Posts Tagged ‘Hypersmooth 02’

So with the powder coat colors chosen for the CB160 engine is was time to start the coating process on the good engine components. The plan was to shoot the cylinders, head, and valve cover with matte black. The upper and lower engine case will go HD bead blast silver and the side covers will be colored with anodized aluminum.

I am still very new to the whole powder coating process and have learned quickly that one similarity between anodizing and powder coating is the extensive prepping process required to ensure good results. In the case of the engine components I want to ensure that everything is out gassed and then surface prepped properly.

Engine has been out gassed and glass bead blasted. Onto the masking process.

Everything is masked and plugged and ready for the preheat

The first step involved an extensive amount of good old fashioned cleaning using a solvent tank and pressure washer. Once I had as much grease, oil, and dirt off the components as possible I proceeded with the out gassing. I fired the powder coating oven up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit and baked all the engine components for 2 hours. It was certainly evident from the smoke and the oil that leeched out that the out gassing process was accomplishing its intended task. I made sure that I bolted the cylinder to the cylinder head before out gassing in order to prevent the cylinder sleeves, and head inserts, from coming apart.

Head and cylinders mounted onto an adapter plate I made so that I would be able to spray the fins vertically.

Set in the oven for a preheat session up to 160 degrees.

Once everything was out gassed I headed over to the glass bead blast cabinet. With all the important casting sections either taped off or plugged I proceeded with blasting everything clean. As with anodizing it is important to ensure that none of the blasted components have oil on, or in, them as the blasting tends to drive the oil and grease further into the pores resulting in a failed finishing process. This is why the out gassing is performed before the blasting.

Matte black powder fogged on. Careful inspection with a flashlight indicates everything got coated.

Completed and baked coating, fairly happy with the results.

With the blasting completed it was time to give everything a major bath and scrub it all down with hot soapy water. Once clean the time consuming process of taping off, and plugging, of crucial sections of casting could begin. Components with gasket surfaces got taped using high temp tape and all the bolt holes, and studs, were covered using silicone plugs.

Engine case after it has been out gassed and glass bead blasted.

Hot water and dishsoap was used for the clean up.

I wanted to lay the powder onto the finned engine components with the fins in a vertical position. If I sprayed the powder onto to them horizontally I feared that I would get too much powder build up in between the fins. I welded up an adapter that would allow me to suspend the head and the cylinders vertically and would also give me a way to rotate the assembly as I sprayed.

Masked and ready for preheating and coating.

The powder went on great, good coverage, no issues.

So with all the prep work done there was nothing left to do except lay on the powder and hope my rookie endeavor will experience a successful outcome. Over the course of the next few evenings I was able to get through all the engine components and complete the coatings. There were lots of lessons for me to learn and some flaws in the coating that defines my ability however overall I am very pleased. The finishes all flowed out nicely and the overall effect is great. The coverage is good and the color was what I expected.

Baked and completed HD Bead Blast Silver case.

So with all the engine components now coated I will be able to send the cylinders and the head out for machining. While waiting for their return I should be able to start reassembling the bottom end.

Sorry, no pictures of the side cover process however here is my good set of Aluminum Anodized powder coated covers.


I have been working my way through my summer “chore” project. No I am not that passionate about it however I am still able to get my head into it and find some enjoyment. The job at hand involves building a wood burning fireplace in the back yard.

By this time I already had the fireplace set in place and it was time to run the ventilation and then close the whole thing up. I’ll state it up front and admit that I have no qualifications when it comes to fireplace building. I understand there are strict codes that I need to abide by and I have followed the manufactures installations instructions. Apparently when building an outdoor fireplace one needs to ensure that there is a constant supply of fresh combustion air. Therefore the manufacturer states that intake air plumbing needs to run 6 feet up though duct work to vents located on the backside of the surround. I admit I do not fully understand why and outdoor fireplace can’t get it’s oxygen from the big hole that the wood goes in and the heat comes out however who am I to question.

So…as per manufacturers specifications I ran the required duct work for both the fresh air as well as the chimney cooling. Heat N Glo had supplied me white plastic vents to use on the façade where the ducting would plumb to. I am not a big fan of plastic, especially white plastic built into an outdoor structure that is exposed to the elements. Instead I opted to switch them out for the typical galvanized metal ones available at my local hardware store.

Since the fire place will be finished in a darker colored brick and stucco I decided to make some money back on my powder coating equipment. The galvanized vents got a sandblasting and then were powder coated matte black to allow them to withstand the weather as well as blend in with the rest of the fireplace colors.

So with the vents mounted and the ventilation ducts plumbed there was nothing left to do but sheet the structure. I admit I have done more exciting projects however for the time being this is what is consuming my “garage time”. Next I’ll move onto prepping the plywood to take on a scratch coat and then eventually stucco and brick.

