I NEED HELP WITH POWDER COATING

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mashburn posted this 12 March 2020

Hello To All Of You Accomplished Powder Coaters,

I decided a while back that I was going to start powder coating my cast projectiles. I gathered up all of the necessary equipment and bought a new toaster oven and traded it to my wife for her old oven and was ready to get started. My knowledge of powder coating is limited. Okay here are the results, I couldn't get any powder to stick to the bullets at all. I would like to know how much powder to put in the butter bowl for how many bullets and how many plastic BB'S. I swished and swished this way and that way and even put it all in a somewhat smaller container and set it down in my vibratory case cleaner, still no powder on the bullets. The bullets that I was trying to coat were .17 caliber pills and if you have every cast .17 cal bullets you will roll them and around in your fingers a lot  looking for small defects before you accept or reject them. I thought they may have a lot of gooey finger prints on them so I got out some new bullets and washed them in lacquer clean and let them dry and then went through all of the processes again. NO BETTER LUCK.

The first mix of powder, bb's and bullets seemed to have too much static electricity. The bullets, powder and bb's would lump up into big lumps and wouldn't agitate. The later mixture that I tried lumped up but near as bad as the beginning attempt. I dug through all of the old posts on the forum this evening and found some interesting info: guess what. One contributor said that Harbor Freight flat black pain would not adhere unless you used some kind of static gun.  Since I was just getting started and not wanting to spend any more money than necessary on paint, until I learned what I was doing, guess what I bought. That's right-Harbor Freight Flat Black.

Before I order new paint I would like to know what kind of paint works best and I would appreciate all of the helpful info that you experienced powder coaters can give me. Guess what I learned how to make Harbor Freight flat black stick but it goes on too thick. Take a bullet in your tweezers and dip it into lacquer thinner and give it a good shaking to sling all of the lacquer thinner off. Sift a little paint powder on a smooth flat surface and lay the bullet down and roll it through the powder. I used my finger and would mash the angled point down to make it go down to the paint. It puts a coating on immediately but it is a way too thick. Kind of resembles a minature wooly worm.

Thanks,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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4and1 posted this 12 March 2020

Then only powder I have used, I bought from Smoke on the castboolits forum. I have never had a problem with the powder sticking. I lube my bullets with RCBS case lube (water soluble) and check and size, then I just wash them in Dawn dish liquid. When they dry, I dump them in and shake. And my plastic container isn't one of those #5 things. I would change powder. If you want another source, Eastwood has good powder.

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BigMan54 posted this 12 March 2020

Second on the Eastwood. Have had very good luck with Smoke's powder too. Smallest bullets I've PC'd have been .32Cal-75gr RN for .32ACP. 

Maybe you should try some larger bullets to start. I use Zip-Lock #5 containers. They are about 5"x5"x1 1/2" high. I cover the bottom with a full layer of 6mm black airsoft bb's, add a half teaspoon of powder and about 50-100 bullets depending on size. then shake in a round about fashion for 30-60 seconds. Set the container down and tap the top with my knuckles. Peel off the cover and pick out the bullets with my fingers. I wear Nitrile #7 gloves, pick up a bullet and drop it about from a half inch high in the shaker container to remove excess powder and set it base down in the oven tray. A Convection Toaster Oven. I can do 300-500 bullets this way before I add more powder. And I have a separate container for each color.   

My bullets are clean as I water drop into a clean bucket and lay the bullets out on a clean towel to dry. Then into a clean 1 gal bucket for sorting/inspection. Then into a clean container. After PC they go back into that same clean container. I wash containers before use with soap & hot water and keep covered when not in use.

Clean dry bullets are the only way to go.

I size after PC, just the way I've done it since I started  2+yrs.ago. 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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mashburn posted this 12 March 2020

Hello 4and1,

Thanks for your response and helpful information.

Thanks again,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 12 March 2020

Hello BigMan54,

Thanks for your response and much needed helpful information.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Boschloper posted this 13 March 2020

Try preheating your bullets. I put mine in the toaster oven and heat them to 120 to 130 Fahrenheit. Then I put them in a #5 food storage container with the powder and shake. I dump them out on a 1/4" mesh screen, pick them up with tweezers and put them on the oven tray. I use Eastmans red powder. I don't use plastic BB's. Got the preheat idea from YouTube. 

