Coating Instructions and Recommendations
Powdered product is a complete package, for the specific preparation of solvent based coatings.
HI-TEK POWDER, OR SOLVENT MIXTURES SHOULD NOT BE ATOMISED OR SPRAYED.
HI-TEK POWDERED COATINGS ARE NOT TO BE USED AS POWDER COATING
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HI TEK AND POWDER COATING? Read here
HI-TEK POWDERED COATING PRODUCTS, NEEDS TO BE FIRST MIXED WITH RECOMENDED SOLVENT,
PRIOR TO USE, AND IS SUITABLE FOR TUMBLE COATING TYPE APPLICATION ONTO YOUR BULLETS.
Read the below details before starting.
*Use adequate protective gear including chemical resistant gloves, safety glasses,
a respirator adequate for painting and USE COMMON SENSE.
REMEMBER you are dealing with chemicals and flammable
liquids & solvents.
Do not smoke, don’t use near Fire, or where vapours can ignite from sparks.
Use in area where there is adequate ventilation to remove solvent and oven fumes that are generated.
Do not use any oven you intend to cook food in, and oven is to be a
totally dedicated baking oven for coatings and vented
to outside from working areas.
Tools and equipment you will need:
COATING, POWDERED VERSION and Pure Acetone.
2. The safety gear noted above.
3. Measuring tools. (A set of cheap metal or plastic measuring spoons works well)
4. Plastic containers to tumble/coat bullets in.
(For hobbyists, a
small 5 litre bucket or disposable food containers are good, but any reasonably
strong, clean plastic container should work)
5. A container to mix the coating in. (A transparent or similar dispensing bottle with a thin nozzle does a great job) Ensure that coating and solvents do not affect containers used for mixing coatings.
6. Waste newspaper, paper towels or waste rags and plastic sheeting to protect bench tops or work areas.
7. Pure Acetone or MEK. (not solvent blends containing Acetone or MEK)
(These are also
suitable to both mix the bullet coating mixtures, and for clean-up)
8. A well-ventilated area for working in. (Not your kitchen or basement). Use in an open garage, car port open to ventilation, and away from open flames)
9. Flat wire baskets capable of holding the weight of bullets, and withstanding the heat of the oven. (If you can’t find something adequate they are fairly easy and cheap to make from 1/4” wire Mesh or similar)
10. An oven that can hold a temperature fairly well. You will need to test ovens ability, to hold at set temperatures and temperature set accuracy.
(A toaster oven with a circulation fan can, be obtained cheaply and works great, but you will have to verify actual temperature in oven, as compared to knob setting.)
11. Use clean lead bullets that have not been sized. If your bullets have Wax, Alox, or any other lubricant on them, the acetone will dissolve it and contaminate the coating and you will experience failures.
Clean Lead will produce great coating, and waxy or dirty lead will cause coating failure. Sized lead bullets may reduce adhesion of the coating to bond to the lead, as the sizing process can close the pores on the surface of the bullet. Pre-sizing bullets requires a lubricant, and that will reduce coating adhesion and failures.
12. A little patience. Read the instructions fully BEFORE starting, and take your time.
The coating process is not difficult but it can take a little practice to do it well.
If it doesn’t go well the first time, go back and read the instructions again, usually a simple mistake is the problem. If you keep having problems contact us, we’ll be happy to help.
WHAT YOU NEED
TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING:
1. A little goes a LONG way, start out with the smallest amount you can mix and to coat around 200-300 bullets. (One kilo (2.2lbs) of Powdered H-Tek should coat about 120,000 projectiles with two coats.)
Don’t worry if first coating appears a little thin on alloy, as you can always recoat them again after baking. You do not need and should not use heavy coats, (especially with first coat) for product to work. Heavy/thick coat may be counterproductive, as it may cause other problems such as very slow drying, and poor adhesion during and after bake.
2. Two or three, works great. Applying thick coats can be rough looking, and will probably crack and flake off during smash test, sizing, loading and shooting. Thickly applied coatings may not cure and adhere correctly, as thickly applied coatings forms a “skin”, which prevents fast & total drying, and prevents heat penetrating to the alloy for correct curing/bonding to take place.
3. Bullets cast with sharp edges, webbing, and little flakes of Lead, hanging from them will coat fine, and after first coat is done, it is recommended that these are sized after the first coat. The majority of coated Lead will remain OK, but the unwanted webbing, flakes etc are removed. Then simply recoat a second time, and may be a third time, and these subsequent coats will cover any exposed Lead.
If you require a sizing lube with first coat to remove burrs, try to use Hi-Tek 500+ or Hi-Tek 3000 or 5000, as very dilute sparingly applied lube. This should not interfere with recoating with second coat.
