Cerakote Help, Please

I am also posting this in the Jewelry and Small Metals forum.

Is there anyone at DMS who does Cerakote? I have aluminum and brass die-stamped parts for my Nikon F2 cameras that are in need of refinishing.

did you find anyone or anything? I am interested in cerakoting as well.

What temps does that need? We’ve got the powder-coating oven. And some toaster ovens/convection ovens if the necessary temp is lower.

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I personally would recommend Vulcan Machine Werks in Plano ( that isn’t a typo). I haven’t used them for cerakote, but have been very happy with the other jobs they have done for me, and they gave an excellent reputation.

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I believe 250 degrees for knife blades is recommended. Cures the cerakote without tempering the blade further than desired. Powder coating over might be the best place since we are dealing with paint? And the place place in the shop to do it? Or elsewhere?

I would really like to learn to do it myself and save some money. But thank you for the recommendation.

Sorry for the delayed response. I stopped by my powder coater for an evaluation. That was a no-go as coating would be too thick to highlight the stamped serial numbers and other markings.

Most of the DFW gunsmiths cerakote, but I have not physically visited them.

Competitive Camera was recommended, but what they said over the phone was quite PRICY $$$.

What colors are you looking for?

Cerakote is a thin coating that is one of the things that makes it so popular. It is my understanding that coatings are as thin as 0.001", it all depends on the process and person doing the application. I have a few small bottles of it that I was going to spray an engine down with before I ended up doing a tri-coat powder coat.

I also happen to be the one that put the Powder Coating spray cart together and built the powder coating cart for the new oven. You could powder coat these parts but I highly recommend some practice at setting up the spray gun for your particular application and preference. (There may be some ultra thin powder coat powders available.)

However I haven’t found a powder coat material that is as thin or tough as Cerakote is due to Cerakote having ceramic materials in it. Also the parent company of Cerakote is the same company that makes Prismatic Powders (our recommended brand for powder coating materials).

If you need wrinkle finish there are several available. It also appears there are a few ultra thin powder coat materials available (not sure of the colors as I only googled them now).

Thin-Film Powder Coatings - TIGER Coatings (Tiger is probably one of the top 5 names in powder coat materials, it may require finding a dealer to order).
UDS ultra-thin powder coatings - Powder coatings | KARL BUBENHOFER AG

There are a few places around DFW that do Cerakote. I was fairly happy with my quote of an engine when I took to Etchus.com listed as Cerakote Labs in google Maps. I got a quote that I thought was high, but after doing all the work myself to clean, clean, clean, prep, prep, prep, and masking to powder coat my project my time costs probably exceeded their quote.

Their price was more than fair. Just expect that a single part the size of a camera body may cost $100-$200 depending on how intricate the masking of critical details is. Also they tend to want to do the entire prep process as Cerakote prep is very particular to get right (read cleanliness is everything).

Technically you can do all the prep work at DMS, the prep process is virtually identical to powder coating except Cerakote prefers a sand blast finish prior to paint vs just a clean surface. For parts as fine as a camera body I would recommend buying a airbrush style sand blaster (harbor freight). Also when you are all said and done buying consumables to prep for Cerakote you may be better of having it professionally done.

It may be easier to just check e-bay for a nice condition F2. I know there are many of them out there that were bought for hobby and not used that much.

Also forgot to mention that both powder coat and Cerakote can be extremely difficult to remove so it is critical to practice on something similar and religiously follow surface prep recommendations.

If you are wanting to recoat camera equipment you will want to (probably) do the following:

  1. disassemble.
  2. strip previous coatings
  3. use a 220 or 440 grit abrasive to micro sand blast “eraser” the parts.
  4. de-grease and prep.
  5. Spray Cerakote with an air brush or touch-up paint gun.

Hope that helps

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Instead of sand blasting, even with an airbrush style, I would look at the vapor hone in metal shop. One of the selling points was stripping paint off parts without altering tolerances. No deep pitting like sand blasting.

So to strip most paints I recommend the following:



Note these removers will not easily remove polyester powder coat or Cerakote. They are great for almost everything else including most conventional paints and will remove polyurethane and epoxy paints. If you need to for some reason remove polyester powder coat or Cerakote I hear blasting is the only option, and my experience is that the Vapor hone doesn’t seem to touch powder coat quickly.

As far as blasting goes I would try a test part in the vapor hone first. We tend to use pretty coarse abrasive in the vapor hone and the pressure is pretty high so I’d be concerned with something as delicate as a camera body, particularly the fine details. Which is why I recommended a air brush style sand blaster with a 400 or 600 grit media.

I think the vapor hone normally has 220 grit aluminum oxide which may or may not be fine enough for something like a camera body. If you clean the vapor hone out you can put whatever media you want in it (within reason), then when you are done put the standard DMS stuff back in it.

For aluminum parts glass beads or crushed glass is a better choice. Sometime last year the vapor hone had crushed glass in it as we ran out of aluminum oxide media.

Also the Vapor hone needs to be maintained from time to time as the media ends up in the drain tank next to it and has to be manually transferred into the hopper and last I looked the windshield cleaner nozzles clog up regularly. Not a huge deal just factor it into the time cost of your project.