Powder Coat System from Sears?!?!

So… I’m doing some last minute shopping, and I’m in Sears. For whatever reason, I end up walking around the tool area… and look what I find:

Craftsman Powder Coat System

I would never have expected this. Does anyone know anything about this? Does it work? Is it any good? Did anyone else know about this?

OK, I admit, we don’t need to powder coat anything - I just thought it was interesting.

i have used one, we have one in the shop at RIT. The thing about powder coating is it isn’t the powder or gun that is hard it is the cooking of your parts. I don’t know about you but i don’t have a spare oven for cooking parts and i am not going to put them in the one i cook with.

If they are small enough parts like little plates or mounts you can buy a little convection oven maybe.

It was in an issue of PopSci a few months ago. From what they say, (and it makes sense) for small parts you can just use a toaster over, which is what I think anon96464947 said. You could do some cool stuff with that…

Last time I visited a harbor freight they had a small oven for cooking powder coated items, it had a decent size inside, looked about the size of a small refrigerator that one might have in a dorm room. Wasn’t too expensive if I recall correctly either, about $350

I wonder why you can use a toaster oven but not a regular food prep oven.

Just don’t use a microwave :stuck_out_tongue:

I work at Sears and recently saw this item when I started working this Holiday Break. Looked pretty cool, but it didn’t appear that anyone had bought one yet. If I think about it, on Saturday I’ll ask one of our tool pros about the powder coater.

you can use a regular oven but until heat is applied the power is held on by an electrical charge, and during the process some excess is almost always going to fall off the part. Now imagine you made a cake in that same oven later that afternoon :rolleyes:

I don’t suppose some Easy-Off and elbow grease would rectify that problem, would it?

what about a small room, and maybe a large Convection heater or forced air heater, if you insulate the room well enough would that work?

I was thinking a good solution for this would be to go to goodwill, or the salvation army and buy an old crappy stove that still works. That way you will get the heat you need but don’t need to worry about the powder getting on something you are going to use to cook food.

I have a buddy who has an old dishwasher in his garage that he uses for cleaning car parts…this would be kinda like the same thing.

The oven used for powder coating shouldn’t be used for food because of the fumes and emissions as the powder cures.

I have a larger 6 slice toaster oven that I bought from Kmart for $40 for the powder coating system from Eastwood (auto restoration supplier). This is identical to the Sears one and you can use powders from either one. If I had the space I would get an old electric kitchen range. Getting a used kitchen range is cheaper than a powder coating oven. Whatever oven you use must be electric and not gas. You need 400 - 450 degrees for the powder to cure, the higher spike in tempature during the first several minutes of cooking to “flow” the powder out. The size of the oven dictates how big of parts you can do.

Generally the darker the powder the more fumes it releases as it cures. Once the parts cool off from the oven they are ready to be used. They look as if they are painted, it’s not a very thick coating, but it’s much more durable than paint. The powder is sprayed on from a special gun using an electrostatic charge to hold it to the part. Any powder overspray can be swept or vacuumed up. The trick is to not touch the part after you spray it. Thin metal wire works good for this. After being coated you can carry the part to the oven and hook it onto one of the racks so it can hang freely in the oven as it’s baked.

:eek: Not at all “kinda like the same”. Using a spare oven to heat the powder coating isn’t going to break any laws, but using a dishwasher to clean car parts covered with oils and greases will. That is, unless he has a “closed loop” system, or collects and disposes of the water used as an environmental hazard.

I don’t believe there is a water treatment plant in the country who wants to hear that its’ customers are flushing down engine oils in any amounts. If there were, you’d have a dishwasher installed in every motor repair shop around.

Dean often talks about the people in the world who do not have access to clean water, but clean water is so familiar to us that we often don’t even think about how poorly we treat it before we send it back out into the environment.

I don’t know how much heat is required to properly bake the powder coat but would a heatgun suffice? And if that won’t produce enough heat could you maybe use a few hotplates inside an insulated box of some kind. And I have another question, can you heat the part by placing it on a hot surface, or do you have to have equal heat on all sides?

It needs to be heated evenly on all sides.

That’s why you see parts being hung inside an oven–so all the powder bakes evenly.

Would it be possible to use a kiln? I know that the art department at my school has one, but I’m not sure how big it is. but theres got to be a way to hang parts inside.

I work at sears as well, its a fun toy to play with. We used a lp heating lamp to bake the powder coat on some racks for a deminstration.

