Show Me Your Powder-Coated Trems

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Webmaestro, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Webmaestro

    Webmaestro Ibanez Fanatic Contributor

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    I have an Ibanez mod project in mind, and for it I would like to strip an Edge Pro 7's cosmo finish and have it powder coated with Cerakote, or a similar ultra-durable powder coating. I haven't decided which color yet, but I know it'll be a matte metallic color (e.g. nickel, gold, bronze, etc).

    I don't have the time nor tools to do this myself, but a local shop here does this kind of stuff all the time on guns, knives, and other objects. Their work is fantastic, so I sent them an email with photos of my trem and other metal parts that I'd want coated (locking nut, tuners, knobs, etc).

    Unfortunately, their response was that they're not sure if they can do it "due to all the little moving parts." None of them are guitarists and have never seen a contraption like a tremolo, so naturally it looks a bit daunting to them.

    I'd like to show them some pics of powder-coated trems. I don't really care if they're Ibanez trems or Floyds, but if you've got some pics I'd love to see them.

    Yes, I've Googled, but all the coated trems I've found online kinda suck or were sloppily done--and none are quite what I'm wanting to do anyway. Most are glossy, bright, neon colors, and that's not the look I'm after.

    Oh and, yes, I've already grabbed some pics from the Floyd Rose website. However, those are factory finishes. I need to prove to these guys that this can be done after-market.
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Powder coating and Cerakote aren't ideal for small, precision parts because the thickness of the coating. That's one of the reasons almost all the coated trems you see look kind of junky. Not to mention the process requires the parts be hung to cure, which is very difficult with small pieces.

    If you're just getting a metal tone finish, look into plating.
     
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  3. Webmaestro

    Webmaestro Ibanez Fanatic Contributor

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    Thanks, I'll look into that. This ultimately may not be feasible, and that's okay. I had considered the possibility that this is why all the coated trems I've seen thus far look like poop (to me, anyway). Only the factory finished ones (like the Ibanez Powder Gold or Powder Cosmo) ever looked good to me. If I can't get at least somewhat close to that level of quality, I just won't do it at all.

    I have 3 junker tremolos and more trem parts than I can count lying around, so plenty to practice and experiment with.
     
  4. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Both of those finishes are plating.
     
  5. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    The problem is that the coating process requires the piece to be suspended, given a charge, while the powder, with an opposite charge, is sprayed on it. It's not a precision process where you can spare the threads.

    The parts will be fully coated and cured, and then need to be very carefully shaved down where needed. This will degrade the overall finish at the seams.

    Cerakote is similar. Anything that requires a precise fit will need to be cleaned up very carefully.

    I've gotten numerous firearms Cerakoted professionally, and getting small parts done has been hit or miss, definitely nothing internal.
     
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  7. Webmaestro

    Webmaestro Ibanez Fanatic Contributor

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    Update: After showing all the parts to the local shop (that Cerakote’s guns, knives, etc), they actually suggested plating as a better option. Luckily, they do that too.

    So, Max, you were onto something with the plating suggestion. Ultimately, that may not work either (not to the quality standard I’m hoping for, anyway), but I’ll be investigating it to see what’s available, what’s involved, and how much it might cost.
     
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