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Homemade Paint Shaker


Willen
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Hello everybody!

 

I made a little paint shaker-mixer, of which I am quite proud of. Very simple, very silent, and not terribly efficient but it helps.

 

IMG_20140518_162039_682.jpg

 

It is a nice addition to my painting desk. In the video you can see it in action, along with an explanation of how it was made.

 

 

Hope you like it!

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It is actually quite lengthy explained on the video.

 

But I will indulge you anyway, because I like you.

 

I took a PC fan, 12V, and sourced an old phone charger (output about 12V, DC, that is the input of the fan). Tested the wires until it spins, then securely connect the wires and seal with electric tape.

 

Unbalance the fan. I cut down most of one blade but it was not enough, so I drilled a small hole in the blade opposite to the one I had cut down and then screwed an old, short, snubby heavy screw into the middle of the blade. When on, the fan would rumble quite a bit. As Dan says, the effect can be improved by unbalancing it more (adding more weight to the heavy side, removing from the opposite, taking a larger fan will also work).

 

I cut blister foam into 4 little spacers, glued them to the "back" of the fan, then to a heavy object (in this case a discarded DVD drive). Then I hot-glued an old plastic container to the now "top" part of the fan.

 

In essence, we are anchoring the base, but holding the fan with something that would not restrain the rumble, hence the foam spacers. You can also use soft rubber, or whatever is handy. You want to avoid hard contact between base and fan.

 

Place paints inside container, turn it on. It is very silent, does not heat up, works for a long time without issues (since the fan is designed for non-stop PC use). Bear in mind the unbalance in the fan shaft will eventually wear out the bushings and it will start to be noiser first, and seize later. How long would that take, I have no idea yet. But at that moment I will just get another old fan and replace it.

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Every year or so I try to remember and shake up all my paints...  I've been zip-tie-ing the dropper bottles to the blade of my reciprocating saw (one size of zip-tie is just the right width to tuck under the lip just below the lid so that bottles can be slipped in and out but stay secured tightly enough not to go flying) and giving them about 30 seconds of saw-shaking action each after sliding the zip-tie (already around the bottle) up onto the saw blade until it's tightly held in place by one of the saw's teeth.  I can do about half of my paints before the zip-tie wears through and I have to replace it.  Works like a charm*. 

 

But not nearly as cool as a dedicated, home-made machne!  Reminds me a little bit of the table-vibrator for de-bubbling plaster in the mold that is shown on the (amazing) HirstArts site.  That is awesome!  But then, I have a thing about homemade machines... latest one I made is a hot wire table for cutting expanded and extruded polystyrene (AKA styrofoam), used in another hobby - lost foam aluminum casting, AKA the main reason I've been neglecting my miniature-painting lately.  Also AKA a source of parts for even more homemade machines.  In theory...

 

* But only on Reaper Droppers - can say from experience that it doesn't work so well for the bottles Vallejo uses.  Note, I haven't restocked on paints in a couple years; if Reaper (or Vallejo) has begun using different bottles or something, YMMV.

 

Kang

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I've delving into plaster casting as well, so the thought of turning this, or other fan, into a "rumble table" has crossed my mind. Still, I had no issues with bubbles so far, so I haven't needed one.

 

Hot-wire is another "home machine" I could make. I need to re-adquire a solder, however...

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Very nice! I made one almost identical to this (no dvd drive - that's a great heavy, near ubiquitous item in my garage....) for my Hirst Arts castings when I was doing more of that. Great minds think alike! I stopped at cutting one of the blades off - my setup didn't seem to need counter weighting. Great idea for a paint shaker. I put a clamp into a jigsaw, but didn't think about the PC fan for the paints. Off to the garage again!

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For bulk shaking I have putting paints in a toolbox-type organizer and then shaking the box for a few minutes.

 

I try to shake for about a minute every time I grab a new color off my shelf, though, and this could help with that part. It is rather tempting to build one. Thanks for sharing.

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Store your paints in a case on top of your washing machine.  If it is a front loader, it won't even interfere with access.  Every wash/rinse/spin cycle is a period of agitation.  If you're like my house, and doing laundry almost daily to keep up, or spending an entire day getting it done when you get behind, that's a really steady, constant state of agitation.

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