WARNING…resurrection of a semi-dead thread! :stuck_out_tongue:

Since there was quite a bit of interest in powder coating I decided to do a pictorial step by step of it for any of you considering it or were curious about it. Instead of creating a whole new thread I just decided to build off the one we already had, none of the previous info in here is outdated anyhow. CD is kind of slow being the summer now, I just got done doing some powder coating while photoing the whole thing for my own website, plus I’m still getting occasional PMs or emails about the info I posted earlier in this thread, so away we’ll go…

(The part in the attached pics is the dual groove water pump pulley for a 260/289/302/351w Ford with power steering.)

(I also want to say that between the powder coater from Eastwoods, a few small jars of powder and the toaster oven, I have less than $300 invested in this. Powder coating isn’t as expensive as you may think. While it’s more costly than paint it holds up better, and the size of the parts you can do is only limited by the size of your oven)

For powder coating to adhere properly the part MUST be clean. No paint, rust or oils can be on it. You can clean a part with a wire brush, scotchbrite, sandpaper, or sandblasting depending on what’s on the part.

The part must be metal (to attract the powder) plus it must be able to withstand the heat of the oven, 450 degrees.

[PIC 1]
I used a sandblasting cabinet to clean the old paint and surface rust from the pulley. With the multiple curved surface areas of the pulley this was the easiest method. I used aluminum oxide to do this.

The pulley was blown off with compressed air after being removed from the cabinet. At no time did I touch the pulley with my bare hands once it was sandblasted, just the oils in your skin could cause adhesion problems, use gloves. Also if you’re using clear or translucent powders your finger prints could show through.

[PIC 2]
The pulley was tied to the oven rack with metal wire. This is very important. The pulley must hang clear so the powder can be applied and the metal wire allows the part to be grounded so the powder could be applied and stick to the part. It would be nice to be able to do this in a booth, but I don’t have one, and due to the lack of space I have to work in it was done outside. The powder coating gun is visible in the background. This is the Eastwood model. It’s almost like a spray gun. The powder cup screws on underneath, you clip an air line to it, and unlike a spray gun it also has a cord for the voltage. The static charge is what will attract and hold the powder to the metal part. I wore a dust mask when powdering, there is “overspray” or stray powder that floats around. All this stray powder can be swept or vacuumed up.

[PIC 3]
This is the pulley right after the powder was applied. You can see it looks dull and course. Becarefull not to brush the part up against anything now otherwise the powder will come off and will appear uneven after baking.

[PIC 4]
The pulley was placed in my toaster oven dedicated to this work only. The oven was prewarmed to 450 degrees before the pulley was put into it. It continued baking at 450 for about 8 minutes. After the powder had visually flowed out, it was becoming shiney and lost the dull look, I turned the oven down to 400 for 20 minutes to cure the part.

I’m limited to the number of attachments per post so I’ll continue this in the next post…

Chapter 2 :wink:

Ok, we last left off with the part cooking in the toaster oven. After the 20 minutes were up I shut the oven off and took the pulley out and allowed it to cool. After it cooled off I unwired it from the rack.

[PIC 1]
This is how the front (faces the fan/radiator) of the pulley looks after the powder has cured. The powder is just slighly thicker than paint, you can still see the Ford part # stamped in the pulley.

[PIC 2]
This is the rear of the pulley (faces the motor).

[PIC 3]
This is the 6 slice “family size” toaster oven I used to do this. It is slightly larger that the normal toaster ovens. A nonfood use electric stove could be used also. I had to modify the toaster oven to allow the rack to hang, and I’ll get into that in the next post.

[PIC 4]
Here’s the complete powder coater laying on the garage floor. In the photo in the previous post you could only see the gun close up, this is the whole thing.

It has it’s control box and all the cables coming out of it. The black cable leaving the left side near the silver post is the 110v power plug. The gray cable leaving the top is the trigger. When you’re spraying and you want to charge the part you press this. The part is only charged as long as you hold the button in. The thin black cable is the ground wire with alligator clip. When the pulley was hanging from the oven rack I had this clamped to the rack. This is why you need metal wire to hang the parts from the rack, you need to make the ground and continue the electric circuit. The gun is the last thing all the way to the right (pointing at the GoJak). Just to the left of where the black cable enters the gun is where you hook the air line to it. It has a trigger to control the powder output. The powder container attaches underneath. The end of the gun has a metal tip that protudes from it that charges the powder particles as they leave the gun. They in turn get attracted to the grounded part.

Above the gun and to the left of the second GoJak is a container of powder. This is how Eastwoods and others ship the powder. Different sizes are available. Prices vary depending on container sizes and colors. They do occasionally have sales on the powders.