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Powdercoating, Are there any downsides???

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Powdercoating, Are there any downsides???

Old 10-23-11, 01:23 PM
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imabeliever1
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Powdercoating, Are there any downsides???

I was given a 70's Falcon. At some point it has been rattle canned. I am thinking of having it powder coated. A local will do frame and fork for 80.00 dollars. Seems like a deal, but never having had it done, I want to be sure there are no negatives to it.
Thanks.
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Old 10-23-11, 01:32 PM
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Powder Coating (if done correctly) looks as good or better than paint, and it is much more durable.
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Old 10-23-11, 01:36 PM
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If the frame is of a collectiable nature most would say do wet paint. But if the point is to beautify and protect the frame and ride the @#$%^&*( out of it, no issues.

Ask to see an example of their bike work. You want to be sure you have someone who won't load up your lug lines too heavy. Also be sure they protect and eyelets or other threads unless you're ok with tapping them out again (and have the tools).

Also, consider the cost of a chase and face afterward which you'll likely need.
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Old 10-23-11, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Capecodder View Post
Powder Coating (if done correctly) looks as good or better than paint, and it is much more durable.
I would agree with this, with the qualifier that "correctly" is something that I think very few PCers can do-- places like Spectrum in Colorado. The vast majority of PCers can do an okay job, and those jobs never look as good as liquid paint.
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Old 10-23-11, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
I would agree with this, with the qualifier that "correctly" is something that I think very few PCers can do-- places like Spectrum in Colorado. The vast majority of PCers can do an okay job, and those jobs never look as good as liquid paint.
+1... I've seen some real abortions when it comes to powder coating.

If you are in the Midwest contact Groody Brothers. They specialize in bicycle powder coating and have done excellent work for me.
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Old 10-23-11, 01:50 PM
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If the parts are prepped and coated properly, you'll love the results. As far as paint "keep out" areas...any really good powder coater can apply the proper masking medium to eliminate paint build-up in the areas of no paint needs using special tape and plugs. Explain to him your specific desire beforehand.

If this is your first PC outing, just remember ANYTHING beyond the basic metal frame that can be harmed in the 350 + degree baking process will be affected as well. So any decals, stickers, decorative trim, rubber, buried / hidden grease and plastics have to go or suffer the consequences.
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Old 10-23-11, 01:58 PM
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Every one of the four powdercoat finished frames I have chemically stripped has shown hidden rust developing under the finish, even if it does not show from above.
These were all single stage coated frames.
The firms mentioned who do durable work all do multistage.
This of course drives up the cost.
For $80. I think you will get a single stage job.
I have only had one frame done where I selected the coater.
It appeared great for 18 months, then started to fail at braze ons and lug points.
Any powdercoater will advise that a "sharp" or 90° edge is a challenge. The physics of the material as it changes from solid to a liquid cannot be avoided. Multiple stages help mitigate this.

I would DIY if you cannot stomach the cost of a multistage job or traditional painter.
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Old 10-23-11, 03:49 PM
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I don't know if this is symptomatic of a bad one-stage PC jobs or not, but it seems to puddle at the periphery of the lugs, which I think detracts from the appearance.

I am not entirely sure how one would touch up a chip or scratch either.
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Old 10-23-11, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
I don't know if this is symptomatic of a bad one-stage PC jobs or not, but it seems to puddle at the periphery of the lugs, which I think detracts from the appearance.

I am not entirely sure how one would touch up a chip or scratch either.
I see this a lot with PC jobs, and have experienced this firsthand. But some PCers can get away with doing really thin multi-stage applications, which eliminates this problem. I've also heard that multi-stage PC with first stage primer is the best way to go for long term durability and rust resistance.

Good point about touch-ups! Pretty hard to match RAL colors with liquid.
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Old 10-23-11, 04:14 PM
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I agree with the multi-stage PC. I get all my motorcycle wheels powder coated. On the last two, I was told to get the two stage PC. Four years late, my wheels look brand new.. IMO, even a plain PC is over top a paint job.
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Old 10-23-11, 04:50 PM
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I've had several bikes powdercoated, one painted. The powdercoating was about 1/4 the cost of the painting, but the paint job was primer, 2 coats of base, decals, 4 coats of clear, so it definitely was a notch above.

Two of the powdercoat jobs approached the paint for quality, lug definition, and impact. They will be durable well beyond the paint's toughness, and the decals went on over the powdercoat. I have no plans to clear-coat them over the decals, as modern decals are much better than older decals.

My latest powdercoated frame came out as a disappointment. It will be clearcoated over the decals, as the decal maker asked me to try that with a decal he's developed. The frame was already stripped, and was chromed under the paint. The coater didn't do a very good job masking the seat stay caps or the fork crown, and I forgot to tell him not to coat the fork ends. He said the first coat was flawed, so he re-did it. It's way too thick. I now have 2 choices: get to work with sandpaper for a couple of hours, apply the decals, and then have it clearcoated....OR.... see if he'll re-blast it and re-coat it. Frankly, with my time so limited lately, I'd pay him again to do it right, as he's very reasonable and I have a mixte yet to be coated. This bike is white, and there may be a coverage issue with white over chrome, so if it's re-done, it will be in black.

Given what I'm paying, I've got no problem if the one downer job is a learning experience, and it won't bother me to pay again. I'm sure he'll give me a decent deal.

