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Old April 9, 2014, 03:16 PM   #1
leadcounsel
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Experience with DIY Cerakoting

Cerakoting handguns will run around $150-200 each and longguns double.

I have accumulated enough handguns and longguns that need refinishing here and there from worn bluing, chipped finish, etc. that it would cost a small fortune to hire a company to refinish these.

I've watched some videos on Cerakoting and it appears easy to do. The equipment would run under a few hundred bucks. Looks like an air compressor, spray gun, hoses, air mask, bead blast box, and the materials.

Anyone here have any experience with the quality of DIY Cerakoting versus having a professional do it? Is it a steep learning curve or quite simple as it looks? Are the finishes more rugged if they air dry or bake in an oven.
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Old April 9, 2014, 05:03 PM   #2
mxsailor803
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I'm interested in this as well. I know Durakoat has a shakenbake kit but I've never used.
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Old April 9, 2014, 09:35 PM   #3
CharlieDeltaJuliet
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I now Cerakote and Duracote in my spare time. I have many thousands invested in my hardware. The main thing is the prep work. I mostly media blast projects with 80-120 grit aluminum oxide. That gives the best surface I have found for either to adhere. The main thing is make sure your oven you use is big enough for the job. I use a hand built cabinet with a lazy susan to go from the pain side to the oven. I will even go as far to bake Duracote on a low temp just to dry faster.

I sometimes use a DeVilbiss trim gun, but most are done with a DeVilbiss airbrush. The major expense was my air compressor. I wanted enough to run the blast cabinet. The rule when working with any gun coating, is prep work, prep work, prep work. The more time you take preparing the firearm, the better it usually turns out.
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Old April 9, 2014, 10:14 PM   #4
leadcounsel
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Do you need a special oven, or would a free electric oven off Craigslist work? These crop up all the time on CL, and I'm thinking you could just park that free oven in the garage...
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Old April 10, 2014, 09:54 AM   #5
CharlieDeltaJuliet
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That will work just fine as long as the parts fit in it. The only other issue I have seen with using a cooking oven is getting the parts in without messing up the Cerakote. Cerakote will remain wet until it is baked. I have talked to a guy who used a heat gun after spraying just to cut down on the tackyness. I wouldn't try it because the heat gun is 6x the temperature the coating is supposed to be baked at.

Please if you have any questions, ask. If I can answer anything, I would be more than happy to.

CDJ
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Old April 10, 2014, 10:30 AM   #6
madmo44mag
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I've Dura-Coated a number of guns with great success.
Baking the finish does make it more durable but the truth is it is all in the prep.
Dura-Coat offers a self contained spay system that works very well.
I have used it a couple of times for small parts refinishing.
A HVLP trim gun or air brush from Harbor Freight works great and fairly cheap.
Here is a few pic's of a British Lee Enfield I did a while back with Dura-Coat.
This is my range 303 and see's a lot of use.
IMG_1023 A.JPG

IMG_1033 B.JPG

IMG_1037 C.JPG
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Old April 13, 2014, 10:13 AM   #7
CharlieDeltaJuliet
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While I do like Duracote because it doesn't require baking, Cerakote is tougher. I mainly do it as a hobby for my gunsmith. Cerakote has a little stronger fumes. If you don't mind doing it, a blasting cabinet is a great addition if coating a firearm. You will have to post up some photos once you get started. Good luck, just take your time and you will be fine.

CDJ

This is my 300WM. The barrel and action are Cerakoted, the stock is Duracoted.
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Old April 13, 2014, 11:58 AM   #8
happymachinist
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I have been looking into Cerakote as well seeings as how I powder coat as a hobby already.

Like said above its all in the prep.

Any electric oven will work but have been advised by people in the know not to use the oven you cook with.

Also make sure your oven is calibrated. Just because the knob says 250 don't assume your temperature is.

Stick a block of steel in for an hour or so at your target temp and temp gun it. You can also use a barbecue thermometer or cheap oven thermometer. Not sure how much I trust the latter but I use them from time to time.

My preferred method is the steel block and temp gun method since it is similar to the process you will be using to coat your parts.

Last edited by happymachinist; April 13, 2014 at 12:15 PM.
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Old April 13, 2014, 06:41 PM   #9
johnwilliamson062
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So, if I buy a cheap oven off craigslist I could brew on the burners and cerakote in the oven...
Off to craigslist I go.
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:34 PM   #10
jglenn
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cerakote

house hold oven will work but is a bit cramped for a barreled action and a bit tricky to get it in the oven and not touch anything

when we 1st started doing Cerakote a number of years ago I built myself a simple heat box out of wood lined with sliver coated foam board (HD or lowes) 1/2" thick. framed the box out of 2x4s and then used thin veneer to cover it.

heat is supplied by a cheap HF +heat gun( <$10).. I regulate the heat in the box by having holes in the lid that I plug or leave open..actually very affective.

I use two gas grill thermometers screwed into the lid. they work fine

get yourself an above average finish gun..when I started we used the cheap harbor freight air brushes and small finish guns.. they work just fine but don't last long.. I now use a Lowes finish sprayer. Large improvement.. plan on taking your gun pretty much apart to clean everything. heat dry cerakote will dry after a week or so.. it won't be as hard as it should but tough to get out of a spray gun...( don't ask) clean with acetone

the stuff goes on great and is very thin.. typical covering is 1 mil thick. so don't over due it..every screwed up Cerakte job I've seen simply had too much paint on it or the prep was bad.. The part need to be blasted by 80-120 grit AO. I use 90 grit., that includes stocks just lower your air pressure down to around 30.

one trick I have learned is to let the part air dry for around 20 minutes before you move it to the oven.. it will dry a just enough to not be overly sensitive to touching it by accident. yeah I learned this the hard way. typical heating temp is around 280 for 2 hours..run that up to 320 and it's done in 1 hour. run that up to 450 and you get some very interesting color changes... not recommended. Stock or plastic parts you simply run them at a lower temp..Cerkote has a complete training manual on line and if you ever have a question, their folks are outstanding on their products and process. learn quite a bit early on from them.. the air dry stuff can also be heated to quicken the drying.. learned that on from their staff. just follow their process to a T

it really is no that hard to apply but you need a blasting box, a heat box and a pretty good gun. heat tape is also something you should get if you plan to cover any part from the spray and then leave it on going to the heat box.. Cerakote and Brownells sell it.

you can also vari the finish a bit from dull to matte to semi gloss just by changing the % of hardener to the base color( all in their manual)

great stuff.
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:37 PM   #11
jglenn
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cerakote

to answer one of your questions the heat dry cerakote is tougher than the air dry(even if you heat it)
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