Project 10 – Is there a Doctor in the house!! Powder Coated Vintage Metal Lunch Box


A refurbishment doctor that is. As I was surfing through eBay vintage items that cost less than $3.00, I came across this little beauty. I couldn't believe that no one had bid on this metal Lunch Box after 7 days of being listed. The ideas were endless but the application and inspiration of it came from the unfortunate disaster in Japan. When the metal lunch box arrived, I took a peek inside to check out the condition and to my surprise I found a hand written note. My first thought was who still hand writes notes? It must be important. Turns out the lunch box I purchased still belonged to the original owner who bought it 74 years ago. The note was simple and to the point:

"Thanks for buying my lunch box, I got it in the sixth grade 1934."

By now I am sure that you know my appreciation for quality (read more)

Project 9 – Steel Shopping Cart Restoration, Lessening the Carbon Footprint

Watch Powder Coating Video: Restoring Steel Supermarket Shopping Carts

Invention: shopping cart in 1937

Function: noun / a handcart that holds groceries while shopping

Definition: A device whose concept was simple: make shopping easier for the customer and they'll visit the store more frequently, and buy more.

Patent: March 15, 1938

Inventor: Sylvan Nathan Goldman

Criteria: First to invent. First to patent. Entrepreneur.

Birth: 1898 Oklahoma City, (read more)

Project 8 – Extra! Extra! Read All About It – Powder Coated Newspaper Stands

The days of the National Newspaper may seem to have lost its battle to the digital world but local small print papers have never been in greater demand. When the San Fernando Valley's (CA) The Sun (el Sol) asked us to restore and refinish their newspaper stands with our advanced powder coating techniques, I was surprised. I thought that print was dead and certainly not needing to powder coat their newspaper kiosks.

The Sun (El Sol) explained to me the phenomenon that has occurred; as national brands move away from print, local coffee shops, bus stops, and the like are only offering local print. A demand that was created by lack of choice became a connection to the neighborhood. Now more and more people are picking up a local small print newspaper or weekly magazine and (read more)

Project 7 – Powder Coated Bubble Gum Machine

Its 1988. My brother and I are walking home from school. Earlier that week our mother forbid us to stop into the new 7-Eleven located between our home and school. The weather was pleasant, but really what 10 year old cares about the weather? The only thing on my mind was the forbidden zone a.k.a the 7-Eleven. My brother was the wiser, simply explaining risk vs. reward to me – obviously, all junior high students discussed risk vs. reward!

As we walked into the comic book store next door I walked right by it; a simple unassuming red vending machine mixed with red and white gum balls staring at me from inside the 7-Eleven.

We visited the comic book store many times that school year, but never once did we enter the 7-Eleven. As the (read more)

Project 6 – Powder Coating a Metal Home Front Entry Gate

The original item for Project 6 had failed to coat properly, and would need more time in order to be corrected and ready for show and tell. Luckily some old friends' front gate was in need of a face lift, and became the new Project 6. As I got to the house the gate was still attached to the house and looking like most front gates: badly rusted and coated in many layers of standard liquid paint. My friend and I easily removed it from the the wall and placed it in the back of the truck. They already knew the powder coating color they wanted so it was off to the shop for some B.C.A. (Blast, Powder Coat, and Assemble).

Since the gate was a last minute replacement for another item earlier in the week (which still had to be powder coated!), I needed to move quickly. As luck would have it I was able to sandblast the gate and get it into production for a primer and top coat all in one day. (read more)

Project 5 – Powder Coating Lobby Stools

For over 30 years, Sundial Powder Coatings has always provided some form of lobby seating. From the typical lobby chairs with a table in between for beverages and magazines to a nice sofa set complete with end tables and a lamp. During our last remodel, we redesigned our office to a much smaller format – its all about the factory space. And so for the first time our office was without a lobby or lobby seating. So, as part of the next Project 52 powder coating challenge, I figured to remedy the problem and get back to supplying dignified lobby seating.

A few months ago, I purchased a random selection of metal chairs and metal stools from an auction for only $10.00. I had already refurbished the chairs and put them to good use, so I was left with just the metal stools. I found two matching stools and got them ready for the B.C.A (blast, powder coat, assemble) process. (read more)

Project 4 – Medical Cabinet Conversion

It was just like any other Monday and I was doing what I normally do on Mondays which is to settle in and think about Friday. This Monday was different. I just didn't know it yet. As I picked up the phone to follow up on work done over the weekend the door opened and a weathered old man walked in.
"Can I help you?"
"I hope so. My name is Frank and you're my last chance."
"That sounds dramatic."
"Maybe son, but no one else has been able to do what I need done."
For a moment I thought I was in a Clint Eastwood movie but then I snapped back.
"What do you need done?"
"It's my 1950's dresser. My beloved Delores used to fold laundry and store it there. I need it back in the same condition she would've remembered."
"Well, I'll do my best to get your dresser back"
And that's how it started. After unloading the dresser and finally (read more)

Project 3 - Restoring a Radio Flyer Metal Wagon

The weeks feel like they are flying by, yet we are only on Project 3. I have had my eye on this Radio Flyer wagon ever since my business partner found it on the back of a junk peddlers truck. Poor guy had no idea what a treasure he had underneath the rust exterior. He was happy to part with it for only $15.00. It had been a long time since I played with a Radio Flyer, let alone seen one. So I went online to do some research to make sure I got the powder coating colors correct: Red, Black and White. Hah! I know some cars that have fewer colors than that. Just like the metal outdoor patio furniture set, the hardware basically crumbled as we took the wagon apart. On to the B.C.A. (Blast, Powder Coat, Assemble).

The metal was showing severe signs of fatigue and pitting. My sandblasting supplier recommended the use of glass media which turned out to be great advice. My staff was (read more)

Project 2 – Powder Coating a 1950′s Metal Outdoor Patio Furniture Set

They really do not make them like they use to. In that it was over 60 years old and showing major signs of neglect, this three piece outdoor patio furniture set made sometime back in the 1950′s still had life in it. Friends of Mr. Wells gave him this set with the hopes that he would have the will and the means to bring it back from near death. When Mr. Wells brought the patio furniture set to us, I knew right away it would be perfect for Project 52. To set the stage, we took the furniture to a local park to photograph the before pictures. Even during a quick trip in the back of a truck parts of the furniture were falling off from severe rust damage.

We quickly sandblasted the pieces to expose all the nuts and bolts. During the dismantling process, we found that more then half of the bolts had been eaten away from rust. Parts were literally falling off in our hands. Sure it helped (read more)

Project 1 - Powder Coating a Vintage Metal Cabinet

After the holiday long break I was starting to get nervous about Project 52 where we photograph and blog about a weekly powder coating project. The idea behind Project 52 is to not only get a chance to powder coat many unique and interesting items throughout the year but to market powder coating to consumers that don't know how effective, longlasting and inexpensive it can be.

Time was running out and I was unprepared. Project 1 came to us as a late holiday gift. When I got the call from Mrs. McPherson looking to salvage a vintage metal cabinet I couldn't be more relieved. The cabinet is a beautiful mid 1900's classic. When it first arrived at our offices we were able to count at least 4 layers of paint and a dozen shades of white on it. Rust was present but structural damage was not compromised. Once the powder coating color was selected, a deep crimson red, Tiger Drylac (read more)