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Fluid Bed

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Old 03-19-2007, 10:39 PM   #1
buckdawg
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Default Fluid Bed

Last weekend I started pouring and painting my own jigheads. Casting wasn't too bad but painting turned out to be more challenging than I expected. I built a fluid bed out of 3" PVC but that just wasn't cutting the mustard. To use a 3" fluid bed you need a pump with some serious arse! Back to the drawing board. Today I came up with the design detailed below.

The purpose of the fluid bed is to suspend the powder paint in a 'cloud' so when you 'swish' the jig through you get a much more even coat of paint and much less chance of clogging the eye. Plus the process saves paint.

I wanted to post pics and a step by step guide to help those that may want to try it. By no means do I have any idea what I'm doing I'm just a regular schmuck who has too much time on his hands.

Here's a pic of the items used to build the bed:

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Items are:

2" PVC male adapter
2" PVC femal adapter
aquarium air pump (the bigger the better)
airline tubing
board (or anything you want to use as a base. i've seen lexan used as well)
tee connector
coffee filters or brown paper bags - lunch bags you used to take to school (bags work best!)

First step is to drill a hole in the female adapter. you'll end up sticking the tee connection in here so drill a hole of appropriate size.

Second step is to glue the female adapter to the base. I used caulk but I'm sure there are better choices. Like I said I really don't know what I'm doing.

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Second pic showing the hole:

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Next I rig up the air pump. I bought a Top Fin brand pump. The box claimed it could be used in aquariums up to 125 gallons and has two outputs. I think the two outputs part is pretty crucial so try to get one of those if you can. This particular model cost $20.

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I also put a control valve in one of the lines to control airflow.

This pic shows the hook up:

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Next I cut a circular shape out of the paper bag a few inches larger in diameter than the make adapter. Place this under the male adapter and screw it into the female adapter.

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screw it down and you're set!

fill the cup with powder (not too little, not too much) and turn the pump on. start with the control valve completely closed and adjust as needed to create a nice puffy cloud of powder paint. there may be 'volcanoes', i still have some, you'll have to adjust the air flow to reach a happy medium.

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Feel free to add any comments or suggestions.
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:47 PM   #2
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That is really slick. I like the part about keeping the paint in the eyes to a minimun since I just spent 2 hours cleaning paint from jig eyes Can't wait to see how the jigs come out.
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:53 PM   #3
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NICE! Very informative post. BD300 is right. It's SLICK! Interesting to see how a process takes shape!
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:59 PM   #4
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you may still end up with some paint in the eyes but i think you'll see it far less frequently. i've heard the engraving attachment for the dremel does a pretty good job of carving out the paint. so far i've used a hot needle to poke through but leaves behind yucky soot on the eye and that doesn't look to pretty!

once you get it going it's kinda neat because it really does look and feel like fluid.
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Old 03-20-2007, 06:48 AM   #5
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I'd bought one off ebay with the filterboard in the bottom of the PVC cup. It works great and doesn't waste so much powder getting it on too heavy. Wish I could find some of that board, I'd make more cups myself to store each color (11 so far) in. Those cups are $7.00 each with lid where I got mine. Could add up pretty fast for us small timers. I've heard the coffee filters work pretty well. Good job buckdawg.
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyesman_01 View Post
I'd bought one off ebay with the filterboard in the bottom of the PVC cup. It works great and doesn't waste so much powder getting it on too heavy. Wish I could find some of that board, I'd make more cups myself to store each color (11 so far) in. Those cups are $7.00 each with lid where I got mine. Could add up pretty fast for us small timers. I've heard the coffee filters work pretty well. Good job buckdawg.
Thanks!

