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Redocbew
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:03 pm

Yeah, usually if you try to sand something that isn't dry yet it just gets all beady and gummy. Was the surface finish on the cabinet a bit uneven before you applied the primer? If the primer did a good job of sinking in, then I can see how you might get fibers breaking free after sanding like that without really causing any trouble. Anyway, If it all looks good, then it's nothing to worry about. :P
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:11 pm

Redocbew wrote:
Yeah, usually if you try to sand something that isn't dry yet it just gets all beady and gummy. Was the surface finish on the cabinet a bit uneven before you applied the primer? If the primer did a good job of sinking in, then I can see how you might get fibers breaking free after sanding like that without really causing any trouble. Anyway, If it all looks good, then it's nothing to worry about. :P


It is 35 year old plywood... :D I sanded it down pretty smooth, but there was still some grain left, and there was a bit of larger scale unevenness across the surface that I wouldn't be able to sand out without taking the top ply off in some places. We'll see how the second coat comes out, after I sand the rest of it. Only took me a bit over an hour to sand down the one side, to my liking.

--SS
 
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:18 am

SecretSquirrel wrote:
I actually have a busted Ms Pac bootleg on the way. Someone on KLOV was replacing it with a stock board and let it go cheap. Couldn't resist. :D


Thanks for reminding me about KLOV, I hadn't bee there in years and lost bookmark! Several years ago I was trying to find a working Oscar game cabinet. Turns out that game is extremely rare with only 2 original known working cabinets in existence acording to KLOV. It is really quite a fun game and my best friend and I wasted many a roll of quarters playing it in a local convenience store back in the late 80's. I have it on MAME of course, but nothing compares to playing a game on the actual cabinet!

I have seen a few bootleg Oscar boards for sale on Ebay over the years, but I don't posses the best wood working or soldering skills, and spare time is, of course, is also an issue. This brilliant thread has rekindled that urge, and I may have to look into finally building my own MAME or RetroPi cabinet!
 
BerserkBen
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:48 am

The Egg wrote:
This has been one of my favorite threads on TR.



I agree. I think this is front page material.
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:41 am

So I'm writing off the first primer a failure. After over a week, it's still tacky to the touch. This goes beyond the normal blocking of latex paint. Something went wrong with the first coat. So now, I get to do some more of my favorite activity -- sanding! :roll:
 
derFunkenstein
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:14 am

Bummer about the primer. Wonder what went wrong? If you're in TX (based on your forum location) one would think it's been warm enough to dry. :lol:

BerserkBen wrote:
The Egg wrote:
This has been one of my favorite threads on TR.

I agree. I think this is front page material.

On a site that people read.
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Waco
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:30 am

Sometimes you get a bad can, unfortunately. A friend of mine ended up doing three attempts on a jet ski hull thanks to bad paint (he ended up with 3 cans out of 5 being bad!).
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:33 am

For those eagerly awaiting my next attempt to prime the cabinet, you're going to have to wait a while I'm afraid. Life has intervened in a big way. My immediate family is fine, but I've got a close uncle in hospital and I've joined the care team rotation to help get some other family some rest. I'll be away from home for at least two weeks, maybe three. Then I've got two work trips at the end of October/beginning of November. So, fun projects are on hold for a bit.

Before this, I did actually start to sand down one side. It didn't go too well. Power sanding of any sort would just "melt" the paint. I don't know if it was actually melting or what, but it would glob and streak. Hand sanding worked ok, but would take forever. Started stripping it to see how it would do. Looks like it will come off fine, so I went and picked up enough stripper to take the cabinet back down to wood. The bag is still sitting on the garage floor where I put it when I got home....

--SS
 
drfish
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:16 am

Your uncle now has a thread of folks wishing him well. It's awesome that you are pitching in. Take care.
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:01 am

It's been a long time since my last update. My schedule, plus life, didn't leave any time for working on projects. With the holidays past, I've actually had a bit of free time and finally got a full weekend where I had time to myself. Ms Pac had been sitting in the garage, constantly reminding me that she had a crappy coat of primer, waiting to be sanded. A couple weekends again I took a Saturday and tackled the bad primer. The intervening months had actually allow the primer to cure more fully, but it still didn't sand well. Power assisted sanding had an extreme tendency to gum up the sanding pad/belt. But, with some patience and a fair amount of elbow grease, I got it sanded down.

The worse of the two side got taken down to pretty much bare wood.

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The other side wasn't as bad and I was able to just give it a really good sanding. There were a few places that needed more work than other.

