Need advise on Duracoat

littlegunny22

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Joined
Jul 10, 2015
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13
I am a fairly new gunsmith (about 4 years) and very new to this site. Have used Duracoat to do some guns for myself and customers with mixed results which I don't like too much. I prefer consistency as do we all in the shooting sports and gun smithing. There have been times when it goes good and has a nice looking finish and is very durable however I have had times where it flakes and chips easily. So far my prep procedure has been to sand to about 400 grit and clean and degrease with acetone. I mix paint and hardner per instructions and try to cover object in several thin coats. When talking to Lauer Weaponry about this issue they have suggested that my hardner might be too old. I have tried it with a new batch of hardner and still had issues. Any help or advice from anyone with suggestions for better success with Duracoat would be appreciated. Thanks, Mark

The time to do the right thing is always now.
 

mountainman56

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Mar 27, 2014
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West Texas
Welcome to the site. I have used Duracoat for years with good results. Sanding works but bead blasting works better. As with any finish like this it's all about the prep. I use a quality touch up gun and have never had one chip or flake but have had some acquire scratches rather easily.

I have however decided to switch up to Cerakote. There is a lot of information out there that has pretty much convinced me that Cerakote is the preferred finish both by customers and gunsmiths alike, especially for durability. I have begun ordering parts to build my own oven and hopefully will have my first rifle done by the end of this month.

JM2C
 

Punisher

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Jan 28, 2014
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Kansas
It's true, Cerakote is the way to go. In order to prep the surface properly, you NEED to sand blast. You can use 120 fine Garnet sand if you want, alumOxide is very good too. Degreasing is a process, not something you do once before you apply.

You won't get good adhesion without blasting, and your finish will be discolored and sloppy if you don't degrease properly.
 

Dosh

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Aug 6, 2013
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Arizona
22, I've had both finishes professionally applied and the Cerakote is tougher. A couple of the Duracoated were for friend's wall-hangers which won't see much handling. The Duracoat applicator uses aluminum oxide blasting and meticulous degreasing.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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All of the coatings need a sand blast finish to work well.
I have had good luck with Duracoat and other baked on finishes both in looks and durability.

There is a new Cerakote that Is a air cure that looks good but it takes a very long time to cure
(Weeks) and I have no experience with it's durability.

The best results I have found against chipping, have been with very thin coats (Just enough to cover and no more).

Cerakote is probably the best but it can be expensive because of the special tools required, so If I want something Cerakoted I just have it done.

Any of the spray on finishes need the anchor pattern that media blasting provides.

J E CUSTOM
 

littlegunny22

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Jul 10, 2015
Messages
13
Thank you to everyone that replied. Sounds like I need to switch to Cerekote whenever possible. I know it appears to be way more durable than Duracoat however I have not broke down and shelled out the money for an oven or a good bead / aluminum oxide blaster and booth. Sounds like it's time. It's tough to convince the financial officer alias the wife that I need more expensive tools for gunsmithing. It's been a process in allot of ways. I do have access to a bead blasster at a buddies machine shop until I require my own. Do any of you have suggestions on a good place that will bake a gun or parts after I apply Cerakote or is it just as easy and cost effective to farm out the whole process?

In the mean time If I use Duracoat your suggestions will be taken to heart in hopes of better results. Thanks a bunch!!

3 rules for life:
1. Treat others as you would like to be treated
2. Always do the right thing.
3. If your not sure what the right thing is refer to rule number 1.
 

shortgrass

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Mar 31, 2010
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Western Oklahoma
Thank you to everyone that replied. Sounds like I need to switch to Cerekote whenever possible. I know it appears to be way more durable than Duracoat however I have not broke down and shelled out the money for an oven or a good bead / aluminum oxide blaster and booth. Sounds like it's time. It's tough to convince the financial officer alias the wife that I need more expensive tools for gunsmithing. It's been a process in allot of ways. I do have access to a bead blasster at a buddies machine shop until I require my own. Do any of you have suggestions on a good place that will bake a gun or parts after I apply Cerakote or is it just as easy and cost effective to farm out the whole process?

In the mean time If I use Duracoat your suggestions will be taken to heart in hopes of better results. Thanks a bunch!!

3 rules for life:
1. Treat others as you would like to be treated
2. Always do the right thing.
3. If your not sure what the right thing is refer to rule number 1.
There's no end to the tools that might be needed. That's part of the reason many 'specialize', and only accept certain types of work (another reason is thats all they know how to do, well) . After 22yrs. I'm still buying reamers (I own 74, now) and making another tool(s) to be able to do another job or to simplify a job. No doubt about it, overhead can be high. You can bake small parts in the oven in the kitchen, but if you get caught! There is no substitute for having your curing oven on site, right next to the paint booth, and it needs to be able to hold a complete barreled action. Another reason is, carbon steels start to rust immediately after leaving the blast cabinet. The parts go from the blaster to de-grease to the oven for pre-heating (that 'bleeds-out' any oil that might have been missed during de-greasing and drives moisture causing rust away). ALWAYS use clean aluminum oxide, otherwise you might blast contaminants right into the surface you are preping. That rules out the bead blaster at the machine shop as its had anything and everything through it. And, if it's a greasy or oily contaminate, the coating might not stick. Consider building a curing oven. The commercial versions I've seen are quite expensive. A blast cabinet might be built, but a "store bought" one would be better. No doubt about it, it takes more than a set of punches, a few screw drivers and a hammer to gunsmith
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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Texas
Thank you to everyone that replied. Sounds like I need to switch to Cerekote whenever possible. I know it appears to be way more durable than Duracoat however I have not broke down and shelled out the money for an oven or a good bead / aluminum oxide blaster and booth. Sounds like it's time. It's tough to convince the financial officer alias the wife that I need more expensive tools for gunsmithing. It's been a process in allot of ways. I do have access to a bead blasster at a buddies machine shop until I require my own. Do any of you have suggestions on a good place that will bake a gun or parts after I apply Cerakote or is it just as easy and cost effective to farm out the whole process?



There are many aspects to most coating jobs and as Shortgrass said, there are tools that are needed to do a good job.

An oven and media blast cabinet are very important and needed for god results.

I use my blast cabinet for all blasting except for barrel finishing because the media can become contaminated so I use a portable blast gun that only uses the media once. I don't recommend using someone else's blast cabinet because of cross contamination that could cause problems.

Abrasive Blaster Gun with 1 Liter Cannister

Proper tools are part of good gun smithing and sometimes I just buy the tool and do enough jobs to pay for it in labor, then it is mine.

J E CUSTOM
 

littlegunny22

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Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
13
Thanks again to the new posts that helped educate me quite a bit. I guess for now I'll farm out that work or refer it elsewhere until I get the proper equipment. As for other equipment and tools and little jigs and tools that makeup my job go faster and easier I've aquired or made allot of that stuff as well as having a great lathe and milling machine. But every time I turnaround I need a new reamer or new carbide bit. I agree with you on not skimping on quality and needing good equipment and more than a few drivers and punches, not to mention a good educational foundation in a reputable gun smithing program. Ie: Trinidad, Lasen, AGI master program. But let's face it after that the education is always continuing which is one of the things I enjoy. I appreciate you sharing you knowledge and experience with me it has helped allot. Thanks again to the additional posts.
 

Str8shooterTX

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Aug 2, 2014
Messages
199
Location
The Woodlands Texas
OK. Here is the request since this is on and current.
Post your two favorite weapon's you have coated with either cerakote or duracoat. I chose two as it gives one more then one but keeps things not too cluttered with multiple pics. Most of us have done a ton of work and good fill at least a hundred...

GO
 

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