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Old 03-14-11, 09:48 PM   #1
yummygooey
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Clear powdercoat over raw steel?

Quick question: a clear powdercoat over raw steel will protect the steel from corrosion in the same way a colored powdercoat would, correct?

I apologize if this is the wrong subforum... I wasn't quite sure where this question should go.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-14-11, 10:02 PM   #2
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I've seen stock bikes sold this way...so my best guess is it's fine.
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Old 03-14-11, 10:10 PM   #3
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How could this be the wrong forum? It's the "catch-all". Framebuilders would have been a good choice too.

I know zilch about painting frames but I don't see why not.

Last edited by skijor; 03-15-11 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 03-14-11, 10:14 PM   #4
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Yea, I assumed it would do the job fine. I just spent 2 hours derusting my frame, and I'm dropping it off on Saturday to get a clear powdercoat. I don't want to drop $70 on something that won't do squat. And, quite frankly, I'm sick of spending 2 hours a month with a bottle of naval jelly and my frame stripped of parts, not to mention not being able to ride with the smallest hint of moisture on the ground.
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Old 03-15-11, 07:13 AM   #5
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Why not just save up and go Ti?
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Old 03-15-11, 08:07 AM   #6
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Why not just save up and go Ti?
Because a Ti frame will cost 8 to 10 times as much as a powder-coating job.

"My Mazda got a flat tire."
"Why not save up and buy a new Porsche?"
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Old 03-15-11, 12:04 PM   #7
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the steel is usually blasted first before powder coat will cling,
It has to be clean and un handled. oils in your skin will contaminate.
so a lacquer is probably better unless you want the sandblasted look preserved.
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Old 03-15-11, 03:15 PM   #8
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The frame is pretty nice. It's a Reynolds 853 frame made by Teesdale.

I assume the frame will be sandblasted prior to coating. I told the guy that it has minor surface rust and is covered with carnauba wax. He said neither is a problem.
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Old 03-15-11, 11:29 PM   #9
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Cool, I also own a custom steel bike (Waterford). Nothing like a bike that fits to a T. I'm curious what the finished product will look like. I work with steel every day, but not for bikes. There are many different looks of raw steel depending on the make-up. In particular, I am wondering what the welds will look like.

BTW, I did not suggest just saving up and going Ti to be a smart ass [as one poster apparently took it]. I was implying that the raw steel might look close to Ti, and obviously it has certain advantages over steel.

This subject was discussed on the mtbr forum, although the OP there wanted to do the job himself.
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Old 03-16-11, 05:45 AM   #10
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yes it will, i ride 3-4 year steel bike with a clear powder that makes me happy.
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Old 03-16-11, 08:31 AM   #11
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Ha, I wish my frame was custom for me. I picked it up for a good deal. It fits me pretty well... I have yet to spend major mileage on it so I still haven't gotten everything dialed in.

Ti is one of those things that's on my mind for the future. One day...

I'll make sure to post pics when the job is done.
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Old 03-16-11, 05:38 PM   #12
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The only disadvantage of clear powdercoat instead of a color is that scratches won't show as easily. You'll see that it's scratched after the rust starts. If you keep an eye out for scratches as they happen and possible put clear nail polish or something over them, it should work great for years.
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Old 03-27-11, 07:03 PM   #13
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P3271884 by yummygooey, on Flickr


P3271894 by yummygooey, on Flickr

I had Mason @ UPC in Chicago do the powder coat for me. They were fast (dropped off Saturday afternoon, was ready for pickup by midday Tuesday), cheap ($70), and super friendly. The finish isn't 100%, but I'm pretty happy with it (not much room for complaint for $70, haha). I highly recommend them if you're in the Chicago area and are in need of a powder coat.

Since this is clear over steel, there's not much that I could take photos of. There's a cool very, very faint yellow-ish tint in the clear that really gives the steel some character, and the brazing really pops out. I'm super happy to be off of a loaner bike and back on my own ride!

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Old 03-27-11, 08:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by yummygooey View Post
There's a cool very, very faint yellow-ish tint in the clear that really gives the steel some character, and the brazing really pops out. I'm super happy to be off of a loaner bike and back on my own ride!


The brazing do really pop out. Those are not lug lining, but silver brazing.

Regarding whether it will rust if only clear-coated over, so far, for my frame, no.
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Old 03-27-11, 08:11 PM   #15
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Hooooooooo silver brazing. Nice!

That gloss powder coat also looks pretty great. I initially couldn't decide if I wanted the gloss or the semi-gloss, but I decided on the semi-gloss to preserve the original look of the frame.

There is some rust trapped under my clear coat, but it is really minor and kind of adds character to the frame.
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