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#13661335 - 03/16/19 Powder coating - couple of finesse questions  
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Jim in Idaho Offline
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Just took my first experimental batch of bullets out of the oven, they're cooling right now. Only used a small handful - 23 bullets - in case I totally screwed them up, but will size and load them today and try them at the range tomorrow.

In the meantime, some questions on refining the tools/techniques. When I got the oven I got a pan to go with it but it's fairly thick and made of steel since it attracts a magnet. Got the oven to 400 exactly as shown by the oven thermometer inside but when I put this heavy tray in the internal temp went down to about 360 quickly, maybe 2-3 minutes. I turned the temp dial up and it still took some 6-7 minutes to get back to 400, that's when I started the 10 minute timer. Once back at 400 the oven stayed there very steadily.

So, I'm thinking a lighter aluminum pan would be better since it won't have as much mass to soak up the existing heat and the oven should return to correct temp more quickly, correct? Have you guys used those throw away aluminum foil type baking pans? Seems they'd be a bit flimsy to hold the weight of 200 bullets but if supported underneath they wouldn't act as much of a heat sink at all. Btw, I'm using non-stick aluminum foil on the current pan and would use that no matter what.

Also, I was reading about PMT - part metal temperature - since the powder instructions say 400 F/10 min at PMT, this is the RAL 6018 powder Yondering recommended in his post. Don't know of a way to actually measure the bullet temp, but as the oven was reheating and going back up through 375-380-390 etc. I could see the powder melting to a shiny appearance. I'm guessing once the oven thermometer says 400 again that you might as well start the timer.

On the steel tray. Conversely, since it is a large heat sink along with the bullets, perhaps using it would work better since it heats up more slowly and might be a better indicator of the bullets' temp or allow them time to come up to proper temp where a light aluminum pan might allow oven internal temp to hit 400 while the bullets themselves, the substrate in PC terms, would still be below 400?

Any thoughts on the matter would be welcome.


Yeah, I know I'm over thinking this but that's a computer programmer's mind at work... wink


Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery.
Hit the target, all else is twaddle!
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#13663819 - 03/16/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: Jim in Idaho]  
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Yondering Offline
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I use light weight aluminum pans, covered with the non-stick aluminum foil. Never had an issue with those pans.

I have not tried a heavier steel pan, don't know if it'll cause problems, but I seriously doubt it'll do anything better than an aluminum pan except take longer to heat up and cool off.

On the timer - yes you want 10 minutes once the bullets are up to 400*. To achieve that, I just set my timer to 20 minutes and start it when I put the bullets in. I know the oven setting needed to achieve 400, so I set it there at the start and leave it alone.


One further comment on bullet quantity for coating - I realize you were just trying out a handful of bullets at first. However, I've found it's harder to get powder to stick to just a few bullets, compared to a larger batch of several hundred. I typically do 300-400 9mm bullets per batch, which fills a 32oz yogurt container 1/2-2/3 full. I coated 750 of them the other night; split into two batches worked out perfectly. I do go with a fairly light coat so the cake of bullets breaks apart easier (I just dump them all in the pan, no individual handling needed), and try to use the right amount of powder so none is left in the container after shaking them.

#13667039 - 03/17/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: Jim in Idaho]  
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shaggybull Offline
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I use cookie sheets or cake pans covered with non-stick Reynolds wrap. I have found Tupperware square containers best for coating bullets, I use rubber gloves to handle bullets the powder doesn't stick to the gloves. I preheat my oven for 10 minutes for the first batch. Are you using heavy weight air soft bb's in the bottom of your container? This helps with static charge and the powder sticks to the bullets easier.

#13668022 - 03/18/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: Jim in Idaho]  
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Jim in Idaho Offline
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Did a bigger batch yesterday, some 231 bullets which was basically half a yogurt tub full. Used an aluminum pan but I'm not seeing that it makes a big difference. I forgot to time it each day but my rememberance is that it took about the same time to get back up to temp whether using the heavier gauge steel or lightweight aluminum pan.

In fact, yesterday I let the oven get up to 425 in anticipation of heat loss but it still went down to a low of 340 despite the aluminum pan this time and still took a good 10 minutes to get back up to 400. Could be the additional mass of the bullets this time but it seems to me that the biggest heat loss is opening the door to put the pan of bullets inside even if done as fast as practical. Anyway, I just crank up the thermostat until it gets and stays at 400 then set the 10 minute timer. The bullets come out well coated and shooting trials yesterday morning showed no leading whatsoever.

