You may or may not realize that Eastwood has been there since Day 1 in the DIY Powder Coating market. We were the first to come out with an affordable powder coating system for a DIY'er to use in their home shop. The days of paying top dollar to send your parts to an industrial-type powder coating firm or compromising by using aerosol paint on your parts. Because we've been there for so long, we've powder coated just about anything that could (we've even tried stuff that couldn't!) be coated. Along the way we've picked up some tips and tricks to save yourself time when powder coating parts at home. I recently powder coated a set of Harley Davidson wheels and took some pictures to show some things you can do to save yourself extra time after your parts are coated and cured.
These wheels originally were polished aluminum factory wheels on a Harley and after a years of daily-riding the wheels had some pretty heavy corrosion and baked-on brake dust. The first step was to disassemble the wheels completely (remove tires, all bearings, grease, seals, etc) and media blast them until we were left with clean, virgin aluminum. From here we can begin to prep the wheels for powder coating. I like to use a lint-free or microfiber rag and PRE to clean any blasting residue or dirt/grease picked up from handling the wheels.
On any bike wheel there are a few surfaces that are precisely machined and need to be covered to avoid powder building up on them. The most important is the bearing race on the wheels. This area needs to as smooth as possible and free of any debris for the bearings to fit and work correctly. I like to use tin foil (yes the same stuff you use to cook dinner) to fill any large voids as it can be easily shaped to fit these areas. Also it is very important that you plug any tapped and threaded holes in the wheel so that the threads aren't filled with powder. You can use tin foil here or a reusable option is high heat silicone plugs like we offer for powder coating.
I also like to secure any of the tin foil plugs with high heat fiberglass tape to assure that they stay in place and to cover any small areas the plugs didn't cover. Once you have done this you can safely spray the entire wheels without worry of these areas being filled with powder. This will save you time grinding powder out of unwanted areas and the risk of potentially chipping or damaging the powder in those surrounding areas. Take the time to prep the parts before coating and your powdered parts will mount up like factory every time. Get everything you need to powder coat at home on our site HERE.