Getting older bells powder coated?

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations - Kettlebell' started by patterner, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. patterner

    patterner Triple-Digit Post Count

    Not sure if this is the right place for this, but here goes.

    I recently restarted my kettlebell practice. And after using some bells at a hotel gym (right? that was amazing, had them in 4k increments from 4-24), I've really come to see the deficiencies in my crappy old painted (very slippery paint) 16 and 24k bells. It's not a huge issue for the 16, but the 24 starts to feel a little loosy goosy towards the end of the last set of swings.

    Has anyone tried taking their bells to a powder coating service and have the old paint removed and then a proper powder coating applied? Or am I better off just buying new bells?
  2. Tirofijo

    Tirofijo More than 500 posts

    How much does powder coating cost?

    I’d probably hit them with a couple of layers of Krylon and then sand with 80, 120, or 200 grit sandpaper just to give you some texture (Just guessing what the right grit size would be. Start course and work your way finer till you like it.)

    Or don’t repaint but see if the sandpaper trick works.

    My comp bell is bare steal and isn’t slippery.

    Are you using chalk?
  3. patterner

    patterner Triple-Digit Post Count

    Not sure yet. I've got calls in to a couple of places to see, but haven't heard back yet.

    That might be a good interim step is to hit them with the Krylon or just sanding the existing paint.

    Chalk actually makes it worse, this paint is *really* slick and the chalk feels like graphite on a pine derby car axle when I use it. I just make sure to keep my hands dry (I have a drying powder from when I used to climb in CO where they don't allow chalk) and that helps, but it's still bloody slippery.
    vegpedlr likes this.
  4. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    My cast iron bells are not slippery, instead they chewed up my hands doing 100's of snatches until I got smart and sanded the handles with plumbers emory cloth, it comes in a roll and is about 1.5 inches wide. Just rip off a 2' strip and go to work like a shoe shiner on the handles, the bare metal is really smooth but still has enough 'grab' to not slip. Wish I would've done it sooner.
    You can solve the problem with a few dollars and some elbow grease
    Marty and Michael Scott like this.
  5. patterner

    patterner Triple-Digit Post Count

    Mine are cast, but they have this slippery painted coating on them instead of being powder coated. That's a good idea on the plumber's emory, I might give that a shot to try removing the coating on the handle.
  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    I'd put the old ones up for sale and buy new ones.

    Groove Greaser likes this.
  7. patterner

    patterner Triple-Digit Post Count

    Thanks for the advice, Steve. I did just that. Sold my old 16 and 24, and got two 16s and one 24 from CFF (which is where I got my 32), love them so far!
  8. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    It may be a moot point but Powder coat painting doesn't necessarily imply a highly textured surface. Powder coating can yield an exceptionally glossy and smooth surface. It depends on the chemistry of the powder and the curing temperature.

    Obviously textured KB's that are powder coated have this type of chemistry.

    I'm with @Steve Freides on this one however. If you want a high end powder coated finish, it may be cheaper to buy new. To get a good finish you would need to strip the old paint, and thoroughly prepare the bare metal to accept the powder.

    (I used to be involved in powder coating in an industrial setting...)
    Bret S. likes this.
  9. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    I just sanded the handle on my 16k bell I use for VWC down to bare metal and love it. Before it had some texture that was sanding off my skin so bad I had to use glove covers on my hands halfway through. Yesterday I did a session totaling 480 (60 sets x 8 reps in 30 mins) snatches in 93 degree heat with no chalk, gloves or slipping.. it was a beautiful thing. I really like the feel of the metal and the sanding leaves enough micro texture to be very effective for me. Now I have to sand the rest of my bells (y)
    offwidth likes this.
  10. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    I can imagine a lightly textured surface would feel pretty good. Keep an eye on rust, especially if you are in humid conditions
    Bret S. likes this.
  11. patterner

    patterner Triple-Digit Post Count

    I'm not doing snatches (yet), so for my vanilla S&S practice, these are great! I could see a time where I might sand these down if I were to start snatching regularly, but overall, muuuuch happier now.

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