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The importance of clean air for your wood finishing

Just when you think you know it all, you learn something new. Truthfully, once you get over the notion that you know it all the learning really begins.

Experience is a great thing and is something  you gain after putting in your time, But true wisdom is always keeping and eye out for what more there is to know about something and how might things be done better.  With that bit of wisdom I’ll tell you about having clean air in your wood finishing shop, something that I have recently gotten a greater appreciation of.

Clean Air does several things for your finishing, all of them good,  dirty air is a combination of three things.

1. Oil,
2. Dirt,
3. Water or moisture.

Oil can come from your compressor or from oils in the air  the compressor suck in, Likewise, Dirt comes in to the compressor or can be from the compressor, little metal flake from the inside of the tank or little rubber from the hoses that need to be replaced. all of these things can land in your finish and screw it up making you have to wait for it to dry sand it down and then reshoot it. Added time and lost money.  Lastly water and moisture, comes from the condensation of the air when it is compressed and
un-compressed and is something that you will always have a degree of, more in the colder humid months.

In the automotive industry and when spraying urethanes and high-end finishes this is vital as the tiniest amount of moisture will ruin a finish. In the wood finishing industry the importance of clean air is often not stressed enough.  but that being said when you start getting over 15% humidity in your air you clear coats won’t dry as quickly and wont be as hard or as clear. If you look at a clear coat that is cloudy under a microscope you’ll thousands of tinny bubbles  that are quite often  water drops that were trapped inside the finish,  With water based products you can get away with more humidity but despite that all of your coatings water base or otherwise will dry faster and harder when you have decreased the humidity below 15% for the high end automotives you want to be blow 5%

There is another benefit to having dry air and that is your air tools will last longer.

We installed the RTI PERF 50 system in Thomas Craven’s wood finishing studio and here is a video of him telling you what the system does and how much it has improved his finishing.

The Perf 50 system is great unit designed to handle the air flow of a two booth shop.  there is a smaller unit for a single booth application and you can go with less expensive systems than these. minimally you want to have a three stage system that removes oil, water moisture and dirt. the oil and dirt filters are sometimes combined.

I ‘m now certified by RTI to do air quality testing and have the tools to come out to a shop and test the air to see how much moisture and dirt are coming out of your hoses.

If you have any questions about the matter please feel free to send me an email or leave a comment. In the coming months I start having RTI parts and equipment on the annexpaint.com web site for sale.

Best,

Greg Saunders
Annexpaint

February 6, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment