by Pat Goss
If you want a great finish on some of your automotive parts, consider powder coating them. That’s what we did with the wheels on this motorcycle, and they look great and they’re going to continue to look great for a long time to come. That’s one of the advantages of powder coating. It lasts a long time.
Now, up until recently, you had to have it done professionally. But now, through the good folks at Eastwood Tools Company, you can buy your own powder coating kit. It comes with an application gun. You can actually get a larger hopper than the standard one so you don’t have to refill it if you’re doing large pieces. It also has a transformer that electrically charges whatever you’re going to apply the powder to. This makes the powder be attracted to the part and it stays in place. And actually this is a powder. You have to remember that, because what you’re going to do with it after the powder has been applied is you’re going to put it in an oven and you’re going to bake it, so that means you need an old oven. No, you can’t use your household oven, because it will stink for a long time to come.
Now, it’s available in a lot of different colors. You can buy colors for just about anything that you might want to do. It comes in small containers, large containers, whatever you need. It’s available. But remember that powder coating doesn’t cover up your mistakes. So you have to follow all of the rules in preparation.
Here we did a valve cover, started like this. We blasted it with media to get it to this stage, then we powder coated it. It looks good until you get up close and you see that the pock marks that were in the original metal, they’re still there. The powder coating did not cover them up. So it’s no better than your preparation, and it works best on bare metal.
Here we put some on a spring that was painted and when the product, the spring went into the oven, well, the heat from the oven caused the old paint to blister, and now we have rough, blistered powder coating. It’s a great product, but follow all of the regulations that they give you on using it, and you’ll get a great job.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.