I have always said, “Nothing is finished until it’s finished, meaning Everything Made by Hand or Machine HAS TO Have a Finish of Some Type Applied to IT.
Rust prevention, lubricity (sliding against each other), Looks, durability, all come into play of being a properly Finished Product.
I started life with a metal finishing background, beginning with a company I started named Met-L Tek Inc.
I specialized in applying any and all kinds of Nickel and its alloys to mostly any metal part, tho, primarily for industrial uses, but I got started by nickel plating pistols and hunting rifles of all types, even guns that were never recommended to be taken apart..
I learned a lot of “tolerance work” doing these Firearms, and never had a Bad Job come out of the tank Tho, “I could tell some stories.”
Before that, As a kid, I was sanding stocks, and steel gun parts for that quick Blue job and a varnish job rubbed out with steel wool, so my Dad could go trade it for The Next Gun to work over or a new Hunting dog to train.
My Dad would give me a piece of yellow sandpaper and I would sand until it was worn out, all fine grit now…and starting to “shine that gun barrel” by now…
Imagine the day when I found out I could get pre-worn out sandpaper, or sandpaper made with different grits…
Wow, life was “changed” that day….a waaay easier way for me to work and finish steel..
What the trick is, And what All This Means To You:
You have Learn How to Take Into Account How Your Design or Fabrication is going to Best be “Made” so you Eliminate As Much Metal Finishing as you can.
Preparing Metal for finishing work involves the various “talents” of hammering, filing sanding, re-file, sand some more, more hammer work unless you want to slather it in BONDO…
I always say, it is easier to work the steel than it is with Bondo, Not True,…It’s Just a “Pride Thing to me,” I guess….
You Can Slather IT, or Work IT.
Make your choice, but the craftsmen hammer and file…
The smoother the raw steel, the better the paint job will be.
Thin paint and body work is a lot better.
But, This Post was about Powder Coating.
These modern coatings, both Paint AND Powder Coating are essentially all just catalyzed Plastic, (paint),
OR Dry Plastic Powder that is heated in an oven until it turns liquid.
The powder coating Guns you can buy now for your shop has made it possible for you to make your stuff look as good as Ole Arlen Nesses stuff. No Kidding.
Powder coating tho, is not sandable and you cannot buff it out either…
What comes out of the gun and flows out onto the part is “What you Get.”
Don’t worry, It will come to you: too much Powder on the part you’ll know IT after you “see” it a couple of times…too little, usually shows up after it has come out of the oven…AND TOO LATE…
Both of these are BAD…you’ll get the hang of it real quick tho as It is almost impossible to “get off.”
So, when you get here for the classes, remind me to show you guys the Powder coating operation, AND ESPECIALLY HOW TO GET IT OFF.
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