The main attractions to powder-coating for me are 1) durability and 2) price. The quality of the coats have been, with only one exception, excellent.

The main attractions to painting for me are 1) high quality and 2) better selection of colors and paint types. The quality of the base coat/clear coat jobs have been consistently high, but they should be for the price.

I have to decide to coat or paint a Cinelli frame in the near future. The painter takes months and costs 4x the coater. At present, if I can get it powdercoated with the quality of his previous efforts, I'll go the powder coat route, sand it, and clear over the decals. I simply don't want to wait months and months for a job that costs 4x as much and doesn't really look that much better.

As my powder-coat guy gets better, the choice is easier. I hope the white over chrome job was just a bump in the road. As the frame value goes up, I think the owner of a frame should think more seriously, though, about paint vs. the powdercoat.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 10-23-11 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 10-23-11, 04:54 PM
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In PC U get what u pay for! Doubt the 80 bucks guy will fix problems in the tubing or even polish the finishing to start with. A 300 bucks PC job looks amazing but there is a lot of work involved, just like with regular wet paint.
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Old 10-23-11, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
As my powder-coat guy gets better, the choice is easier. I hope the white over chrome job was just a bump in the road. As the frame value goes up, I think the owner of a frame should think more seriously, though, about paint vs. the powdercoat.
I think a lot has to do with the experience and quality of the one doing the powder coating. I was lucky, the first place I chose was a place that only does powder coating and been doing it a long time. First job, was great, second just was super great, and the third job they did was out of this world!! Oh and prices have risen too..

Robbie, you see the black Ironman Expert in YOUR size on Ebay??
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Old 10-23-11, 05:18 PM
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You can do anything with powder. A friend bought this bike a couple of years ago, the powder work is incredible:
https://www.strongframes.com/blog/200...bike-for-sale/

For a 70's Falcon, I'd just sand and rattle can. I don't think paying more for paint/powder than the frame is worth is cost effective.
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Old 10-23-11, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
Robbie, you see the black Ironman Expert in YOUR size on Ebay??
My wife has forbidden me from looking at other girls....

Prices are up there, eh?

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 10-23-11 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 10-23-11, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
My wife has forbidden me from looking at other girls....

Prices are up there, eh?
Same here!!
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Old 10-23-11, 07:31 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I think I will be going the dyi route even thought it will not be as durable .
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Old 10-23-11, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by imabeliever1 View Post
Thanks for all the info. I think I will be going the dyi route even thought it will not be as durable .
good choice. unless you can get a PC that specifically does bike (like a frame builder), anything can happen.

they may sandblast with too strong of media and blast a hole right in your frame. they might powder your bottom bracket, seat tube, head tube, mounts, and/or braze ons. it might look like thick, uneven, wet paint. it might crack when you put in your headset/seatpost/front derailleur.

of course, there are plenty of fine PCs out there, but these things can happen. especially at the lower price points.
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Old 10-23-11, 07:52 PM
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I don't know beans about powder coating and not much more about bicycle frame materials but if the frame is taken up to 350 degrees you are getting into tempering temps. Depending on the value of the bike and what it's made of I might check-in with those more knowledgeable about that. Just a thought.
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Old 10-24-11, 01:24 AM
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I used engine enamel and am pleased with it. That went over a chrome framed bmx. 8 months and it's still in great condition. I won't really ever worry about getting touchup mixed for a color that is dropped from a product lineup. I can get New Ford Gray all day long from several engine enamel manufacturers and a whole can is less than a small tube of touch up at the diy auto parts store. LOL, Ford isn't going away, but Chrysler & GM, as long as they keep getting bailouts I guess they'll be around. but seriously there are more paint colors for engine enamel today than there were 30 years ago or whatever. They've even got generic engine enamel colors.

https://www.duplicolor.com/products/enginePaint/
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Old 10-24-11, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
You can do anything with powder. A friend bought this bike a couple of years ago, the powder work is incredible:
https://www.strongframes.com/blog/200...bike-for-sale/

For a 70's Falcon, I'd just sand and rattle can. I don't think paying more for paint/powder than the frame is worth is cost effective.
That's amazing. How do they do that?
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Old 10-24-11, 06:46 AM
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This thread has inspired me. I'm getting quotes. I've been thinking I'll paint my Raleigh International frame, but maybe I'll have it powder coated.
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Old 10-24-11, 06:57 AM
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I like the way my old Trek 560 turned out.




Marc
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Old 10-24-11, 07:05 AM
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Ask your powder coater for some powder when you get your frame back, sometimes the powder can be dissolved (melted) in thinner and used for touch up. Sometimes the color matches good, sometimes not.

A friend of mine owned a powder coating shop and I worked with him sometimes when he'd need help. Powder coating is a skill, just like painting and a lot of the durability/quality is in the prep. We had different tanks of solutions to dunk the parts into before coating, depending on their material. All parts were bead blasted prior to chemical cleaning and then coating. There is also different kinds of powder and it does have a shelf life. Old powder does not apply as good as new powder.

I view powder as a utility finish and wouldn't powder coat a frame that was considered collectable.
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Old 10-24-11, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
That's amazing. How do they do that?
Skill, I would imagine, or maybe magic.

Understand that it was the show bike to display what they can do, no holds barred on that one. It's amazing in person. He also had a bike done by Spectrum in an Arizona flag motif, pretty cool, as well.
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