reduce ozone emissions include:

–          choosing paints and solvents with low VOC’s

–          mixing as little paint as required

–          cleanliness in storage of paint

–          proper maintenance of your spray booth

–          frequent changing of exhaust filters

–          proper filters used that match material being sprayed

–          proper and frequent elimination of used rags, cans, etc.

–          proper training of employees using the equipment

Spray Paint Booth Codes and Regulations

There are several codes and regulatory standards that are used by various local governments for defining spray booth requirements.  Each state, county and city usually selects one of these codes as the main top-level code to reference requirements.  Some local governments will create their codes based on special requirements, but they often use one of the main standards as a guide.

NFPA-33 National Fire Protection Association’s Standard for Spray Application Using Flammable or Combustible Materials (current version is 2007).  This is the most common code and does a very good job of defining how a spray booth is designed and constructed, air flow requirements and fire protection.  This standard references many other lower level standards such as NEC (National Electric Code), NFPA-101 Life Safety code and NFPA-17 Dry Chemical Extinguishing Systems.

IFC International Fire Code – This international standard is a short and slightly modified version of NFPA-33.  It does not have more or less stringent requirements than NFPA-33 but some requirements are included in sections outside of the spray booth chapter.  This code is commonly used in areas of international trade zones.

IBC International Building Code – This code is similar to the IFC code but is rarely used at this time.

OSHA 29 CFR1910 Occupational Health and Safety Requirements – Each state has OSHA or NIOSH laws and codes that cover worker safety.  Many states restate the federal codes.  The chapters about spray booths often copy NFPA-33, but NFPA-33 is often revised before the federal OSHA code.  The emphasis on the wording in this code is worker safety so there are more detailed requirements specific about ventilation.

Every spray booth constructed in the USA that is used in a workplace environment is required to comply with local OSHA codes so it is important for the spray booth users and owner to understand this code that is enforceable long after the booth is completed.  A spray booth will be certified to the current NFPA, IFC or IBC code only when it is being constructed, but it must always comply with OSHA requirements.

Spray Booth Fire Protection Standard, NFPA-33

NFPA-33 Standard for Spray Application of Flammable or Combustible Materials states:

Spray areas, which include by definition any associated exhaust plenums and exhaust ductwork, (and all associated equipment and areas) shall be protected with an approved automatic fire protection system.

This typically means that a spray booth will have a dry chemical system installed that:

–          has automatically actuated ‘flags’ that set off the system if a fire develops in the booth, exhaust plenum, or exhaust ductwork

–          has a audible alarm system if the system is actuated

–          performs emergency shutdowns as required by the paint booth system design

–          is designed and made by a certified manufacturer

–          is installed by licensed contractors

–          is inspected by a licensed inspector on a specified basis.

Most systems are solvent-based spray booths and powder coat spray booths are dry chemical units much like those used in restaurants.  Some applications and localities may require wet sprinkler systems.

You should be able to find licensed contractors in your area, or you can call our sales or engineering staff for further help.

Sign up to our newsletter & Receive Savings In Your Inbox

Sign Up

Copyright © 2024 Standard Tools and Equipment Co.. | Ecommerce Shopping Cart Software by Miva, Inc.