TechShop is a community workshop, where regular folks like you and I can have access to great tools and helpful people. One of those tools is the Powder Coating system, which includes a little sandblasting...
Step 1: Get a Membership!
Join Techshop to get access to lots of great tools! They have safety and basic use classes for all the tools. For powder coating, you'll take the "Sandblasting and Powder Coating SBU" class
Staff in the workshop area are referred to as Dream Consultants or DeeCees. You can always approach them for help.
Step 2: Preparation: Sandblasting Explanation and Safety.
Next we learn about sandblasting and basic use and safety of the sandblasting cabinet.
Activation of the blast cabinet is controlled with a foot switch. Press it and the media shoots out of the gun.
The cabinet also has lights and a fan to keep visibility up and dust down.
Our class took turns using the cabinet to clean our metal sample pieces.
Step 3: Chemical Cleaning
At the sink, our instructor taught us how to mix TSP and water. We washed our pieces in the solution and then rinsed them.
(Before we started cleaning, he had fired up the oven so it could warm up.)
Step 4: The Powder Gun
Next up we learned about all of the parts of the gun. (About this time the instructor had us hang our washed parts in the oven to preheat and dry.) Each student took turns disassembling the gun and reassembling it. This is important when cleaning the gun after use and between colors.
Step 5: Spraying the Powder
Once you are familiar with the gun, it's time to apply powder. Keeping the gun about 12 inches from the part, squeeze the trigger and coat the part with powder. Even amount, and not too much.
If you get too much powder on the part, it begins to look mottled.
Step 6: The Oven
Our TechShop has a big and a little oven. Each has controls that allow you to set the temperature and run time. we has ours set for 400, but different powders will have different temps and bake times.
Step 7: Curing
After coating, we hung our parts from hooks in the oven, and let them cure for the required time. We then pulled them out and hung them to cool. Curing causes the power to melt and flow across the part, leaving a smooth finish.
Step 8: My Project and Results
I wanted to learn powder coating so I could use the system for some projects. My first projects was some parts from my daughters quad. I did the handle bars, skid plate, and some other small parts in the matching Kawasaki Green color. Pretty happy with the results!