Sunday, June 22, 2008

Before I forget, a thought on painting

I was talking to Chuck about lots of stuff, and we discussed painting cars. He told me about the former head of the paint shop at Marvin K Brown , Hans, a German immigrant who'd been a Messerschmidt pilot in WW2, and had been taught in the old-country journeyman way. Hans was very, very good at painting cars, and he used the following method: 4 tanks of compressed Nitrogen (N2), a pressure guage that hung around his neck, and a quick disconnect hose to the tanks of N2. While using a 2 guage pressure regulator, he would switch off each tank as it neared his desired output pressure, and continue after quick disconnecting from the used up tank to a fresh tank. He also had 4 grounding straps, one for each corner, to eliminate static electricity while he sprayed paint on the cars. So, my impression, is this... brilliant. Using what he knew of painting, the downside of compressors affiliated systems, and the benefits of compressed N2, he eliminated a lot of the problems associated with painting. No more expensive compressor, surge / storage tank, no more dryer or dehumidifier for the compressed air to remove water vapor, no more concerns over oil in the compressor system entering the spray gun and paint. Nitrogen, the most common element in our atmosphere, used by race cars for filling their tires to minimize heat expansion, and readily available in compressed tanks. What do you think? email me at if you want to share your expertise in the matter.