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Author Topic: What tools do I need for painting my bus?  (Read 1117 times)
belfert
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« on: July 21, 2012, 07:38:21 AM »

I'm beginning to think about painting my bus perhaps next summer.  What tools will need to buy so I can start looking for good deals?

I assume at minimum I will need an air powered random orbit sander.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
bobofthenorth
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 07:53:43 AM »

I can tell you exactly what I bought because I just went through this:
- air powered random orbit sander
- air 90 die grinder
- HVLP spray guns
- compressor capable of running the air sander

I also used a 4" Makita angle grinder because I was doing a lot of fibreglass repair.  Without the fibreglass repair the air 90 and the angle grinder likely wouldn't be necessary.  And I bought a buffer with changeable bonnets that I will use whenever I get around to polishing.  My compressor is 1.6 HP and all I did there was match the spec on it to the air usage on the sander.  Its more than enough for painting and it keeps up with the sander.  I ended up with a set of 3 spray guns because that is how they were packaged and they were cheap.  I was well pleased with how they worked - maybe a more expensive set would have made me happier but I'm pretty happy already.  That set came with 2 guns with 1 quart reservoirs but different nozzle sizes and one small cup touchup gun.  I used the small one more than I thought I would.  I used the big nozzle for clearcoat and the smaller nozzle for basecoat.  I bought the cheapo Chinese airhose and that was a mistake because I noticed yesterday that one of them has a leak in it already.  I also bought some kind of water/oil filter that goes on the spray gun.  I don't know if that helped or not but I had no trouble with water or oil while I was painting.  The filter looks like a plastic version of a Briggs & Stratton lawn mower muffler.

Buy the biggest pail of gunwash that they have so you aren't shy about using it.
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belfert
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 08:05:11 AM »

What did you use the angle grinder for on the fiberglass work?  I need to do some fiberglass repair too.  I already have a Makita angle grinder.

Luckily, I already have two air compressors that flow a fair bit of air.  One is a gasoline air compressor and the other is a 60 gallon Ingersoll-Rand upright unit.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
edroelle
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 09:31:17 AM »

If you are going to paint base coat clear coat (which contain isocyanates), a fresh air supply and full face mask are the safe way to stay healthy.     Dependent on how thick the mist, a regular organic vapor mask will become ineffective, AND you will not know it.   Many of the write-ups say it is a particularly nasty way to die.   Thus, simple organic filter masks are not recommended.

Ed Roelle
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Hobie
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 09:37:56 AM »

Air dryer/oil separator.    They are more effective the further they are from the compressor.   Idea is to let the compressed air cool so the dryer works better.    Use a dedicated air line after the dryer/filter to the gun to keep the air clean.   A filter at the gun is fine but you need a good dryer.

Worth the trouble as paint is not cheap these days!  

Also,  red scotchbrite pads for sanding odd shaped areas where the tool won't reach.


** ditto what Ed said about the mask!!!
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 09:42:06 AM by Hobie » Logged
goutoe
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 09:49:44 AM »

You will definately need an in line jitterbug air sander with various grits of paper, as well as a good DA sander with stick on paper discs. I am also planning to repaint my bus I have been trying to decide on paint, I like the basecoat clear coat but I am not sure about clear coating that large of an area, you would definately need 2 guns going, or maybe the old reliable acrylic enamel with hardner would be the best? good preparation is the key and use the best auto masking tape you can buy. have fun with it,John.
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belfert
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 12:59:31 PM »

My plan right now is to use a single stage paint with no clear.  I don't need it to look like a car off the showroom floor.  I just want it to be all one color and not the jumble of colors it is now.

I had looked at the supplied air respirators some years back, but I forgot all about them. 
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Jeremy
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 03:18:28 PM »

As it happens I've just come back into the house after a big painting session on my bus.

Several years ago I built an air-fed mask system using an old domestic vacuum cleaner. It's a bit cumbersome but works fine, and was much cheaper than buying a second compressor (and using a compressor for a mask seems like complete overkill to me - all you need is a reasonable volume of air at very low pressure).

