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Wheel weight storage

05-16-2009, 09:44 PM
I have a Toro / Wheel-Horse tractor. In the winter I put a snow thrower on the tractor and in the summer a mower deck. I have always had a problem storing the wheel weights. Attached are some photos of the solution. The entire project took about 4 hrs. The plates are made if 1/4" hrs. The first use of my magnetic circle cutter, it worked very well. The only problem was that I got some molten steel in my shoe!!!

The Longevity 160P worked great!!!!!!!!!!!

05-16-2009, 11:41 PM
Hi Keith,

Looks like you gave the project some good thought/design and it worked out well. Also looks like a great project for powder coating. Have you looked into that process?

I got a HF PC gun on sale and found it very easy to use. No solvents, very little mess, cleans up easily. I cure small projects in a toaster oven and just picked up a propane powered infra red heater for larger ones like your weight storage plates.

Nice job :)

HerbD 8)

05-17-2009, 05:54 AM
That's really slick Keith.


05-17-2009, 09:03 AM
HerbD, No I have not looked into power coating. Does the process require a real clean surface to work properly? What does the power cost, is it comparable to good paint? Whare do you buy the power?

05-17-2009, 10:12 AM

I'm fabricating a 36" metal brake and wanted to put a durable finish on the parts. Years ago I used to paint cars and have all of the high end equipment to do that. I eventually became concerned about storing all of the solvents and other chemicals necessary to prep before spraying and the clean up afterwards.

We are probably all familiar with powder coated products such as high end patio furniture or other products where the finish looks great with no runs or sags. The finish can be either textured or mottled, or very shiny. Once the powder has been applied and cured, it is impervious to most solvents and wears well.

I usually wire brush the surface with a 4 1/2" right angle to clean it up before coating, the pros tend to sand blast (too messy for me, although I'd SB if I had a good place to do it.)

I picked up a small PC gun from HF (http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=powder+Coat&Submit=Go) for $59 on sale. They also sell four basic PC colors: red, yellow, white, and flat black. The normal price is $4.99 per pound, a pound typically covers ~50 sq.ft. if you want more colors, places like Powder Buy the Pound (http://www.powderbuythepound.com/) has hundreds of colors and many textures. The picture below is of a 4 1/2" bracket I recently welded for the garden to mount on a brick wall. The bracket is an anchor point to hold back a large rose bush. Notice the finish on the bracket. It is Verde Green which gives you a mottled finish automatically along with a speckled black on light green, just right for the garden.

The PC gun only requires ~10 PSI, so even a small compressor works OK. As far as curing the powder you generally need 400 deg for 10 minutes. The expensive ($400) ovens are not necessary, most of my projects are small and fit into an $18 toaster oven I got at Walmart. It even has a timer so I can be prepping the next piece while the one I just sprayed is curing.

For larger pieces, such as your wheel weight cart, you can find infrared propane heaters for under $60. They heat the underlying metal and cure the paint and can be moved along near the surface to cure the powder. Never use your wife's oven (food) for curing!

The gun comes with a power supply that generates the static electricity that makes the powder adhere to the metal. When you press the trigger on the gun there is also a foot pedal that you press. This puts the electrostatic charge on the metal and the small cloud of powder is attracted to the piece, you can see it move to the piece where it applies an even coat over all of the piece, unlike spray cans of paint where the paint is wasted and sticks to everything else in the area. Any powder that is not cured can be wiped or swept up (very little is wasted.)

For a good intro to powder coating, check out:

Powder Coating in the Home Shop (http://www.homemetalshopclub.org/projects/powder.pdf) by George Carlson

Hope this helps,

HerbD 8-)

05-17-2009, 10:47 AM

I think you've convinced me! That powder coat looks great on your bracket. Looks like I might be ordering from HF soon.

Art R.

05-17-2009, 11:28 AM
Nice project. Where did you find the magnetic circle cutter and what did it cost?



05-17-2009, 12:48 PM
He made the circle cutter. Here's his post: http://longevity-inc.com/forum/showthread.php?t=513&highlight=magnetic+circle

05-17-2009, 01:10 PM
Thanks for sharing Keith. Nice work!

05-17-2009, 01:42 PM
Thanks KB3...... Great idea and will come in very useful in the near future