Fixturing Advice Needed

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    I am a custom bicycle wheel builder that has finally gotten into powder coating my own parts as needed. I am launching a new line and will have to powder coat the spokes.

    I got great results the last time I did it. I am using a toaster oven and it works beautifully. spokes have such small thermal mass that the flash and flow are almost instantaneous. My problem is that I will be doing thousands upon thousands of these.

    The projects are not lucrative enough to dictate custom production fixturing or larger ovens at this point.


    Original fixturing was square aluminum channel that I cut to width of the oven and drilled and tapped to accept each spoke. Works great but the time required to remove and install the spokes is way too long. First I had a solid block with blind holes tapped in it but that didn’t work for obvious reasons.

    Then the aluminum channel was thin walled. Still too long.

    So – now I am thinking of either a series of spring clamps – like aligator clamps, or, even better, a bus bar out of an electrical service panel. The bus bar would work best and I can use a drill to clamp and unclamp the spokes, but I need some sort of cover or masking over the spoke threads as there are gaps around the clamp screws in the bus bar. I also need a way to protect the spoke threads from being damages by the clamp screws.


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