So I spent some time playing with the recent powder coating addition to the shop. I had done what research I could prior to trying it out for the first time but it finally got to a point where I just had to get my hands on it and experience the procedure for myself.

I went hunting around for some metal objects that were willing to sacrifice themselves for a practice round. I stumbled upon a pneumatic cart wheel that was looking for a second chance in life, how could I deny it an opportunity for a mid-life makeover? So out into the garage we went and the sacrificial wheel was disassembled and the bearings removed.

The more projects I complete the more evident it becomes that prep is everything. Whenever I see a quality, well done, impressive finished project it is the preliminary steps, detail, and prep that always seems to shine through. So in keeping with the prep theme I ran the rim of the pneumatic wheel through a series of cleaning chemicals to ensure that there was no grease or oil present.

Then it was off to the sandblast cabinet to give it an exfoliation. What I have read, but have not experienced, is the importance of cleaning grease and oil from the metals prior to sandblasting. I know this to be true for aluminum welding and anodizing as any grease and oil that may have been present during the blasting process will get itself forced into the pores of the metal thereby compromising the cleanliness required for welding or anodizing.

So with the rim cleaned, blasted, and then cleaned again using Acetone I fired up the electric oven and gave the rim a bit of a preheat. Following the guide supplied with the Hypersmooth 02 I loaded in some Safety Orange into the hopper, hooked up my wiring and hoses and proceeded to blow some powder onto my sample rim. I was amazed at how well the powder attracted itself to the rim. I was just set up in the middle of my shop for now with no booth and there was some powder that made its way to the floor but not much. The powder does not appear to be nearly as airborne as paint and didn’t appear to leave a layer of orange on everything in the shop.

Being the first try I was unsure just how much powder to lay on. The powder took well, including the corners. I decided to stop at the point where everything was covered and the rim was left with a light dusting. With the oven pre-heated to 400 degree Fahrenheit I gave the rim a bake time of 10 minutes PMT (Part Metal Temperature). It is pretty cool to watch the powder melt itself into a smooth flowy coating.

With the bake time complete it was time to move onto close inspection of the work. Initial impression was that the coating looked very good and fairly professional. Upon closer inspection I was able to see some dust type particles in the coating which I believe was a result of my “less then perfect” initial cleaning and wipe down. The second issue was that the coating appeared to be a bit thin in some areas. The orange had almost a transparent look in some minor spots. Again I suspect this was a result of my inexperience and I simply did not lay the coating on thick enough.

So I was starting to have some fun with this and didn’t want to stop so I decided to break out the Satin Clear powder I had and gave the orange rim a top coat. I performed no prep work. The rims were still slightly warm from baking on the orange powder so I simply cleaned the gun out, swapped over to clear and gave them a light dusting. Back in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and behold I had a decent looking satin cleared orange wheel. Again I am unsure if I laid the clear on thick enough, I suspect I went a bit on light side. Anyway…for the first round I would have to say I was fairly impressed. Not only does the finish look great but the clean up associated with the gun, and shop, is quick and easy.

So a couple days later I was looking to go another round with the powder coating. I had built a wheel adapter for an automotive shop to use with their tire changer. The adapter simply needed to serve a purpose and was not required to be a work of art. I decided to see what kind of luck could be had using the Red Wrinkle powder. With the hub adapter machined and welded it got an initial cleaning of acetone and then a session of sandblasting. It was then placed in the oven for a presoak. The adapter had quite a bit of mass to it so it spent awhile baking in the heat. With some temperature put into the metal I then proceed to lay on some of the wrinkle red. The stuff sticks great. I decided to go a bit heavier with the coating this time round just to get an idea and feel for it all. Back into the oven it went for 15 minutes PMT at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the powder was baked on and the adapter cooled close inspection revealed a nice even smooth coating. There was no evidence of any wrinkle effect, unsure why, perhaps too heavy a coat or maybe the pre heat was a bit too hot. Anyway…I’ll work at solving the problems.

So a few days later I decided to have another go at some test pieces. I had an old stainless steel license plate frame lying around so I tossed it into the blast cabinet and removed all the old black coating. Then, for no particular reason, I shot it with Safety Orange. End result? Fairly impressive, the coating was smooth, even, and lacked no bare spots.

I then moved onto some sample chips. I had planned to spray 4 steel chips with the 4 colors I had, Safety Orange, Wrinkle Red, Super Wet Black, and Tucson Matte Black. I also sprayed a couple of aluminum chip samples using the Satin Clear. One of the aluminum chips was sand blasted and the other had a 4 stage polishing done to it. Well the first round turned out to be a failure. I laid the Satin Clear and Super Wet Black on way way way too thick, so thick that the powder started to drip off into the oven. The end result was hideous, the cleared aluminum was just and ugly mess with nothing visually pleasing about it and the Super Wet Black sample developed pin holes and a wave look. Okay lesson learnt, however it was a necessary step for me to go through as I typically need to experience failure before I can understand how to make things better.

