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Need ton's of help!

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  • Need ton's of help!

    Well I haven't even bought a powder coating kit or nothing yet but am about to but first I wan't to learn as much about it as I can. I am really lost in all of this and have been reading tons of other posts and have learned a little here and there. Can someone please tell me the steps (in good detail) in powder coating? Also can I just use my plain ol' compressor I got here at home that I use for simple automotive uses and nail guns and all? It's a medium sized tank, not tiny and don't remember the exact size on it. Also will I need anything special on the compressor. Also what about the heating or oven? I plan to do things like dirt bikes parts, rims for motorcycles, some smaller things, valve covers, etc.
    Any info AT ALL about ANYTHING that can help me out would be greatly appreciated.
    I will have tons more questions later on as well that I will put up here once I think of them.
    Thanks a lot in advance, it's greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Read the tips and tricks..over and the pc book I refrenced in an earlier post..get the gunn and play with it,,,,pc is pretty much a hands on learning...while your waiting for the gun start scrounging things to practice on...yes your home compressor will work..feel free to e-mail me if you like..
    [email protected]
    Pro-Tech Powder Coating
    93976 Ocean Way
    [email protected]
    Gold Beach,Oregon


    • #3
      Thanks a lot man! What about the heating? Is there anything else I can use for the time being to heat the parts up instead of the oven? I am thinking about doing my swing arm on my dirt bike and it will not fit in my oven so I will need another alternative. Also, I don't know much about powder coating but is it like anodizing where if you wan't a chrome look you have to polish the part before putting the powder on? Reason I ask is because my swing arm is aluminum and from the factory it is already powder coated with a light silver look to it but pretty hard to get off....
      Any info on that would be great too. I just wan't to make sure I don't order this kit and then forget to order something and have to go back and pay extra shipping to ship my stuff twice, I am on a really tight budget here, and that leads me to another question. What would be a list of EVERYTHING I will need to powder coat? Is there stuff I will need to strip old powder coating off with, stuff to plug up threaded holes, etc?
      Let me know and thanks a ton you guy's are a big help and I will keep reading every thread on these boards.


      • #4
        I'm kinda in the same boat as you, in just starting the powder coating end, although I have been working with Caswell's Triple Chrome 3 gallon plating setup for about 2 months now. From what I've been able to garner from all the different posts, this is what I'm coming up with to get started:

        air compressor, home shop like a Sears-type will work.

        Blasting cabinet/sandblaster and glass beads/aluminum oxide media, plus to remove old P/C, a can of "Easy-off" brand oven cleaner (got that idea from Syco's polishing 101 thread).

        IR thermometer, either Caswell's or I had one already from Radio Shack that will hopefully work (goes up to 400 F), but some way to measure surface temp without touching and distrubing the powder coat.

        IR propane construction heater, 16,000 BTU free-standing tank mounted model, from Detroit Radient, bought in like-new shape off eBay for $16, retails $115. That and a pair of floor-length mirrors from K-Mart to reflect the IR waves around the part(s) to be cured will hopefully work for the heat source, until I can afford to build an oven.

        Caswell's powder coating gun, Yes, you can also get them from Harbor Freight and Eastwood, but do you see either of those companies providing us with all this support and a free forum? Nope. I can tell you from personal experience that Caswell's has been EXCELLENT in their patience and willingness to assist me in my chrome plating problems with that kit, and the knowledge they give is worth FAR more than the $$$ you might save getting the gun elsewhere. I'm doing all this on a tight budget too, and I'm all for saving money where I can, but there are some things it's worth spending a little extra to help support a company that is there for us AFTER the sale too. So when I order my gun this week, it'll be from Caswell's.

        Powders, in whatever color(s) you want to work with.

        Green high-temp tape and silicone plugs, to keep P/C off and out of threads. Might as well do it right the first time. I do this when chroming, and you'd be surprised at the number of "pro" shops around me that appearantly don't, so I've been told. Details like that make it better for the end user, and also go a long way towards establishing your reputation for quality work that brings other to you.

        Phosphate primer, to use after sanding to help make a solid base. All of the above 3 also from Caswell's.

        Shop rags, MEK or something to degrease the metal, both before sandblasting and afterwards just before primer, to remove skin oils, etc.

