Category: How To

"Panhead Jim”

Fresh out of the oven

They say there are two kinds of people in the world: those who can paint and those who can’t. After years of botched paint jobs, I finally embraced the fact that I am deeply rooted in the “those who can’t” group. Luckily, there is hope for all of us non-painters, and it is called powdercoating. Instead of a liquid-based paint, which can run and drip, powdercoating is just what the name implies, a dry powder. An electrostatic charge (think static electricity) is used to hold the powder to the part that is sprayed from a special gun using compressed air. Heat is then used to flow or melt the powder into a smooth skin. The result is a finish that is up to 10 times more durable than liquid coatings and resists most chemicals, fuels, UV light, acids, thinners, and brake fluid. The tooling needed is fairly minimal, basically just a powdercoat gun, an air compressor, and an oven. Companies like Eastwood sell powdercoating guns for under $100 as well as many colors of powder for about $20 a pound. You may be tempted to use your kitchen oven to cure your parts, but I would recommend picking up a cheap used oven from craigslist just to be on the safe side. One thing to keep in mind is that you will be spraying dry powder around your shop with compressed air, so you’ll want to devise a way to contain the powder during application or you’ll be doing a lot of cleaning up afterwards.





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