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Powder Coating Tips

Setting up a homemade powder coating rig is inexpensive and easy

For those of you interested in do it yourself powder coating.

I bought one of those cheap powder coating machines from Harbor freight for about $60 on sale.

I had an old lab oven that I had bought at a government auction for $5. It had a bad thermostat which I replaced with a temperature controller and thermocouple that I bought on ebay for about $25 shipped to my door. I'm sure an old discarded electric kitchen oven would work as well.

I picked up 5 pounds of powder on ebay as well which ran around $27 with shipping. 5 pounds is a lot of powder. I don't think I used more than an ounce or two today.

The powder coating power supply isn't much bigger than a shoe box. It creates a high voltage so the powder can be charged to make it stick to the parts. A ground lead is clipped to the hanger that the part is hung on. The gun is hooked to an air compressor hose set at 10 - 15 psi.

I had a bunch of small parts for the '76 sporty that needed to be coated. I stripped and sanded all the parts prior to coating. The system was very easy to use! The powder went on very evenly. It was then baked @ 375 for 15 minutes. The parts came out shiny and smooth ready to be installed. No long waiting for paint to cure. No worry about dust as the paint cures. No mixing paint and no waste as what you don't use is just left in the canister with a cap on it.

Cleanup was a snap too! Just take off the powder canister and blow everything out with compressed air. No solvents needed. Cleanup took less than 10 minutes. Powder coating is very doable in any small shop.

Over all I was very pleased. After a few more uses the system will have paid for itself. I have a refrigerator that is being made into an oven as well. I think it will be able to handle something as large as a motorcycle frame. My total cost was about $120 with parts off of ebay. More powder coat supplies.

Article contributed by: Greg "Beekeep" Ferris

We have T-58 & Rolls Royce Gnome gas turbines available to power your project.
We also have starters, manuals, instruments, and gearboxes for T-58 and Gnome gas turbine engines.

Additional Powder Coating Notes

I've been powder coating since 1988. It's like anything, preparation is the key. Having the product sandblasted will definitely help on the adhesion.(most production lines do not and that is why powder coating can have a negative effect is some peoples eyes.

If the product is exposed to severe weather, then polyester is the way to go. I have a trailer that I powder coated white, then top coated it with Candy-Blue polyester powder coating. It looks as good today as it did in 1989 when I first coated it. It sits out in the rain, snow, and sun. It has virtually zero fade and still has a great gloss.

Powder coating does has its drawbacks too, and is not a cure-all. But, when you compare it and how well it holds up to chipping, cracking, fading, chalking, etc.,it is quite remarkable. There are even handle bar companies that will powder coat the bar first, then bend it afterwards, with no signs of cracking or chipping.

I painted cars for 30 years and there are advantages and disadvantages to using both powder and liquid. But, every time I purchase Polyurethane paint (such as Imron or equivalent product) and I know how much it takes to spray polyester powder. There is a huge difference in price! (course I also have my own powder coat oven, which makes a big difference). Large companies use powder coat, because it lasts longer and is much cheaper (cost wise). They save thousands of dollars per day versus using wet-spray.

Article contributed by: Bruce Parks

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