        Shop vac, to suck up stray powder mess.

        Preferably some sort of "booth" (mine is likely to be 2x4s boxed and clear plastic stapled to them for walls, with a box fan in the middle and A/C return filters in front of it, and a paint roller tray with grounded metal bolt in it at the bottom of the booth to help collect extra powder)

        Some sort of rack on rollers that can withstand 400F plus, to hang the stuff on and to move it from spray booth to oven. Homemade is the key here; cheap is not pretty, but it IS cheap and just so long as it works...

        VERY IMPORTANT- A GOOD facemask-type respirator with replaceable filters and dust screens, eye protection (goggles) and vinyl gloves, Graingers Industrial Supply has a good assortment and some real deals if you know what brands to look for. I can get you brands and model numbers if you wish. Wear it while you media-blast it, spray it, and cure it. If you skip this step; be sure to tell me first so I can get myself in your will. No sense in letting all the rest go to waste. Seriously, don't play around with your long-term health. Save a dollar elsewhere.

        That's all I can think of so far; if I'm missing something, someone else please chime in. It may sound like a lot of stuff, but then go try plating,and you'll see this is easy. Hope that helps.

        J Travis


        • #5
          Thanks for the kind words.

          BTW - Easy Off isn't a great way to remove powder coating, not even sure if it will work. You need some sort of paint stripper. We sell a product that we've tested on PC and it works very well. Look for VHT Strip Fast on the site.
          Mike Caswell
          Caswell Inc

          Need Support? Visit our online support section at


          • #6
            You're welcome

            You're welcome, Mike. I was hoping I wouldn't get a warning or get banned for mentioning your competitors by name, but I figure that anyone else looking into this would also do the research and find out about their products and prices, and that what they wouldn't be able to know about beforehand would be the intrinsic value that the after-sale support is actually worth unless they were also a repeat customer. The absolute cheapest I've seen a powder gun was $69.95 on sale for a Chicago Tools version at Harbor Freight, which looks like a slightly different model of the gun you carry- but the difference is, if you ask the guy at Harbor Freight how to USE IT, he gives you the look of the proverbial deer in the headlights, and mumbles something about instructions being in the box. And since no one is going to "miracle" that knowledge into us, the difference in price really IS worth it, IMHO.

            So thanks for that support, and the tip about the easy-off. Aside from that, am I right about what's needed, or is there anything else I'm missing? (Except maybe some 400 grit sandpaper to do a light surface sanding after the media blasting and before the phosphate primer)


            • #7
              Thanks a lot you guy's. What a great help. I won't be buying my stuff from anyone else besides here. I get lot's of help here and everyone from hot rod sites say to go to that eastwood site and I tell them that this place is better or that I am going with Caswell. Anyways, on the propane heater and those mirrors and all... what if I just make my own oven, I won't need that other stuff then right?
              Also, can you get a really good chromed color with powder coating like a chrome blue and make it look similar to anodizing but with more of a paint or powder look?
              Thanks again!


              • #8
                you need to think about what it is you plan to do with powder coating...just a hobby...gonna try to make money...belive matter how big you build..your gonna wish it was 1 foot longer have to draw a line...all that stuff dagobert talked about..all good stuff..and I wish I had a few more of the items he told you about..
                and yes you can get the look your after.use the chrome powder and a candy may have to shoot it a couple times to get the depth of the color you want...but for now think about where you are going with PC and if you can do it.. build for what you plan to do in the long run..if not...Macgyver it like I do...
                Pro-Tech Powder Coating
                93976 Ocean Way
                [email protected]
                Gold Beach,Oregon


                • #9
                  I do plan on making money, yes. If I have to spend the extra money for something good I will because I do not wan't cheap stuff that will break on me and cost me time and extra money. I only plan on making money when I perfect PC and can do it pretty good. Can you do designs on powder coating like you can with anodizing. I know I see people put their logo or splashes under anodizing but is it possible to do it with PC as well? If so then how do you do it?


                  • #10
                    Good question

                    That's a good question; can you powder coat something like a tank or fender, then go over it with regular automotive pinstriping (or if not, then what type) paint for pinstripes and/or gold leaf, then powder coat it again in clear to seal it all in and protect it?