adventures in powdercoating!



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adventures in powdercoating!

Postby smallsnd/bigsnd » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:52 pm

i've been making pedals for a long time and as much as i love rattle-can/spraypaint, i figured it was time to see about changing things up. my screenprinting guy bought a powdercoating gun, a couple of colors and an old oven a few months ago but never really did too much with it, so 2 nights ago and yesterday i tried my hand at some powdercoating for the first time. this thread could be useful to other folks looking to do the same i guess, but at the very least it was an interesting process that i really enjoyed.

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get a respirator! there's tons of superfine powder in the air and noxious fumes (mostly if you open the over) when the powder sublimates, so some type of respirator or filter mask is kind of a must, unless you like doing horrible things to your body. seeing as i already handle enough solder so i might as well cut out some toxic shit if i can... i wore rubber gloves as well since lots of powder gets on your hands and forearms.

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prep - preheating the enclosures. i found this step to be completely unnecessary. we preheated this first batch and they actually turned out worse than the others (though our process was different). it took an extra 20 or 30 minutes and i probably won't be doing it again... i didn't do anything else to the enclosures either - no sanding, cleaning, etc and they turned out pretty great. fuck that's a disgusting oven full of ajax which by the way, smells fucking foul when it cooks. don't do this in an oven you ever plan on eating out of again, unless of course you like doing even MORE horrible things to your body and feel like shitting rainbows. :!!!:

i'm missing some photos of the *actual* process but that's ok. look up any youtube videos of powdercoating and you'll see what's going on.
the basic process is simple, though i don't really know the exact science behind it... what i do know is that you use a spray gun powered by compressed air which shoots charged powder onto a grounded substrate (the part in question) which in turn causes the powder to be attracted or stick (static electricity!).

for the first batch, i arranged 12 enclosures on one of the oven trays and clipped the ground lead to the oven tray, effectively grounding all 12 enclosures. i then sprayed them but of course it was difficult to get the sides since they were pretty close together... lots of patchiness so a second coat was necessary and it still didn't get full coverage. no matter, since the screenprint is going to look fucking rad and these are going to be discounted anyways.

for the next few batches, i fashioned a little metal bracket into a sort of stand for the enclosure. i attached the ground to the bracket and sprayed each enclosure individually - much better! i could fully spray one in about 20-30 seconds by the end of it and was able to get excellent and even coverage since i could rotate it fully. i then simply picked it up with 2 fingers since i could get under the bottom of the edges and placed it on the rack - easy! approximately 25 minutes later in a 400 degree oven and they were done. 2 sets of pliers handled the removal of the hot racks and they were placed on the cement to cool. about 10-15 minutes later (they were next to an open door and it was cool out) they were fully cured and able to be handled, drilled, whatever.

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here's the finished batch of 51 enclosures. it took me pretty much the whole day, but hey i was learning. i'm sure if i refine the process to something more efficient i could handle twice as many in half as much time. the final results weren't *quite* as good as pedalpartsplus or any of the other places, but they were pretty damn close.

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experiments! powdercoating offers so many possibilities and i barely scratched the surface with these 2 - a grey/black burst and a black/white space vibe. if anyone has any questions/comments/advice, i'm totally open to discussion, especially since i'll most likely be getting my own setup going in the next few months. :joy: thanks for reading.
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Re: adventures in powdercoating!

Postby colin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:12 pm

Cool!
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Re: adventures in powdercoating!

Postby hazelwould » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:14 pm

Those are super sick! Totally match the SS/BS vibe
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Re: adventures in powdercoating!

Postby backwardsvoyager » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:59 pm

DAT SPACE POWDER VIBE

I want a TAFM in one of those. Super cool.
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Re: adventures in powdercoating!

Postby Achtane » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:20 pm

That's an interesting process, never knew it worked that way. I like the DIY oven use!
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backwardsvoyager wrote:DAT SPACE POWDER VIBE

I want a TAFM in one of those. Super cool.
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Re: adventures in powdercoating!

Postby Haki » Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:44 am

The burst has potential. Perhaps a bit more gradual change from dark to light or making slightly more even will improve the look.

That space vibe is very nice, fits well with the recent style of TAFM finishes.
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Re: adventures in powdercoating!

Postby Jero » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:55 am

Man I want to do this so bad.
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Re: adventures in powdercoating!

Postby goroth » Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:09 pm

Good fun write up Brian. Can't wait to see what you do with this!
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