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Powder Coat Drop Off

February 27, 2012
by Erin B

I learned a lot about powder coating today.  There was some stuff that I already knew.  For example, you can choose from hundreds of colours, but for a small job (like one bike), you are kind of restricted to what they have on hand.  Pigment runs at about $150+ a batch and if you want to order in some wacky colour they might not be able to use again, small powder coating places want you to pay for the whole order.  So I wanted to pick something that is in higher demand (or left over from a previous order).

In a farming area, that means tractor colours.  John Deere green and yellow.  Caterpillar yellow.  Case red.  And, or course, international orange and emergency orange.  For some reason, there was what appears to be the exact burgundy that Cycler used on Gilbert.  There was also a choice of a couple of blues, three different whites, several versions automobile silver and black.

Picking a colour was harder than I thought.  The blues on offer were….  I don’t even know exactly how to describe my objection.  Kind of chalky?  No, that’s not exactly right.  Not vibrant enough.

There was a juicy translucent green that I really liked.  There was a metallic purple with sparkles that was SO close.  If it had just been a little more blue it would have been an awesome cobalt colour.   As it was, I’m just not that into purple.

Or…. there was the Unknown copper colour.  They bought a small amount awhile ago but there wasn’t any samples and and they hadn’t ever seen it in action and there is only a little left.

I ordered the juicey green and came home.  T promptly talked me into the copper.  So I called back and changed my mind.  I have no idea what this is going to look like.  I’m not usually a just go for it girl.  I like to have  a plan.

However there is a certain symmetry to painting the Unnamed Bike the Unknown colour.

It will be a big surprise for all of us when it’s done.

The other thing that I learned about powder coating is that you get an even finish, but any scratches, pits or gouges in the metal they will still be there afterwards, they will just be less noticeable once the powder tints them the same colour as the rest.  If I had gone with the translucent green, every dimple and imperfection would have been clearly visible through the powder coat.  I have to admidt that was kind of a neat idea.  It would have shown off the battle scars Unnamed has earned in the last 40 or 50 years.

However the copper turns out, it isn’t going to look like any other bike in the rack.  I couldn’t have said that about the other colours available.

One Comment leave one →
  1. LAT permalink
    February 28, 2012 8:39 am

    Scary and exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing the result!

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