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mashburn posted this 13 March 2020

Hello Boschloper,

Thanks for the reply and information. I'll give that a try sooner or later. Where I live you can't go out and buy the BB's, like everything else you have to order and pay ridiculious shipping charges.That is one problem of living in a slimly populated area but we have our freedom.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Boschloper posted this 13 March 2020

Not a plug but we have Amazon prime and can get some Eastwood powder with free shipping. If you think OK is slimy populated, try NH. 

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mashburn posted this 13 March 2020

Hello again Boschioper,

Thanks again for reply and information. My wife has amazon prime, which I forget she has because I hardly ever order from Amazon. I meant to say thinly populated, I don't know how the expression I used came out of my keyboard. Southeastern Oklahoma is mountainous and with very few people but the population is increasing. We may get annexed by Texas if the Texas week enders keep buying property and moving in. 

I haven't tried heating the bullets like you suggested but I will tomorrow. I used the bullet-powder and bb suggested amounts mentioned by BigMan54 and had a little better luck but not success. My bullets look like speckled giunea fowl. ( I know I misspelled that word) I think the Harbor freight powder is the main culprit. How hard are you supposed the shuffle the components around in the container? I've got to drive to Ft. Smith, Arkansas within the next few days and if so I will pick up some better powder and if I don't I will order some.

Anyone out there who has any information to add, please do. I've reloaded-built rifles and shot and hunted for about 56 years but this is something that I have never attempted and will appreciate any and all help from anyone.

Masshburn

David a. Cogburn

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Boschloper posted this 13 March 2020

Mashburn:

I just noticed that your thinly which became slimly then became slimy in my post.  Never intended to make a negative comment on Oklahoma.  My dad was born there, and fled to the land of milk and honey (California) during the dust bowl / depression.

I shake my container of bullets and powder about as hard as you could shake them with no lid on the container and not have them come out, only don't try it without the lid, you will have powder everywhere.  I shake until the bullets are well covered.  I don't time  it, just stop when they look right.

Boschloper.

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mashburn posted this 14 March 2020

Hello again Boschloper,

Guess what? I have powder coated bullets baking out in the shop. I tried your idea about preheating the bullets. It worked, even with the Harbor Freight powder that isn't supposed to work. It wasn't a 100% perfect job but for my beginning attempt they appear that they are going to turn out quite well. I ordered some good Eastwood paint and black BB's from 
Amazon today and am anxious to see what I can do with good paint and not have to preheat. When you are almost 76 years old, putting the bullets in the pan, with tweezers, back in the toaster oven is like playing the old kids game called Operation. I'm proud of myself and didn't knock any over while I was doing the process.

Thanks a tremendous lot for your help,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Boschloper posted this 14 March 2020

Glad to hear you are having some success. 

Wayne

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mashburn posted this 14 March 2020

Hello Wayne,

No offense taken. I just thought that you had misread my slimly as slimy and was just giving me consolation. My Parents were some who didn't go to California during the depression and somehow managed to survive here. I'm glad they did or I probably wouldn't be living in what I consider to be the best place to live in the world, especially since the Oklahoma State Government has been taken under Republican control. That's something that I never expected to see just a few years ago. I left and lived in Texas during the early 70's but as soon as I got a chance I came back to my home.

Thanks again for your help and I anxious for my good paint and bb's to arrive .I'm headed to the shop right now to check on my baking bullets. 

 

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 14 March 2020

Hello 4and1,

I thought you might like to know that I whipped the powder coating. A member told me that if I pre-heated the bullets to 130-140 degrees that the Harbor Freight paint would adhere to the bullets and he was right. He also said that by doing that, you didn't need bb's. I ordered some good Eastwood paint and some black bb's, I should now be able to do even a better job. However, I am completely satisfied with the results of my first attempt. I like your idea of lubing the bullets with RCBS water soluble case lube for a sizing lube and I will do that also.

Thanks again,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 16 March 2020

Hello to all,

I have now mastered powder coating that is until some new problems arise. I coated some more bullets today and have a lot more waiting. I am going to hold off until my Eastwood paint and black bb's arrive before I do anymore. The harbor freight flat black requires too much aggrevation to get it to adhere. The bullets that I coated came out real well. One thing I learned is, it tests a 75 year olds hand steadiness when you are setting little .17 cal. bullets down on their base in the oven without turning them over and the ones for gas checks really give a test.

