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Thread: Three times is not a charm....can't get powder coat to stick

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Three times is not a charm....can't get powder coat to stick

    I have been watching tons of YouTube vids on shaking cast bullets in a number 5 container. I've tried it several times and the powder won't stick. I tried to heat up the bullets at 170 degrees and try it...powder won't stick. Then if I bump the heat up I get mess as I posted earlier. It seems like there is no middle ground I've been finding with the heat thing. I think I might have found the issue. I have fluxex with candle wax. The bullets feel a little waxy and what tipped me off is when I immediately quench after casting my water becomes cloudy...I think this is the wax residue floating around. Could this be my issue and if so how to I remove it so I can get powder coat to stick? I might just cave and pick up a harbor freight gun.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Reddirt62's Avatar
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    What powder are you using?

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    I've fluxed with Paraffin without issues when I powder coated. The bullets never feel waxy or slick. The wax should burn off and not mix with the lead. Just for grins try casting a batch without the wax just to reaffirm. Which powder are you using? If it is the harbor freight stuff that could be the root of the issue right there?

    I cast and during a different session tumble the bullets then bake in a toaster oven without issues. For the life of me I can't think of why you are having so many issues with the process. Just to bring some sanity, cast without wax, a day later tumble cold bullets and arrange on non stick aluminum foil in the toaster oven. Bake for 20 minutes... I can't remember the temp I use. But I would suggest using some good powder like you would get from Smoke. I use the standard simple process and the only flaws I get are some minor waviness from not getting the excess off or from laying long rifle bullets on the foil.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I am using harbor freight red

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    I think that explains it. I tried it once then tossed it in the trash.


    Smoke, Smoke, Smoke! Should we chant this as a incantation?
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Reddirt62's Avatar
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    I know nothing of Smoke but I use Eastwood ford light blue and it works quite well

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  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    I have been watching tons of YouTube vids on shaking cast bullets in a number 5 container. I've tried it several times and the powder won't stick. I tried to heat up the bullets at 170 degrees and try it...powder won't stick. Then if I bump the heat up I get mess as I posted earlier. It seems like there is no middle ground I've been finding with the heat thing. I think I might have found the issue. I have fluxex with candle wax. The bullets feel a little waxy and what tipped me off is when I immediately quench after casting my water becomes cloudy...I think this is the wax residue floating around. Could this be my issue and if so how to I remove it so I can get powder coat to stick? I might just cave and pick up a harbor freight gun.
    Go back to the very beginning, try harbor freight red with shake and bake, I was having a hard time with shake and bake but I found I wasn't shaking long enough or vigorously enough, the coating starts sticking all of a suden.

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    when I smelt the crud off a pot of found lead stuffs when I toss in the wax stuffs and mix it goes up in flames. Have yet to try this powder coating stuff but will read on with interest. I almost bought a bottle of powder at the big Summit Racing store outside Atlanta, maybe next trip.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acoop101 View Post
    Go back to the very beginning, try harbor freight red with shake and bake, I was having a hard time with shake and bake but I found I wasn't shaking long enough or vigorously enough, the coating starts sticking all of a suden.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    I shook them last night till my arms were going to fall off. I had bullets that looked like they had the measils. They had little thick pin head spots of paint stuck to them. How long do I shake?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Stop trying to reinvent the wheel...

    Look at the statistics of this poll...see what people do and what success they have...notice the PC that they use, notice their methods..."This is not Rocket Science, just simple coatings."
    If your casts are not clean, clean them with acetone. When done right you shake for less than 30 seconds. Get rid of the 'cheap' Harbor Freight PC, it is garbage and that's where it belongs...in the garbage!

    Why try to reinvent success?