Also, still getting a feel for how much powder to use but I'm eyeballing it pretty close. Used a half a plastic spoonful and shook the container hard for a count of 20 which coated all of the bullets well with only a tiny amount of powder left in the bottom of the plastic tub. Not a problem generating static electricity in Idaho on a clear and chilly March day, in fact I get zapped all the time touching anything that grounds me. shocked


Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery.
Hit the target, all else is twaddle!
#13668173 - 03/18/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: Jim in Idaho]  
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Yondering Offline
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Originally Posted by Jim in Idaho


Also, still getting a feel for how much powder to use but I'm eyeballing it pretty close. Used a half a plastic spoonful and shook the container hard for a count of 20 which coated all of the bullets well with only a tiny amount of powder left in the bottom of the plastic tub. Not a problem generating static electricity in Idaho on a clear and chilly March day, in fact I get zapped all the time touching anything that grounds me. shocked


Sounds like you've got that down pretty well, that's exactly how I do it too.


Originally Posted by shaggybull
I use cookie sheets or cake pans covered with non-stick Reynolds wrap. I have found Tupperware square containers best for coating bullets, I use rubber gloves to handle bullets the powder doesn't stick to the gloves. I preheat my oven for 10 minutes for the first batch. Are you using heavy weight air soft bb's in the bottom of your container? This helps with static charge and the powder sticks to the bullets easier.


The only reason you're needing to use airsoft BBs is because you decided to use a different container than I recommended. I've said to use yogurt or sour cream containers specifically because they generate the static needed. The material should be white plastic with the #5 recycle mark on the bottom. Tupperware and other containers are different and do not work as well.

Using airsoft BBs causes more work for yourself without any better results, compared to just using the right container to start with. Look back at the pictures I posted at the beginning of my powder coating thread, they clearly show good coating without using airsoft bbs.

Last edited by Yondering; 03/18/19.
Alpha

#13681207 - 03/23/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: Yondering]  
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IAE_pilot_Retired Offline
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I'm surprised you don't have Campfire basement physicists challenging your claim that yogurt or sour cream containers work better, but you are correct about that. I tried to get Tupperware to work, but to no avail.

#13687326 - 03/25/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: IAE_pilot_Retired]  
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Yondering Offline
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Originally Posted by IAE_pilot
I'm surprised you don't have Campfire basement physicists challenging your claim that yogurt or sour cream containers work better, but you are correct about that. I tried to get Tupperware to work, but to no avail.


It seems to have something to do with the type of material and static generation. That's outside my field of expertise to explain why, but the results are pretty clear. (No pun intended, but the clear containers don't work as well.)

Last edited by Yondering; 03/25/19.
#13688812 - 03/25/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: Yondering]  
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Idaho1945 Offline
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Using a round container works much better & the air soft pellets are just adding a step you don't need. It only takes a few seconds to get a good coating & you're ready to bake. Oh, & the Rock Chucks are starting to pop out!

Dick

#13690031 - 03/26/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: Idaho1945]  
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Yondering Offline
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Yondering  Offline
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Originally Posted by Idaho1945
Using a round container works much better & the air soft pellets are just adding a step you don't need. It only takes a few seconds to get a good coating & you're ready to bake. Oh, & the Rock Chucks are starting to pop out!

Dick


Man, I sure wish we had rock chucks here in the PNW. (OK, not really for the damage they cause, but for varmint hunting...) I see a lot of them in central Oregon where my in-laws live, but most of that area seems to be pretty closed off to public shooting these days unless you know someone with property.

#13814001 - 05/12/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: Jim in Idaho]  
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barnabus Offline
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just put a few ingots in the bottom of the oven to use as heat bricks and you wont have the temp drop.

Bravo

#13820248 - 05/14/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: barnabus]  
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deerstalker Offline
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Originally Posted by barnabus
just put a few ingots in the bottom of the oven to use as heat bricks and you wont have the temp drop.

kind of what i do, i just slide my ingot mold in on the bottom. that way there is no muss or fuss. the 4 lbs keeps everything even


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#13832603 - 05/19/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: Jim in Idaho]  
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Dillonbuck Offline
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I probably shouldn't say anything, no experience at all on this topic.
Came here because I'm curious


But, considering the thermal mass of a batch of lead bullets,
Your steel pan would be fairly insignificant.

Unless its dam heavy.


30-06 and/or Partitions. What was the question again?
People don't understand how hard it is to be cheap.
#13833116 - 05/19/19 Re: Powder coating - couple of finesse questions [Re: Jim in Idaho]  
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Yondering Offline
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None of that stuff matters at all. Just let the bullets in the oven get up to temp (400° F) and hold for at least ten minutes. Leave them in longer if you're not sure; as long as the oven isn't too hot it doesn't matter.


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