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Author Topic: Starting to hate powdercoat  (Read 573 times)

Offline doc_rot

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Starting to hate powdercoat
« on: Jun 26, 2018, 18:03:19 »
I've had a couple of experiences recently that have started to cement my loathing for powdercoat. Yes, its reasonably cheap, looks great (when you first get it) but other than that it kinda sucks. I am no longer convinced its realistically any more durable than a quality paint job at this point. (it scratches soooo easily). What i really hate is how nothing fits properly after powder. I spend a bunch of time chasing threads and scraping surfaces to bare metal. Even the "best shops" will screw up and blast things you didn't want blasted, adding time required to scrape off powder or buy parts to replace. The problem with painting is it way more expensive and time consuming for a quality job, and with 2k clear it adds thickness as well.

I love ceramic based paints, as they are typically easy to apply, not terribly expensive, and go on very thin, but I am limited by the size of my oven. When I have previously asked powder shops to bake ceramic painted parts I couldn't get anyone to touch it.

am I full of crap? is there a middle ground here? What other coating solutions are there?

Offline teazer

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Re: Starting to hate powdercoat
« Reply #1 on: Jun 26, 2018, 18:38:25 »
Rattle cans.

No.  Seriously.  Applied carefully, they can provide an excellent finish and no less durable that say powder but a little more prone to chipping, so you have to be careful.

Offline arsey

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Re: Starting to hate powdercoat
« Reply #2 on: Jun 26, 2018, 18:52:12 »
Maybe cerakote is the middle ground you're looking for? No experience with it myself but it looks nice. I think it's tougher than powder but also more expensive
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Offline FNG

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Re: Starting to hate powdercoat
« Reply #3 on: Jun 26, 2018, 18:55:48 »
Sounds like your powder coating shops suck. I've never had to chase threads. But I also powdercoat my own stuff. I use silicone plugs to keep powder from getting into threads, use capton tape on areas I don't want powder also. I've used 2 stage color change powders and clears with no issues whatsoever and my powdercoating system is redneck as all hell. Only professional thing I use is my Eastwood gun. I use propane fueled radiant heaters to cure to stuff. I powdercoated a friends jeep frame about 10 years ago. Only place it has no rust is that frame. A for durability they are coming out with new powders all the time. Those ads you see for Jet Hot Coating for Pistons and headers is nothing more than ceramic powder cured that cures at a much higher temp.
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Offline FNG

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Re: Starting to hate powdercoat
« Reply #4 on: Jun 26, 2018, 18:58:08 »
arsey is right duracote and cerakote can be done but unlike paint or powdercoating those DO NOT come off once applied. They are also very expensive. I use duracoat on my firearms about $50 for a rifled action and barrel, lot more surface aera on a moto.
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Offline doc_rot

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Re: Starting to hate powdercoat
« Reply #5 on: Jun 26, 2018, 19:29:46 »
I have tried probably half a dozen different shops over the years with about the same results. The area I live in now only has one shop unless I want to drive over an hour one way. They do pretty good work and all the local bike builders use them, but they screw up details like what areas to leave bare, occasionally miss blocking off holes. Their latest screw up involved blasting the inside of a fork tube which made a bunch of work for me and cost parts to fix. I think if I could quality control my own stuff i would feel differently but I simply don't have the space/desire for that. Maybe I should start shipping stuff out to be powder-coated to people who "get it"?
« Last Edit: Jun 26, 2018, 19:31:50 by doc_rot »

Offline jpmobius

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Re: Starting to hate powdercoat
« Reply #6 on: Jun 26, 2018, 20:20:53 »
Totally agree on all counts.  The issue is quality control - finding a vendor that actually cares to do a great job and pay attention to their customer's needs.  I tend to do nearly everything myself due to this problem - If you do something yourself, you keep control over how much you think you need to fuss over something to get the result you are looking for.  In my own experience, powder coating can be just about the most durable "paint", but like anything else, it depends on the the person doing the work, so often as not there are problems.  I use 2k urethane automotive or industrial coatings for everything important.  I use spray can "ceramic" engine paint for nearly everything else unless it is a table lamp or something.  I use a fair amount of single stage urethane auto paint for stuff like frames.  It can be as shiny and durable as a basecoat/clearcoat system but much thinner and less work.  Vastly superior to any OEM finish I have seen, 100% fuel proof and can be had in any gloss level up to nearly dead flat.  A good jobber can make pretty much any color you can get in basecoat. 
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Offline irk miller

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Re: Starting to hate powdercoat
« Reply #7 on: Jun 27, 2018, 00:11:47 »
Let's all hate powder coat together.  Serious question that I've never been able to find an answer for.  I know Honda did early forms of powder coating on their cars, especially undercarriage treatments, as far back as the 60s.  When, if ever, did any of the manufacturers start powder coating motorcycle parts?  I know for most 60's, 70s at least through early 80s, a proper restoration shouldn't have powder.  Beyond that I don't know.  What's good for the goose...  right?  I also have heard the argument, including from my old man, that powder does a good job hiding rust and stress cracks.  He would never powder one iota of parts, except springs, on his race cars.   And most springs are done in fluidized beds which makes for some thick ass powder.

Offline Hurco550

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Re: Starting to hate powdercoat
« Reply #8 on: Jun 28, 2018, 14:46:39 »
Let's all hate powder coat together.  Serious question that I've never been able to find an answer for.  I know Honda did early forms of powder coating on their cars, especially undercarriage treatments, as far back as the 60s.  When, if ever, did any of the manufacturers start powder coating motorcycle parts?  I know for most 60's, 70s at least through early 80s, a proper restoration shouldn't have powder.  Beyond that I don't know.  What's good for the goose...  right?  I also have heard the argument, including from my old man, that powder does a good job hiding rust and stress cracks.  He would never powder one iota of parts, except springs, on his race cars.   And most springs are done in fluidized beds which makes for some thick ass powder.
I cannot answer most of those questions, but I know for a while when I was building OSTPA (and a couple NHRA) roll cages, they would NOT pass them through tech inspection if they were powder coated for that exact reason. The powder would flex over a crack underneath making it nearly impossible to see.

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Offline Sav0r

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Re: Starting to hate powdercoat
« Reply #9 on: Jun 28, 2018, 15:41:03 »
I love powder coat on hard to paint items. Linkage rods, small and intricate parts, etc. Paint is better most everything else.

For parts that need crack checking black oxide plating is my go to.
« Last Edit: Jun 28, 2018, 15:43:06 by Sav0r »
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