Do not use any other sizing lube, as it will interfere with coating adhesion.
4. Allow the bullets to dry fully once they are coated.
Test bake a few, when you think they are dry. Only if test bake on a few passes all tests, only then bake the bulk.
If they go into the oven wet, or not completely dry, the coating can bubble up and look rough, and the fumes are harsh and can be flammable.
Give adequate time to dry, don’t rush drying, the warmer and drier the space you work in, the better. Coating may take as little as 10 minutes to many hours to dry. This is dependent on the ambient temperature and humidity.
With ambient drying, once humidity is trapped/locked inside coatings, they may feel dry to the touch.
However, when test baking a few, will expose under dried coatings by appearance of fine blisters being formed during baking. If you get these fine blisters, or flaking with smash test, especially with the first coat, you can almost guarantee that the coating was not adequately dry before baking.
NOTE. You cannot fix a poorly bonded baked coating by applying further coats.
If you have smash test failure and or blistering, or both, it is a remelt job.
5. Having several batches of bullets rotating through the oven at once will speed things up quite a bit, but wait until you get the hang of it before trying it. Once you have successfully done three or four batches of bullets you’ll feel like an old pro.
6. When you mix the coating, it’s better to have too much solvent in mixture than to have too little.
Thick coats = bad bullets, thin dilute coats = good bullets.
A LIGHT STAIN TYPE COAT IS BEST FOR FIRST COAT.
This dries much more quickly, and can be referred to as a primer coat.
First coat must be bonded well to alloy after bake, before applying any other coats.
Applying second or third coats to poorly bonded first coat will not fix bonding problems with first coat.
Re-baking to fix poor adhesion problems will not work. Before projectiles are baked, first coat must be dry totally, even if warm air drying is required to complete drying.
When you think they are dry, test bake only a few first. If all is well, only then bake the rest.
If first coat has not bonded, and is heat cured, the application of further coats, won’t fix the lack of adhesion of previous coat.
If first coat has not bonded after baking, do not re-coat again, but work out why first coat failed to bond.
MOST IMPORTANT If you are uncertain, simply ask for help from your supplier or manufacturer.
7. Experiment with your mix a little if your results aren’t what you want. Acetone levels in the mixture can really make a difference depending on your working conditions.
Diluting the powder/Acetone mixture more with Acetone does not hurt coating, as adding more Acetone,
Simply extends coating to cover more projectiles and you end up with much smoother coating films.
8. For mix ratios of the powdered coating, the starting mix should be 20 grams (2-3 tablespoons) to 100 -120 millilitres (3.5 -4 ounces) of acetone. Further dilutions can also help to coat to make “thinner” coatings, which is mostly important with first coat. More diluted mixtures will cover much more projectiles.
Use an appropriate solvent mask, safety goggles, and avoid inhalation of all vapours, and apply coatings in well ventilated areas away from sparks and naked flame in well ventilated area.
9. Wear work clothes or an apron, and cover your work area with plastic sheeting and old newspapers to absorb liquid spills, this avoids stains on work bench surfaces. The first few times you use the coating it will be messy. Even after you get the hang of it it’s not a particularly clean process.
10. Reloading with HI-TEK-LUBE coated bullets should be done using quality reloading equipment with data obtained from a reloading manual. Use loading data that is normally used for your particular bullet and application. We do NOT provide ammunition loading data.
11. HI-TEK-LUBE coated bullets, should not require further lubrication. Some harder alloys, or drastic size reduction requirements, you can use additional lubes such as Hi-Tek 500+ or Hi-Tek 300 or 5000 lubes can be used on final cured coated alloys to reduce loads on sizing equipment. Do not use any other lubes between coatings
Step by step coating instructions.
1. Get a measuring spoon, mixing bottle, powdered coating and Acetone or MEK solvent.
The diluted mixed coating can separate in the bottle pretty quickly, so you’ll need to shake it well to make sure it’s mixed well before applying to alloy.
Dropping a bullet into the bottle of coating before shaking will speed this up a LOT, as the suspended solids in the coating will settle to the bottom and stick.
The bullet will bounce around like the marble in an aerosol paint can and mix things thoroughly.
2. Put about 100 of the bullets you want to coat in the tumbling container and have them in reach.
You’ll need them in a minute or two. Turn on your oven to reach about 200C (375-395 degrees Fahrenheit).
3. over a trash can or separate container measure out the coating powder first, and the solvent second, into pouring mixing/dispensing solvent compatible bottle.
4. Put the lid on the mixing bottle, cover the tip of the spout and shake for a few seconds to get everything mixed. During this shaking a small amount of pressure will build in the bottle, be careful when you take your uncover the spout, or the mix can spray out with the pressure.