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With the cabinet sanded down to get rid of the first, crappy primer, I needed to get set up for painting. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to paint outside. I have a short and fairly steeply inclined driveway. Even worse, I have a tree that overhangs it.

As a result, I put up a temporary paint booth in the garage. It's nothing fancy. The walls are a double layer of thin plastic sheet, and the floor is a much thicker plastic drop sheet.

I used the garage door rails as the support frame.

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Seams are taped with duck tape.

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Plenty of clearance for the cabinet inside.

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I added ventilation as well. The two blue things are air conditioner filters and are the intake points. I used fairly cheap filters and put two back to back. The right hand corner in the picture, with what looks like a whole bunch of tape patching things together? Those are actually pieces of tape when I mounted velcro to provide a "door". It actually works surprisingly well for closing things off.

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You can see the outlet filter in the picture below. There is a box fan on the back side of it to exhaust the air. Note that I would never use the setup for a non-water based paint. While the fan is your standard induction motor and would not generate sparks, the switch might spark and who wants to accidentally make a big boom? :o

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The ventilation actually works pretty well. I didn't take a picture of it, but I specifically laid things out so I could still open the garage door, even with the booth up. This lets me open the door and vent the booth to the outside.

If I were going to be doing lots of painting, I'd probably do something different, but considering I've probably got $60 in materials in constructing the booth, I couldn't readily come up with a cheaper solution.

--SS
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:09 am

With the paint booth set up. Time to prep the cabinet for painting. All the hardware had been removed long ago, so it was really just masking the cabinet.

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The only oddity in the pictures is this one of the side. I went ahead and masked off one of the sides to use as a target for adjusting the HVLP gun.

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--SS
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:36 am

Paint time!

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It didn't turn out perfect. I had a nasty time with the top, and ended up with some rather nasty runs.

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The corner one will be the bigger pain to sand out. I did get a minor run on one of the sides, but nothing that will be a problem after a quick sand.

The paint finish is a bit rougher than I would like, and expect. There are some places where it is smooth, but it seemed that difference between rough, smooth, and runs was very small. I figure I need to do some further adjustment of the gun and/or thickness of the paint. I'm using a water borne alkyd that actually specifies that it is suitable for spraying. I did actually setup the gun prior to painting and go a good spray pattern, though it may have been a bit light on material. For reference, the paint is Benjamin Moore ADVANCE Interior primer. 14oz of paint was thinned with 2oz of water to give, what I would describe as a honey consistency. The unthinned paint is quite viscous.

If any paint experts want to give a pointer on what to try adjusting first to get a smoother finish, I'm all ears.

I'm traveling on business this week and won't be getting back until Sunday afternoon. I hope to get the first primer coat sanded in the evenings next week and another primer coat sprayed next Saturday. We'll see if life cooperates.
 
ludi
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:08 pm

Not a paint expert, but if your goal is a smooth finish without additional sanding, have you thought about trying an automotive paint gun and a NAPA-sourced basecoat instead?

Housepaints are pretty chunky, and primers in particular are designed to build and fill. Even when spraying housepaint, it's not like you're ever targeting an entirely textureless surface.
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:42 pm

ludi wrote:
Not a paint expert, but if your goal is a smooth finish without additional sanding, have you thought about trying an automotive paint gun and a NAPA-sourced basecoat instead?

Housepaints are pretty chunky, and primers in particular are designed to build and fill. Even when spraying housepaint, it's not like you're ever targeting an entirely textureless surface.


Yes, and some folks use them, and nothing else. The cost is a huge factor, as is the nastiness of the paint. The current batch of low VOC paints are certainly better, but I wouldn't do an auto base coat in my temporary booth in my garage. The paint I'm using will lay down quite smooth, at least when brushed on. The paint store had some demo pieces of moulding that were pretty impressing. Some of it may be the fact that its primer, as you point out. Even if I have to sand a little, I'm ok with it.

--SS
 
ludi
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:24 am

In that case, best of luck. Once you find the right combination of dillution and spray speed it will probably just "click." Personally I would switch from the primer mix to a proper topcoat, though.

I haven't worked up the courage to use a spray gun yet, although I have tried nearly everything else for both walls and cars, including a couple car panel rattle-can resprays that came out pretty close to OE (for small jobs, self-mixing 2k clearcoat is amazing stuff once you figure it out). Every unique type of paint and spray mechanism seems to have a mild learning curve that is further complicated by ambient temperature.
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:04 am

ludi wrote:
In that case, best of luck. Once you find the right combination of dillution and spray speed it will probably just "click." Personally I would switch from the primer mix to a proper topcoat, though.


