Powdercoaters in Toronto?
June 16, 2008 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Powder Coating in Toronto... who does a good, fast job for a reasonable price? I want to change the color of a bike frame and fork but using google just gives me a bunch of companies in Mississauga with terrible web sites... I'd love a first hand recommendation if anyone's got one. Also disregarding geography, any advice or caveats regarding powder coating in general? Thanks!
posted by dobbs to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Best answer: I'm in the SF Bay Area, so no local recommendations for you, but having had some car parts powder coated, I can offer a few tips:

1) Prep! Powder coating does not cover all ills, so make sure the surface is prepped/sanded to your satisfaction. I had a few valve covers done but skimped on the prep work, and the results weren't nearly as smooth as I would have liked.

2) If there are areas where you DON'T want the powder coating to stick, discuss them in detail with the powder coater. Often, masking an area is as simple as applying masking tape ahead of time and trimming it appropriately -- carefully, with an Exacto knife or scalpel. Just be very detail oriented when you do this, and trim the applied tape such that you don't accidentally mask more than you mean to.

3) If it's a custom color, consider buying more of it and keeping the extra powder in a safe, dry place, in case you need to have the frame re-coated at some point. I had some work done in a hard-to-find color, later decided I wanted to coat an additional component in the same color, and had a hell of a time finding the right color several years after the initial coating.

Powder coating is great stuff -- good luck with your project.
posted by mosk at 10:38 AM on June 16, 2008

Best answer: Call a few of your local bike shops. Someone there should know of a good Powder Coating company.

If you ask me, I think you shuld have them take off the existing paint completely. They will likely have the capability and it should'nt cost more than 20-40 bucks. I is a real time saver and health saver, the toxic chemical strippers are nasty and sanding the paint off is a ridiculously tedius process.

Also, if your bike is steel then they can sandblast it with fine, the finer the better, sand. If it is aluminum the have them blast it with plastic media with a lower pressure. It wont eat away the softer aluminum like sand will. You choice of paint might be limited to what they have in stock, so be prepared to have to wait and pay more for custom colors.

And I second what mosk said above, mask off what you dont want painted. You might have to have them do it after they sandblast it if you go that route. And sand out any scratches with some 220 or even 400 git sand paper.

I just PC a frame not even two weeks ago, and it came out fine using the above info.

Good luck!
posted by MiggySawdust at 11:05 AM on June 16, 2008

Best answer: No hints for a good company in Toronto, but I just finished powder coating three bikes last week. Here's my process:
1. dismantle the bikes
2. Strip with paint stripper.
3. Rinse with water, wipe with alcohol
4 sandblast to prep the surface and remove any last little spots of paint in areas the stripper didn't get. From this point on, only move the frame by touching inside the frame, such is in the seat tube and head tube. You want no finger oils on any tube to be coated.
5. Blow off frame with compressed air (that is well filtered, you really don't want any oil on the surface)
6. Mask threads (fork), mask canitlever studs, put bolts in water bottle cages bosses.
7. Spray with powder (bikes can be tricky because of all the complex joints and upside down surfaces)
8. Bake.

I'd recommend looking for a hard-core bike shop or bike builder in your area for PC recommendations. A really good powdercoating job can be tricky to achieve on a bike. The coating needs to be thick enough to protect well and handle abuse, but thin enough to show detailing like lugs, or serial numbers.

Alternately you can send your frame/fork to get it powder coated at a place that specializes in bikes. I'm lucky and share a town with Sycip, who build beautiful bikes and do all their own powder coating. I believe it was something like $250 for them to strip and coat a frame, and an additional $50 for the fork.
posted by gofargogo at 11:50 AM on June 16, 2008

Best answer: The only bike shop I know of that does serious frame work (aka brazing) is Biseagal. My issues with their professionalism aside, Malcolm is a good mechanic. I'm sure they'll have a reference for you.

Call a few of your local bike shops. Someone there should know of a good Powder Coating company.

You don't know Toronto bike shops :)

But, I wonder if Bike Pirates might not be a good bet too. I haven't had any personal experience with them yet, but there is a chance..
posted by Chuckles at 3:57 PM on June 16, 2008

Response by poster: Excellent answers all around. Thanks!
posted by dobbs at 6:56 AM on June 17, 2008

New discovery: Velocolour on O'Connor Drive near Victoria Park and Eglinton.
posted by Chuckles at 2:20 PM on July 16, 2008

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