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Old 12-16-2003, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I see several topics involving painting this and painting that when what you really want in an automotive application is to powdercoat.

What is powdercoat?
Powdercoating is a dry coating process using finely ground particles of plastic resins, color pigments, and special cross linking agents which, once cured, cause the resins to become very hard and extremely durable. Powder coating is almost universally better then conventional liquid spray painting.

What equipment do you need?
1. A compressed air source...nothing serious, 10 psi is plenty. Most $25 tankless electric pumps can provide that much flow.
2. A powdercoating gun. Anywhere from $69.99 for a hobby gun to $500+ for top of the line professional high volume. I have a $70 Harbor Freight hobby gun...I do valve covers, brackets, occasional wheels. It works fine, but like anything electrical you buy at Harbor Freight, get the extended warranty.
3. An electric oven. I got a used one out of the paper for $100. If you want to stick with small pieces, there's no reason a toaster oven wouldn't do the job...it just has to be able to reach 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or so. Don't try using the oven in your house...it will never recover and anybody who uses it will kill you.
4. Powder. duh. Runs about $8 for a 1/2 lb. tin. It's enough to do 2-3 valve covers or 1-2 wheels.

How does it work?
[disclaimer]Make sure you follow any directions included with the equipment and powder on their proper use.[/disclaimer]
Take any metal object.
Strip off whatever surface finish or corrosion/rust is already there...chemical stripped, sand blasted, whatever...just down to bare metal.
Clip the ground from the pcoating gun to the object. The metal is now negatively charged.
Aim gun at object and spray. The powder in the gun is positively charged so it's attracted to the neg charged object. It just sticks to it. Try for a uniform coat but it doesn't matter so much if it's not.
Put the object in the oven at 400 degrees F. Within 5 minutes, the powder starts to melt and run together. At the point of "running", time 15 minutes.
The neat thing is this running makes for a pretty forgiving surface quality for the hamfisted that can't paint evenly to save their lives
After the 15 minutes are up, pull it out of the oven. Don't force it to cool too quickly or the rapid contraction of the metal will mar the surface. Just let it air cool.
As soon as it's cool enough to the touch(duration depends on size), you can handle it and even install if you're in a hurry.

Here's a valve cover I did awhile back...
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Old 12-22-2003, 10:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i'm going to have to try this good post
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Old 12-22-2003, 12:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Davens did my valve cover. Extremely nice work!
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Old 12-23-2003, 12:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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how do u fit a 17" rim into an oven??? i was thinking about buying a powder coating gun... but the oven part was tricky... now that u said used oven... Hmm.. i think ima go garagesale shopping... haha but how do u do rims then??/
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Old 12-23-2003, 04:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I can only fit a 15" rim my oven.

A buddy of mine has a real kiln...it's top loading, 24" in diameter and about 3' deep. Anyone want to chrome their 20s?
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Old 12-26-2003, 11:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Buy that maytag oven that claims you can cook a whole Thanks Giving dinner in it... Should run you about $1200!!!
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