SEARCH SCALEAUTOMAG.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Using a Dehydrator

1014 views
17 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February, 2018
Using a Dehydrator
Posted by SW Erdnase on Thursday, April 05, 2018 9:00 AM
I purchased a dehydrator and I'm unsure on how to use it properly. Having never used one before I have several questions I trust someone can answer.
  1. What is the correct temperature? When I check mine at the lowest setting (105) it reads 115 degrees on a thermometer.
  2. How long should it take to work for enamel and acrylic?
  3. Do you use it before and after the clear coat?
Thanks in advance for the answers!    

Remember when your cup holder sat next to you? 

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Thursday, April 05, 2018 10:45 AM

1. When temperatures get into the 125-130 F range you could be getting into trouble. At 115 degrees you should be ok. I personally try to keep the temps below 110 to give myself a wide margin of safety, and with the lid off (my only temperature control) the temps are 100 or less. I keep a thermometer in the dehydrator all the time to keep an eye on temps. Keep in mind that elevated temps are only half of the recipe, the air flow does as much or more of the work.

2. Paint curing time is dependent on numerous factors. Most acrylics will cure within a day in the dehydrator, though before any serious handling like polishing, etc, I let a cure for at least 2-3 days. Enamels will take much longer. I use lacquer thinner for thinning enamels for spraying, which helps speed up curing time. Brand of paint and paint thickness among other factors will effect drying time. It may only take 3-4 days, but I always give enamels at least a week before polishing. If you are wondering if paint has cured, hold it close to your nose and give it a sniff. If you can still smell solvent, it's not cured.

3. Use it for everything that contains a volatile solvent, or cures by way of evaporating solvents, and that includes water based materials. In other words, epoxies (paints, fillers, etc that are mixed with a hardener or activator) don't go in the dehydrator, pretty much everything else does. I use it for speeding up the curing of glues and cements, drying of decals, body filler & primer, etc, etc.

Be cautious when putting anything in the dehydrator with masking tape on it. I have experianced a couple of bad reactions between tape and paint that may have been temperature induced. I am doing some experimenting to find the exact cause, and will report to the forum when I do, but I recommend caution.

Most dehydrators are made of a series of stacking trays. You may find it beneficial to cut the mesh bottom out of all of the trays except the bottom one to provide plenty of room for car bodies, etc.

Que the Vikings: "Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam ..."

  • Member since
    February, 2018
Posted by SW Erdnase on Thursday, April 05, 2018 12:00 PM
Thank you so much for sharing the info and your knowledge.

Remember when your cup holder sat next to you? 

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: Midwest
Posted by High octane on Thursday, April 05, 2018 7:57 PM

While a number of modelers use a dehydrator to cure their paint jobs, I have never used one in over 50 years of modeling. Hmmm, I wonder what I'm really missing?

High octane

  • Member since
    April, 2012
Posted by litespeedsae on Friday, April 06, 2018 7:33 AM

I have never used one either. Going to start using Molotov Markers and hearing their need for thorough drying before handing. May need the dryer.

Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Member since
    August, 2015
  • From: Hamptonville, NC
Posted by TarheelRick on Friday, April 06, 2018 7:54 AM

I have used one for several years and highly recommend them, although as mentioned with caution. The only issue I have encountered is using acrylic nail-filler does not bode well in a dehydrator.  For some reason the filler will swell and no amount of sanding will keep it from swelling again.  I went through four sanding sessions on one body before using my dremel to grind out all the acrylic filler and replacing it with something else.

I build models because I can't afford the real thing!

  • Member since
    February, 2018
Posted by SW Erdnase on Friday, April 06, 2018 9:40 AM

Thank you for the tip. I’m sure it will save me from getting a big headache. 

Remember when your cup holder sat next to you? 

  • Member since
    January, 2018
Posted by Viperdoug on Friday, April 06, 2018 3:27 PM

I got mine 6 months ago and can't believe how much I use it.  It works great on putty as well as paints.  I find I can get so much more work done while using this.  Also maybe its me but I also use it after I put on decals and I think it helps them lay down better. Anyway get one and you'll wonder why it took so long to buy one.

  • Member since
    February, 2018
Posted by SW Erdnase on Friday, April 06, 2018 7:34 PM

Thanks Viperdoug. I am looking forward to using it. 

Remember when your cup holder sat next to you? 

  • Member since
    April, 2018
Posted by dannylaval on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 11:09 AM

Hi Bainford

 

I have bought one and started using it on a Tamiya Jaguar, using Tamiya's paints.

