Introduction: A Shiny Orange Square (Powder-Coated)

Picture of A Shiny Orange Square (Powder-Coated)

We will use bright orange powder coat to make a shiny square.  The material will be mild steel which is quarter inch thick.  This is one mighty heavy square that can be used for a variety of purposes.  So far it has been used as a coaster, a paperweight, decorative art, and as a threatened weapon - unfortunately directed at myself.

I made this at TechShop Detroit (www.techshop.ws).

Step 1: Cut Metal Flat Bar Into Squares

Picture of Cut Metal Flat Bar Into Squares

We start with a 3" wide meta flat bar.  Using the horizontal band saw, we secure and cut the bar into 3" x 3" squares.  Put the bar into the band saw and tighten it enough that it can still move.  Then measure such that the blade is exactly 3" from the edge of the bar.  Use a blade speed of 165 (for mild steel) and a feed rate of 2.5 (between 2 and 3 for mild steel).  Cut as many squares as you would like.

Step 2: Grind Edges to a Smooth Finish

Picture of Grind Edges to a Smooth Finish

Using a grinder to deburr the squares where you cut them and ensure that all edges are smooth.  

Step 3: Drill Hole Into Squares

Picture of Drill Hole Into Squares

A method to hang the squares using a conductive material is required if we are powder-coating them.  In this case we will use a metal coat hanger and drill a hole in the square to put the coat hanger through.

A 1/8" hole is the perfect size to fit in an old-fashioned coat hanger.  Use a drill press and make sure you have the correct speed for steel.  Change the speed on the drill press if necessary.

Step 4: Prepare Squares for Powder Coating

To powder coat your material, it should be free of grease, oils, dirt and allow for surface that can easily hold powder.  That being said, for a very smooth finish, make sure that your cleaning is consistent on all faces of the part.  

First, sandblast the material as shown in How to Use a Sand Blaster.
Then soak your parts in a TSP bath as shown in Using TSP to Prepare Parts for Powder Coating.
Lastly, hang and clean your parts with Acetone as shown in Using Acetone to Prepare Parts for Power Coating.

Step 5: Prepare Squares for Powder Coating

Picture of Prepare Squares for Powder Coating

To powder coat your material, it should be free of grease, oils, dirt and allow for surface that can easily hold powder.  That being said, for a very smooth finish, make sure that your cleaning is consistent on all faces of the part. 

First, sandblast the material as shown in How to Use a Sand Blaster.
Then soak your parts in a TSP bath as shown in Using TSP to Prepare Parts for Powder Coating.
Lastly, hang and clean your parts with Acetone as shown in Using Acetone to Prepare Parts for Power Coating.

Step 6: Powder Coat the Squares

Picture of Powder Coat the Squares

To powder coat something, a very fine powder is applied electrostatically and the part is then "baked" in an oven.  Powder coat the squares as shown in Powder Coating Basics.

The results should be a very smooth, shiny square (to be used responsibly) at the end!

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