Author Topic: Calling all powder coaters  (Read 7245 times)

chromesphere

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2014, 06:45:24 PM »
I wsa thinking a small pc fan or something but wheres the dust going to go? lol  Actually I wonder if I could hook up a pipe to the dust buster...hmmm, ideas!
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peAk

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2014, 06:50:05 PM »
Peak, you need a powder coating gun specifically for powder coating.  The gun is powered so electrostatic energy holds the powder onto the metal.  A regular spray gun is not made for that purpose.

aha...thanks for explaining that.

So my next two questions are....

1. I have primer, spray painted, and clear coated my enclosures up to this point with pretty good results. What benefit does powder coating provide over that?

2. The cost of paint and time, space, clean up, etc. compared to just buying already painted enclosures seems like a wash or possibly even worse, what is the point? Just custom colors?

chromesphere

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2014, 07:05:11 PM »
Powder per enclosure is almost negligible its so cheap but you have the set up costs.  You pay $10 for say 500grams of powder then you have enough to last you until the powder turns bad (going on 2 years for me, still works fine).  Prepainted enclosures are about 2-3 dollars extra.  So you can see diy is cheaper once you pay up for the set up costs.

Benefits of powder coating...well here are a few.  Powder coating dries hard very quickly.  You can assemble a pedal 1-2 hours after you have sprayed it.  That was one of the biggest pro for me.  If done right its more durable.  There are some pretty amazing colors and effects.  Its quicker to apply.   Just a few off the top of my head.
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peAk

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2014, 08:20:32 PM »
Powder per enclosure is almost negligible its so cheap but you have the set up costs.  You pay $10 for say 500grams of powder then you have enough to last you until the powder turns bad (going on 2 years for me, still works fine).  Prepainted enclosures are about 2-3 dollars extra.  So you can see diy is cheaper once you pay up for the set up costs.

Benefits of powder coating...well here are a few.  Powder coating dries hard very quickly.  You can assemble a pedal 1-2 hours after you have sprayed it.  That was one of the biggest pro for me.  If done right its more durable.  There are some pretty amazing colors and effects.  Its quicker to apply.   Just a few off the top of my head.

but how does it compare to buying enclosures already painted from say Mammoth or PPP? Paint adds about what....$3 an enclosure. It seems, and I may be wrong here, that to have a ton of colors, time to paint, space, etc. that unless you are making a lot of pedals and selling them, it's not worth it.

Is this a fair statement, or ?

chromesphere

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2014, 08:30:19 PM »
Exactly.  Well, you don't have to SELL the pedals, but yeah, you have to be making a decent amount of them to justify the cost.  I've said this actually before about powder coating.  If you have some $$$ to burn and you want to learn something new, sure, go for pc'ing its a lot of fun.  But financially I personally think pc'ing is more suited for 'runs' of pedals.  That said, if you have a compressor and you can get powders cheap, most of the cost is taken care of and it would be viable even on a smaller scale but I had to buy the whole box and dice (compressor, gun, powders, oven) so it added up to be quite a bit.  Still I would have paid it off by now for sure.  I never manage to get many pedals sprayed with a can of enamel anyway :D
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peAk

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2014, 08:44:05 PM »
Yeah, makes sense. For now, I think I will buy painted enclosures and occasionally spray paint them.

BuGG

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2014, 08:57:31 PM »
How do you guys apply decals after powder coating your enclosures?

Is it possible to apply a waterslide decal then cover it with a clear powder, or would this still require rattle can clear?

I've been seriously considering putting together a simple (single color) screen printing setup, but since I know basically nothing I expect this to be quite a learning experience.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 08:59:07 PM by BuGG »

chromesphere

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2014, 09:05:32 PM »
Excellent question Bugg! 

To be honest my success with decals and clear vary.  The 'correct' way to do it I believe is with a dual power PC gun. You would lay down your base, let it cool down, put a decal on, change the voltage on the gun (increase it) spray clear over that.  You need to increase the voltage so that the static will still work through the extra layer of coating that now covers the enclosure. 

