Saturday, August 30, 2008

Expanding my powder coating system with a new oven

I touched on it in my last powder coating article, about stepping up my powder coating services by expanding to a larger powder coat oven. The benefits of this are great, as it will allow me to step away from the smaller, low income pieces, and get into the larger profits of motorcycle powder coating, more automotive powder coating, and plenty of other opportunities.

Eventually, I will be upgrading my powder coating gun, but for the time being it and my sandblast cabinet should suffice, and in a worst case scenario, I can easily chemically strip and clean anything larger needing some powder coat paint applied to it.

So lets get into building a powder coating system beyond your standard home powder coating kit.

To begin with, I will be building a 4' x 4' x 8' structure out of structural steel framing available at most hardware stores like Lowes or Home Depot. The studs can be bought in either 8' or 10' sections, so naturally I will be going for the 8' pieces, which I priced at $4.97 a piece. I will definitely be going with the 4" metal studs so that I can apply plenty of insulation to the inside of the powder coat oven. Eventually I would like to be able to cure ceramic coatings in it as well for turbo manifolds, headers, and items like that which powder coating generally will not withstand. Anything over 450 degrees is kind of overkill for aluminum powder coating and most automotive powder coating, but the overhead will be nice so that I don't need to build another one down the road.

Utilizing the metal studs, the walls will be built with studs every 24 inches. Roughly 16 studs will be used in total, accumulating a whopping $84.29, and probably about $10-15 bucks for self tapping screws to assemble it all. Once the frame is built (with one side being the door naturally... so it's not attached yet) I'll get some quotes for all of my sheet metal. This will probably be the most expensive part of the project, as I want to use at least 20ga sheet metal for the inner and exterior walls. The powder coat oven needs to be fully skinned, so that it will hold the insulation and keep energy costs down while I'm curing the powder coating. I have figured in about $700 for sheet metal work, which will include some recesses for the heater elements in the bottom. By far, the most expensive portion of the powder coat oven, but, well you can't avoid it.

Once the sheet metal is fabricated, I will attach the interior walls of the powder coat oven but not the exterior. This will allow me to mount the 3 burner elements, which will run about $45 for the elements, the 2 light fixtures in the ceiling, which are about $10 total, and I'm also going to fabricate some rack trails and 3 overhead channels to hang from. The rack trails and channel will all be made out of 90 degree angle iron, or c-channel if it's not strong enough. The top channels on the powder coat oven will allow me to hang parts from the top like a frame for motorcycle powder coating, or a rear end for automotive powder coating, and the 3 removable racks in the middle of the oven will allow me to use it for valve covers, suspend intake manifolds below it, or any various small items I'll need to apply powder coat paint too. Also a small recirculation fan will be installed near the top of the powder coat oven to give it more of a convection type heating and will allow the powder coat to warm up evenly across the piece.

After the interior options are added to the oven, I will be installing the power supply and doing all of my wiring. Other then the lights, all control will be ran through the control unit. I found a guy on ebay that sells power control units for custom oven setups (I forget his name at the moment, just leave a comment if you really need to find him). I'll test all electronic connections and make sure that it's working correctly before I button up this new puppy. The control unit was about $400.00 so figure that into the costs.

My next supply site is http://www.mcmaster-carr.com/. I found a few small casters capable of holding this weight, for $2.00 a piece, $8.00 total. They also have a 3 pack of cam style latches (to lock the door when not in use) for $4.52, and fiberglass oven rope (to seal the door to the front of the powder coat oven) for $0.75/foot, which will cost $18.00. The most important piece they carry for my new powder coating system though is the roxul mineral wool. I'm waiting to hear back if the price is per sheet or not, but they come in 24" x 48" sheets, and 2" thick. I will need to double this up to insulate the 4" thickness of the new powder coat oven, so I will need 42 pieces total. The site lists @ 10.67, but from what I've heard they come 4 to a pack. Even on the high side of things, the insulation for my powder coat oven will costs $448.14, but probably quite less then that. Also a piano style hinge for the right side of the door, at $18.00, and a handle at $2.00 will finish off most of the perceived costs of this build.

So in my endeavor of expanding my powder coating services, I'm looking at about $1,680 total. I definitely think this will be a good investment, and will keep you guys updated as I go further along my process. I haven't even lifted a finger to start working on it yet, just planning right now. Hopefully by that time I will figure out how to add pictures to this powder coating blog... I mean hey... I'm good at coating, not a web junkie :)

11 comments:

Tim said...

Hey! I'm in the precess of starting my own powder coating deal out of my garage I'm going with the Caswell 50k P.C system and getting a sand blaster and air compressor. Biggest thing I will be coating is max 20" rims Intake Manifolds and stuff like that. Any ideas on what I can do for a oven for that size stuff? Would a brick Oven suffice? I was thinking Using Old electric ovens take them apart and use parts in the Brick oven. What do you think? Thanks Tim

Wayne Brown said...

I am interested in making an oven to do pre-preg vacuum bag laminating of armor materials. Who is the person with the controller you mentioned?
Thanks!
Wayne

Anonymous said...

Hi, interesting blog, thanks.

I'm starting and am going to buy the gas powered lamps.

I do not have 220volt in the house, we have only 120volt and gas.

I'm thinking of using electric charcoal lighters as my heating element - here - http://www.charbroil.com/Consumer/product_detail_e.aspx?ProductID=2313

And build the oven of brick.

Thoughts?

travis said...

I really need some advice on powder coating some custom rims. Is there anyway I could speak wikth you and get some advice. Maybe a e-mail address or phone #?

Anonymous said...

hey thanks for the info im building one now and i want to be able to do car frames and buggies I'm thinking of using a con-ex box got any ideas on elements to heat it

javieth said...

when i bought my house throught costa rica homes for sale i wanted a great kitchen with a big space to put a big oven. Now i can baking every kind of cakes in there.

Anonymous said...

Who was the company fabricating oven controls that you found online? I was going with Tedsfabricating, but he no longer does it.

Thx,

Rob said...

I think it is great how people have the ability to figure out how to build their own equipment. Especially in this economy. Definately saves money!
Just make sure you meet all the fire protection/building requirements in your area or you may run into some issues.

prismsurface said...

Your idea was useful by Revathi

sex shop tienda said...

This won't work in reality, that is what I suppose.

Savage Engineered said...

Nice and interesting Post.
Valuable information is here.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Powder coat ovens