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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 6/19/2011 7:44:27 PM EDT
Well I ordered a Harbor Freight powdercoating kit. I considered doing powder coating after frustration with Duracoat and Gunkote. I have used both. I found the mixing of duracoat being a pain because if you dont use it all you might as well throw the stuff out. Also, dont use anything plastic to mix it. The first coat of stuff I did I touched by mistake and got a perminant finger print on the stuff. I then did brownells teflon gunkote and found that to hold up better than the air dried duracoat. I also found that when it chips it does not flake. I like standard gunkote but found that it must be applied THICK in order to hold up. I have an AR15 upper that has been done in Gunkote and I have found it very very tough. The sig that I did in gunkote scratched all to hell and had wear show up on the stainless finish. It is also expensive and a pain to store in liquid form (if you dont use it or keep shaking it it can go bad.) I wanted something tougher and was considering duracoat baked on or cerakote. However, I needed a new airbrush.

While surfing for airbrushes on harbor freight I found the powder coat gun. I did a little reading on the stuff and it sounds tough. In fact everything that I have ever used that was powder coated has been tough. It is a little thick but the stuff is cheap. Since it is a powder it almost lasts forever as long as it is kept dry. I also like the idea that the charged particals help make sure the stuff is applied evenly. There is no mixing to worry about. If I F it up by bumping it or touching it I can just wash the part off with water, let it dry, and coat again. I have seen some good pics of this stuff done to some guns. Some really sharp looking kel tecs and a pimp little gold ak on youtube. I have found that all the powder coating threads are met with hate from people which are mostly dealers of the gun paint stuff. I mean it makes sense because why pay $30 for a bottle of gun paint or $200 for a profesional paintjob when you can do powdercoating for like $2 a gun. Kind of like the hate for wolf ammo that has been started by US ammo makers.

I am not saying this will work good because I am still waiting for my powder. I intend to coat some stuff and post some reviews when the stuff gets in. I want to either confirm or dispell the idea that gun specific paint is the way to go. Will update the thread.
Link Posted: 6/20/2011 3:32:55 PM EDT
powder coat is too thick for gun use.looks good at first but it chips readily. if you go back to duracoat just use the small 2 0z. bottles. then you make small batches. to clean the brush and jars i use a couple blasts of brake cleaner. cleans up fast!. store what you dont use in the freezer. it will last a very long time. if it gets thick just add some duracoat reducer. i use the paessche "h" style airbrush 30$ and jars are like 2$.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 7:48:15 PM EDT
Yeh the brush that came with the duracoat kit was crap.

Am going to try the powder coat if I get a chance this weekend.
Link Posted: 8/18/2011 8:58:28 PM EDT
Ok so it has been almost 2 months and I finally got a chance to powdercoat something last night. I did the dust cover to my Draco pistol in tan. It was a little shiner finish than I would have liked but still looks good. It was very easy to apply and took only like 5 minutes. I used very little powder and didnt need to clean anything up because I am going to do more parts this weekend. The finish is very hard. It could have probably used a little thicker coat in some spots because a little black shows threw on one of the bends. Guess thats what happens when I do it at midnight on the deck. The stuff cooked in my oven for 30 min at 415 deg. It wasnt until after that time period I read the thing that says that coating only needs to be cooked for 10min. Anyway, for around $10 lb for almost any color this stuff can not be beat. I will not be trying duracoat again.... Will hopefully post some pics soon.
Link Posted: 8/19/2011 8:56:06 AM EDT
use a dedicated oven not forfood use to bake your parts in
Link Posted: 8/19/2011 2:17:35 PM EDT
powder coat is a hard finish but when it starts to chip it looks like crap and your gonna not have such a fun time fixing.it is also too thick for many clearance issues but i guess if your happy its all that counts. be sure to put up some pics and maybe a few months from now after a couple good visits to the range you could tell us how its holding up.
Link Posted: 8/20/2011 7:29:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/20/2011 7:29:49 AM EDT by KogaShuko]
Pic 1

Pic 2

Here are two photos to start with.

Cooking small parts so it will should not hurt the oven with the powder I am using. The duracoat and gunkote is much worse and one of the on one of the how too the videos says you can use your home oven (dont remember which one.) Now if I cooked 10 powder coated rims in there a day there would definitly be a problem. Since I dont use it for food much worse case scenario I have to replace it since I have been looking for an excuse to do that anyway (it really sucks so I always use the toaster oven.)

I am planning on doing the rest of the gun soon. So far it seems like it holds up better than the gunkote. It is sure easier to apply than duracoat which chipped before I even put my gun back together.

Link Posted: 8/20/2011 10:05:25 PM EDT
Here is the next stage.... AK minus the gas tube....

Link Posted: 8/27/2011 4:45:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2011 2:10:06 PM EDT
Well I have had the thing sloshing around in the trunk of my car since I took it to shoot it. It was during irene and I went to a family members house to use the shower. Needless to say I didnt get a chance to shoot it and left it sloshing around in my trunk with a battery charger, some shoes, a flash light, some loaded mags, and roadside emergency box. No scratches or chips. Eventually I will have to bead blast it and do it again because some of the goo used between the barrel and trunion flowed out under the finish while it was baking. The finish seems to still be strong there but it has a brown tint. I also sat in my house the night after doing the finishing working the safety leaver. Finally, after probably close to 500 cycles the demple where the leaver stops has a small piece of metal showing. This is much better than I thought since this is usually the first spot to go.

The 1 lb box of powder cost me about $3 and I have hardly used any of the stuff. There is almost no wasted powder. Also some facts pulled from the powder facts show that the stuff is applied anywhere between 1-2mils thickness. Duracote is anywhere from .5 - 1 mil. Coats like gunkote shows much thinner but I found that it has to be applied thick or it chips easy and wears off quick.

I did some video of my application of the stuff. I will post it to youtube later.
Link Posted: 9/7/2011 10:31:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2011 11:03:45 AM EDT by KogaShuko]

Youtube vid up!
Link Posted: 10/10/2011 6:14:17 PM EDT
Got a couple of tips for you. I own my own powder coating shop so I have more experience than the average hobbiest. 1st when the powder says to cook 10 minutes at 400° that means when the part reaches 400 then cook it for 10 mins. You were close with your first batch. For really thin parts like dust covers, etc. Cook at 410° for 18-20 mins thicker parts same temp for 25 mins. 2nd powder coating will not last if you don't prep it correctly either acid etching or media blast. I prefer media blast. As a powder coater and an ffl holder I would not coat any parts that have any tolerances or holes for rool pins, powder coating at 1 mil thick won't always cover the part and you may have light spots through out the part ESP large parts. Application is best at 2-4 mils I usually coat around 4 mils which would be to thich for a receiver. Good luck with future parts
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