I hope this will be of some help to new guys wanting to start and then some that have started?
This is for info only and if you have questions then they should be ask in the right categories to get quick answers because this post will not be monitored very much if any.
What do I need?????
1. Powder gun and powders your $ choice. Don’t buy Harbor Freight powder except for practice only. Not a real good grade of powder. It could be Epoxy and not hold up outside.
2. Some sort of oven depending on what size parts you want to coat. Home type is a good start along with the better toaster ovens also for the small parts and doing test panels.
3. An IR gun to check the part temperature is a must. All parts must be cured at Part Metal Temperature (PMT) no exceptions regardless of what the supplier is telling you! There are a lot of powder failures because of this statement and it is not start your time after flowout. The info is in the Powder Coaters Hand Book.
Note. An IR gun does not work well at all on chrome powder. You will get an incorrect reading every time. Have some extra metal of the same type and thickness that you have spray painted with hight temp grill paint and use that as your reference for the reading.
4. The thickness gage is a “high end” item as far as I’m concerned. It’s necessary to do commercial work for sure, but not for hobby work. They range from $30 to $$$$$.
An LED light to double check for coverage in Faraday areas. It sees what your eyes can’t see.
5. Air compressor. Almost any size will operate a hobby gun but you need to think bigger for sandblasting parts also. 5 hp or better is a good start. You will also need water and oil separators and a desiccant dryer and regulators for your items connected to the lines. Also a small regulator that attaches to your hobby gun. Also an extra air line with a blow off gun for cleaning your guns and for blowing off powder when you have screwed up and put too much powder on or you see a problem area where powder does not look right.
6. Blasting is easily outsourced.
A. how to make sure you have a decent blasting company and good prices and how you might want to ensure a good profile by having very detailed conversations with the blasting guys.
B. A sand blasting setup like one that either sticks in a bag/bucket of sand and a blast cabinet so you can reuse the media. 80 grit Sand/aluminum oxide/black beauty or glass bead but most guys don’t use glass much because it and pot metal do not like one another and will cause you problems when coating.
7. Cleaners and prep for your parts before blasting and after blasting and before the coating process. Dawn, industrial cleaners. Acetone, denatured alcohol. Paint prep ect. There are a lot of pre treatments out there and to each his own on preference so ask questions about them.
8. Sand paper at least in the 220/240 range wet/dry paper for sanding out a coat that didn’t do as wanted and having to recoat. If you let the coating cure too long and have to topcoat it then a fine grade paper will work. 900 to 400 wet/dry or even the pads you buy from auto parts stores.
9. A small butane plumber’s type torch to go over and around the part to get rid of any fuzzes. You will see them pop up as soon as you pull the trigger on your gun when shooting so you want them gone before that. Also using the torch to heat up areas that powder just will not go then you can heat that area up to 125/150 and shoot even without the gun in the power on position and then let the part cool a bit and then power up and coat.
10. Installing a 5/8” 8’ ground rod and then # 6 wire into your coating area for your ground to where you shoot the parts and then connected by a flex ground to what you hang your parts on helps a lot.
11. Now for something you might not want to have and that is a stripper! There are ones out there that even though they are slow they are safer to use and they are also more expensive than some that are more aggressive so you have to ask questions and get answers and then make a choice. A small pressure washer will come in real handy also if you have a place that one could be used to wash off the parts maybe for cleaning the part before or after stripping. One screw up on a coating job and then you find out your blaster will not remove it then you will wish you had a stripper. What I have been told is that in the 2011 time frame any strippers that you buy will have to be signed for and a record will be sent to the EPA and then they can drop in at any time to see what you are doing with it! Even the aircraft strippers you buy over the counter at your parts stores if I have been told correctly will fall into this also!
There is a new EPA regulation regarding methylene chloride (40CFR Part 63
Subpart HHHHHH 63.11173) that is effective January 2011. If methylene
chloride use is under 2,000 lbs. per year (less than 400 gallons per year of
B17 Stripper), the regulation can be met by implementing the following
procedures and making a written statement that these procedures are part of
1. I evaluate each item I refinish to ensure that it requires
stripping and cannot be refinished by topcoating over the existing finish.
2. I evaluate each stripping project to ensure that it can only be
stripped with a stripper containing methylene chloride.
3. I attempt to reduce exposure to methylene chloride to the air by
covering containers of methylene chloride strippers and by limiting stripper
exposed during the stripping process by leaving on the item only
for the required time to strip the item.
4. I attempt to reduce evaporation by consolidating stripping
projects and by using at low temperatures and limiting application time.
5. I store methylene chloride in closed containers.
If your usage is under 400 gallons per year, these are the only requirements
of the new regulation that you are subject to. The evaluations are all made
at your discretion