Here are a couple of things that I want to test in the future and may be helpful to people who powder coat and those that are thinking about getting started. I had a thread on a while back dealing with military surplus wheel weights that I had purchased. They were extra hard, they had a hardness of 17-18. I found that the bullets that I cast from these would let the powder adhere much faster and better. Another thing is when I was first starting with not much idea of what I was doing, I tried washing in lacquer thinner and it seemed to help. Now that I am having some success and have a better understanding of the process, I want to experiment with the lacquer thinner wash.  A friend of mine and I do color case hardening and every time we case harden we take a scrap  piece of steel and try something a little different from our standard process. We have learned a lot over the years..

Again I want to thank all of you people who shared information with me, it was all very helpful.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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BigMan54 posted this 21 March 2020

Mashburn,

I'm glad things have worked out for you. I learned all I know about PC'ing from things I read and questions asked and answered on this website. If I had the ability to Post pictures of my journey I would have. But I'm becoming a bit of a luddite.

I gave up on Harbor Freight powder very quickly. As soon as  Smoke's & Eastwood powders arrived I washed out the container, dried it and store my Eastwood Squirrel Gray in it. 

As for setting bullets on their bases to be baked, I am Very Glad that I'm not PC'ing anything smaller then 7mm.

My hands are not as steady as they once were.

 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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mashburn posted this 21 March 2020

Hell again BigMan54,

I got my Eastwood powder in the mail yesterday. I haven't used it yet, but will be doing so in the next few days. I was able to get the Harbor Freight flat black to work but it was a pain in the neck to do it. I won't use it again. I just came out of the shop a little while ago. I was gas checking and sizing some powder coated .312 115 grain bullets to load for some of my 32-20's. The new member, Spindrift, from Norway said that he gas checked before he powder coated. He must coat by some method other than shake and bake or I would think the checks would come off during that process. I want to get loads worked up for a couple of rifles and a handgun to shoot in the ground hog match coming up. The .17 Mashburn is the next bunch of bullets to be coated. Thanks again for your help.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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cfp4570 posted this 21 March 2020

Mashburn, keep us informed on your .17 caliber project. I for one would sure like to hear how it goes. I've only owned one .17 caliber rifle, a CZ 452 in .17 mach 2, but it sure was a hoot to shoot. Squirrel hunting with it was almost like cheating. I plan on doing a .17 hornet barrel for my H&R one of these days. As to coating bullets, the only thing I've used is the Hi-Tek polymer coating. I have had good results with it, but I have no idea how it compares to powder coating.

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mashburn posted this 22 March 2020

cfp4570,

Thanks for your response and interest in my 17 project. I plan on keeping the readers aware of my accomplishments and failures. I started to do this project last year but was dubious as to the success that I would achieve. I started studying about powder coating and I will see if it works and I believe it will. I built my rifle. It is a .17 Mashburn and has about the same powder capacity as a .17 Mach IV. I'll be getting started with firing some rounds within the next two weeks.

Thanks, Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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BigMan54 posted this 22 March 2020

Mashburn,

I seat gascheckd before I "shake & bake". I have used Hornady crimp on gas checks only so far. I seat the gas checks using the gas check seating accessory for My Lyman Lube-Sizer. Give the gaschecked bullets a spritz of brakecleaner on a paper towel about 15 minutes before PC'ing.

I've done 2 batches of 40 #311291, and 50 each of #358156, #429244 & #452490. And 1 batch of 30 #287405. 

Not a single gas check came off. I've only shot the #311291 in Rifle so far. Got 2 1/2" groups from my Handi-Rifle in .30-30 with open sights from the bench. Eyes and shooting ability are not what they used to be. 

The Revolver gaschecked bullets all shot great at 50ft. That's what the indoor range limit is. I even broke down one round of each loading to see if the PC process would cause the GC's to come off. It didn't.

Guess it will be a Loong time before I can get out to the Rifle Range to test those 7mm PC'd & GC'd bullets in my 7x57.

Glad it working out for you. 

I think using that Eastwood powder will really open up your eyes when mixed with Black Bb's.

 

Side note. When I first started PC'ing, it was with HF red. It Really stunk. Then the Eastwood Squirrel Gray arrived, My Wonderful Wife brought me GREEN airsoft BB's. So rather then wait for the Black BB's to arrive from Amazon, I tried PC'ing with green. It worked ! Beautiful smooth gray bullets. About the 8 or 9th batch of 44RF, it stopped working. 

