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Need E-Coating service for skateboard tool

March 14, 2020

Q. Hello,

Here you can see our multi-tool:


It is currently offered in a hot black oxide finish.

We want to offer these in colors, such as gold or hot pink, etc.

It seems e-coating would be nice and thin, unlike powder coating. This is good so our wrenches fit right.

Still, question one is: what thickness of e-coating would you recommend and should we be subtracting this thickness on the sizes of our wrench openings in our 3D model before investment casting these? If we weren't e-coating these, the engineer would adjust our model as needed to account for any shrinkage or expansion in the material after heating and quenching/tempering.

We take delivery in France and the U.S. so these can be finished in China or Europe or the U.S. depending on the batch, etc.

Don Holm
Founder - Los Angeles, California
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^

March 2020

A. Hi Don. I think E-coating will probably be somewhere about 0.0002" -- that's 2 ten-thousandths not 2 thousandths. To my understanding it is not typical to adjust dimension of tools of this nature for thicknesses in that range, but I would ask a vendor to do a couple of sample parts and see what you think of it before committing to the process or adjusting your other steps. (Readers/responders usually enjoy having as full a picture of the poster's situation as practical, so we note Don's earlier posting on topic 25543).


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

March 15, 2020

Q. The factory making the keys just said they think e-coating would peel off so is there a better alternative? I assumed e-coating was better than paint due to thickness and powder coating would be more likely to chip. Open to suggestion.

Don Holm
- Los Angeles, California, USA

March 2020

A. Hello again Don. Although there is obvious truth to the fact that organic coatings (paint, powder, e-coating) are softer than metal and are not as wear-resistant, chip resistant, and strongly adherent as metal plating, e-coating should be fine.

Proper adhesion is a matter of proper cleaning and pretreatment. Send a few of your existing keys out for sample e-coating. I think any organic coating will chip/wear off the tip of the phillips screwdriver pretty quickly, but based on your earlier postings, and people's normal experience with phillips screwdrivers, I wouldn't expect this to be a big deal.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

March 15, 2020

thumbs up sign Thanks, I hoped for that answers I will make samples the goal and not likely modify the 3D models. I will solicit estimates once the casting process is done. Takes about 35 days. We are changing a few things like the logo on the existing tool.

Don Hilm
- Los Angeles, California USA

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