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How to Powder Coat Metal in Your Own Workshop

With Thanks to Randi Garner of Old People's Garage, Douglas, Arizona

When we enter Randi Garner's Old People's Garage, Robert, Randi, Rachel and Kevin are watching as Randi and Robert powder coat a metal showerhead bracket.

A nice aspect of powder coating is that when it's done, it's finished - there's no drying or curing time. It does need to cool down a little, but that's it.

They load up the powder into the powder gun canister. Randi attaches the canister and compressed gas line to the gun.

The system is charged with about 30,000 volts. That causes a static bond between the powder and the metal. That's a very non-porous system.

Robert attaches the ground to the piece of metal the bracket is hanging from. Randi points to the anodes in the barrel of the powder coating gun that charges the gun. Using a foot pedal to control output, Randi sprays the showerhead bracket with the powder, which is attracted to the charged metal.

Once the piece is coated, Randi puts it into an oven, hanging from a top rack, at 380 degrees for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes, Robert pulls the rack out of the oven and sets it, and the showerhead bracket, to cool.

What's a powder coating setup like this cost?

* Randi paid $40 for the stove at a thrift store.

* The Powder Coating Machine cost about $140.There are cheaper units, but this one allows her to adjust voltage for different size pieces of metal.

* Really cheap industrial powder runs about $7 / can. Of course, you pay more with more colors, color matching, etc.

Kevin is ready to get back to whatever is in that glass in his hand, but you might want to hang around for another moment to see what he is getting for Christmas .....

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