Switched to Black BB's, been using the same 4 plastic boxes with a full layer of Black BB's in the bottom for more the 2yrs. One each for Eastwood Squirrel Gray, Smokes Flame Red, J.D. Green and Ford Light Blue. Done about 3,500 of the gray and at least 1,500 of each of the others.  Still using the same boxes with the same Black BB's inside.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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mashburn posted this 26 March 2020

Hello BigMan,

Thanks for your reply,

I keep learning every day as I do more powder coating and I have been coating every day for over a week. I keep learning and every time I think that I have it mastered I run into a new problem to solve. It's one in the morning and I've got a oven full of bullets ready to get out and that is where I'm headed to the shop now. Thanks for all of the correspondence and information.

Thanks again,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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harleyrock posted this 27 March 2020

Mashburn,

I started much like you did using Harbor Freight Red powder.  That was 2 years ago.  The results so disappointing that I gave it up.  I have read that HF matte black is about the very worst powder for shake and bake.

I have renewed interest in powder coating now and have been researching PC on the web.  There is a ton of info (too much to wade through) on the Castboolits web site.  

I read there about some powders that worked well without having to handle the bullets by placing them individually on the baking sheet.  You dump them on a screen to separate bullets from excess powder then put them on a screen tray that fits your oven and bake them.  They don't stick together or to the screen tray. 

There is a vendor on that site named Smoke that sells powder, AS BB's etc. whom I hope to contact personally to get info as to what powders don't require handling bullets individually. 

Tumble lubing is so easy that I want a PC method that is not much more trouble than tumble lubing.

Rocky

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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mashburn posted this 28 March 2020

Hello harleyrock,

Thanks for your response and comments. I have encountered a new problem with which you may be able to help.  I have found that different alloys accept powder more readily than others. Most of the bullets that I first started to powder coat were cast from very hard alloys, they were aged for a few months and they accepted paint wonderfully. My Grandson and I cast a bunch of bullets about a week a go, from WW's plus 2% tin. They cast great the first bullet was good and they continued to be good all through the casting session. We were casting .357 and .17 bullets. If you have ever cast .17 caliber bullets you will know what a pain it usually is. Out of about 130 .17 bullets there was only three rejects and about 1 or 2 in the .357's. Here is the problem, they will not hardly accept powder.  The night we were casting I went over and grabbed a handful of .357 bullets that were still quite warm and threw them in the shaker box and they coated immediately. Since then I have heated them ,washed them in lacquer thinner and still not much luck. I just finished washing them in hot dish soapy water and rinsed in hot water. They are laying on a towel at the present and when they are completely dry, I;m going to take them to the shop ,warm them up to about 130 degrees and see if they will coat.

Thanks a lot,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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BigMan54 posted this 28 March 2020

Mashburn,

All the Bullets I've PC'd have been freshly cast. Usually less then a week from cast to coat. 

The Bullets I cast for Gas Checking are cast from Linotype or #2. They are all loaded to the max in Revolver and over 1700 in .30-30, Just the way I was taught. 

At one time I could shoot that #358156 over max 2400 in a NM Blackhawk, 6 shots in an 1 1/4" at 25yrds. 

But then I was young, strong and had 20/10 vision, and shot 3-400rds a week. 

These Days I consider myself lucky if all the Bullets find the paper.

But I still do better then the "kids" shooting on either side of me.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Spindrift posted this 28 March 2020

I understand your frustration, I’ve had the same kind of problem. Hang in there, you’ll sort this out! To me, it sounds like you should try another container, or powder (or both).

My experience has been that not all containers are equal, even if they are marked with the triangle and #5. And I find it easier to get good results with a pretty small and shallow container. White plastic works better than translucent (in my experience).

My powders were bought at a norwegian vendor, but I’m pretty sure they are identical to the Eastwood powders. 

 

These three work very well:

-Ford, dark blue

-Kawasaki green

-mirror red

 

»Black, gloss» didn’t work at all, I gave up on it. 

 

With the right combination of container and powder, there is no need for preheating, degreasing or any other special preperation. Old bullets or new, they all should coat well.

