Fly Fishing Traditions

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kingfisher Drift Boat Build - Finishing Booth

I've got a shop that is essentially a two car garage. It used to be larger, but I took an area of about 10 x 12 to expand the Fly Fishing Traditions World Headquarters. Once you put a drift boat inside the shop, it gets pretty cramped. Lately, I've been doing woodworking associated with the build and then flow coating epoxy on the various parts. One thing about doing wood finishing is that dust and finishing do not mix. When I'm flow coating epoxy I turn on a fan to clear the fumes and guess what. The dust starts floating around and the next thing you know you got a real fuzzy finish. This means more sanding and re-coating. It's basically taking two steps forward and one step back.

I've come up with a solution, I've built a finishing booth inside the shop.

Here's a photo shot from just inside the man-door into the finishing booth. I've set up 3 sets of saw horses and have all the latest parts to be flow coated with epoxy laid out.  They were finish sanded and vacuumed prior to going inside the booth. My exterior gunnels are about 17 feet long and they fit in with about two feet to spare.  When the drift boat is inside I've got about  two feet of room in length and about 4 feet in width. I've got a 3 speed box fan mounted to the top right and my 3.5 mil plastic garage door is to the left. The plastic door is duct taped closed when it is time to seal the booth up and is large enough to move the drift boat inside and outside.

Constructing the Booth

Here's the plan I came up with.

I built a frame out of 1" pvc pipe. It is 10 feet wide, 19 feet long and 7 feet high. I used 10' lengths of 1" pvc pipe, pvc tees, pvc 90's and, 3 way corners. The rectangle you see in the photo above to the left is my access door. It folds up when I need access, when it is closed I duct tape it shut. The drift boat which is on a low table with casters can be moved inside the booth or outside when I need to finish other parts,

I purchased a 3 speed box fan and mounted it in the top corner facing the outside. The box fan came in a cardboard box. I just cut out the front and the back of the box and taped cardboard box with the fan inside to the pvc frame. On the opposite wall I installed two 1" x 20" x 20" HVAC filters to filter the air circulated through the booth.

I used 3.5 mil clear plastic sheathing for the walls and ceiling. All the seams are taped with duct tape. to make an airtight seal. The plastic on the walls are folded inside the booth about 12" +/-. I can also lay down a tarp down or another piece of plastic over these edges if I want a complete seal, or just tape the seams to the subfloor.

I've constructed two access doors. The larger door is to the outside and is sealed with duct tape when it is time for finishing. On the opposite wall I made a man-door that is about 2'6" wide x 6' tall. This was constructed by making a vertical cut in the plastic wall. I laid a strip of 2" duct tape vertically on the inside and outside and then cut it down the middle to the floor level. I did the same for the top of the man-door and made a cut horizontally about 30" long.  It looks like a capital "T". This opening has another piece of plastic that drapes over it and when the fan is running it seals the opening. Well enough anyway.

The booth cost me about $200 to buy everything I needed. A worthy investment from my perspective. It will save time, turn out a better product and save me a lot of aggravation.

The booth sits just inside the sliding garage doors. My work bench is mounted behind  the spray booth with enough room to work at my radial arm saw and chop saw.

The booth is also light enough that when the weather permits I can actually drag the whole booth outside. The pvc parts are not glued, just taped together with duct tape, so when I'm done with it I can just disassemble it and store the parts away for next time. All that I'll be out when it comes time to re-set it up is probably having to buy some more plastic film.


On final assessment, I really haven't lost much space at all because up to this point the boat has been in the same footprint. I can move the boat in and out of the space. I can roll the boat outside to do the sanding and roll it back inside to flow coat or eventually varnish. When it comes time to varnish this booth will pay big dividends.

Yesterday I flow coated all the 1/4" Okoume plywood decks parts, the oar locks and all the gunnel pieces. So far it's working perfect. I flow coated yesterday and guess what, no fuzzies. Success!

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Have any Questions or Comments? Let me know, Clay.