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

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    A section of 4" PVC with a couple of #5 plastic cottage cheese tubs makes the HF powder work fine for me.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
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    My first recommendation is start out with clean bullets. Fluxing with wax is not a problem, but I don't like the fumes and hydrocarbons coming off the mix. I use Brownells Marvelflux as it does a much better job without the fumes and flames. Water quenching is not a problem if you container and water are completely clean, but I don't do water quenching as it is just an unnecessary step and more likely to contaminate the bullets. Since I run two molds simultaneously, I drop in a clean pan as the lead has time to completely set. With this method I have no contamination and I do not handle my bullets with my bare hands.

    My second recommendation is what has already been stated, get some powder from Smoke, because it works. I have been PC bullets since Sandy Hook and have now coated tens of thousands of bullets. The importance of a good powder is paramount, because some powders just will not tumble coat. Harbor Freight sprays OK, but in high humidity it covers poorly at best.

    Use a recycle code #5 container with some black BB's and don't overload the container, smaller batches work best. Shake and swirl vigorously for 30 seconds, check, swirl for another 30 seconds if needed. If the bullets are not fully coated then humidity is a problem. At that point either move your operation into an air conditioned environment where the humidity is reduced and let everything stabilize or preheat the bullets to no more than 200F degrees. If you do these things you will get a good even single coat coverage.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    I'm wondering, are you letting the flux burn? As in actually flame up? If not, then that could be a problem. Another thing, if you are powder coating the boolits, it's my understanding that there is no need to water drop, as the hardness is removed upon baking.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master fredj338's Avatar
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    My first try with PC was HF red. It works fine but as noted, sensitive to humidity. I shake & swirl with bbs for about 1min, then pluck them out. Smoke's powder is a lot better, not humidity sensitive. I doubt it is your flux as it floats on top & wax pretty much burns off.
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  5. #25
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I cleaned a half dozen test bullets with paint thinner last night and shook in a a number five container three times in a row and baked each time after. I even put a few pieces of Styrofoam in for a little staic electricity. They still turned out blotchy with thick little bumpy spots of paint. Ill order a pound from smoke and if his dosent work ill buy a powder gunClick image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 04-25-2017 at 08:25 AM.

  6. #26
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    runfiverun's Avatar
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    those should still work.
    but the powder coat should flow and smooth out at about 350-f then have a wet look as it cooks and not change that look/color until it starts to harden as it cools.

    you might want to check your ovens temperature.
    and not try to put a heavy coat on them just a fine dusting of powder is all you need.
    once I realized they cooked and coated better with just a fine dust coating things went a lot smoother for me.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  7. #27
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I had the oven at 400 degrees for 20 min...all three times. I would even wait till the oven beeped at the correct temp before I started timing them.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Get a thermometer inside that oven. Make SURE the temperature is right. I'm no expert by any means, but it looks to me like they didn't get hot enough. I bought a cheap walmart oven thermometer and used it to calibrate my oven. I hope you get it figured out. My first batch of boolits came out as expected by following smokes dirrections, using his powder, and making sure the oven was at 400 degrees.

  9. #29
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    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    HF Red gives me issues with humidity sometimes, I don't think I'm the only one. Smokes does give much more uniform coverage and the sample bags go a long ways, I'm still using up mine.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    Putting black bb’s in with the powder helps with adhesion and evening the coating. High humidity and damp powder can give you that result. Another possibility is that you need to nock of all the extra powder before baking, this can be done by grabbing the base of each bullet with a tweezer and tapping the tweezers against the bowl you tumble in or dropping the coated bullets in a colander and shaking off al the excess powder (if you use BB’s you’ll have to get a colander with holes big enough for the bb’s to go through.
    Heat could be another problem, easy test (like mentioned above) place an oven thermometer in the middle of the shelf that you bake on and adjust the oven temperature until the thermometer inside reads 400. Almost all counter top ovens temperature gauges are off, some even 70 to 100 degrees. Convection ovens are recommended for even heating (you can get a decent one for around $50).
    You can get by with a toaster oven BUT—don’t overload it
    Most powders I’ve seen call for 10 to 12 minutes @ 400
    Quenching before pcing is a waste of time, when you bake the bullets to pc you remove the benefit of quenching. If you want to quench then do it after PCing

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy
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    Many powders are 15-20 minutes at 400. Read the bag/bottle. When we do 1000 at a time we bump a couple more minutes from there 22 or so to provide time for the pile to heat. Our oven does have a cheapo convection fan. I'd assume it would be hard to do that many at once without some type of convection.

