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Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

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Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by ian_hind at February 21. 2017

I know this may be a question thats been asked many times before but waht are peoples thoughts on whether i should Powder Coat or Stove enamel my frame and cycle parts ?

Ive had my Commando for over 25 years and its long overdue a complete overhaul, i just want to do the best job i can with the paintwork.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated please.

Kind regards,

Ian

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by robert_tuck at February 21. 2017

I prefer stove finish as its right and looks it.  If you go for powder check what prep is going to be done ,seen plenty of powder over pitted parts.

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by ian_hind at February 21. 2017

Thanks Robert, i guess the original would have been Stove enamel or paint and to be honest its stood the test of time, all 41 years.

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by anna jeannette Dixon at February 21. 2017

Hello Power coating comes off in time, Stove enamelling will last you out.  mate 

  yours anna j dixon 

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by richard_woolnough at February 21. 2017

If you can find a stove enameler [is this a correct word?] then I would have this finish, some reasons for this--

my '61 Bonnie was powder coated many years ago with what I believe to be an older process, it was returned in satin black!! I asked it be recoated in gloss so I think it was done exacly this way, when I came to install the engine etc I had to take off excess 'powder' with a flap wheel kinda thing and it actually came off as a powder,

the Commando frame was done by the same people in gloss but I noticed it was a little more brittle but it has been O.K, the G80Cs was also done by the same company but to my view with a different process and it is nowhere near as resiliant as the early one, these frames were done sequentualy with a number of years between, I submit this for what it is worth and my experience of powder coating. kind regards

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by anna jeannette Dixon at February 21. 2017

HELLO  well I did have a SUZUKI GT550 and it was in power coating  and one day I went for its MOT  and the Mot-er found a rust hole under the power coating  on the swing arm   so the bike failed on this   had to get a bus home and get my van to bring the bike home,  I had the swing arm replaced  So I do not trust powder coatings,  anymore   a good paint is better    yours anna j     

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by richard_evans at February 21. 2017

I don't know when Powder Coating was first used, but I had certainly not heard of it when I had a frame stove enamelled in 1980. The original stove enamelling from 1957 had not really survived very well.

I had another frame Powder Coated in 2010 and I've no complaints and it seems very durable.

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by Neil Wyatt at February 21. 2017

I find powder coating perfect for me but like finding a good painter the same applies to good coaters.  A different level of skill is required for auto parts than industrial coatings.  The preparation is essential and a good craftsman will always ensure doing their own masking. Barrels and identification numbers should always receive a light coating for example.

It's all in the application but you may find powder coating less expensive.

My Commando was nylon coated back in 1989 but you have to check for breaks in the nylon, otherwise all OK. No problems with the powder coating since but mine only do auto bits.

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by keith_owen at February 22. 2017

Previously Neil Wyatt wrote:

I find powder coating perfect for me but like finding a good painter the same applies to good coaters.  A different level of skill is required for auto parts than industrial coatings.  The preparation is essential and a good craftsman will always ensure doing their own masking. Barrels and identification numbers should always receive a light coating for example.

It's all in the application but you may find powder coating less expensive.

My Commando was nylon coated back in 1989 but you have to check for breaks in the nylon, otherwise all OK. No problems with the powder coating since but mine only do auto bits.

 

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by keith_owen at February 22. 2017

It all depends upon the preparation irrespective of the coating that is applied.

I had some powder coating done on my Ariel. A big chunk flaked off of the oil tank and I had to re-paint it. This was down to poor preparation - perhaps the blasting media had left contamination?

Also, I have discovered that whatever the powder coating was, that was used, it is not Ethanol resistant.

Stove enamel is /was very good if still available.

You are not however limited to these two choices. Years ago I had my Ariel painted in cellulose and that lasted 30 odd years ; not that I am suggesting it is what you should use.

I am contemplating painting my commando frame with PJ11 epoxy. It is relatively cheap and can be done at home.

I repeat however preparation is key and the key objective is not to seal rust or contaminants underneath the coating(whatever it might be).

 

Keith

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by james_ware at February 26. 2017

Ian, I asked this very question on this forum late last year. In the end I decided to paint, the same decision I guess that someone at Norton made all those years ago. I have to say, I'm very pleased with the choice I made. Yep it might not last as long or be as durable as the other options but hey, it will last me out and the new owner will probably want to tear the bike apart anyways. After all, that's part of owning a classic bike isn't it?