I've also never owned any air tools. I tend to do all 'finish sanding' on bodywork by hand with a longboard rather than using an orbital sander - which isn't to say that you can't get a good finish with an orbital - I just prefer longboarding because it's foolproof and you know you won't end up with hollows in a surface you thought was flat. However - if you're just keying old paint for instance, rather than actually doing bodywork - then an orbital sander is the perfect tool.

I do a fair bit of fibreglass work, and an electric angle grinder is the only way to go. In fact angle grinders seem to be my main tool for just about all jobs - I use them so much that I have three identical grinders so I don't have to keep changing between different disks.

Regarding paint - it's a big subject and one I don't know much about; purely from my own experience I would agree that a single stage paint is probably a better option (and use two pack, for adhesion, durability and ease of application). I have used basecoat / clear systems in the past, but have never been comfortable with them, chiefly because of how quickly you're supposed to get the clear on after the basecoat has been applied. For an amateur painter it's difficult enough on a car, never mind something as big as a bus. As mentioned, keeping a wet edge can be a problem for the same reason; obviously you can use slower hardeners, but apparently some kinds of paint are actually available in 'commercial-vehicle spec' as well as 'car-spec', with the commercial vehicle stuff being designed from the outset to keep a wet edge for longer. (This is something I learnt from my local paint supplier just this week).

Jeremy
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 07:30:10 PM »

What exactly do you use an angle grinder for when doing fiberglass work?  I do large high power and we laminate fiberglass on for strength.  I've never used a angle grinder for this and don't know any other rocket person who has used an angle grinder either.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 07:55:18 PM »

Air respirators are not the way to you should see all rules and regulations OSHA put on the air supply for respirators some of may be true some may not but it got so expensive for me and others we stop using the air respirators read it a weep lol no way can you conform to rules 

The best of the best rule is using a FDA appproved air supply hose like you would be eating the hose lol just kidding about the hose eating
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 08:46:39 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Jeremy
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2012, 03:23:17 AM »

What exactly do you use an angle grinder for when doing fiberglass work?  I do large high power and we laminate fiberglass on for strength.  I've never used a angle grinder for this and don't know any other rocket person who has used an angle grinder either.

If you're building something from scratch - especially if you're using a female mould or peel ply etc to get a smooth finish, or you're using fabrics (rather than mat) - then there's nothing that requires an angle grinder. But if you're doing a fibreglass repair - ie. prepping old 'glass ready to laminate some new 'glass to it, or 'denibbing' a fresh layer of rough glass mat, then an angle grinder with a rough sanding disk (say 60 or 80 grit) is perfect.


Jeremy
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belfert
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2012, 05:59:42 AM »

If you're building something from scratch - especially if you're using a female mould or peel ply etc to get a smooth finish, or you're using fabrics (rather than mat) - then there's nothing that requires an angle grinder. But if you're doing a fibreglass repair - ie. prepping old 'glass ready to laminate some new 'glass to it, or 'denibbing' a fresh layer of rough glass mat, then an angle grinder with a rough sanding disk (say 60 or 80 grit) is perfect.

I see.  I kinda figured the angle grinder might be for prepping the old surface to do repairs.  My rockets all use fiberglass or carbon fiber cloth instead of mat.  Mat is too heavy and requires too much resin for use on rockets.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Jeremy
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2012, 07:34:27 AM »

  Mat is too heavy and requires too much resin for use on rockets.

Yes, that's exactly right; with fibreglass, strength comes from the fibres and stiffness comes from the resin. So cloth/fabric for good strength-to-weight, and matt for bulk and stiffness. Almost everything on bus bodywork will be done with matt (or perhaps woven roving, which is very heavy cloth). Working with matt is quite a crude process compared to the fairly precise technique you'll use when sheathing a rocket with E-glass or carbon fabric.


Jeremy
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2012, 05:09:03 PM »

What tools do you need.  A painter, with his own tools.
I put an add on Craig's List........

Bill
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2012, 10:53:55 PM »

An air tap off your bus air with an oil separator.
A da sander.
a 4" roller and a whole bunch of ultra smooth refills.
a big bag of foam brushes.
a couple gallons of rustleum.
A couple gallons of mineral spirits.
A quart of penetrol.
A bunch of 320 (prep) and 600 (every other coat) sandpaper.
Some rubbing compound.
A couple of grounded teenagers.
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Rick A. Cone
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