Powder painting Spinner Parts with the Badger 260 gun
More lessons updated Post - Hot Drop Powder Coating
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I decided to invest in some new assets and start building some new skills, so... I bought a Badger 260 powder spray gun, it's a simple little thing. It was designed for spraying abrasives to etch glass, but does a good job with the powder paint. Guess I could even use it to sand blast my old trucks nasty fouled Number 1 spark plug. I also bought some powder paint by the pound and some vinyl paints.
First off, I needed an air compressor and regulator to provide the spray power. I did quite a lot of Googling and learned a bit about air compressors - PSI and CFM, Regulators, Filters with bayonet bleeds, Piston or Diaphram stuff. Trust me, I'd opened a blast furnace door.
Yikes! I asked questions on forums, The tool guys got quiet. I even asked the paint people, I thought they would know. No help to be found and that was disappointing. The specs listed with the spray gun were not matching up with specs on compressors. All sorts of paint and no air. Luckily, I called Badger and they were helpful straightening out the misleading PSIspecs on the Powder painting documentation.
I rolled the dice and chose a SparMax TC-2000 to run the PSG and any other airbrush painting applications that Ben might have for his hand-carved lures.
With the right accessory tools, this baby will spray you tan. It will decorate cakes. It will run a tattoo gun. Even sand-blast. Finally, in practice, the TC-2000 and Badger 260 will paint spinner parts.
Problem Statement - lumpy bodies
If you've been to the blog before, you know I've been dipping the muskie bodies. Heat, dip in powder paint, and cure. Got my process together in that space. Tried and True.
But I've experienced some amount of difficulty getting the coverage right and ruined a few too many paint jobs coming out of the oven (they drip and end up with lumps). Lumpy bodies, not good. Frustrating waste and time-consuming rework.
It seemed to me that batches of powder paint, coming from the factory, had different properties. Inconsistent mix ratios, milling or something causes different sensitivity to heat and different paint adherence behaviors.
Yeah right, anyways, for me, the differences showed up when I changed to a new color. Either that or this was a liveware problem of mine!
Even though I strove to be consistent with heat, fluffed the paint and whisked the part, some colors coated too thick and others didn't.
Whew, long winded right? Get back to the Pink Parts and Hard bodies. Ok, here's some pictures.
First Hard bodies - brass and nickel
|Hard bodies - brass and nickel - various types and weights|
|Dip painted ancestors|
Badger 260 Powder Spray Gun (PSG) - eloquent in its simplicity
|Badger 260 Powder Spray Gun|
|R2D2 - I mean, SparMax TC-2000 compressor|
My tried and true process needed to evolve to accommodate the new tools. This meant I'd get to solve new problems and hit a few ditches (unfortunately, my learning strategy and the way I learn).
The first was catching the over spray. I did several iterations on this and it's a secret. Let me just say that necessity, is the mother of invention.
Pink and mustard colored clouds coming out of the garage and a mustard colored CRV were frowned on by Marie, so we put our best minds to work and stumbled on a solution.
|Pro-Tec Pink Cloud maker|
|Spinner body kabobs ready for the oven|
|Paint station - notice the leather glove - kabobs are HOT!|
I found 30 PSI worked best, not the 5-8 PSI the paint doc stated. So I set the regulator to that PSI and concentrated on not breathing for 20 minutes. Just kidding!
Hopefully, someone fishing Pink Salmon on the West Coast will want to get some FCS wet!
I know the mustard AngleIrons are wanted for Smallies in North Carolina. Propeller FireAnts will find a home in New Jersey!
Time to replenish some low inventory!
Time to replenish some low inventory!
Overall, I'm pleased with the outcome and look forward to doing better more frequent small batches as I need them.
Feel free to comment with your experiences or offer suggestions. My process was kind of a shoot from the hip response and I'll be refining it with iteration and trying more paints.