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Unread 01-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
Fawkes
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Does anyone else have powdercoat problems?

Just a small rant:

We've been fabbing WJ recovery stuff and offering it for sale for just over a year now. Besides the minor inconveniences in steel deliveries, sourcing, etc., the absolutely, positively, biggest pain-in-the-*** thing that we have had to deal with is powdercoaters.

While I'm hopeful a forthcoming switch in vendors will alleviate the problems we've had, it seems that the shops around here are uncommunicative, unprofessional, want your firstborn per piece if you're not giving them a huge run, take forever, or; like my current vendor: Really nice guys that couldn't get an order right (or on time) even if you held their hand the whole way through.

To say I've been frustrated would be an understatment. It's gotten to the point where I almost want to bring it in house, because then I have no excuses for missed deadlines and wrong finishes.



So is it just me and/or my local shops, or is this an industry-wide thing?

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Last edited by Fawkes; 01-04-2013 at 07:29 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Unread 01-04-2013, 07:01 PM   #2
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Haven't dealt with it on a level you have, but the people who do it around here seem to be the same. I called around looking for quotes on my rear bumper/tire carrier I built and people lost me by being absolute ******bags (the majority) or the ones who seemed good to deal with had horrible feedback from the BBB, google, ect.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
zboss86
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****** bags would cover some I have dealt with. Fortunately, I've got a buddy that has a huge set up now...
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Unread 01-05-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
BESRK
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Locally, I've actually had pretty good experiences with the 2 coaters I've used. Both were quick turnaround and fair prices. I suppose it helps that one of the shop owners also owns a CJ8 that I built bumpers for.. Offering CNC Plasma Cutting services for them also helps..

However, I did pick up my own gun, dedicated a kitchen oven, and picked up a 36" blasting cabinet for doing my own small stuff.

Also about 1/2way thru a 4x4x6 oven that I can use for bigger parts.

If you're looking at doing your own coating on lots of bigger parts on a regular basis, I'd probably just look at branching off into it as another side business.. taking on outside work. If the local coaters are as substandard as you say, you might stand a good chance of picking up alot of local business..

Keep in mind, commercial guns and large batch ovens will set you back quite a bit. You'd also need a good compressor and dedicated area for blasting. The one shop that I use has a 20ft milvan that they converted into a blasting "cabinet".. their oven is also 10ft x 10ft x 20ft.. the owner says it costs them $35 just to get it up to temp..
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Unread 01-06-2013, 08:38 AM   #5
solarpower
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Sounds like more of a isolated issue.

They are like anything else with vendors....you can save a few bucks at places and go with a high volume, moderate turn-around and moderate quality...or you can search for the guy who is going to deliver goods to your higher expectations. You will prolly pay more, it will take longer and he might be farther away but you can get what you want.

If your building WJ parts I'm betting that your customers are expecting a high quality finish. You will most likely need to shop around for a shop that understands this and then work from there.

I can tell you that a high percentage of fab shops that make skids/bumpers for "Jeeps" do NOT make quality finish powder coating a priority for a reason.......it's just going to end up on rocks and logs anyway.
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Unread 01-06-2013, 02:06 PM   #6
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The local shop that I take parts to is the same way. Nicest people...but have sometimes literally taken months to run a small batch (gloss black even). They're actually going out of business this month.

I ship my production parts raw steel...lower customer cost and no shipping damage to worry about.
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Unread 01-06-2013, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NalinMFG View Post

I ship my production parts raw steel...lower customer cost and no shipping damage to worry about.
THIS.
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Unread 01-06-2013, 10:21 PM   #8
Fawkes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarpower View Post
Sounds like more of a isolated issue.
I'm not so sure given the replies so far. At least I don't feel like I'm being singled out any more.

Quote:
If your building WJ parts I'm betting that your customers are expecting a high quality finish.
Hell, I'm expecting a high-quality finish... but yes, you are correct. Edit: And we've been looking to branch out to WK and KJs... so yes, the quality of the finish matters to the customer base.

Quote:
You will most likely need to shop around for a shop that understands this and then work from there.

I can tell you that a high percentage of fab shops that make skids/bumpers for "Jeeps" do NOT make quality finish powder coating a priority for a reason.......it's just going to end up on rocks and logs anyway.
And while I sincerely hope ours end up banged around as well, the missed deadlines, wrong textures, runs, sags, pimples (how can you even get those in a powdercoat ) etc. are incredibly frustrating.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 08:27 AM   #9
BESRK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fawkes View Post

And while I sincerely hope ours end up banged around as well, the missed deadlines, wrong textures, runs, sags, pimples (how can you even get those in a powdercoat ) etc. are incredibly frustrating.
Just like paint, powder will react with any contaminants.. oil, paint, fingerprints..etc.

I've read some advertisements that state it's impossible to apply too much powder.. but that's inaccurate. It's easy to apply too much and have it sag.. or even drip. It's also possible to get the finish too hot.. causing it to drip.. been there done that.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:07 AM   #10
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I'm optimistic so far about the vendor we're working with for this current batch. It's a new process (for us), but I think if they can deliver by the deadline next week, current and future customers -not to mention me- will be VERY happy with the coating their getting:

Zinc Phosphate pretreatment (parkerizing, essentially), followed by a ~1 mil of cathodic epoxy primer, and finished with a powdercoat that matches our current black texture.

If it all works out, I will be ecstatic.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 08:14 AM   #11
BESRK
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You know, the Zinc Phosphate coating is really easy. If you can blast your own stuff, you just mix the ZP with water and toss the parts in it. Let 'em sit for a minute or two, rinse with water and dry.

I buy ZP by the gallon (like $40-$50 gal), but it dilutes with water so a little goes a long way.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 10:40 AM   #12
Fawkes
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Coming from the world of firearms, I'm familiar. Depending on the process and desired results, there can be a bit more to it than you're description, but essentially you're correct. The guys we're using describe it as a twelve step process - which would lead me to believe they're using the standard automotive process (multi-stage pre-cleaning/activation/phosphating/sealing/multi-stage rinse) prior to the epoxy primer... which is the big bonus for us. Altogether, it amounts to an end product that should be very rust resistant, even after the top coat has been scraped on rocks.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 01:19 PM   #13
BESRK
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Nice.. sounds like they pay attention to the small details..
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Unread 01-12-2013, 06:24 PM   #14
comeoutswingin
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I've run into the same problem with my powdercoaters. One guy who i was pretty happy with his work, and especially his price just decided he didn't want to do it any more. He was always a couple week turn around.

I found the next guy, who was 45 min away and twice the price. He would try to talk me out of certain colors because he didn't want to order them in even though I said just pass the cost on to me. This annoyed me because when I have a customer that wants a certain color, they want that color.

I got fed up and I am bringing it all in house. Last night I actually framed up the walls of my oven.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 10:09 PM   #15
aggiejon
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I have two that I've used. Both an hour away. One I've used for years. Always been pleased with the finish, price, service, and overall experience. Two knocks, they are out of my trail, so I have to stock up on stuff and take a big batch at once to spread the cost out, and I can never get the price in advance. Always invoice at pickup. Never made my eyes pop, but customers have balked at actual cost +20%. Not the +20, it's the actual cost part that makes them nervous. This guy is big run industrial stuff.

The other guy was was good, no closer but I travel towards/thru its town. He couldn't give me a price either, but I nearly stripped a gear on the price. Then he proceeded to tell me all about doing custom candy finishes for motorcycle builders in Austin. Explained the price tag.
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