    (2)...The Devil's in the Details>>>>>PC Coatings<<<<<
    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” G. Orwell

    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    With smoke powder, I never used harbor freight, swirl for less than a minute, then 10-15 hard up downs. Look under the vendor/sponsor section for smokes page. His powder thread has step by step directions on entry #3. If you follow these and it doesn't work, something is had wrong. And it isn't humidity, I have coated under the carport while it was pouring rain.
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    That is exactly why I tossed the HF powder in the trash.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Humidity will kill you. I know there are a bunch of homes in Wi that don't have AC and just let in the outside air. If that is you welcome to what we deal with all year long down here in Florida. Run a dehumidifier or ac and then try to powder coat. Works great for me.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I got no problems with the red on my first try.
    my humidity was probably in the 40% range that day [winter]
    I used the plastic BB's I had on hand, and a square flat container the wife had in the kitchen.
    I just shook them back and forth then up and down.
    then cooked them.
    the first time was on waxed paper [don't do that] but all that went wrong was I got some paper gas checks.

    wax in your casting alloy will NOT transfer through to your boolits it will burn off or float to the top.
    unless you threw a pound or 2 of wax in a 20 lb pot and immediately started casting.

    but you might have something on the surface, a quick wash in some acetone and a clean dry bath towel should clean them up enough to get the powder to stick.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  15. #15
    Boolit Master RKJ's Avatar
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    I haven't had any problems with the HF red or the Black either. The white was a no-go but that's ok. I tried a sample pack from smoke and that's what I'll use in the future. Looks good, works good, what's not to like.

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    I'm not an expert. only PCed about 1500 rounds. I generally use batches of about a hundred or so. i dry tumble, then pour onto 1/4" hardware cloth to shake excess and pop right into oven. my first try I just dtraight up tumbled...in a number 2 container...with HF black. it didn't even try to work. second attempt was with HF black in a number 5 container and it was still about 97% failure. just a couple of specs of coverage. try three I used those darn plastic BBs everyone is crazy for, but it still didn't work and then i discovered that HF black is generally known to not work. On to HF red. #5, with BBs and it looked GREAT. I was so happy to see the powder sticking, but i found that its a PITA to pick those darn BBs all out, so i decided to skip that step. It seems to work just fine.

    So, that gets me to where i am. My go to proces is to take bullets that were just cast, or ones that have been sitting around for a few days and just toss them in a tub (#5...cool-whip i think) and shake in a circular manner so they swirl around, then up and down, then swirl again. its maybe 45 seconds. I pour onto little basket made of hardware cloth and "sift" it till the excess is off. then pop into oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes. Then out to cool and the next batch goes in. I do two coats. Not because the coatings are too thin, but because i think that statistically its pretty unlikely to have bare lead spots after two coats. I have never had a leaded barrel, but i certainly think the 45 seconds it takes to recoat is worth it to avoid the task of unleading a barrel.

    Now, i have had ONE instance that this "go to" method of mine failed. It was the only time i tried water quenching the bullets. They were dried overnight nearish to a wood stove, so i know they were plenty dry. I shook that dang cool-whip tub for 90 seconds quite vigorously and had very thin and spotty coverage. I figured it was a failure anyways, but popped them in oven (400°-20min) and then let them cool. The second coat covered like one would expect. I have not tested any hypothesis as to why these water quenched bullets would not coat. This is softened water. Perhaps byproducts of the ion exchange process? perhaps the rapid cooling formed a crystaline structure that is less subject to the static charge needed to dry coat? I suspect its something to do with the latter.

    For giggles, try casting up a dozen or two bullets and just release them from the mold onto a cleanish shop rag, or towel or something. try the process again and see if the results are different for you.

    BTW, harbor freight white, yellow and red seem to apply same for me. I am a firefighter and am partial to red, so that's what i use the most.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Smoke is the man. Go with Smoke. I can sometimes get HF red to work.... but Smoke always works.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    alfloyd's Avatar
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    "when I immediately quench after casting"

    This will leave a film on your boolits and the powder will not stick.
    Drop them onto a towel and they will stay clean.
    Harbor Freight red will work OK, but Smoke's powder is a lot better.

    Lafaun
    Just staying at home and playing with multi-color boolits.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    I water quench before and after PC.I only use Harbor Freight red and have absolutely zero problems

  20. #20
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    I have powder coated about a little over 20,000 handgun caliber bullets in the last 3.5yrs...never had a single issue with the powder sticking.

    But, I bought 200 7mm soup cans from a member here...and I never got any kind of powder to stick to them after baking...they would cover well, but the coat could be stripped off the bullet with a finger nail after they cooled. Baked some of them twice...same result...powder coat would not stick to that alloy. I tried everything I could think of and never got the coat to stay on those bullets.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check