Powdercoating? Yes, Please!
Dear Mini Truckin' Staff,
I am currently imprisoned in the great state of Tennessee, and I will soon return to drag frame again. I am a die-hard minitrucker and love our lifestyle. The reason for this article is I want to go into the powdercoating business, but I have no idea how to start. As far as I know, there are very few shops that powdercoat down here in the boondocks of Tennessee. Being locked up, it's very hard to get information about anything. So, I was wondering if you could help me with the process of powdercoating and information on how to get started. If you can't, then will you point me in the right direction? Because, like I said, books are limited and I don't even know where to start. Your help would be greatly appreciated by me and my fellow minitruckers down here in Tennessee.
Thank you, and Drag Hard,
"Kid"
Henning, TN

Dear Kid,
I did some reading on powdercoating and came to the conclusion that it's a pretty new process, but it's a process that makes building killer minis a hell of a lot easier. It also saves you money from having to paint parts over and over, as it seems to hold a heck of a lot better than painting the part. You asked, what is powdercoating exactly? Powdercoating is the technique of applying dry paint to a part. In normal, wet painting such as house paints, the solids are in suspension in a liquid carrier, which must evaporate before the solid paint coating is produced. In powdercoating, the powdered paint may be applied by either of two techniques:
*The item is lowered into a fluidized bed of the powder, which may or may not be electrostatically charged.
*Or, the powdered paint is electrostatically charged and sprayed onto the part.

The part is then placed in an oven and the powder particles melt "wa-la" like magic! Your part is now shiny and painted. Well, basically, there is more to it than that, but that's a basic run down. The most helpful information I found was actually pretty easy to obtain. I did a search using www.google.com and came up with about 10 different companies that can set you up. They have everything that you'll need to get started. Good luck and happy powdercoating!

What Should I Build?
What It Do Mini Truckin'?
Like everyone else, I must first give props to the MT and PRIMEDIA crew. You guys are awesome and your mags are the best. I have a '96 Camaro SS that I have sunk over twenty-five grand into customizing, and taking it to shows all over. I'm currently in the Army, and intend to buy a minitruck to customize with my sign-on bonus. I prefer to do things that are not common, so what type of minitruck would you suggest I buy to customize? I would like to one day grace the pages of your magazine and hopefully the cover, since I can't with my Camaro. Oh yeah, that's another thing, where are the magazines for custom cars that aren't imports or lowriders? My car is layin' on the ground, but doesn't get any magazine love 'cause it's not a traditional-style lowrider sittin' on wires!
Stray Trill. Peace.
Nathan Webb
Wilmington, OH

Dear Nathan,
Thanks for taking the time to write us. As far as what kind of truck to build, it's really hard to say. What do you like as an individual? Do you like something that has more parts readily available? Do you like something that's completely hard to find even a light bulb for? What kind of challenge are you looking for? Personally, I've always been a fan of a challenge. I would like to someday build a Datsun 521 or a Toyota Stout. How about that awesome Datsun NL 320 we featured in our Construction Zone issue? Talk about a rare truck. These are the types of trucks that really interest me. At the time, I'm building several Mitsubishi Mighty Max's because I love their square body style and unique looks. Perhaps, you would prefer a Nissan Hardbody or a Mazda B-series. Both are very popular models to build, a bit of a challenge, yet parts are easier to get. All of them make great trucks; you just have to ask yourself what kind of a challenge you are looking for. As far as the car mag, sorry man, can't help you there. Mini Truckin' once featured cars before, a long time ago. But I can't go there because that's a Pandora's box I won't open today.