Those boards are in the $200 per sheet neighborhood!!!
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:27 AM   #7
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OUCH!!! But if that is a 4x8 sheet, you could make a whole lot of 3" circles out of it. Where did you find the board? I have been searching all over the internet and couldn't come up with anything.
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyesman_01 View Post
OUCH!!! But if that is a 4x8 sheet, you could make a whole lot of 3" circles out of it. Where did you find the board? I have been searching all over the internet and couldn't come up with anything.
that's too rich for my blood! lol that's just what i've heard. the guys that make the professional and custom beds use the stuff. for me the lunch sacks work JUST fine!
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:03 PM   #9
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That is really slick! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:25 AM   #10
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Buckdawg, I'm new to the board and saw your post on building a fluid bed. I too am trying to build one and your pix really helped. The only question I have is how does the air go through the paper bag?Do you have to make small holes or does it just pass right through? I apologize if this is a totally stupid question, but I just don't know the answer. Thanks JIM
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:10 AM   #11
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Any idea where to find the filterboard?
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:34 PM   #12
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Default filter board

I was also researching the filter board. I found it is called ( Porous polypropylene) You can google that and find suppliers. I bought a sheet that is 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches for 10 dollars from a site on Amazon.


You can also go to SCI Laboraties at scicominic.com/porous_sheets.htm

They are more expensive but more variety. I think you can make 36 three inch circles from their sheets. they are 18" by 18".

Hope this helps all of you.

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Old 03-21-2009, 09:36 PM   #13
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The filter board I belive is porous polypropylene. I bought some on Amazon.. Other suppliers can be found on Google
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:57 PM   #14
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You can buy the pourous board from www.tjstackle.com. He sells it pre cut. You want to talk to Benjamin, he also sells fluid beds if you are not handy to make your own. Also he has good prices on Pro-Tec powder paint...Tel him Cadman sent you. Benjamin is a good and honest guy. He will do right by you.

Last edited by cadman; 03-23-2009 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:34 AM   #15
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I think someone on this board also suggested using vacuum cleaner bags instead of coffee filters. Allows air through but not dust.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:10 AM   #16
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I have made (6) of my own fluid bed with my own tutorial. Here are some of the fluid bed medias you can use. Computer paper, vacuum cleaner bags, lunch paper bags, paper bags, allergy pillow cases, coffee filters, dust mask media and pourous fiber board. Please note: Not all medias work with all powder paints. Some colors like white have heavier pigments, and will not work with certain medias. I can't tell you which one to use for which color, as that will be trial and error on your part. Humidity is a bigger factor for powder paint. I know it's a pain in the butt, but take your powder out of your fluid bed cup and put it back in a tightly seald container. This will keep your powder dry. Below are some unfinished spinnerbaits, started with a base coat in a fluid bed. These are 100% all powder paint.
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Last edited by cadman; 03-23-2009 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:13 PM   #17
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I bought a 2 inch cup from tjstackle for4.50 and built my own fluid bed. His cups work on them all can be used over and over. Dont know what media filter he uses but it is good. just wipe out to change colors

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Old 02-17-2010, 07:10 AM   #18
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this is nice but what do you do with the part you are painting do you dip it in the paint or hold it in the cloud of paint,I'm kinda lost here and if you want to do 2or 3 colors how would you do that,
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markfish View Post
this is nice but what do you do with the part you are painting do you dip it in the paint or hold it in the cloud of paint,I'm kinda lost here and if you want to do 2or 3 colors how would you do that,
You take your hot jig and swish it through quickly in the powder. Do not put it in and keep it there. You will end up with too much paint on your jig, and when you go to bake the paint it will all drip.
A fluid bed is mainly used for production work and one color application or as a quick way to apply a base coat. If you want to put your first coat on then that's fine, if you want to put more colors on use the tutorial I posted here. I'm sure there are other ways as well.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:38 AM   #20
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Default Fluid Bed

Hello All. Im a new member. Live in NY. Fish salt and fresh. Surfcaster predominately on Long Island. Steelhead in Pulaski. Large and smallmouths, pickerel and crappie in reservoir system in Westchester County. Andy
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