 

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mashburn posted this 28 March 2020

Hello Harly,

The washing and the warming worked.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 28 March 2020

Hello BigMan54,

Thanks again for your response and information.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 28 March 2020

Hello Spindrift,

Thanks again as usual for your response and helpful information. I'm getting excellent results on most of the bullets, it's just certain batches of bullets that I'm having trouble with. Some will coat in just a few seconds and others are requiring every trick in the book. The ones that I posted about earlier this evening coated real good when I took them back to the shop and put a little heat on. Most bullets that I've coated don't require heat but others are very tough to whip. I have another new container that is much shallower than the one I'm using. I'm going to give it a try. Guess what: I'm using Gloss black paint. It is working good on just about everything except the stubborn ones that I mentioned. These stubborn bullets are the only ones that I cast from the 2 % tin alloy. I'm going to stay with the black gloss paint until I whip it or it whips me. I like the looks of it.

Thanks again,Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Spindrift posted this 28 March 2020

I also liked the look of the gloss, black; glad it’s working out for you. The reason it didn’t work for me, might have to do with my particular container. Maybe I left the lid of for too long, or something? 

That’s the good thing with a forum, we all get to share out experiences and learn from each other.

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mashburn posted this 29 March 2020

Hello Spindrift,

I switched to a new container. It is 5 1/2 by 1 1/2. It worked much better but still leaves a lot to be desired. How much powder would you put in a container this size? The bullets that I coated in the new container didn't bake near as slick and glossy as others. When they were baking and I would peep in on them, they

Mashburnlooked different, The paint didn't look as glossy or as liquified. Keep in mind though, these are the problem alloy bullets that I have been trying to coat. I think, that possibly the thermostat has gone bad in my convection oven. I'm headed to the shop now and am going to take the pyrometer off of my heat treating furnace and check my oven temperature.

David a. Cogburn

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Spindrift posted this 29 March 2020

For the first session with a container of that size, maybe a teaspoon? Quite a bit of the powder will stick to the walls of your container. When the container is «broken in», maybe half the amount of powder.

When starting a PC session, I have found it helpful to add a little fresh powder. If I use only the powder left over from last time, it is much more difficult to get the powder to stick.

Checking the thermostat sounds like a good idea. The container used should not affect the appearance of the final product. 

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mashburn posted this 29 March 2020

Hello again Spindrift,

I checked the thermostat on my oven with my pyrometer and the thermostat was fine. I am basically treating my powder the same way that you are and adding a little each time I start a coating session. It has got to be the alloy from which these bullets were cast. All of the other bullets that were cast from a different alloy worked fine. I don't have any bullets that aren't lubed and sized the regular old bullet lube way, so I am going to have to cast some more bullets before I can compare the results. I think I'll take a few days break before I start again.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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shuz44 posted this 08 April 2020

I just started powder coating for the .44 mag by using a powder product offered by a guy named Smoke4320  on the Cast Boolit site.

I located a number 5 type 1 quart container with a screw type lid from Zip Lock, and it works great and you can actually see how the boolits are being coated because the container is translucent.

Shake for 1 minute, put on a tray using needle nose pliers and placed on parchment paper, and bake in the oven at 400 deg for 20 minutes and you're done!

Mine came out beautiful, and there was great accuracy and no leading whatsoever outta 2 different revolvers that have throats that are .4285. I have no idea what the bore measures, but I always previously got a slight lead wash in the forcing cone with my load of 8g of Green Dot. 

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Tom G posted this 08 April 2020

Guys,  

 

With the advent of being "locked down at home"  I've decided to try powder coating. I've been following your work with great interest and seek your advice.  Since I recently sold over 1,000 lbs of my linotype and 200 lbs of monotype I no longer have any hard lead to alloy with my wheel weights. 

For harder bullets than WW+T I will need to water drop or heat treat the lead. So, I am contemplating buying a toaster oven.  I've always used my wife's kitchen oven but lately we replaced the old 20+ year old one with a new glass topped one. I know better than to ask her if I can heat treat bullets or powder coat in the new one. I can't blame her as she has never liked me doing bullets in her cooking oven. 

I want to powder coat my pistol bullets so i'm hoping I can buy a toaster oven that will do both Heat treat and powder coating. After looking at a bunch of toaster ovens, I see that most of them only go to 450 deg. max. Also, there seems to be two different temperature control systems ; Digital and those with a ( what I assume is a rheostat control. I suspect that if a toaster oven can hold an honest 450 deg. it will suffice to heat treat bullets. I don't think that any of them would have a problem reaching powder coating temperatures. 

