Penn Senator 3/0 Powdercoated

Started by Sledge, May 14, 2022, 03:35:38 AM

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Sledge

Just about finished up this Senator 3/0.  The usual corrosion issues...it was kind of ugly.  So I stripped it, and cleaned everything in mineral spirits.  Then took a Dremel with wire brush to clean up the corrosion.  Degreased the rings and posts with brake cleaner, then used the Shake-n-Bake method to powder coat them with some Harbor Freight Flat Black.  Swapped in a stainless spool.  CF drags from Smooth Drag.
The flat black finished with a kind texture that feels rough to the touch.  Noticed some thin spots, and a few, small thicker spots.  But overall it looks pretty good...from arms length, anyway.  Ugly corrosion covered, clean, and we'll protected for years to come!  I think it will make for a dandy catfish rig!


Dominick

Leave the gun.  Take the cannolis.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.

alantani

send me an email at alantani@yahoo.com for questions!

Rancanfish

I woke today and suddenly nothing happened.

Crow

There's nothing wrong with a few "F's" on your record....Food, Fun, Flowers, Fishing, Friends, and Fun....to name just a few !

Donnyboat

Thanks for showing us Sledge, looks great, very interesting, but i am surching for more info, you mentioned, the shake & bake method, So did you bake it in your house oven or did you have another oven in the shed, how long did you bake it for & @ what heat, keep well, cheers Don.
Don, or donnyboat

Sledge

Quote from: Donnyboat on May 17, 2022, 01:19:16 AMThanks for showing us Sledge, looks great, very interesting, but i am surching for more info...cheers Don.

