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  1. #1
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Frame Repaint Cost??

    sorry, the "search" function is not working.

    Fairly generic question: I have an old steel frame that needs to be sandblasted (or bead-blasted), primed, and painted. Since I am not a wrench, I would also want the components removed beforehand and reinstalled afterwards.

    I dont care about fancy paint jobs, just one color, and NO decals.

    How much should something like this cost? I am guessing about $150, is that reasonable??

    Doug
    1986 Alpine

  2. #2
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Have you considered powder-coating the frame? It's a lot cheaper and will last longer and have a faster turn-around time than wet paint. Powder coating prices vary but you should be able to find someone to do it for $100-$150. I'd guess a similar quality paint job would cost at least $300-$400. Shipping can add $50 to $100 each way to the bill so try to find someone local. Also ask if they have done bikes before or they may coat all the threads and you'll be stuck with the job of removing the coating off all those bits.

    I've had several frames powder coated and have been very satisfied with the results. You'll probably have to take the bike to your LBS to get the parts removed/installed. Maybe $50 for this service?

  3. #3
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip about powder coating, there is a facility nearby that does powder coating.

    If the frame, as it is now, has a few patches of rust spots, would it need to be blasted before powder coating?? The website for the powder coating facility makes it look like blasting first will add to the cost.

    Doug

  4. #4
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    I paid about $150 to have the frame I built bead-blasted and powder coated. It would have been less, but $150 was the shop's minimum charge. There were other places in the area that had a $100 minimum, but they didn't really seem to know anything about bikes. I don't know of any powder coat shop that will disassemble your bike for you. Expect this to add $50-100 to the cost if you get your LBS to do the work. If you want a custom-order color, you may have to pay even more.

    Your frame will need to be free of all paint and other contaminants before it can be powder coated. Most powder coaters will take care of this for you. If a shop tells you that bead blasting isn't necessary, go elsewhere. Be aware that modern bike frames are made of very thin tubing (e.g. 0.5mm or 0.020 inches). Sand blasting is too aggressive for use on a frame. The process typically used is called "bead blasting", though I have no idea if glass beads are still the material of choice. I've also heard of walnut shells and baking powder being used.

    You'll want to make sure that your powder coater properly masks your frame before it is powder coated. They need to plug all of the tubes as well as the bottom bracket. Anything with threads on it needs to be plugged (bottom bracket, water bottle bosses, rack mounts, derailleur hanger, etc). The guys who did my bike also laid small circular masks over the areas where the quick-release skewers for the wheels seat. They claim that pressure from clamping the wheel can cause the powder coat to crack! Don't know if it's necessary, but it sounds (somewhat) reasonable to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the tips....I will plan to proceed with powder coating at the end of this season.

    A related question, and maybe for a different thread, but here goes:

    My frame is 22 years old, cromoly steel....same with the fork....I want to keep the frame, but it looks like even a lot of steel framebuilders are using off-the-shelf carbon forks.

    I am wondering what the potential benefits and risks of getting a new 21st century fork would be...what occurs to me is that I could save some weight...but I dont want to change the handling of the bike and it looks like these fancy carbon forks are not "raked" the way the old fashioned steel ones are.

    Any thoughts??

    Doug

  6. #6
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    Carbon forks have rake, though it might not be the same rake as your current fork. If you were to buy a carbon fork, I think you'd want to be darn sure that the axle to crown race and trail measurements were the same as your current fork... assuming you want the bike to continue to handle the same way.

    If you're happy with the steel fork, you could always buy another steel fork... or have a frame builder custom make one that duplicates the original fork.

  7. #7
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input sstorkel....the current fork is fine, I was just curious...probably I should not mess with good enough.

    To muddy the waters further about powder coating, I just had some brief correspondence with a major custom framemaker about repainting, and when I told him I was planning on powder coating, he cautioned me that this does not protect against rust, and the slightest scratch will expose the metal and thus allow rust to form. He suggested it is better to go the old fashioned route of blast/primer/paint...

    Any thoughts on the rust risks of powder coating would be appreciated. The frame is 22 years old and has minimal rust (a few spots of 1-2 mm).