I have put on 4 light coats at 20 minutes intervals and then set it up to dehydrate. After some time, there were all kinds of bubbles in the areas where the paint was thicker. Any idea what happened ? Could it be the first coats were not dry enough and the solvent (???) tried to get through the other coats ?  Any help would be appreciated as I have quite a few cars and bikes in my stash and wouldn't want to mess them all !

Thanks

 

Danny

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8:02 AM

Sorry to hear about your paint issues, Danny. I am not the best person to diagnose painting problems, but I'll ask a couple of questions to help get to the solution. Hopefully some of the paint experts on here can provide some advice.
- Was the paint acrylic or lacquer?
- If acrylic, what did you thin it with?
- If it was lacquer (spray can), was the paint decanted and shot with an airbrush?

I would say that 20 minutes is a decent time to wait between coats. I have had a very similar problem once, the only time I ever shot a car body with Tamiya acrylic. There were clusters of very small bubbles in a few places that turned into clusters of pin holes when polishing the paint. I never did figure out why and I managed to polish through them in most places. I also had other issues with the acrylic paint and decreed that, provided another choice exists, I would not shoot a car body with acrylic again.

However that was my experience and I am not actively discouraging their use. Others use acrylics frequently, some use them exclusively, and have great results.

Que the Vikings: "Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam ..."

  • Member since
    April, 2018
Posted by dannylaval on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 3:43 PM

Hi Trevor

 

Thanks for the reply.

I was using Tamiya paint in can, directly from the can.

I am looking at Iwata painbrushes and compressors as an eventual purchase. Might solve the problem. I have started another car model and will try again using the dehydrator, maybe in between coats.

 

 

  • Member since
    April, 2018
Posted by dannylaval on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 3:44 PM

Maybe a painTbrush would be less painful !!!

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Thursday, April 12, 2018 7:14 AM

Well, there are certainly some growing pains when trying to get this paint thing right. I've been doing it for 39 years now, and still haven't figured it out, but each new build is a learning experience and improvement continues.

 The Iwata airbrushes are very nice. I would advise against using the dehydrator between coats, simply due to the excessive handling of the body when the paint is wet, which may invite other problems.

Que the Vikings: "Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam ..."

  • Member since
    February, 2011
Posted by Dwights55 on Friday, April 13, 2018 7:48 AM

My dehydrater must be a cheapie as there isn't a temp setting, just on or off.   A painted body goes in for about an hour, then turned off to let cool.   After 20 years or so, I still have never had a problem.   If I paint early in the morning, I can be detailing by afternoon.

Most of my money goes for bow-ties, bikes and babes.  The rest I just waste.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Friday, April 13, 2018 8:04 AM

Mine doesn't have a temperature control, either. With the lid off, the temperature stays right around 100*F. Sometimes items are left in there for weeks.

Que the Vikings: "Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam ..."

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Atlanta GA
Posted by Zoom Zoom on Friday, April 13, 2018 8:26 AM

dannylaval

Hi Trevor

 

Thanks for the reply.

I was using Tamiya paint in can, directly from the can.

I am looking at Iwata painbrushes and compressors as an eventual purchase. Might solve the problem. I have started another car model and will try again using the dehydrator, maybe in between coats.

 

 

 

Even with "light" coats, I have experienced Tamiya rattle can paint bubbles when it's been applied too thick and too close. Back away a bit when shooting it and the problem should be solved. It's not really the dehydrator causing it; it's the propellant that is trapped under all the paint in thick areas escaping...the paint on the surface begins curing too quickly before the propellant can escape. It can happen even w/o a dehydrator, but the dehydrator will exascerbate the issue. I decant this paint and run it through my airbrush all the time, it has a lot of propellant that boils off while waiting for it to dissipate before airbrushing.

My dehydrators are old school w/o temperature control. Anything over 105° can cause issues, I often run mine w/o the lid. For every 10 degrees above ambient, your dehydrator will cut drying time in half. If you're a slow builder, you won't need it. If you need to be more productive in less time it's a great item to have. Putty, primer, paint, glue...all cure quicker. Also handy to warm a body and paint before shooting paint.  

Zoom Zoom, aka Bob Downie My Fotki Album The only cure for modeler's ADD is "final assembly and decal placement"
  • Member since
    April, 2018
Posted by dannylaval on Monday, April 16, 2018 2:09 PM

Hi Trevor

 

Your reply reflects exactly what I thought was happening. I'll make sure to back a bit when I shoot.

Thanks again.

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS

FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our privacy policy