Hello Don!  The "Shake-n-Bake" is a quick and easy method of powder coating that's used with lead bullets for reloading.  I adapted it for coating small, metal parts...but don't claim to be the first guy to try it.
For those new to the process, powder coating uses very fine, powdered plastic to coat metal, as an alternative to paint.  The process utilizes a static charge to make the plastic adhere to the metal.  Then it is baked in an oven, which causes the plastic powder to melt.  The end result is a very durable, protective coating.
So far as using this coating for lead bullets, it's great stuff!  But coating several hundred at a time isn't practical using the typical application process required for large parts.  Luckily, some bright individual discovered a cheap and easy way to do it using little more than a plastic bucket!
All that's required is a #5 plastic container, with lid, large enough to hold your desired part.  The #5 is desirable because it is a type that allows the creation of a static charge.  You put your metal part inside with a small amount of the plastic media...whatever is your favorite color...put on the lid, and you shake it around for a minute.  As the metal part and the plastic media bounce around inside, it rubs on the plastic and creates a static charge...exchanging negative ions, or some such.  This static charge allows the plastic media to adhere to the metal.
The process I just described is the "dry method".  It works fairly well for 50-100 lead bullets when using a certain kind of powder media.  I say "a certain kind" because some powder works very well using this method...and some doesn't.  For bullets, anyway.  No idea why.
The powder I have on hand is the cheap stuff from Harbor Freight, and unfortunately it doesn't seem to work well with the dry method, for bullets or anything else.  Although, I'm sure it works just fine for it's intended purpose, when using a typical applicator machine.
The alternative is the "wet method".  It utilizes a chemical agent such as acetone to act as a carrier for the powder.  You add a small amount of powder, and a small amount of the wetting agent into the bucket with your part.  Shake it around a bit.  And viola!  Coated!
Well... that's how it should work, anyway.  For bullets it generally works quite well.  For reel parts and such, I'm still experimenting.
With one or two small parts banging around in the bucket the desired static build up doesn't happen.  Very little of the powder adheres to the part using the dry method, especially, but the same is true for the wet.  Although, in ideal conditions it actually doesn't take very much powder to coat a part.  There shouldn't be a lot of buildup.  About a teaspoon of the powder will coat 100-200 bullets.  But in this particular case, I've found it's necessary to use a good deal more powder, and wetting agent, to kind of make a "slurry".
When using the acetone, it evaporates pretty fast.  And that's fine.  You want it to evaporate, completely, and leave nothing but the powder adhering to the metal.  But you have to work pretty fast.  And the first coat can be thin in spots, so you wind up doing two coats.  This can lead to undesirable buildup, or thick spots, that can cause interference with tight fitting parts such as rings.
Ok, ok, enough with the preliminary description, which I tried to keep pretty general.  For anyone that's interested, I'd highly recommend reading up on the subject before trying it.  Just search; "powder coating bullets", and/or adding "dry/wet method".  That should get you up to speed on the process and requirements.
As to my actually experience tinkering with this reel, here's what I have done.  First, get your powder.  HF is cheap and easy to experiment with, but color selection...and possibly quality...is somewhat lacking.  There are other suppliers easily accessible online, such as Eastwood.  Color selection is great, and their powder seems to work very well dry, or wet.  More expensive, though...but a little goes a long way.
Next, you'll need an oven.  DON'T use the one in your kitchen!  I don't know exactly what kind of fumes or chemicals comes off this stuff when it gets up to temperature, but it definitely smells like hot plastic when it's baking.  You probably don't want to contaminate your kitchen.  Luckily, a small toaster oven is about ideal for baking small parts.  New, or used, they're pretty cheap.  Goodwill or thrift stores are a good source.  I found mine for about $8, I think.  Wally World has new ones for $10 or $15...something like that.  Get one with digital controls if at all possible...it will make things much easier.
Next, you're going to need some sand paper.  The metal needs a texture to give the plastic something to adhere to.  The finish is exceptionally durable when applied correctly... sandblasting is the preferred prep method...but it will chip off bright chrome pretty easily.  Scuff it up!
Brake cleaner!  Several cans!  You have to clean and degrease your parts before powder coating.  Even oily fingerprints can mess up the finish, so don't touch the cleaned parts with bare hands.  Wearing rubber gloves helps.  I use needle nose pliers and bits of wire to hold/position parts so I don't touch them after cleaning.  Spray liberally, and let dry.  Also, be aware the brake cleaner makes the part very cold as it evaporates, which causes moisture to condense.  This has to evaporate, too, or it will contaminate the application process.  You can speed it up by pre-warming in the oven.
You'll need a little tray to hold the parts as they bake.  Some ovens come with one.  I wrapped mine in aluminum foil to keep it clean.  Then I lay down a sheet of parchment paper inside.  This keeps the part from sticking...just like cookies!
The "bucket" I use is an empty "OXY" detergent container from the dollar store.  I use the stuff regularly, so I always have several empties on hand for parts cleaning, or different colors of powder.  Just so happens it's made from #5 plastic.
Add your powder of your chosen color... doesn't take a lot.  Add your wet agent if using the wet method.  Read up on the process and experiment to determine how much of each.  Finally, add your part/parts, and snap on the lid.  (Make sure all the screw holes are filled with spare screws, or else they'll be filled with plastic after!). Shake your bucket for a minute or so!
Remember when using acetone it evaporates fast.  So make sure before you open the lid that there's a place to go with your parts so they can dry.  Hanging them is ideal.  Or lay down another sheet of parchment paper.  Just know, any place that touches down will likely mark the finish.
Hanging is also ideal when baking.  That's how they do it with big parts, hanging by wires, or hooks, so that it doesn't touch anything until it's cured...but that's not generally possible with a toaster oven.  So just plan ahead as to what touches parchment...whichever place is least likely to show.
Put your dried parts on the pan.  Pan in oven, preheated to 400 degrees.  Bake for 12-20 minutes, as recommended by the powder manufacturer.
When you remove the pan, the hot plastic will be soft until it cools a bit.  Give it a minute before you start moving things around. 
After it's cooled down you can look it over for thin spots, or lumps.  Might need a second coat, which isn't a problem so long as you keep your clearances in mind.  Lumps can be sanded down before recoating, or just smoothed and leveled.
That's pretty much it.  This stuff looks good, and protects the metal when applied correctly.  Or, it can be a bear to remove if the job is botched.  It's still a process in development at the moment...just trying to ressirect old, corroded rings and such to keep them in use as opposed to buying replacements.  Likely I'll transition to using an actual, static-electric application process in the near future, as it applies a much more even coat in one pass.  Have the equipment, just don't have a great place to set it up.
Have another reel just finished baking parts last night...an Ocean City Bay City.  Had lots of years on the water without proper care... corroded about like you'd imagine.  But now looks almost like something brand new off the shelf!  Ready for another 70 years of fishing!

Donnyboat

Thank you Mr Sledge, very informative, really apritiate the trouble you went to, informing me so well, cheers Don.
Don, or donnyboat

mo65

   Nice save! Here's a catfishing tip for that reel, maybe you already know this, but if you only fill the spool half to three fourths full you'll get bigger drag numbers. And that reel holds enough line to do this easily. I have a narrowed 3/0 that I really like for catting, enjoy your reel! 8)
~YOU CAN TUNA GEETAR...BUT YOU CAN'T TUNA FEESH~


Bill B

Good write up.  Sounds like a pretty easy process.  Bill
It may not be very productive,
but it's sure going to be interesting!

Sledge

Quote from: mo65 on May 18, 2022, 01:28:37 PM   ...fill the spool half to three fourths full you'll get bigger drag numbers. And that reel holds enough line to do this easily...

That's a great tip!  All these new-fangled reels designed for braid have much smaller spools and are more compact.  200 yards of line is way excessive for freshwater catfishing, and like you said, this one should hold that much easily with half a spool!

