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Topic: Harbor Freight Powder Coating question
Message: Posted by: The Magic Ref (Mar 29, 2011 05:38PM)
Has anyone used the powder coating gun and paint from Harbor Freight Tools? The gun is around $70 and the paint in $4 a container. This seems cheap to me. Is this one of those things "You get what you pay for" of do you think it works ok? Harbor Freight is great for some things and bad for others. Just thought I would check if anyone has feedback before I buy it and use it. Thanks..

Mike
Message: Posted by: illusiontech (Mar 29, 2011 07:18PM)
I saw that and wondered myself, but as I always say, send it out to the professionals. It supports local business, and in the end you will get a better product, and may even learn something if you want to dabble with it later on. If I'm not mistaken, its also messy, so you many need a containment unit like a sand blast cabinet, which seems like another expense, and a respirator, etc. so quickly $70 becomes hundreds.

Just my 2 cents,
--Vinny
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Mar 29, 2011 07:50PM)
Doesn't Powder coating need to baked after the treatment? So will you also need an oven?

Is there a DIY site for the Powder Coating process? I know I am asking all this on a magic site, but hay, everyone else is asking on the wrong site, so maybe there is a magician that does powder coating for a living.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Mar 29, 2011 08:45PM)
Some more info here...
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=404300&forum=26
Message: Posted by: Dr. Solar (Mar 29, 2011 08:54PM)
Very informative links here. Thanks all.
Message: Posted by: remote guy (Mar 29, 2011 10:55PM)
My brothers owned a theater seating company that used powder coating to finish their seat standards and as stated in the above post by illusiontech it is a messy process. You do need a blast cabinet because the piece being powder coated must be very clean. You would also need a dedicated oven to bake the piece in. The guys that ran the powder coating line had to wear fan assisted respirators. Like illusiontech said leave it to the professionals.


Nick
Message: Posted by: The Magic Ref (Mar 30, 2011 04:07PM)
I have a spare oven in my garage... I have a respirator, I read the DIY sites and it says to wipe metal down with a good cleaner and spray on paint and put in oven for 20 mins at 400 degrees. Doesn't sound that hard to me, but I'll let you all know when I'm done trying I might have a different oppinion.. LOL

I have several pieces to do and am trying to keep the cost down to a manageable level, I have to think having a professional do it would be pretty costly but I might get a bid as well.

So I take it no experience with the harbor freight set.. Ebay also has a couple Craftsman powder coat spray guns on there, they run around the same $70. Which would you choose, Craftsman or HF?
Message: Posted by: en2oh (Jul 1, 2011 09:19PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-30 17:07, The Magic Ref wrote:
I have a spare oven in my garage... I have a respirator, I read the DIY sites and it says to wipe metal down with a good cleaner and spray on paint and put in oven for 20 mins at 400 degrees. Doesn't sound that hard to me, but I'll let you all know when I'm done trying I might have a different oppinion.. LOL

I have several pieces to do and am trying to keep the cost down to a manageable level, I have to think having a professional do it would be pretty costly but I might get a bid as well.

So I take it no experience with the harbor freight set.. Ebay also has a couple Craftsman powder coat spray guns on there, they run around the same $70. Which would you choose, Craftsman or HF?
[/quote]

Hi there,
The Harbor Freight Pro gun is fine. The powder coating material is limited in colors but work OK.
The setup is pretty simple. Electrostatic generator, low pressure compressed air and a dedicated oven to bake the pieces.
I don't think you'd have much trouble, as long as you weren't trying to use the household oven. The vapor given off is toxic but won't be a problem in a garage. FWIW, the biggest reason to coat in an enclosed area is to recover the overspray. If you don't mind a mess, you can spray almost anywhere. It is the electrostatic charge which causes the paint to attach to the object. If you plan on coating non-metalic material (really non-conductive), consider dipping in a Stannous Chloride solution. I coat plastic with silver using a stannous chloride dip.
Doug
Message: Posted by: MentalistCreationLab (Jul 3, 2011 02:46PM)
Okay, heres a tip when powder coating anything make sure the part is extremely clean. Even finger prints on the metal will cause flash rust under the coat. There are a few different solvents guys use to clean the parts before hand as each solvent type works better on some metals than others. Once its clean your set. The hardest part is getting the spray coat even, regardless of what the instructions say the more even the coat the better the finished product.

The problem with a regular oven is how to hang your parts in it with out breaking the top heating coil.

Just a few thoughts that may be of use.

Also, some of the powders are not very good. I do not care what you do some powders are junk they will leave a rough finish.

I worked with a powder coater a lot in the fence biz and learned enough to do my own powder coating. I would still recommend sending it out than doing it yourself. The oven heat must be very hot and often can exceed 400 for some very cool coats like a color changing powder coat we played around with for some sculpture. The thing would change color depending on how you looked at it. Neat stuff but what a mess.

Cheers
Message: Posted by: KungFuMagic (Jul 13, 2011 12:36AM)
For the baking, you may be able to contact an auto body/paint shop and ask them to bake the thing in their chamber. I have had it done before for altogether other projects . . . it could work.