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Discussion Starter #1
Gang,
I just finished making my own rear rack for the Dub and, I'm at odds whether or not to, pay to have it powder coated, paint it, or, purchase what's needed to powder coat it myself. I'd heard of folks doing their own powder coating but, never really did any research on it. Well, yesterday I finally sat down and looked up what was needed and, a few videos. As usual, Harbor Freight comes through with a cheap version of a powder coating system. When you look the systems up, you'll find a wide array of prices and, the type and style of equipment involved.

Basically, what's needed is, some form of P/C system, an air compressor, a regulator for that air system because, unlike spray painting, spraying that powder requires only about 5-10 psi. And, some form of an oven is needed. For those that are not aware of how it works, it's actually quite simple. First, you need a part to powder coat. That can be anything on the planet, primarily made of metal. Now, size makes a difference here. The reason is, the size of your oven dictates just what size of part or, set of parts that can fit in the oven. Now, your part must be thoroughly cleaned. Sand or media blasting is preferred. Then, your part is hung by a piece of wire from a stand or, what ever. Now, the powder coating system is equipped with some form of electricity that, one lead is attached to the spray gun and, the other lead is attached to the wire, that's holding the part.

Now, once your part is hung, all the wiring is in place, you have your powder loaded into the cup of the gun. Kind of like spray painting, you just pull the trigger and, the powder begins to spray out of the tip of the gun. The powder goes by the positive lead of the electric which causes it to be electrostatically charged. And, the ground, or other lead, causes your part to attract the powder so it sticks to it. Once you've coated your part thoroughly, you put down the gun, and carefully, by handling the wire ONLY (do not touch the powder coated part) and, take it to your oven. it must hang in the oven too.

Now, close the oven and turn it to, around 400 degrees. Once the temp reaches that, and your part is heated to that point, you'll see that powder begin to flow. It will become glossy. This whole baking process takes about 20 minutes, plus or minus. Then, the part is removed and let cool and final curing for another 20 minutes or so. At that point, YOU'RE DONE! And, your part is powder coated which, as many of you know, it SUPERIOR to just about any form of painting there is. And, the process took SERIOUSLY less time. And, as many of you know, the colors are almost endless.

The cheap Harbor Freight unit, runs about $69 bucks. Ovens, well you can get them brand new from Walmart and many other places for around $50 to $80 for a smaller counter top version. Again, if you'd only plan on doing a bunch of small parts, the counter top version will be just fine. By the way, you don't ALWAYS have to hang your part. You can place it on a tray or rack, that fits in you oven and, coat it then simply transfer that rack to your oven. But, if you even THINK you're gonna be doing larger items, then a regular stove top/oven might be the way to go.

I looked on craigslist for ovens and, low and behold, there's quite a few.

So, while the initial cost might be say, oh, around $150 to, maybe around $300 for the components to get you started, the savings of doing your own powder coating can build rather rapidly, depending on just how much you plan on doing the process. By the way, the powder, unlike paint for spray painting, is actually seriously cheap. You can get some really nice colors, styles, blends, clears and more, for anywhere from about $10 to $20 for say, about 8 oz. to 10 or 12 oz. It doesn't take much to coat small parts.

Anyway, in the light of me being a fabricator and, always maintenancing stuff, and the need to protect that stuff from the elements, I'm really kind-a thinking about getting serious about powder coating my own stuff. By the way, I called a local shop here in Lake Havasu City AZ that does powder coating and, they have a minimum shop charge of $60. Now, that's not the end of the world for my rack. In fact, at this point, all I've got in it, metal wise is about $2 - $3 since the metal I bought was labeled as scrap material but, it is new stuff. So, adding say, $60 to that and, I'd have a whopping $65 in a nicely made and powder coated rack. So, I still may go that way too. Anyway boys and girls, just keeping myself busy in these trying times.
Scott


P.S. Here's some colors from the Eastwood Company:
 

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Like you, I kicked this idea around a few years ago and even cruised the "Free" postings on craigslist for an old electric oven that I could park outside of my garage. But that is as far as I got.

I hope that you give it a try to do it yourself and share the experience with us as you have done with your excellent rack build thread.

Brian
 

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Paint it and ride. Keep an eye out for a free kitchen oven and you can blast it and redo it with your cheap newfound hobby.

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When I modded my cycleracks years ago instead of have them powder coated I had them coated with line x truck bed liner. The truck bed lined is super durable and unlike powder coat it won’t chip off on impact. both the racks I had done still looks like they were just done years and lots of abuse later.


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Discussion Starter #7
Well, if I end up building my "cheap" little powder coating system and do the rack(s) I'm building myself, and they chip later, oh well, not a big deal. It's just something that seems like it would be fun to get into, especially if I can do it fairly cheaply. I got lots of time, considering there's not much activity across the U.S. right now for me to get into trouble with.
Scott

P.S. The truck bed liner does look pretty good. Heck, I might get into doing that kind of coating too. :unsure:
 

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The only problem with that kind of truck bed liner is the equipment needed, not sometihng a DIY person like you or me would ever do. It is a multi part mix that is applied hot. The guy that did my racks and my trucks bed is and acquaintance of mine and he has told me the equipment he uses to apply line-x cost over 10 grand to buy. He owns a auto body shop and does a lot of truck bed liners too so for him it was worth it.

I have played with the self spray and roll on stuff that companies like rustolem makes and its not any more durable than paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The only problem with that kind of truck bed liner is the equipment needed, not sometihng a DIY person like you or me would ever do. It is a multi part mix that is applied hot. The guy that did my racks and my trucks bed is and acquaintance of mine and he has told me the equipment he uses to apply line-x cost over 10 grand to buy. He owns a auto body shop and does a lot of truck bed liners too so for him it was worth it.

I have played with the self spray and roll on stuff that companies like rustolem makes and its not any more durable than paint.
Yeah,
I too have seen the DIY truck bed liner stuff and to me, it's pure junk, nothing at all like the commercial stuff. As far as the powder coat color/type I'm thinking of is the type called Vein which, is a product of the Eastwood Co. They've got quite a selection of powders and they're actually not very expensive. An 8 oz. container is around $9----$16, depending on the complexity of the powder. The Vein stuff is also known as a Hammertone or, a form of a textured finish. If I still have any, I'll show a picture of the ladder I built for the front of our last boat so we could enter and exit the boat while it was on the trailer. I'm thinking of that same exact color. If I can pull this off, I'm gonna have a ton of fun with this.
Scott
 

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