The 'cheaters' way to do dual coat with a single voltage gun is to lay down the base, heat it up, and pull it out of the oven and lay down the 2nd coat WHILE ITS HOT.  It's known as 'hot flocking', sounds saucey and works quite well.  But how do you apply a water decal to a hot enclosure?  You cant.  That's the dilemma.  Many people use single voltage guns with decals with success, just pointing out that its not the 'professional' way and you can have issues if you do it this way.
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rullywowr

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2014, 09:54:06 PM »
I've had numerous problems clearing powder over decals. The clearing or sticking to the enclosure is not the problem. The problem is the durability of the clear over the decal. It tends to lift up easy after curing and results in air bubble pockets between the decal and clear. This can happen even long after the clear is dried...envirotex is the way to go with this if u must. It's a total pain in the ass to clear coat powder over decals for me. Usually everything looks great until I try to clear it and then it goes wrong...meaning sanding/stripping all that hard work I did. Better options would be to use a vinyl decal or better yet- silkscreen



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chromesphere

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2014, 09:58:08 PM »
AH ha! Same with me Ben!  This is why I said "haven't had too much success". Im glad you confirmed that cheers! I do that too (enamel clear coat).
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BuGG

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2014, 10:18:42 PM »
This pretty much confirms my thoughts, thanks for the answers.   

I think I am going to focus on silk screening for the moment...  Getting pre-powdered enclosures is affordable enough but professional screen printing is a bit costly unless working in batches.     I don't need a fancy multicolor press, just a simple one color rig with some vinyl ink should be more than enough.


flanagan0718

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2014, 10:41:08 PM »
Ok, after doing a bit of reading (thank you for all the posts and replies) I have come to a few conclusions.
1. Powder coat is the way to go for better results and a more durable finish.
2. It's not as expensive as I thought and can actually save me money in the long run (including time an effort).
3. I would still need to spray clear coat and cure if I want to get a good clear on there with a water slide.

muddyfox

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2014, 02:25:01 AM »

Yes, number 3 is exactly what's keeping me from swallowing the setup cost (think USA prices x3).

My main purpose for going PC would be getting rid of spraycans and it seems I can't do that. Unless I go envirotex, which I (still  ::) ) haven't tried.

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2014, 06:16:32 AM »
A lot of opinions here and I'll chime in --

You can definitely shoot clear over waterslide decals . . . it just takes some technique.  Make sure you apply the decal correctly (no trapped air) and let it dry thoroughly -- several hours or overnight if possible.  I like to shoot low-temp clear (325 deg. F cure temp) as there is less tendency to burn the decal.  One of the issues that may plague some folks is the use of small toaster ovens -- I would imagine they have a tendency to scorch things due to the tight space and proximity of the heating elements.  I'm fortunate enough to have room for a normal sized electric oven in my garage so that helps.

For a dual (or variable) voltage gun, you actually want to reduce the voltage for a second coat, not increase it.  Here's a pedal I did with a waterslide decal and clear powdercoating on top --



For the seasoned coaters . . . . . since I do quite a bit of powdercoating beyond pedal enclosures (smaller car parts, household items, etc.) I 'graduated' to a Red Line EZ50 gun (http://www.caswellplating.com/red-line-ez50-powder-coating-system.html) -- pricey but, MAN, it shoots so much nicer than an Eastwood gun.  Multiple coats are a breeze now.

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jimmybjj

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Re: Calling all powder coaters
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2014, 06:47:26 AM »
I'll second everything fastocker has said. I don't get that glassy smooth finish with decals 100% of the time, but it's better than 90% I think he is spot on concerning the moisture content of the decal, once I learned to really "smash"the decal with a paper towel and let it dry over night my success rate jump drastically, using the Eastwood gun.

Personally I don't advocate hot flocking for transparent coatings, especially ones with a tint. It is really hard to control the consistency and thickness, often producing a framing effect. It is possible to multistage coat with the Eastwood gun it's just a little tricky. All that being said I have now moved on the a variable voltage gun as well (hyper smooth powder systems) and multistage is significantly easier.
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