It’s been a little while since I’ve done a NTF post, but here it is. A powder coating oven! This beast was a little over 2 months in the making, and it was actually a really interesting build. I’ve known I wanted to bring powdercoating in-house since the beginning, but I also knew it’s it’s own huge project. In addition to this oven, I had to make a sandblasting cabinet as well, and make sure my air compressor was up to the task. But all is functional now, and I’ve been powdercoating everything I can get my hands on.
Some nerdy numbers:
The oven is built from galvanized sheet metal and metal studs. Insulated with yellow fiberglass insulation, and it has two 2.5 kilowatt oven elements for a total of 5 kilowatts. I used a PID temperature controller with a K thermocouple from Auber instruments. The inside dimensions are about 28 x 32 x 82 inches, and it’ll fit 2 bike frames or one tandem. It warms up from cold in about 20 minutes, and in about another 20 minutes the oven walls are fully warmed up. If I open the door to stick a bike frame in, it takes about 5 minutes to warm back up to 400 F. I’ve calculated the energy it uses, and it’s astonishingly small. Once it’s up to temp, the elements run at about 50% power to keep the whole thing at 400F. So if I’m just powdercoating one or two bike frames it’s on for about 2 hours, which uses around 6.25 Kilowatt hours, or $0.75.
Why powder coating?
One of the reasons I chose powdercoating, aside from being such a durable and long-lasting coating, is that I believe it to be more environmentally friendly. Wet paints have large amounts of VOCs which are released into the atmosphere during use. Powdercoat releases no VOCs during curing. However, the ovens used in powdercoating must be powered, so using electricity is the main environmental impact. Durango’s power comes from the Four Corners Generating Station which is a coal power plant. Pretty much a worst-case scenario for emissions. However, coal generates just over two lbs of CO2 per Kilowatt-hour produced, so during a 2-hour powdercoating session, I’m producing about 12.5 lbs of CO2. Roughly the amount your car produces driving 16 miles. In the grand scheme of things, that’s pretty damn good.
In the next few months I’ll be experimenting with quite a few color and fading options. These will gradually become available as color options on the Colors page. I’m looking forward to some absolutely rad looking bikes coming out of the Myth shop this year. Keep an eye out on Instagram, and this blog.