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Old 12-10-08, 08:11 PM   #1
screwdriver
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Anyone here do powder coating?

I've got a '74 Yellow Schwinn Le Tour frame set that I've stripped the paint off of. I was wondering if I should paint or powder coat. Does anyone here powder coat?
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Old 12-10-08, 09:59 PM   #2
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Not sure if anyone here does it but I definitely recommend powdercoating over painting. Much more durable and a better finish. Check with any local custom motorcycle shops in your area and they should be able to get you to someone that can help if they can't do it. Usually powdercoating can be done pretty cheap as well. Frame and fork should be $50 or so to have done. that's about what is was the last time I checked.
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Old 12-10-08, 11:04 PM   #3
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Depends if you want to change the paint often. Powdercoating is more resistant to chemical paint strippers and may be really difficult to take of if you don't like the outcome or change your mind later on. On the plus side it's more scratch resistant than paint, but then again it can only resist so far. You want to minimize the amount of sanding that occurs on the surface of the frame too, especially on butted tubes as they can be fairly thin to start off (if you're re-painting the same frame often).

I see you've already stripped the old paint off your frame. For others who are thinking of powder-coating, some outfits will recommend (if not insist) that the frame be sand-blasted prior to powder-coating, as this is common in the industry - to create a key or a grab for the coating. Don't do it! Bike frames are very precisely engineered and only have the bare wall thickness necessary for the load its designed to bear. Sandblasting takes off too much metal and unevenly too at that, and you can't see the damage to the frame with your naked eye. Some areas may have been reduced to paper-thin and you won't be able to tell until it crushes like a Coke can later on. A sand-blasted frame is a compromised frame... it's stuffed! (Buyers beware when buying a repainted frames that have been blasted).

Also watch out for the quality of powder-coating, as there's various grades. Some outfits can only do heavy industrial quality and it can be pretty rough with visible "orange peel" texture. Some places can keep things fine if they see its a bike frame, home appliance quality (as in white refrigerators or ovens). So it pays to ask and better yet, see some painted samples of their work before hand. It is also harder to achieve a high gloss finish from powder coating. If you want high gloss, go for automotive acrylics or two pot epoxy lacquer... but it will cost ya...

Finally, make sure to tape the areas you don't want paint on (powdercoat is a real pain to take off even with a sharp knife once it's on) - BB threads, bearing seats on the head tube, exposed inner wall areas of the seat tube. Don't use masking tape as these just burn when they cook the powder coat in the oven. Ask them for some foil tape, they should have this stuff. Don't trust the painters to mask these areas for you as they don't necessarily understand bike assembly.

One thing to be aware of... the baking process can get quite hot. The heat treatment in High Tensile Steel frames or Chromoly frames are usually not affected by the baking heat in the powder-coating process. Aluminium frames on the other hand?... well it's iffy. Personally I wouldn't powder-coat a high performance aluminium frame because the baking process can change the heat treatment and weaken the frame. So generally, I have powder-coated a few of may son's free-style BMX frames, but I would only lacquer MTB aluminium frames (6061T6 or 7005T6 material).

Cheers - Pocko

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Old 12-11-08, 12:56 AM   #4
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quick google search turned up http://www.pfonline.com/articles/cli...06cl_pwd2.html

I know it's possible to powder coat structural aluminum, you just have to make sure you don't mess up the annealing. When you look around at shops, ask if they do a lot of aluminum, and do a little research on general powder coating too. As long as you find a quality shop, with experience working with aluminum, I can't see any problem in going with powder coating. It always helps to be an informed consumer
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Old 12-11-08, 09:34 AM   #5
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I contacted a bicycle shop in California that powder coats. He wanted $200 to $250 to powder coating a bicycle. And that didn't include stripping.
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Old 12-11-08, 02:32 PM   #6
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Dang!! I wouldn't expect to pay any more than about USD$60 for just a frame.
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Old 12-11-08, 04:21 PM   #7
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Just some links I have since I'm prolly getting one done soon. I can't give any references or prices, just know that they will do frames. I am however seeing pricing in the $100-$200 range

http://www.powdervision.com/
http://www.custompowdercoating.com/
http://powderperfect.com/
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Old 12-12-08, 10:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by screwdriver View Post
I've got a '74 Yellow Schwinn Le Tour frame set that I've stripped the paint off of. I was wondering if I should paint or powder coat. Does anyone here powder coat?
This guy does. There's lots of information in this thread.