Well, I have to put down a primer coat to start with, regardless, as it was bare wood otherwise. The color coats aren't primer mix, obviously.
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:17 pm

Now that I'm back home, tonight was.... sanding.

This time was sooo much different. All that was needed was a quick pass with 320 grit. Sanded the entire cabinet in about an hour. Sanding produces a super fine powder, the consistency of talc. Definitely requires a respirator.

The result? Wonderful, silky smooth surface. Ready for the next coat.

--SS
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:03 am

Much learning and much sanding.

Primer is too thick to put through a normal HVLP unthinned. Thinning it enough to spray it with a 1.4mm nozzle results in such a thin coat that its not practical. I've got a 2.0mm "primer" gun now too, but I haven't tried it with this primer. I switched over to an airless sprayer and got much better results. It had a slight tendency orange peel, but went on nice otherwise. One coat wasn't enough for good coverage. Unfortunately I made a silly mistake on the second coat and left the feed rate at max. :oops: Got a real nice thick coat, but lots of peel and a number of runs. Lots of sanding followed. :cry:

The end result turned out nice though.

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The darker spots in the above picture is show through of filler. I could have put yet another coat and got better coverage, but the color coat is very opaque so I'm not really worried about it.

I did bulk sanding with 220, then went back over it with 320. You can still see sanding marks under oblique light, but you can't feel anything.

Image
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:05 am

And now it has color!

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This was sprayed with an airless gun. It didn't do nearly as good a job as it did with the primer. The color coat is notably thinner than the primer. As a result, even on the lowest flow rate, the coat was too thick. Even worse, it got small bubbles in it.

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Looking straight on, the coat looks good, but it's quite unusable unfortunately.

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As mentioned, I ordered a primer HVLP gun for shooting thicker paint. Based on other's experience, I should be able to spray the color coat, thinned about 10%. We shall see. In the mean time, MORE SANDING! Removing the bubbles and orange peel... 220, then 320, then I'm actually going to go over it with 600 grit to make sure no sanding marks show though.
 
just brew it!
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:20 am

That's some major dedication there!
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:22 am

just brew it! wrote:
That's some major dedication there!


I'm definitely in the "slog through it" phase of this project. Every large project has them. Lots of work, but not much visible progress. I'm used to it from building model aircraft -- not surprisingly, it usually involves sanding there too.

I've got a couple of steps left before things start moving very quick again. I'm in the process of sanding down the first blue coat. I've got a test board as well, so I can test out the new gun and some other stuff to hopefully head off another round of major sanding. Once the blue coat is on, I need to paint the interior, around the monitor, black. This will be scary as it overlays the blue, right at the top front of the cabinet. Screwing it up will mean more sanding. Once that is done, I get to start with the stencils. Yellow will be the first and the scariest. Again, a screw up means much more sanding. If I get the yellow correct, I expect the pink and black to go relatively easy.

I've got all the paint matched already, so I just have to plow on.

--SS
 
ludi
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:35 pm

Are you planning to clear-coat the paint when you're done? If so, 2-3 base coats with sanding to kill the bubbles are no big deal, it will all disappear as long as the sanding job is quality.
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:31 pm

ludi wrote:
Are you planning to clear-coat the paint when you're done? If so, 2-3 base coats with sanding to kill the bubbles are no big deal, it will all disappear as long as the sanding job is quality.


As of right now, I'm not planning on a clear coat. Some people do, but I don't really see the need in this case. I'm not using a latex paint. This stuff dries good and hard. A clear coat might let me get a little bit smoother finish around the stenciled areas, but only marginally unless I do multiple coats of clear and sanding. The originals weren't clear coated and part of me wants to be true to that as well.

--SS
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:57 pm

As noted, I ordered an HVLP with a 2mm tip. As a preview, it does much better.

So, I sanded down the bubbled paint.

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Using the new gun, I sprayed a coat at can strength.

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As you can see, it was bit too much texture. It wasn't rough, it just didn't level out enough. Some of that may have been settings on the gun, but I thinned it out 10% and, after sanding off the texture, sprayed another coat.

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Under strong, oblique light, there is still a little bit of texture, however that seems to be becoming less and less prominent as the paint continues to dry. I doubt it would go away completely , but it wasn't enough to make to try again. I did try some sample pieces with higher levels of thinning, as high as 25%. It does give a slightly smoother finish, but it has a tendency to get little bubbles.
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:03 pm

The top, back, and front came out great. Unfortunately the side had a couple of problems. They had some spots that didn't have a thick enough coat and were a bit textured, and there were also some places where there were some significant pinholes.