My questions are, has anyone actually checked the accuracy of the oven as to how the set temperature and the actual temp that it will hold agree?  Will they actually hold an honest 450 degrees with a load of bullets in them?  Do you think that buying a digitally controlled oven is worth the price or is one that just operates off a pot. (potentiometer) sufficient ?  What is the temperature spread between oven on and off as it cycles? My wife's old oven used to regulate the temperature up and down in about a 50 degree range. I,O.W,  it would come on at say 400 and click off at about 450 deg. and the temperature curve if you plotted it would look like a saw tooth!!  I don't know if this is important in baking paint or heat treating bullets. 

I'm not sure what the "convection" feature really is. Is it just a fan that circulates the air inside the oven? Is it worth paying for if you are baking bullets. It seems that if the bullets were kept the same temp. on the top as on the bottom it would give a more consistent heat threat or paint melt. I know from heat treating in my wife's oven that baking setting is better than broiling. Broiling got the top of the bullets too hot from the radiant heat and didn't heat them as uniformly as baking. Some of the more expensive toasters have 4 heating elements, Is that an advantage for our purpose or not worth the money? 

Am I asking too much to get one that will heat treat bullets as well as power coat?

As you can see, I have a lot of questions and little experience. So, I would appreciate any advice you experienced powder coater's my have to offer.  

Tom G. 

NRA life,  CBA life. Past CBA Secretary 

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Boschloper posted this 09 April 2020

Tom:  My wife gave me a toaster oven for Christmas. It is an inexpensive model with 2 elements and a pot control. My son gave me a digital thermometer. I use the oven for powder coating only. The cure temp. for my powder is 400 and I don't have any trouble getting that hot with a load of 100+ .45 pistol bullets. I use the pot for a course adjustment and fine tune to the digital.  Once I get it tuned in, it holds about +/- 20deg. I drilled a hole in the back of the oven and stick the probe in so it is just above the tray of bullets. My powder coating mentor uses a convection oven, and I borrowed it before I got mine. I don't see any advantage to the convection. I can't say I have checked the accuracy of my oven, but it seems repeatable to the digital thermometer, which is not calibrated. 

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Brodie posted this 09 April 2020

 Tom G,

If you want to even out the temperature of your toaster oven add more insulation around the outside of the oven.  It is probably showing so much temp. variation because it cools off so quickly.  If it were better insulated the temperature would not swing so rapidly.  I don't know a lot about powder coating, but I have had a great deal of experience with adjusting and managing water baths, ovens, and heating elements.  Stay Safe!

B.E.Brickey

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GP Idaho posted this 09 April 2020

An oven capable of holding a pretty stable and accurate temperature is one of the more important items to have for powder coating. Buy a quality convection oven and consider the use of a P.I.D  Gp

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mashburn posted this 09 April 2020

Hello Tom G,

Thanks for your addition to my thread. I, like you am relatively new to the powder coating activity. One thing I can tell you is, don't powder coat in your wife's oven. There are some very vile fumes released. 450 is about the top heat limit available in todays market. My wife had a older model that went higher but I haven't seem one in years. My oven is convection and has 4 heat elements but all four will only come on when you set it on toast, and then you don't have convection. I checked the temp on mine, with a pyrometer, and it will go about 475 instead of maxing out at 450. It holds its temperature pretty steady. Like one responder said, insulation is probably the answer. It was a fairly expensive oven when she bought it. I'll probably be disagreed with on this next statement by all the powers that be out there, but I wouldn't spend the extra money for a digital control. To me that is just a waste of money, and more likely to give trouble in the future, and now here will come the comments.

I've only been coating a few weeks but by reading and asking questions I've been able to have mostly success. There is a lot of goood information that has been posted on this thread.

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 09 April 2020

Hello,

I want to thank all of you people who have taken time to post info. on this thread.  Anybody who wants to get started at powder coating can, if he reads all of this, can have a head start on a lot of problems that will be encountered. I have been able to use this info to learn how to coat in a short time, but don't expect that you won't run into other problems to solve.

Thanks to all,

Mashburn  

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 09 April 2020

Hello Spindrift,

I thought you would like to know that I finally got the problem alloy bullets to coat. I'm not sure what the trick was, I just kept fooling with  little different techniques and finally it started to work. The first batch that I got to coat didn't seem to be as tough as they should be but the last batch that I did nothing to, no washing, no heating, coated wonderful and sized without loosing any coating. Again, this batch had aged a week or so since I did the first ones. I still think it is the alloy. I will cast more bullets from this alloy and let them seat for a few weeks and see what happens when I try to coat them.