So on the 3 remaining chips I decided to lighten up a bit and take it easy. I started to get a much better feel for how much powder I was applying. The Safety Orange, Wrinkle Red, and Tucson Matte Black samples turned out fantastic. The Wrinkle Red actually ended up displaying the Wrinkle finish it was intended to have. I suspect this was a result of a lighter coat.

In the end I would have to say I am very pleased with the testing rounds I went through. I learned some basic lessons and achieved some success and satisfaction. As there are still many more challenges to work through I will continue to practice and strive to get better.

The stars seemed to align and opportunity presented itself which led to some new shop equipment. I have lots on my to do list and was not actively seeking out any new toys for the shop however there came a knockin’ on the garage door and when I went to check to see who it was they jammed their foot in the door and I had no choice but to invite them in. It turns out that powder coating has now set up shop in the garage. I explained to PC that I had no room and there was no place for him to crash. He didn’t really seem to care. He basically barged in, took one look around, pointed to my set of stacked winter tires and said “There, right there, that spot will do just fine”. When I asked him where he was planning to put the winter tires he responded with “not my problem, I don’t drive”. When I told him that I would have to get a “go ahead” from the rest of the garage family he just tuned up his nose and gave me the “I’m the new guy in town and I could care less what the others think, I work alone”. Well there was certainly tension in the shop. We have always worked as a close knit community and even though we have our differences we have always stayed focus on the job at hand. The garage family has been around for awhile and they can spot attitude a mile away. I think they lined up PC as the young, know it all, punk. I’ve got to hand it to veteran group, especially the TIG, as he is typically the wise one, and the grandfather, of the group. The TIG doesn’t get bent out of shape over much and he, along with the family, was certainly not going to let PC walk in and change the channel. So now I find myself caught in the middle of all this. I typically don’t tolerate attitude in my shop and you are expected work to earn your keep. I am willing to give PC a chance in hopes that his big mouth will result in big results. So for now he is going not going to be allowed in the shop area but instead he can observe from the opposite corner of the garage where he will sit for now.

So with the introduction of PC to the group I was now forced to do something with my stack of winter tires. But before I get to that perhaps a bit of history may be in order. I have always griped about how I struggle with finishing my products. I have been able to learn and progress with anodizing. I am still working on getting set up for HVLP spraying in which my sun project will be the first to benefit from. I have looked, from a distance, at powder coating but have always dismissed getting involved with it because of the oven factor. No space and too much expense.

Well awhile ago a blog follower, by the name of Keven, was able to convince me that powder coating was a viable option for the DIY crowd. If you’re interested in reading about our conversation just check out the comment section of the post located here. Well it turns out the infrared heat lamps can be used to melt the powder instead of ovens. So over the next couple months I would poke around and do what reading I could on the subject of home powder coating and realized that I may be able to pull this off sometime. It also became very evident that powder coating and anodizing have 3 things in common and that is prep, prep, and more prep. After having gone through the process of figuring out anodizing I was aware that powder coating would be very similar and that there would be a fairly steep learning curve involved.

So the day came when a friend of mine who is in the process of building a café racer was in need of powder coating. After some talk we agreed that if I got set up to do powder coating then he would send some work my way to help offset the cost of the equipment. I set out 2 conditions; first one is there can be no deadline and second that the powder coating comes with no quality guarantee. Of course I promise to do my best however I am fairly certain that to turn out quality coatings a fair amount of time, failure, and experience will be required.

So after more research I took the plunge and ordered up some equipment. I set my sights on a Hypersmooth 02 DPW system from Columbia Coatings. I fear cheap equipment as it often comes with more frustration then it’s are worth. The Hypersmooth system appeared to be a good middle ground set up. Hopefully I chose well. So with the system ordered up I then put in an order from Powder365 for some sample powders in order to play with. While I was at it I got my hands on a couple of silicone plug kits and high temp tape.

While I waited for the equipment and supplies to arrive I continued my self directed powder coating 101 education. It started to become clear that an oven would be hugely beneficial for the smaller projects. So I started to dig around on Kijiji (another version of Craig’s List) and was able to get my hands on a working, free, early 1980’s oven. I wanted to find something with no electronics as it would be cheaper to keep going should things break. So with an oven sitting in the middle of my garage I now needed a place to store it.

This is where some garage reorganizing comes in. You know that stack of tires I was forced to do something with? The stack has now turned into a row. A trip to the metal yard got me some 3” x ¼” flat bar and some 1.250 x .065 square tubing. A Saturday afternoon of garage time got traded for a fabricated and painted tire rack.

So with the tires mounted to the wall, the oven sitting in its new home, and the powder coating gun and supplies making its way to my doorstep it is now time to actually get set up to perform some spraying and testing. Only time will tell if I made a mistake getting involved with this. But then again this will result in more garage projects so how can anything really be wrong with that?