I had a hard time figuring out which category to put this under, but it wound up in here. The reason it was hard to decide is because I wanted to make sure this information wasn't missed.
Like many people I belived the myth that Powder Coating would cost a small fortune. However, I found out recently that, that myth was false. In fact, I would argue that Powder Coating is MUCH MUCH cheaper then doing it youself.
A couple of weeks ago (10/23/2006) I dropped off essentially 8 parts to be powder coated at a place here in Glendale called Glendale Powder Coating.
The coin door broke down into 8 individual parts, so technically you could say it was "14 parts". However, with that said, here is essentially what I took there:
Coin Door (see pic)
Coin Door Frame
Q*Bert Control Panel
Zoo Keeper Control Panel
Zoo Keeper Marquee Top Bracket
Zoo Keeper Lower Marquee Bracket
Zoo Keeper Bezel Bracket
Williams Control Panel Hinge
When I took all the parts down there, I was expecting a qoute of a couple hundred dollars. I was amazed when they told me that it would only cost me $50 for everything that I brought. They said that I could probably get another coin door or control panel done for the same price.
Basically what they said is, is that if the parts all fit on one Rack, it's $50. If you need more room, it goes to $75 and then to $100. So basically for this trip I paid about $6.25 per part. Now the best part of this, is that INCLUDED sandblasting the parts. That meant I didn't have to spend the time stripping the paint off with messy chemicals.
A can of Paint Stripper alone is going to be more then $7, so this is a great deal.
I think a lot of the myths may have started by people who just tried to get ONE thing powder coated like a coin door. If all I had to powder coat was a coin door it still would have cost me $50. The more you bring the cheaper it is to Powder Coat.
Maybe I just got lucky and found a really good place that charges a great price.
The guys a Glendale Powder Coating are great to work with. The walked me through how everything was done and showed me the different options. You can get pretty much any color you want (I think it's limited to basic colors though, nothing really odd).
You can get glossy, flat, etc.... If you don't want smooth, they have a couple of different type of textures that they can apply.
If you cannot find a decent Powder Coater locally, Glendale Powder Coating does take stuff in the mail. You need to call them before sending anything though. Talk to Frank and tell him you have Arcade Parts.
The biggest issues I've found with Powder coating so far are:
1) No Bondo'd parts. If you put bondo on the part, I don't think they can put it in the oven, or if they do, the bondo won't survive.
2) It shows every fingerprint and dust A LOT (I'm talking about the Smooth, Glossy Black). Just like a new car.
With those two issues in mind, I have ZERO reservations about doing it again. If fact, I am stockpiling parts to get painted. Once the parts are done, they look brand new!
So take a look at the transformations....
Before Powder Coating
After Powder Coating
ZooKeeper Coin Door After Powder Coating
At this point, if it's metal and needs to be painted black, it's going to the Powder Coaters!