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Another round of quick sanding followed by another careful coat of paint and things looked much better.

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One of the two side was just about perfect. The other side ended up with a couple of runs. I touched the up before the paint set, but after drying, there was way too much difference in the surface texture, so one less round of sanding and painting on that side.

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So a lot of this was me learning both the paint and the HVLP gun. Yes, I violated the first rule of learning to spray paint -- never learn on an important project. In the end it got me a bit of an arm workout due to extra sanding passes. But, in the end, I'm pretty pleased with it. Could I do better? Probably in time, but for now, I've reached the point of diminishing returns, which is saying something as I'm a bit of a perfectionist.
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:05 pm

With the blue done, I wrapped up the cabinet and layed it back for painting the interior black.

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Sprayed the interior in matte black, same paint used for the blue. Yes, I can get the paint in a matte black base.

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In the above picture, the paint is starting to dry and you can see the difference in glossiness as it dries.

At the top of the cabinet, where the black meets blue, I let the spray feather into the blue, which is what my cabinet originally had. I didn't do quite as good a job as the original, but I think it looks better than the sharp line you get if you just mask it off.

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The stencils are laid out on the dining room table to take any curl out of them. This evening, I'm going to do a test piece to see what the paint does when you remove the stencils after varying drying times. I'm going to do four sets of masks and remove one at 10 minutes, one at 30 minutes, one at an hour, and one at 12+ hours.
 
ludi
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:09 pm

The upside to having all business travel cancelled :D
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:10 am

I set up a stencil test board. The intent is to spray it with yellow and then remove the strips at varying times to see how the paint behaves at various levels of drying.

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The notches we cut to provide testing of sharp angles and fine detail in a stencil.

The results.

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A few comments about the above. First, the painters tape I was using didn't stand up to direct application of paint. It bubbled up a bunch and there was lots of bleed under. Second, the run on the far right... I ran out of paint in the gun before doing that strip. I added some more paint and thinned it in the gun -- not very accurate at all.

Now for the close ups. This is working left to right. Clicking on the image will get you a blown up version.

Stencil removed after 10 minutes.
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Stencil removed after 30 minutes.
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Stencil removed after 60 minutes.
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Stencil removes after 24 hours.
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As you increase in time, the edges become much sharper and pronounced, as you would expect. Even after 24 hours, there wasn't any sign of problems with the yellow layer peeling up or otherwise having problems when the stencil is removed.

When removed after 10 minutes, the edges are softest. Some detail is actually lost due to the paint leveling. This can be seen in the slight rounding of the obtuse angles in the stencil. This is also the hardest to remove cleanly as the paint is still quite fluid. While the test stencil was designed to be easy to remove, removing a cabinet sized stencil, cleanly, would be trying at best.

When removed after 30 minutes, there is still significant softening of the edges as the paint levels. This paint has a significant open time and isn't dry to the touch for around three hours. The loss of detail isn't nearly as much as the 10 minute test. Edges are more pronounced when felt, but still significantly smoothed.

When removed after 60 minutes, the edges are rounded off, but not nearly as smoothed as the shorter test times. The loss of fine detail is minimal, though it is there if you look closely.

When removed after 24 hours, the edges are sharp and raised, as you might expect. No loss of sharp detail at all. As noted before, there wasn't any problem with the paint behavior when removing the stencil. However, the edges feel sharp and distinct to the finger.

Based on this test, I'll probably remove the stencils around 60 minutes after painting. This has several benefits. The paint is drier and it won't be quite so touchy and messy trying to remove the stencil. I'll have time to do multiple light coats to get better coverage with less chances of runs, as compared to one heavier coat. Good even coverage will be important. As you can see in the full picture of the board, variation in coverage leads to variations of color as this is a light color over dark.

I'm going to do some more tests with different thinning and gun settings to see if I can get a more uniform atomization and still keep the paint wet enough that is levels well.

--SS
 
Redocbew
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:07 pm

Have you tried using Frog Tape? That stuff is usually pretty good at helping to keep the lines sharp and preventing bleeding.
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Stumbled on a new project this weekend.

Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:48 pm

Redocbew wrote:
Have you tried using Frog Tape? That stuff is usually pretty good at helping to keep the lines sharp and preventing bleeding.


For the actual stencils, it's not an issue. They are cut from a vinyl masking material. This was just a quick throw together test. Though I am slightly worried about the sections of the cabinet I had masked off while painting the black. Guess I'll find out when I pull it off.

--SS
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