Powder coating is cool.
It's a tough finish that is stronger than paint and looks great. It's a "Green" process since there are no solvents to spray, and the over spray can be swept or vacuumed up.

I thought it would be cool to powder coat my trusty old wrenches for personalization and good looks.
They were getting dirty and the finish was starting to show signs of wear, so I brought them with me to the Tech Shop to get the treatment.

Now is a good time to preheat the oven and think about where to hang your tools in oven before it gets hot.
My powder needed to be baked at 375 degrees.

Step 1: Clean your tool

First step is to clean your tool.
Wipe off any grease or other grimy residues and then put them in the sand blaster to prep the surface.
Use the sand blaster to roughen up the surface, clean the metal and give the powders a good surface to adhere to.

Warning - the sand will get inside the mechanism and will need to be worked out afterwards. I just wiggled the parts back and forth for a few minutes and the sand started to work it's way out.

A quick spray with de-greaser or TSP and a final water rinse will be sure the powders adhere everywhere.

Dry thoroughly with compressed air.
<p>Awesome job! My dad usually coat his equipment specially the metal ones to prevent rust dirt. Well I already ask him to coat the frame of my BMX and he promise he'll do it. And he ask me to look for <a href="http://www.propowdersupply.com" rel="nofollow">powder coating supplies</a>. </p>
<p>Nice, but you can do all of this without Techshop. I use a modded powder coater from Sears (it's ancient, but identical to the Harbor Fright one), a low pressure air compressor, and a heat gun. I think i have $40 invested in the whole setup if you don't count air ...which is cheaper than a month at TechShop.</p><p>Better powder is available from Eastwood, with many color options. </p><p>I use BRIGHT colors that I can see in dim lighting or dim-witted forgetfulness. </p>
I'm still unclear as to why this couldn't be done in a kitchen oven. With a catch tray on a shelf below the suspended tools, and a vent fan running, and then heating the oven to a higher temp after the tools were removed to &quot;outgas&quot; any &quot;vapors&quot; left behind [or &quot;clean cycle&quot; on a self cleaning oven], what would the danger or objection be?
<p>I power coat small parts like this at home with a harbor freight power coating gun and a simple toaster over, dedicated to the process. Is quite simple to do this at home for small parts.</p>
<p>because the by products of the process are toxic and are nearly impossible to remove from an oven. Also, the out gassing is flammable, and thus, why one uses an electric, and never gas oven.</p>
One could probably use a bar-b-q grill,and just hang the tool sideways,but I dont know for sure.One wouldnt have any problem getting a grill up to temp. so I cant think why one couldnt.
Why not bake it at home? It seems improbable that elements from the paint would stick to the oven and release by subsequent heatings. That would make the paint unusable in any oven?
Actually, paints of this type will leave soot, fine grit, and thin layers of stuff all over the inside of your oven. Its just never a good idea to mix food and non-food, for the same reason you don't use lead pots or have pressure-treated countertops.
aha, thanks for the explanation.
Good advice, I don't think the wife would appreciate me being in the kitchen! This is a great idea if you can pick up old tools and rejuvenate them, but you have to have access to the sand blaster and oven, and many of us haven't.
I like the idea, if we had an equivalent of techshop somewhere near me I might be tempted. I have a load of old chrome-vanadium spanners in the workshop that would benefit from this treatment- could look really smart with a good colour choice too, I like the blue.
I've done a lot of home powder coating, it's not that hard to get into, but in the long run I'm not sure it's worth the effort if you don't have access to a &quot;Tech shop&quot; or perhaps find a friend with the setup. <br> <br>First, without a decent booth to spray in, the powder eventually gets everywhere and will coat your whole garage/shop. You can use a heat gun for large pieces, you just have to heat it in sections and make sure you don't knock the powder off as you're moving around it. I used a old kitchen stove that was no longer in use for small items, but that's a still a pretty small space to be hanging things.
I joined the tech shop just for this reason alone... I'm restoring a 1946 Cushman scooter and there is a lot of blasting to be done - I could have paid a lot more to have someone else do it, or I could pay a monthly fee and use this equipment and so much more! There are three Tech Shops within 30 minutes from me and they have a lot of great stuff between them. I looked at all the gear at Harbor Freight, but too much space and too much stuff.. better to go and use when you need it.
Great one! <br> <br>Cheers <br>
well...i somehow thought this would be a guide to do it at home with standard-tools. <br>Anyone who has access to a powder-coating pistol, curing-oven and so on will already know how to use it, so i think this instructable is a bit useless. Sorry.
I agree. <br>This is not a D.I.Y. project
DIY or do at home? you could certainly get all of the tools used at a place like harbor freight for under $1000...if you don't have the tools at home, find a collective shop or improvise. This is an inspirational project - look at your tools differently.
I done some of mine in orange. When ya working on something in the back 40 in 3 foot tall grass bright colors helps. Helps to keep from leaving sockets on the rad shroud or breather of a car before a test drive also.
good idea, but I was restoring a 1940's scooter with the same powders...
I completely understand sneaking stuff in empty spots with a batch. Almost everything on my novas subframe was done while I was doing a customers racing 4wheeler frame &quot;chrome&quot;.
How does the powder coating work in the screw part of the tool? Does it make it bind up and does it scrap off?
I wasn't really worried about the screw part, part is blue, part is plain. The binding comes in the sand blaster - you need to work it free. <br>You can brush or blow the powder out if you like before baking - it's just held on by static cling.
Probably easier to dis-assemble the wrench and treat each of the (3) components separately. Wear will be unavoidable where the rack and gear meet in any event.
I have purchased and can recommend the DIY powder coat kits available on Ebay &amp; elsewhere. <br>A domestic oven can be used for curing (not to be used for food thereafter!) and I even used a blowtorch to cure small items, although they do need to be held for a while at the top temperature to allow the molecular binding to take place.
Doesn't the heat soften the material of those tools? I don't remember the temperatures but I believe when new knife is finalized it's put to the oven to soften a bit not to break so easily... is it a good idea for a wrench? Again I have no idea what the temperature was so maybe it's nonsense...
It depends on the alloy,but about the bare minimum to anneal any steel alloy is 500F up to 1200-1400F,so 375F for the paint won't affect it.Some aluminum alloys can be affected by as low as 240F,so you'd have to be careful which alloy you powdercoat with them.
OK, my mistake. Yes, annealing was the term I could not recall. And being from europe I was assuming 375 degrees Celsius. Thanks for clarification.
You are talking about annealing to &quot;temper&quot; hardened steel. This requires heating them to 1500 to 2000 degrees. 350 degrees will have no effect at all.
I always thought the temps would be much higher, but I really don't know....
I love the project, unfortunately the only thing I have to do this with is the 2 dirty wrenches
maybe there is another way where you could tumble the tools in a laundry mat with a bunch of rocks and then figure a way to get the powder to stick... spray glue and a toaster oven? Let me know how it comes out!
Nice. Now our abused tools ans stuff can last some more... <br>Voted and Blogged a description, with a link to here: <br>http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2013/10/a-primeira-impressora-3d-made-in.html
sweet! Thanks.
Just need to be careful that the temperature doesn't alter the temper of the tool steel, or you could end up with cool looking junk.
Do try at home, I use a toaster oven only used for that purpose.
Do you think it could be possible to do step 3 with a gas torch?
I don't think it would be complete in the cooking process, but try it! maybe even a heat gun could work, but if the powder manufacturer asks for a soaking time, it may be hard to hold the heat for that long.
Cool job. I envy you that you have access to a Tech Shop. Thanks for posting .

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Bio: Trying to learn faster than I forget. It will be cool to make some stuff along the way.
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