Sledge

For the record, my last run of powder coated parts turned out like absolute hammered poop! 💩
Ran out of acetone, so tried some mineral spirits.  It evaporates much more slowly, so there's more working time.  But I applied it way to thick to try and get coverage in one go.  Let it air dry, but it was taking too long, so put it in the oven with the door cracked, set temp at 200 for 20 minutes.
Looked good going in.  Was dry, with nothing left but powder.  So set the timer to 400 for 20 minutes.  Don't know if there was residual mineral spirits, or the powder was just way too thick, but it bubbled on me.  Rings turned out fine, but everything else looks like crap!
So...broke out the powder coat gun from storage.  Going to strip all the parts back down.  Then make a small rack to hang parts, with a cardboard box for a cabinet.  Going to do it all outside, as usual, but too windy today.
I'll take pictures of the setup, and the results.  Do a proper write up on it elsewhere.  Should be of interest to the group, as the setup is economical, much better results than "shake-n-bake", and it can be done in a garage, shed, or even in the yard on a picnic table!  Hopefully all of us together can save more of these old, crusty parts, and put them back to work!

Donnyboat

Thanks again sledge, talking of only 1/2 filling the spool, I have some 16 strand braid 60Lbs the braid diameter is only .029 thats quite fine & smooth, also the 110Lbs is only 041, compare that with 4 strand it would be 055, so emadgen how much more you can get on a spool. cheers Don.
Don, or donnyboat

jurelometer

Quote from: Sledge on May 20, 2022, 12:19:10 AMFor the record, my last run of powder coated parts turned out like absolute hammered poop! 💩
Ran out of acetone, so tried some mineral spirits.  It evaporates much more slowly, so there's more working time.  But I applied it way to thick to try and get coverage in one go.  Let it air dry, but it was taking too long, so put it in the oven with the door cracked, set temp at 200 for 20 minutes.
Looked good going in.  Was dry, with nothing left but powder.  So set the timer to 400 for 20 minutes.  Don't know if there was residual mineral spirits, or the powder was just way too thick, but it bubbled on me.  Rings turned out fine, but everything else looks like crap!
So...broke out the powder coat gun from storage.  Going to strip all the parts back down.  Then make a small rack to hang parts, with a cardboard box for a cabinet.  Going to do it all outside, as usual, but too windy today.
I'll take pictures of the setup, and the results.  Do a proper write up on it elsewhere.  Should be of interest to the group, as the setup is economical, much better results than "shake-n-bake", and it can be done in a garage, shed, or even in the yard on a picnic table!  Hopefully all of us together can save more of these old, crusty parts, and put them back to work!


Thanks for sharing.  Usually more to learn from a projeect that went sideways than one that worked without a hitch.  A few of us here have been powder coating reels as well.

Here is one I did about 8 years back with some details:  https://alantani.com/index.php?topic=9622.0

And another rehabilitating a spinner with some more leanings on powder coating:https://alantani.com/index.php?topic=9622.0


Anything that you can add to the body of knowledge would be appreciated.

A couple of things that I have learned:

1. silicone plugs in threaded holes.  I broke a tap chasing threads that got powder in them, and using old screws as sacrificial "plugs" doesn't work that great as the powder "glues" the screws into the part, so you don't end up with a clean edge, even if you are able to get the screws out. Plug kits are readily available.  If you are trying to do this on a budget, a damp q-tip and a steady hand can be used to clear the powder out of the threads before baking.

2. Outgassing.  Lubricants can penetrate into used parts over time, so you need to prebake the part after prepping.  The lubricants cook off and leach out a residue on the surface that needs to be cleaned off.  The pros do a longer single bake, but I do a series of shorter bakes of about 20 minutes or so.  Bake, clean, repeat, until nothing leaches out.  Cast metal parts are more porous and can be a real pain to get fully outgassed.  If you don't outgas in advance, the outgassing happens below the crosslnikng powder that you are baking and leaves fisheyes or worse.  The finish on your failed parts might be an example of a worst case scenario of outgassing because of the unevaporated mineral spirits.

3. Cleaning.  I have found that prepping the part surface to have a uniform tooth means that all that is needed for a clean surface  is a light cleaning.  Simple Green and water works fine for me.  If I wanted to go crazy, I would use IPA, or even acetone, if I was really going all out.  Brake cleaner is some pretty nasty stuff, and seems like overkill.

4.  Decent powder.  Lots of good powders out there, but from what I have heard, the  HF stuff is not usually on the reliable list.

5. Removing baked on powder is difficult.  It is pretty elastic, so sanding is difficult.  I tried blasting it off of some brass parts.  Had to go to garnet, and then the part was getting worn down while the paint is blasted off.  If properly applied to a toothy surface, that coating is locked in and not going anywhere.  The original preferred solvent used to strip off cured urethane/poly powder is incredibly toxic (methylene chloride?).  There is newer stuff that is supposed to be less toxic. but it was hard to find in smaller quantities. I could order one brand through my local Sherwin Williams store, but it would have been cheaper to buy a replacement reel for the parts.

The other option is to go for a long bake at higher temps to bake the paint off.  Don't know how toxic this is, or if you can reach the temps required in a toaster oven.  I read that some pro shops might do this in certain situations, but from what I have read is not usually the first choice.

6.  Removing chrome plating.   Roughed up chrome can be powder coated over, but if the surface has pitting, you are better off removing it.  On the old Penns, the chrome came off suprisingly easily in a blast cabinet.

Hope this helps,

-J