Author Topic: DIY powdercoating. Where to start?  (Read 774 times)

slashandburn

DIY powdercoating. Where to start?
« on: August 28, 2020, 04:44:51 PM »
Howdy folks, I'm toying with the idea of venturing into powedercoating, for no other reason than pre-coated painted enclosures are over twice the price of buying raw die cast boxes and I'm a cheap bastard.

For what it's worth, I know nothing. I'm assuming I'll need a specialised spray gun and probably something to bake/cure them in.

I've had a search of the forum (as well as finding some automotive based youtube videos) and just ran round in circles. I appreciate its not something that's worth the effort for one-off pedals but I'm still interested learning more, and who better to ask tips on new ways to waste my time and money in the name of nice looking stompboxes than you lot?

Is there any powdercoating guides along the lines of hixjibbers etching tutorial? Any and all words of encouragement or discouragement are thoroughly, erm, encouraged.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 05:33:16 AM by slashandburn »

davent

Re: DIY powedercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2020, 05:00:05 PM »
Old thread here which i haven't read since...

https://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=71244.0
dave
"If you always do what you always did- you always get what you always got." - Unknown
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mozz

Re: DIY powedercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 05:28:51 PM »
If you buy a dozen at a time, 1590b, you can get them prepainted for about $5.28 each, delivered. Price is gone up as i was getting them even cheaper. Chinese website that sells about everything. Buy double that and it's $4.57. White black red blue are about your only color choices.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 05:37:53 PM by mozz »
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R.G.

Re: DIY powedercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 06:30:37 PM »
I've been down this path. You need a special spray gun, as you suspected. This spray gun is an electrostatic spray gun that "sprays" powder particles with high voltage DC. You connect the to-be-sprayed thing up to one wire, turn on the power, then turn on the gun. The high voltage pulls the powder particles onto the work. A little of the powder goes everywhere, typically. It's not particularly toxic, but even non toxic particles are not good to breath.

Once you get a good coating, you put the articles into an oven that melts the powder down to a continuous coating.

So: you need at least a spray-gun kit with the gun and power supply; breathing protection; cleaning supplies and a place to spray that won't be harmed by what you miss in cleanup; an oven that's probably not your kitchen oven, although I've heard those can work. You'll spend some time, money, and materials to learn how to do it.

I found a custom motorcycle shop near me that will do the mess for me at a reasonable price if I'm not too picky about speed. That was better for me than yet another DIY skill. We all know how to mow the lawn - but not all of us want to buy a lawnmower.
R.G.

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Sooner Boomer

Re: DIY powedercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 07:00:05 PM »
You could start with something like this:
https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-original-diy-powder-coating-gun-starter-kit.html
you'll still need an oven to bake the finish. A small toaster oven from Good Will or somewhere similar will work (don't use it for food after!)
Dan of 9 Toes
I'm not getting older, I'm getting "vintage"

temol

Re: DIY powedercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2020, 02:31:06 AM »
Don't forget about  air compressor.

T.

slashandburn

Re: DIY powedercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2020, 05:02:35 AM »
Excellent info thanks everyone.

Thats a pretty big shopping list of things I'd need to buy and learn to use, I reckon I'll just have to sound out some of of the local shops that offer powedercoating or just cough up for pre-painted enclosures. I have a feeling the local shops won't be all that cost effective for a few one-offs.

Before I likely resort to Tayda or Chinese sellers, aside from custom motorcycle work, are there any other trades/hobbies where powdercoating would be a necessary skill? I'm wondering if there's a slight chance I already know someone, like the guy I know from the pub who restores old boats or the bloke I used to work with that refinishes cars on the side.

11-90-an

Re: DIY powedercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2020, 05:32:36 AM »
Basically anyone who paints metal. like for cars, window panes, bicycles, aluminium bars and other stuff...

Not sure about boats, though...

I reckon all people who’s job paints metal have at least some experience in powder coating...
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vigilante397

Re: DIY powdercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2020, 05:06:55 PM »
There are tons of uses for powdercoating. I have a cheap Harbor Freight powdercoating gun that I use for pedals, but I also coated all the hardware on my drumset (chrome is so last century) and have done a couple water bottles, other guitar parts (bridges, knobs). Generally if it's conductive you can do it, but you can even coat non-conductive things like glass with "hot-flocking," where you put the item in the oven to heat it up before coating, then the powder sticks to it because of the heat, not the electrostatic attraction. You still put it back in the oven afterwards to cure it, but it can be neat. I usually use wood for fixtures to hold things when they're in the oven, so I've accidentally hot-flocked lots of wood scraps, it can also produce some neat looking stuff ;D

Oh and it's also handy for stuff around the house. Our neighbors pulled down all the metal heat vents from their house so they could sand and spraypaint them, and my wife commented on how good it looked. Not to be outdone, I sandblasted and powdercoated ours 8) Nice consistent look, plus a finish that will last a lot longer and be more durable.
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DIY Bass

Re: DIY powdercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2020, 04:19:22 AM »
I was halfway expecting that somebody had powder coated a set of actual valves to be funky coloured.  Somewhat disappointed.  ;-)

Paul Marossy

Re: DIY powdercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2020, 06:26:24 PM »
I have never messed with powder coating but this is apparently one DIY method that can be used


vigilante397

Re: DIY powdercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2020, 07:32:37 PM »
That was interesting, I had never thought of that. Obviously there's no reason it wouldn't work, you're using oil instead of electric charge to make the powder stick, and I guess the WD-40 bakes out in the oven?
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"I'm not sure what "serious design flaws" you see. Does it explode or poison your dog?" - PRR

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Sooner Boomer

Re: DIY powdercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2020, 11:14:29 PM »
Most WD-40 comes in a spray can. Rather than spray a shop rag and wipe it on, I think I'd spray directly onto the surface to be powder coated, let it drip-dry over night, then proceed with the powder. There's also a tool used in woodworking that might be helpful for this - a cardboard flocking gun. It's just a cardboard tube with a plunger at one end, and a restriction (nozzle) at the other. You fill it up with flocking (shreaded fibers), and push the punger.

https://www.woodcraft.com/products/donjer-mini-flocker
Dan of 9 Toes
I'm not getting older, I'm getting "vintage"

DougH

Re: DIY powdercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2020, 09:31:13 AM »
I bought a Sears powdercoat gun and a used toaster oven I got from a thrift shop. Pre-drilled the holes, plugged them with the (nylon?) plugs that came with the gun. Used coat hanger wire to create little hangers to hang the boxes in the oven. Cleaned the box with acetone first. Sprayed it outside, then carefully hung in the oven and baked.


Worked like a charm and not hard to do at all. Only mistake I made was I should have worn rubber gloves. After cleaning the boxes, I handled them with my fingers and got skin oil on them. Powder does not stick to fingerprints. I still have the gun, haven’t built a pedal in 15 years, but plan to do so more and use it again. I’d say if you have the space to do the spraying, go for it. I found it pretty easy to do and love the results, even with the fingerprints.
"I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you."

Paul Marossy

Re: DIY powdercoating. Where to start?
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2020, 11:44:51 AM »
That was interesting, I had never thought of that. Obviously there's no reason it wouldn't work, you're using oil instead of electric charge to make the powder stick, and I guess the WD-40 bakes out in the oven?

Yeah, it just evaporates. Seems to work pretty well. I never heard of this until I recently saw that video.