    I'm not sure why your texture looks like that unless your powder is semi gloss or flat. You can actually use that to your benefit but it shouldn't look like that. Yours look like it never flowed out. This should be MUCH easier than that. Definitely get a thermometer or frankly rather than spending good money on that if you are committed to this get a cheap oven with a digital control. The toaster oven we already owned was all over the place when we checked it with a thermometer. +/- 75 degrees or more no matter how we fiddled with it. Got a new one, still under $100, with digital controls. It knocks them out exactly the same every time.

    The dial ovens suck on temp settings. They really, really do. Much more than you'd think possible.

    And we bring the oven up to temp first before quickly putting the trays in. It's just more consistent.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I have a toaster oven on the way...was donated to me from a relative. I ordered some powder and BBs from smoke. I told him to send me three colors that stick the best. Bacon grease, sea blue, and zombe green. I don't care what color they are just so they cover my bullets. I returned the two unused powder coat bottles to harbor freight and will toss out the other one. Ill keep you guys posted on how smokes powder covers for me.

  13. #33
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    foesgth's Avatar
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    I have used several kinds of powder with good results. What I have found is that if the humidity is over 50% I get the results you are getting. I got a meter for the garage and don't shake and bake until it drops below 50%. I have some 41mags to do and I'm at 57% so I mowed the lawns.
    Shooter of fine firearms from the "AS IS" rack.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    It was only around 45-50 degrees out when I tried to coat.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master



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    Still pretty chilly here also,if the shop is below 60 I warm them @150 then when cool enough to handle (bare handed) I dump them in to Smokes powder,thin dusting as stated above and WAA LAA .
    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    It was only around 45-50 degrees out when I tried to coat.
    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  16. #36
    Triple B,

    You started with too much powder. I like the way HF Red coats...but you have to shake off the excess.

    Bluejay
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  17. #37
    Boolit Master


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    Shoot those puppies!

    If they were mine I would run them through a Lee sizing die, load and shoot.

    Agree you would benefit from picking them up with tweezers or hemostats and tapping tool on side of container, excess will drop back in.

    With Smoke's and black ASBB I swirl for 25 seconds. Invert container 3 complete times and start picking them out.

    I done this with way too much powder as well as 'just enough' and both work well.

    remember PC is both an ART and science. Takes a bit of time to perfect your skill but you can shoot the 'learning curve' bullets without a problem
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  18. #38
    Boolit Master daloper's Avatar
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    I also use Smoke's paint. I tried the HF red and it did work but not as good. When I started I got BB's from Dunhams and they did not work very good. After getting BB's and paint from Smoke I got much better coverage. With the Dunham BB's after shaking them the BB's did not have a good coat of paint on them. With Smoke's BB's they are covered with paint. Maybe you need to try different BB's.

  19. #39
    Boolit Buddy
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    We get very good (not quite perfect) coverage with HF red. They stick together a bit even when you shake off as much as you can but it works fine for a powder you can buy down the street. Solid red color very little mottling in one bake.

    Humidity here is high more than half the year but we keep the shop heated which knocks it down some. I imagine that if it's 50 degrees and humid in an unheated shop you might have a problem shaking. Store the powder and do the shaking in the house or somewhere climate controlled. Oven can be in a garage especially if you are preheating it. Once the bake is done water quench or whatever else needed can all be done in the garage too.

    Keep that powder closed up and stored somewhere dry and temp controlled. Also only put in what you need in the plastic can to shake. Both because it works much better and because you don't risk much powder at once if it gets contaminated somehow. 1-2 tablespoons max for a few hundred to shake. Only add as needed to get back to that amount in the bottom of the can.

    Based on our current usage rate anywhere up to 20,000 per lb isn't unreasonable. That should give you some idea of how little it takes.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    That was the third time in a row I shake n baked these bullets to get this coverage. I shook all the excess powder off them every time. They were barely covered after Round two. I figured I'd keep experimenting and kept shake n baking them till they looked covered. I might put them back in the oven to see if the paint will melt even if not I'll melt them back down and start over or grab my propane torch and give one a little love to see if the paint smooths out or just turns brown. I'm sure as pimply as they are they aren't going to group worth a darn at a 100 yards.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 04-26-2017 at 10:42 PM.

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