Powder Coating Advisor
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Old 01-02-09, 07:13 AM   #9
screwdriver
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Finally found Performance Coating in Oklahoma City that is doing my '74 LE TOUR frameset in Opaque Blue for $75.00 within the next coule of weeks. The bike was originally Yellow but I decided to change to Opaque Blue at the last moment.
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Old 01-07-09, 04:45 PM   #10
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That seems right. I paid $65 to an auto shop in Denver to strip and powercoat my Heckler.

Glenn D.
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Old 01-07-09, 07:06 PM   #11
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Try...... www.phoenixspecialtycoatings.com

Tell 'em Thumper sent 'ya !
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Old 01-07-09, 08:10 PM   #12
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www.boneheadperformance.com

Talk to Chuck. He coats car parts for me, and has coated several bike frames for my nephew who builds all kinds of fixed gear stuff. Chuck's work is top notch.
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Old 01-08-09, 02:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocko View Post
Depends if you want to change the paint often. Powdercoating is more resistant to chemical paint strippers and may be really difficult to take of if you don't like the outcome or change your mind later on. On the plus side it's more scratch resistant than paint, but then again it can only resist so far. You want to minimize the amount of sanding that occurs on the surface of the frame too, especially on butted tubes as they can be fairly thin to start off (if you're re-painting the same frame often).

I see you've already stripped the old paint off your frame. For others who are thinking of powder-coating, some outfits will recommend (if not insist) that the frame be sand-blasted prior to powder-coating, as this is common in the industry - to create a key or a grab for the coating. Don't do it! Bike frames are very precisely engineered and only have the bare wall thickness necessary for the load its designed to bear. Sandblasting takes off too much metal and unevenly too at that, and you can't see the damage to the frame with your naked eye. Some areas may have been reduced to paper-thin and you won't be able to tell until it crushes like a Coke can later on. A sand-blasted frame is a compromised frame... it's stuffed! (Buyers beware when buying a repainted frames that have been blasted).

Also watch out for the quality of powder-coating, as there's various grades. Some outfits can only do heavy industrial quality and it can be pretty rough with visible "orange peel" texture. Some places can keep things fine if they see its a bike frame, home appliance quality (as in white refrigerators or ovens). So it pays to ask and better yet, see some painted samples of their work before hand. It is also harder to achieve a high gloss finish from powder coating. If you want high gloss, go for automotive acrylics or two pot epoxy lacquer... but it will cost ya...

Finally, make sure to tape the areas you don't want paint on (powdercoat is a real pain to take off even with a sharp knife once it's on) - BB threads, bearing seats on the head tube, exposed inner wall areas of the seat tube. Don't use masking tape as these just burn when they cook the powder coat in the oven. Ask them for some foil tape, they should have this stuff. Don't trust the painters to mask these areas for you as they don't necessarily understand bike assembly.

One thing to be aware of... the baking process can get quite hot. The heat treatment in High Tensile Steel frames or Chromoly frames are usually not affected by the baking heat in the powder-coating process. Aluminium frames on the other hand?... well it's iffy. Personally I wouldn't powder-coat a high performance aluminium frame because the baking process can change the heat treatment and weaken the frame. So generally, I have powder-coated a few of may son's free-style BMX frames, but I would only lacquer MTB aluminium frames (6061T6 or 7005T6 material).

Cheers - Pocko

.
Very good advice, I did not know that. I used to think that powder-coating was the be all and end all to get the job done and done right, regardless of the material (except carbon fiber.)
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Old 01-12-09, 08:04 AM   #14
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After 2 weeks I finding out that the powder coating service in OKC can't or won't do the chromed front fork. They've never done a fork with chrome and afraid the oven heat will damage the chrome on the fork. They do not use the heat tape.
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