DIY Powder Coating and Media Blasting

Alan Watkins

Lifetime Supporter
For a while I did some powder coating using the Harbor Freight unit (Powder Coating Gun with 10-30 PSI Powder Coating System) and a combo microwave/convection oven I found on Craig's list. The HF unit works OK although it is somehwat of a hassle to set up since I have to change the regulator on my compressor and there are a lot of wires to mess with along with the coater, it's electrics box, and the clumsy bottles it uses to store the powder.

The oven was a disaster in that I did several jobs that had worse orange peel than I expected, and finally I tried some clear that simply didn't harden fully. Having eliminated all the other possibilities I checked the oven and found that when set to 450 it was topping out at 350. Stupid me for not using an IR thermometer but I had misplaced mine.

Next step was the largest toaster oven I could find at Target, for
 
Alan

Looks like you got a steal on the Alsa gun; they're charging $200 now.

I've used the HF powerdercoater for a couple of years (just weekend here-and-there use). It is pretty easy to use, but it seems to me like you end up wasting a lot of powder. Also kind of makes a mess when pouring the powder from the gun jar back into the storage jar. I use Eastwood powders, by the way.

I agree with your assessment of powdercoating. If you can fit it in an oven and the part can withstand 400 deg F, powerdercoating is a great way to finish a part. Just a note, be careful when powdercoating mating parts. Powdercoat is thick and you can easily make two parts no longer fit together (yes, I found that out the hard way).

I think the powder is polyester, isn't it?

By the way, the first time I did powdercoating I was deathly afraid of the curing process stinking up the whole house, because there were so many warnings about that. Not a big deal, though, really. You can barely smell it, at least from my oven. I just run the stove vent with no adverse side effects in the house.

Eric
 

Alan Watkins

Lifetime Supporter
Looks like you got a steal on the Alsa gun; they're charging $200 now.

I've used the HF powerdercoater for a couple of years (just weekend here-and-there use). It is pretty easy to use, but it seems to me like you end up wasting a lot of powder. Also kind of makes a mess when pouring the powder from the gun jar back into the storage jar. I use Eastwood powders, by the way.
It was a steal, but not quite as good as it looks, because the $200 deal comes with a bunch of powder; I just got the gun itself, some hooks, some plugs and some silicone tape, all of which I already had.

BTW I think you can find the Sears Craftsman one on ebay from time to time.

What you said is exactly why I don't like the HF one, along with the fact that it stops and starts and spits and needs you to shake the gun to keep it going. So far the Alsa gun has been completely constant in powder delivery, except of course when it's starting to run out of powder.

There's an unexploited neatness possibility with the Alsa gun: if we can get extra cartridges we can just leave them loaded with different powders and swap cartridges as necessary. However, when I bought the gun I asked about extra cartridges and at the time they didn't have them.

Yeah I use Eastwood as well. There are cheaper alternatives but at the rate I use the stuff it's not worth messing with.
 
Alan and others. I went on Ebay and found several powder coaters. One by WAI posted for Summitt Racing for $131 that looks a lot like the one you posted.
WAI Powder Coat System 01-07100 | eBay
Two by Eastwood for $82 and $101. Don't know if there is any difference in the two.
Eastwood Hotcoat Powder Coating Gun - PowderCoat Coat - eBay (item 230650667415 end time Jul-29-11 08:33:09 PDT)

Eastwood Hotcoat Powder Coating Gun - PowderCoat Coat - eBay (item 370524109511 end time Aug-02-11 06:43:52 PDT)
The last two were from Craftsman and was for $31.
* New in box * Craftsman Powder Coat System Model 17288 - eBay (item 320695170539 end time Aug-03-11 17:08:45 PDT)
The other was a Lot of 10 with 4 available? Not sure how that one goes.
Lot of 10 New Craftsman Powder Coat System Model 17288 - eBay (item 220779923545 end time Aug-04-11 08:39:47 PDT)
What is your take on these as far a quality and price.

Bill
 

Alan Watkins

Lifetime Supporter
Alan and others. I went on Ebay and found several powder coaters. One by WAI posted for Summitt Racing for $131 that looks a lot like the one you posted.
WAI Powder Coat System 01-07100 | eBay
Two by Eastwood for $82 and $101. Don't know if there is any difference in the two.
Eastwood Hotcoat Powder Coating Gun - PowderCoat Coat - eBay (item 230650667415 end time Jul-29-11 08:33:09 PDT)

Eastwood Hotcoat Powder Coating Gun - PowderCoat Coat - eBay (item 370524109511 end time Aug-02-11 06:43:52 PDT)
The last two were from Craftsman and was for $31.
* New in box * Craftsman Powder Coat System Model 17288 - eBay (item 320695170539 end time Aug-03-11 17:08:45 PDT)
The other was a Lot of 10 with 4 available? Not sure how that one goes.
Lot of 10 New Craftsman Powder Coat System Model 17288 - eBay (item 220779923545 end time Aug-04-11 08:39:47 PDT)
What is your take on these as far a quality and price.

Bill
Bill --

The craftsman ones and the WAI one look exactly like mine from Alsa. If I were you I'd snap up the $31 craftsman one. If you don't like it, I'll take it off your hands and keep it as a spare.

BTW here's a review of the craftsman one: Riser's Powder Coating Trials

Also, Summit carries separate "cups" (cartridges) for $10. I just ordered three.

They also have several colors in 1.5 oz quantity for ~$5 ea.. I'm not sure that makes sense since Eastwood's 8 oz bottles are usually about twice that.

Thank you Bill! That was a great find.
 
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