EK Vardar Fan Painting Guide Part 1
I know there's various fan painting guides out there, you've probably seen some. I have a few tricks to share with you that could speed up the process and/or net you a better end result, but before I get started ...WARNING: Obviously taking your fans apart voids the warranty
. I'm going to show you how I did it. If you choose to attempt this yourself, you do so at your own risk! I am not responsible for your products.
With that said, let get to it. I have a lot of pictures to show you, so I am going to break this down into two parts.
First there is one tool that I consider a "must have" to do this job. It is miniature external snap ring pliers, to remove the retaining ring holding the fan blade on. The one you see on the left I bought on Amazon and was able to use on some Gently Typhoon fans. The one on the right has even smaller tips, and is the one I would recommend if you plan on doing this. I was only able to find these at one place online here saeproducts.com
. Scroll down to the heading of "Miniature External Fix-Tip Pliers" I purchased model # MEP-390, the smallest tip size available.
It was quite the fiasco actually obtaining these! There is no way to order online, so I called and ordered over the phone. Long story short, multiple phone calls and over ten emails to the "Sales Manager", and over a month later I finally received these! The guy felt so bad, that they finally did send them to me for free, with two day shipping.
Once I had the pliers, I also took a file to the inside edges which allowed the pliers to close a little bit more so they could fit inside the little tiny snap ring.
You see how one side the tip is a little longer, I filed those even too so they could sit down flat. That made getting the snap ring off easier.
Here is the rest of the tools I used, xacto knife, tweezer (not a super sharp tip), small screw driver, small pick tool, as well as the snap ring pliers. If you look closely you can see a snap ring on the pliers.
Oh yes you need a heat gun too. About 10 to 12 seconds and the fan sticker will be ready to come off.
Keep the heat gun moving and use the tweezers to peel the sticker off. It's easy to get it started near where the wires solder on.
Now if you want to save and reuse the stickers, place them on some wax paper as you take them off, and immediately put something heavy on top like a book. The labels will want to curl up otherwise. If you get the heat gun too close to the stickers the top coating bubbles up and they would not be reusable. This happened to me on a few of them, but I'm putting new stickers on. After over night the sticker should stay fairly flat. I have them stored in a file folder.
Peeling the sticker off reveals the hardest part of this mod, getting that little tiny snap ring off without it flinging off somewhere, never to be found again!
Once I had the tool inside the snap ring, I would put my left index finger over the hole to reduce the chance of losing the snap ring.
Once you get the snap ring off there is a plastic washer underneath it. Most of the time it is stuck in the groove the snap ring is in, like this one. That holds the spring loaded bearing in place. So be careful, if the washer isn't in that groove the spring pressure will push the bearing and washer up. Just take the small screw driver and move the washer out of the groove and then it will come apart easily.
Next comes out a bearing and the spring.
Then you can lift the fan frame off, and there is the second bearing with a plastic washer below it.
I used a magnetic dish to put all the bearings, washers, and snap rings into.
Here's all the fan blades ready for prep. I only lost one snap ring during disassembly! I consider that excellent. Don't worry if you lose a snap ring, in Part 2 I'll show you a way to make it work just fine so you don't have to buy a replacement fan just for the clip.
We can't have paint getting through these holes, and getting onto the blade shaft or the rest of the inside.
Break out the Frog Tape.
Next I'm going to use a 1 3/4" circle hole punch.
This is made by EK Tools, no affiliation with EK Water Blocks. Turn it upside down so you can see better.
Center the tape in the hole punch.
Before you punch down, take the pick tool and poke a hole in the center. This makes the next step easier.
Here's the punched out circle.
Now using a single hole punch like you see in the background, and punch out the center. The little hole from the pick tool just helps line up the hole punch in the center easier.
The hole in the tape will now fit over the raised center part of the fan blade.
Place the tape circle cut-out down inside.
You can use a small screw driver to push the tape down around the raised area first. I used a small deep socket to push the tape down.
If the tape doesn't sit fairly flat in the center then it may not cover all the holes in the blade.
Now you can smooth the tape circle down around the outer edges.
Just make sure all the holes are well covered.
Here's all the blades with the first piece of tape in place. This part of the process actually went faster than anticipated. I did all of these in about an hour and a half.
For the next step. Place two pieces of tape over then entire fan blade opening.
Using the xacto knife trim the excess tape off.
The prep work is done. Here's all the blades ready to go.
I turned my little work shop into a makeshift paint booth. I put plastic up on the walls to not only protect everything from all the over spray, but also to keep to a minimum the dust and floating debris from getting into the paint.
If you know you're going to be painting some fans, then you can save up your TP rolls
If you just set your fans on something flat the paint ends up sticking on something some place. The TP rolls gets the fans up off the surface so you don't have that problem.
I'm using Rust Oleum Gloss Apple Red. This paint is excellent to spray on plastic, does not require any primer, or clear coating.
Apply three light coats
. The first coat doesn't even completely cover everything, I can still see some black in places. Remember this is a lot of work, if you spray it on too heavy, the paint will run and it's really a lot of work to fix that.
Also be sure to wear an appropriate mask. You don't want to breath any paint fumes.
Part 2 coming soon