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by anna jeannette Dixon at February 26. 2017

Hello The only trouble  with power coating  they Do not have ever colour  or do Metallics   is Ok if its Black   and that it  ,   Yours  Anna J 

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by john_holmes at February 26. 2017

I have powder coated petrol tanks in silver with clearcoat as per alloy wheels, green with a silver speckle (which looks gold as the green changes how it looks) , blue with silver specs, Ivory white and Black. All worked well, not concours but they are for riding and the good tanks are on the shelf for showing off days.

 photo Petroltank003.jpg

 

 photo Norton001.jpg

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by Skip Brolund at February 26. 2017

I would strongly recommend talking to a few powder coaters as to the pros & cons versus painting. Generally speaking, powder coating is more durable, will last longer, is less expensive, and much better for the environment than conventional paint. Most of the products you buy today are powder coated. The one down side to powder coating is touch-ups. You really cant touch up powder coating, you find a conventional paint that is close & that's all you can do.

Powder coating has come a long way in the 20 plus years since I first used it, you can now get all kinds of finishes including metalics & products that look like chrome! The powder coating today is as smooth if not smoother than a spray job, and if not, find a better powder coater. Powder coating is also more flexible than spray paint.

Powder coating will have a much thicker layer of color that paint, which in most cases is good, but on parts that need painted & fit between other painted parts where clearance is an issue, you will need to note that with your powder coater. Sometimes the powder coating will be so thick that some parts will no longer fit together & adjustments will need to be made. Threaded holes will need to be plugged, or re-tapped after powder coating.

I have bikes that are spray painted & others that are powder coated & the difference is like night & day, I will always choose powder coating, especially on frames, steering, swing arms.

In the old days I could spray in my garage on the cheap, and my labor was free, so powder coating seemed expensive at the time, but now days, many of the paint products can not be used by the home hobbyist & the modern water borne paint used on most vehicles requires very specialized equipment & no longer cheap, so powder coating is a very good option.

Powder coating is no more likely to "fall off" than any other paint or coating. As anyone in the coatings trade will tell you, it's all about prep & less about the finish.

But of course, thats just my opinion :)

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by Neil Wyatt at February 26. 2017

100% with you Skip, get a good coater who works with auto parts as their bread and butter, they will always insist on their own masking and do excellent prep. No contest on price or durability.

Anna, I had my 99 mudguards powder coated Dove Grey. (RAL 1013)

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by ian_hind at March 02. 2017

Thanks for all the help and advice on this matter. It has really has helped me make a more informed decision.

Cheers Ian

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by david_evans at March 02. 2017

The original Commando frame was just painted with a very poor layer of paint. If water gets under powder coating it can corrode and track along under the coating with devastating results. You will be lucky to find anybody that will stove enamel these days. I went for a two pack paint finish but in future, and for the amount of the frame that you can see, I would probably have the frame blasted and spray it with a quality aerosol, Hammerite smoothrite is tough but doesn't cover very well, I have had good results with plasticote which is available in "The Range" stores and is a good price. I think paint sticks to the frame better than a powder coated finish.

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by dave_taylor at March 02. 2017

I recently brush painted my old boat trailer with thinned down black Rustolium (I think that is the spelling?) and it went on like the best coach paint you could wish for, absolutely no brush marks at all.

I'll be trying it on my featherbed/850 this summer.

Dave

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by keith_owen at March 03. 2017

Dave,

Tell me more!

Keith

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by peter_palmer at June 04. 2017

I have taken the decision to have my frame poweder coated.  As many suggest the key is in the preperation and getting the right person to do it.  So can anyone recommend a UK company that know how to properly mask off and prepare a commando frame/cradle & swinging arm?

Re: Powder Coat or Stove Enamel ??

Posted by Kevin Feltoe at June 06. 2017

Hello Peter.

Although they are probably a million miles from you, I can recommend Colourcoat at Hethel. That's the Hethel where Lotus are in Norfolk. I've had a Commando frame, a 77 frame and various swing arms powder coated there and know that they do any colour you are likely to need. Quite a few years ago, on the one occasion that I had to take a swing arm back after a year because the coating began to flake off, they were horrified and re-coated it for free. The preparation hadn't been quite up to the mark the first time and rust began to take a toll. The rust had been bad in that particular spot mind. its OK now. Next door to them is a new bunch of painters who are painting my fiberglass Interstate tank. I'm holding my breath in anticipation.

Wherever you take your parts to be painted, you need to talk to the guy who will be doing the job. Don't allow him to do the job without knowing exactly what you want/need, and don't try to beat him down on the price. Where painting is concerned, you most definitely get what you pay for. A happy painter is someone who will do the job right. Personally, I'd rather pay over the odds than wonder what exactly is under my lovely new paint. 

It helps to do as much of the preparation yourself, especially where getting dirt and oil off the surfaces is concerned. I know someone who received a frame expecting it to be clean, and when he commented that it wasn't clean, the owner said. 'Well, how clean do you want it'?  Duh!

I hope I haven't been teaching Granny to suck eggs here.

All the best.

Kev

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