I am about to have someone powder coat all my unfinished steel parts (steps, front landing gear tube, main gear mounts, engine mount, steel canopy hardware, etc). I figured I would do them all at once to save some money. I realize I should have some areas masked to avoid problems with a change in thickness (like the threads on the main gear mount). For those of you that have been through this step, What other specific areas should be masked?

Thanks,

Mike

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Waste of time & money to powder coat. Get a spray can of Tremclad high heat white for your engine mount. Clean and prime the mount, spray it and get on with building. The powder coat hides any cracks in the mount. White paint will quicky show any cracks as a rust colored stain on the white paint. A Quality metal spray paint is quicker, far cheaper and lets your project keep moving forward.

Even my panel is just Tremclad "Hammered Finish" spray paint. KISS.

I agree with Bob.

I did what Bob suggested.  I would not powder coat the engine mount.

I'm glad I didn't powder either! I got some parts PC'd from Zenith without asking for them, I guess they had extra's...anyways, lots of them get beat to hell during the build. I painted my cage and am really glad that was not PC'd, it's been scratched like crazy from putting and taking off the front top skin!

OK - so far nobody is in favor of powder coating. But painting still adds thickness... what areas did you find you needed to mask off other than threads?

Thanks again,

Mike

I can not comment on thickness issues but can regarding powder coating. Many pieces of equipment on my ranch from tractors, trailers, implements have a pc finish. Every one has a failed finish that is peeling. While the process helps the manufacturers with voc environmental concerns from my experience I will stay with blasting, priming and top coating.

Ray

I powder coated my steel parts, well the ones not longer than my oven. The nose gear I did in 2 parts.

Related to masking parts:

Method 1. Some areas I used aluminum tube to cover the threads, and act as part of the harness to hand the parts or attach to the oven rack for baking.

Method 2.(I prefer this, it doesn't cost any money) After you powder coat the part, just brush the powder coat off the areas you don't want powder coat, with a fine brush.

Method 3, go ahead an buy the pricey green shiny high temp masking tape off Amazon. It works ok, but powder can sneak under it if its not a tight fit, still leaves the goo of the glue not matter how high tech. Regular masking tape works ok, but leaves more goo.

Paint Thickness and unwanted areas. Like the others have said, its not totally industrucible, ie it can scratch, and heaven forbid you spill you any Assa-tone (reflects my attitude when I spill it) on your newly powder coated parts. So the point is its pretty tough, but you can remove it from areas you decide you don't need it. Like on the ends of my Flaperon mixing tube where the bearings should be.

Extra Advice- your only really need to get to 300 deg, just let it bake a little longer. This temp may vary with your paint. Mine said pre heat to 400 and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Make sure you have really good lighting, or use a flash light to examine the part to make sure you can verify an even coat of powder. If you get some areas a little light on powder coat, its really a do over, no method to attempt to recoat really works well. 

Finally, plan , plan, plan. Once you learn the method to the madness, its not so bad. But your really need to have a solid plan of how to hang the parts, your method for traveling to and from the stove, and focus focus focus. Nothing is more frustrating than bumping or dropping a part you just did an awesome job of getting the dry powder stuck too evenly. I evently just started hanging the parts on the oven rack ahead of time and powder coating it right on the rack. I could attached the wire for the static charge to the oven rack, and get the same results applying the coat. Then I just moved the whole rack to the oven. Much more reliabilty, and less do overs.

Finally, make sure to have a good stock of your favorite beverage, if you have a regular kitchen oven like I do. You can only cram so much in there, and your going to have 20-30 minutes of cooking time. I think this is the perfect time to sit back and enjoy a tasty beverage. WARNING - this could have an effect on each consecutive coating and baking session, depending on your choice of drink.

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