5. Pour a VERY SMALL amount (we recommend starting with 1cc/ml per roughly 400g (1 lb) of bullets) of mixture in the container uncovered with the bullets and start shaking. Shake them and rattle them around pretty rapidly, a good rule of thumb is to shake them as hard as you can without shaking them out of the container.
Keep shaking for 10 to 15 seconds, and do not allow the solvent to evaporate, which will happen quickly. (You will hear a distinct change in the sound of the bullets rattling around when the solvent evaporates).
If you shake coat for too long, or if coating dries too fast during coating process, the coating becomes sticky and you hear a change from sharp sound to dull sound.
When this happens, coated projectiles may appear rough and textured.
It is not the end of the world, as all you do is, add 1-2 mls of Acetone to the mixing/coating container, and repeat mixing coating, but this time do not allow the coating to become partly dry/sticky/tacky whilst coating.
Then simply pour the coated alloy onto wire mesh type tray/support, and dry well without disturbing product.
You can spread them out until they are not touching each other. At this point the coating will be thin and may become a little sticky and you may still see lead through it fairly easily.
If the coating looks rough or has a lumpy surface at this point, it is likely that used too much mixture, not enough solvent, or shake coated too long. This is not a big deal.
Until coatings are baked the uncured coating can be recycled with clean solvent, and re-coated and or re-used to coat again in your coating container by re dissolving only with Acetone.
6. While the bullets are drying, cap the bottle with the mix still in it and set it aside, and store out of sunlight and keep cool. The same mixture will be needed for the next round of coating.
You can speed up the drying process by using a fan to blow onto the bullets, but don’t rush at this point.
The bullets need to be fully dried before they are baked.
Thinner coats dry faster and more complete, especially if warm air fan forced drying is used.
When you think that coating is dry, only test a few with baking. Only after the few passes all tests, cook the rest.
In cool or cold climate, warm air fan forced drying may be required, or alternatively, alloy may be pre-warmed to about 25-35 C before coating.
With warmed alloy, the coating process becomes more critical to coat quickly, as coating will tend to dry faster in container whilst tumbling/coating.
Coating about 400g
(1lb) should not take more than 10-15 seconds of quick mix/tumbling.
7. Once the bullets are fully dried, and the oven is at set temperature, place the fully dried alloy into oven.
Watch the bullets for the first few minutes. If the coating starts to bubble, the bullets weren’t fully dried. Again, not a big deal, just allow a little more drying time on the next coat, and it will help to use a little more solvent or a smaller amount of mixed coating with the next batch to speed drying.
The coating may change colour slightly during baking, don’t worry, it’s normal. If colours change drastically, your oven temperatures may be not correct, or you baked it much too long.
8. Once the bullets are baked, take them out and let them cool fully before the next application of coating.
Test baked coating, (especially first coat) to make sure coating has cured/bonded properly.
If the bullets are attempted to be coated when hot, the solvent will evaporate much too quickly and the coating will be lumpy and rough looking. After the bullets are thoroughly cooled, inspect them, the coating should be fairly smooth and even, and should not scratch easily. See testing on final page.
9. Repeat the coating process (usually twice will do, but feel free to experiment) until the coating completely covers the bullet and little or no lead can be seen through it.
Some coatings are coloured but transparent, so seeing Lead through those is not a problem.
In some instances, after user is experienced enough, one single well applied and bonded coat may be suitable for use. Coating twice or more, certainly improves cosmetic appearance and thickness of coating on alloy.
REMEMBER, the correctly baked/bonded coating is very tough, and if alloy is coated with a single blotchy & uneven colour, in some applications, this may be used, as this single layer should separate barrel bore from alloy during firing.
Coating twice or more, simply guarantees, that Lead is totally encapsulated and product also looks “pretty”.
Multiple thin coated alloys will be more heat reflective, and has higher load capability, which is useful with very high energy loads.
All coating adequately dried can be baked even excessively. Over baking will not harm coating. However colours will suffer, as overheating/baking will darken final finish, and in some instances cause to coating to turn Black.
10. Size and load your coated bullets with appropriate Lead Bullet loading data from your favorite reloading manual.
TESTING THE BULLETS
Remove one or two bullets from the batch of bullets you have just coated after they have cooled to room temperature.
Use a rag or paper towel and moisten with Acetone.
Rub the test bullets back and forth for 30 seconds. If proper curing has been obtained, there should not be any of the coating removed from the bullet and the towel should be free of any colour transfer from the bullet.
If it fails this test, STOP, and investigate why this happened.