    Doug
    1986 Alpine

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by datlas View Post
    To muddy the waters further about powder coating, I just had some brief correspondence with a major custom framemaker about repainting, and when I told him I was planning on powder coating, he cautioned me that this does not protect against rust, and the slightest scratch will expose the metal and thus allow rust to form. He suggested it is better to go the old fashioned route of blast/primer/paint...

    Any thoughts on the rust risks of powder coating would be appreciated. The frame is 22 years old and has minimal rust (a few spots of 1-2 mm).
    He does have a point about steel frames: if the bare steel is exposed, it will rust. Conventional wisdom says that powder coat is a far more durable finish than paint, however. I believe powder coat generally ends up being thicker than paint and it's baked onto the frame at around 400-degrees. I don't have any scientific data to back that up; it's just what I've heard from everyone in the business.

    To satisfy my curiosity, I just took my pocket knife and tried to scratch two items: 1) the powder-coated fork recently discarded from my mountain bike, and 2) the painted finish from a 1974 Schwinn Typhoon cruiser that I'm planning to restore and refinish. It took me five scratches, with decent pressure, to get through the powder coat finish. The paint on the Schwinn gave up on the first scratch. Again, not a scientific test but it convinced me, at least, that powder coat is pretty durable.

    P.S. the Krylon rattle-can paint job on my home-made welding cart didn't hold up any better than the Schwinn, nor did the factory paint on my 1990 Ford F250 truck. Your mileage may vary.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by datlas View Post
    the slightest scratch will expose the metal and thus allow rust to form. He suggested it is better to go the old fashioned route of blast/primer/paint...

    Any thoughts on the rust risks of powder coating would be appreciated. The frame is 22 years old and has minimal rust (a few spots of 1-2 mm).
    Any scratch, in either paint or powder coat will allow rust to form. Powder coating is just much less susceptible to scratching. The only downsides that I've heard of are that it can partially fill engraving, etc in the frame as it's not as thin as paint. It can also get thin on shape edges if not applied correctly or get in the threads if not applied correctly. The available colors aren't as varied as paint and some special paint effects aren't available with powder coating. Normal decals can't be put under powder coat (due to heat used for curing) but you can either get special decals or use a normal clear coat over the decals after the powder coat is done.

    The bead blasting will remove any existing rust.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowegian View Post
    AThe available colors aren't as varied as paint and some special paint effects aren't available with powder coating.
    If you haven't looked recently, you might be surprised at the array of colors now available in powder coat. Call Tiger Drylac and ask them to send you a complete set of color cards. Metallics, fluorescents, candies, pearls, glow-in-the-dark, etc. are all available. I was tempted to get my bike powder-coated to look like "granite" but I chickened out at the last minute. Next time...

  11. #11
    Junior Member SqueakyOnion's Avatar
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    I had a unicycle that was powdercoated. Took it on some MTB trails and urban riding, and despite my best efforts, the frame still came crashing into pavement more than once.

    Never got a scratch, to my knowledge.

    Sold it to buy a different uni, so can't check now.

    I recently did a rattle-can job on a different unicycle. It doesn't scratch easily, but does flake off if hit with another metal object. Powdercoating, IMO is definitely worth it.

    Does anyone know if a powdercoat finish is available in a black matte?
    Last edited by SqueakyOnion; 06-18-08 at 10:51 PM.

  12. #12
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    I'm a fan of powdercoating, and it is used by lots of frame companies. Surly used to offer the LHT in powder. I can get a frame powder coated and blasted for about 60 bucks so it pays to shop around. Not all powder is equal in durability.

    I have heard the thing about powder not protecting against rust. It is a protective coating, very abrasion resistant, but perhaps like other melted powders it retains pores and water vapour gets in there. I should point out that lots of outdoors stuff from lawn tractors to car parts is powder coated. Motorcycle frames are powder coated in some cases and painted in others.

    If my powder coating gets damaged, I just wipe on a little crazy glue to patch it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SqueakyOnion View Post
    Does anyone know if a powdercoat finish is available in a black matte?
    Yes. Between Tiger and Cardinal, you probably have 20 or 30 different choices for black... from dead flat to super glossy.

  14. #14
    Membre Québécois sunstealth's Avatar
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    does anyone of you know if pearl white is availale in p.c. ?

  15. #15
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    Do a search for Spectrum Powder Works they painted my crossbike and it's stunning.

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