Thanks for all of your help,

mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 09 April 2020

Hello Tom G,

Speaking of you no longer having any hard alloys, to my understanding, powder coating relieves the need for hard alloys. Or that's what I have learned here on the post. I am just starting to shoot powder coated bullets and have no tested proof. That was the main reason I went to powder coating, I wanted  a softer bullet for hunting, yet able to shoot at higher velocities. Good luck.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 09 April 2020

mr mashburn ... ok, maybe the pc sticks better to a bullet that is " primed " by a little oxidation ... so how about speeding up the process by::

soaking them an hour or 3 days in a container of richer oxygen gas  ... keeping on the safe side by using an ozone generator ... ? ... or ? soaking in h2o2 ...? ...  dang i shudda stayed awake in chem class ...  

*************

so now real cowboys wear boots and big hats and shoot pink girly bullets ? .... 

ken

edit: ... oh how about casting them hot and frosty ?  in the first place ...

 

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4and1 posted this 09 April 2020

I will offer a response to Ken's post, for thought. Many people who make their own jacketed bullets, and squirt their own cores, will boil them to clean the lube off of them. One thing that is used is TSP in the water. Forgive the spelling- trisodiumphosphate. I can attest that it leaves the cores with a dull "oxidized" finish, not a shiny one. People who use TSP believe the oxidized finish will help the core to adhere to the copper jacket. 

 

Maybe the same for PC?

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mashburn posted this 09 April 2020

Hello Ken and 4and1,

More food for thought. Right after the bullets were cast by my grandson while I was shaking and baking other bullets, I grabbed a handful of the problem species, that were still quite warm and put them in the shaker and they took powder immediately. Afterwards, when I tried to coat them a few days later would not take powder. I thought, I will warm them up like they were right after casting and they will take powder, verdict was, they wouldn't. I found that cleaning in lacquer thinner-acetone- and hot dish soap washes had no effect. I experimented with different amounts of BB's and different amounts of powder in the shaker with limited results. I quit fooling with them for a week or so and decided to try again, they coated to some extent but I don't think the powder baked on well. About a week later I tried some more bullets that had not been cleaned at all,, they had been setting in a open top container in my shop and they took powder immediately and baked and sized perfectly. Years ago I found that if you were trying to touch up a spot on a rifle with cold blue you could take a paper towel and put some purex on it and it would etch enough for the blue to work much better. I have been thinking about this. But here's the question, I would think you could create  more static electricity on a smooth, slick surface than you could on a etched one.

I have another question- Has anyone experimented with the effect of the atmospheric temperature on the ability of bullets to take powder? The temperature had dropped quite a bit when I coated them successfully and I had no heat on in the shop. Of course, here we are having summer like temperatures most of the time.. It was 94 degrees yesterday but in the 70's today. Now the little .17 cal pills is a different story, I finally got them to coat but I culled a lot of them. I'm going to cast some more bullets from that alloy and let them age a few weeks before I try to coat them. I still have that alloy in my pot.

Thanks for your responses and information.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Spindrift posted this 12 April 2020

Mashburn, so nice to hear you’re making progress!

Good luck with your shooting and load development!

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mashburn posted this 22 April 2020

Hello to all,

There is one thing that I have definitely learned from this discussion. Here is the one thing: The responses that I have received from forum members sure have been more helpful and intelligent that what I found on u-tube..I have dug through a lot of u-tube videos and have found a little helpful information, but you have to surf through so much mularky to find it, it just isn't worth the time and trouble. .Some of those people need to get a job and a life.

Thanks to all of you responders, you have been very helpful.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 24 April 2020

It's me again,

I have been trying to master powder coating for several weeks now as you can tell from this discussion. You solve one problem and later the same problem comes up again, but the way you solved it before doesn't work. However despite all of this I have been able to turn out what I consider perfect bullets, and will be shooting a lot of them next week. Here in Oklahoma our weather has been changing so much lately. An example is 94 degrees one day and a week later we had a freeze. To me, I've come to believe that the atmospheric conditions have a tremendous effect on the powder adhering to the bullet .One day, when the temperature had dropped severely, I went to the shop and did some powder coating. I didn't turn any heat on, in the shop, and had the easiest and best day of coating that I have had. The question is, have any of you noticed this or was it just one of those things

Mashburn.

David a. Cogburn

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Spindrift posted this 24 April 2020

I have noticed that the powder seems to cling easier in the winter, when humidity in the air is less.

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