Failures can be caused from low bake temperatures, over loading of oven, poor heat circulation in oven, improper bake time and inadequate drying.
Most common failures with coating bonding, especially with first coating, is not allowing coating to totally dry.
Second reason why coating will not bond after baking, is using too much coating and then, not adequately being dried.
Third reasons for failures especially with first coating is using or wrong mix ratio, and of course, dirty or contaminated cast alloys which can be contributed to Mould release lubes, Waxes or other contaminating lubricant aids being on the projectiles being coated.
Remember, it is better to use more Acetone and apply VERY thin multiple coats, as opposed to one
thick heavy coat using a strong brew mixture.
Place the above bullets on the floor or other sturdy object (use some common sense here, and not the good dining room table) and literally smash the bullet with one or more blows with a suitable hammer.
Check to see of the coating is flaking off. Compare your smash tests to other results to ensure that tests results are comparable
If coating flakes from alloy, especially after first coat is baked, and the bullet has failed this test, you must start over. This failure can be caused by coating being applied to thickly, and inadequate drying before baking or overloading oven or combination of all.
If after baking, the colour starts to go towards Tan, or going towards Brown, the cooking time or temperatures were not correct or both. Over baked product will work OK.
Basic Data and Mix Ratios.
Start mix, 20 grams of powdered coating to 100-130 ml (3.5-4 ounces) of Acetone.
(To same amount of powder, you can use/add more Acetone to further dilute product) Adding more solvent will not harm coating.
With Acetone, ensure that you are using Pure Acetone, and not solvents containing Acetone.
Using wrong solvents will cause failures.
Normally 10-30 Minutes drying is adequate in warm and low humidity conditions.
However, drying can take much longer if conditions are not correct for good drying.
Drying will greatly depend on ambient temperature and humidity levels and air circulation around drying coating.
The drying time in some instances may take substantially longer from (1-24 hours).
In cool/cold, high humidity areas, coating may not dry well at all, and may require warmed fan forced air drying to about 50C for ½ hour or so.
The fan forced warmed air drying, will speed up production output and reduce inconsistent drying rates due to environmental changes.
If using too much coating, especially with first coat, drying and uneven finishes can be caused
With uneven rough finishes, and you will get smash test failures as coating will not bond to alloy if coatings are inadequately dried
WARNING do not bake any coated casts until they are totally dry. You can generate solvent vapours which is flammable.
Bake Temperature: 375 to 395 Degrees Fahrenheit (200C). Bake Time: Approximately 10-12 Minutes, (This will depend on oven and load) and user must determine what loads are acceptable and controllable to get reproducible results at a specific time in their specific oven.
Bake times will depend on oven, and, if you have fan forced air circulation in oven, and weight loaded into oven, and if adequate heating available.
Ovens can vary greatly, so testing is required by user to ensure oven adequacy.
Do not rely on temperature knob setting as being correct indicator to ovens internal temperature. Temperature swings can occur with any oven, with poor thermostat quality, that will produce unsatisfactory results.
Loading too much into a non-fan forced oven, can cause many problems, as some coated projectiles will cure well, (especially at edges of trays) and others, in same tray, won’t be cured adequately, due to lack of adequate air/heat circulation and poorer heat transfer rates due to over loading.
Just because your thermometer may say that temperature of air in oven is OK, that does not automatically guarantee that the alloy is at the same temperature as the air inside the oven.
Examining/comparing final baked colours of alloy from overloaded trays, will tell user if they have a good and even heat transfer rate. Different colours can occur in same tray if baking/heat is not adequately distributed.
Product final colours may become different in shade, due to heat variations in tray during baking.
If there are colour variations observed in the same tray after bake, then you may experience failures with solvent test or smash test and shooting, as some may not have been adequately baked and cured.
The final colour/appearance of baked product must be even across the whole tray.
SOLVENTS, AND VAPOURS PRODUCED ARE HIGHLY FLAMMABLE
TAKE GREAT CARE, AND COAT AND DRY AND BAKE, ONLY IN WELL VENTIALTED AREAS
DO NOT USE IN ANY AREA, WHERE HEAT AND SPARKS MAY IGNITE VAPOURS AND SOLVENT USED.
DO NOT SMOKE WHEN USING COATING AND SOLVENTS
PLEASE TAKE CARE when handling Lead or its alloys, solvents and chemicals.
All precautions should be taken, to minimise exposures to user from Lead contact, coatings & mixtures and vapours. Coating process, baking ovens, are required to be exhaust ventilated
to outside working areas or located outside where vapours/fumes do not accumulate
and there is adequate ventilation away from user.
FOR FURTHER ADVICE CONTACT SUPPLIER or MANUFACTURER
Updated 10th March 2019
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