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Significant Cosmetic change coming to the PT-1

Chris Smith On March 12, 2015
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We've decided to make a significant cosmetic change to the PT-1 pedal set. This decision, while not easy to make, was necessary for a number of reasons. For example, the amount of powder, electricity, and labor involved in powder coating the first batch of pedals was way beyond what we anticipated. So much so, that we had to make a difficult choice. Do we keep powder coating, and add between $75-$100 on top of the price of the pedals? Or, do we use a completely different process called "Sand-Blasting"? 

Again, this was not an easy decision to make, especially since we originally advertised our pedals as being "powder coated". We had to sit down, run some figures, and come up with a solution.

Our original plan, back when these pedals looked nothing like they do today, was to sand-blast them. This is a relatively simple process, doesn't cost much, and gives the pedals a nice uniform look. It was only after testing a few parts with powder coat, that we switched our plans to use the powder coating method from that point on. In hindsight, this was a big mistake. What's unique about powder coating is that you can never properly estimate how much powder you'll go through when coating your parts. The reason for this has to do with the way powder coating works. I won't go into a lot of detail here, but basically, the powder sticks to the metal using static electricity. I may have this backwards, but I believe the gun gives the powder a positive charge as it sprays, and the grounding method gives your parts a negative charge. So, the powder comes out of the gun, and sticks to your parts. Very clever process. With that said, it's not as simple as I make it sound. In fact, it's much, much more involved. For example, you have to deal with what's called a "Faraday Cage" affect that happens when trying to coat corners or holes. This can be VERY annoying. It can sometimes take a lot more powder than you think just to get the powder into these areas. To make matters worse, you're also getting more powder where the "faraday cage" isn't affecting the part. So, you can end up with uneven coats. 

Another one of powder coating's major flaws is that the stuff gets everywhere. It can get into places you didn't even know existed until you look at your hands and notice this black stuff all over them. The amount of clean-up involved is borderline crazy. Sure, you can vacuum the floor, but what about the walls, and the ceiling? (Yes, it can even stick to the ceiling). We used a very primitive ventilation system for our "booth", and even that didn't help much. As I mentioned in our most recent video, we just don't have the proper facilities to make powder coating an efficient, viable process. In order to do this right, you really need to give the parts to a professional, and that can get expensive. 

Some of you suggested that we should offer the powder coating as an option. We thought about this, but decided against it because it really isn't worth the effort, even if we charged more for the service. Those of you that have powder coated things before know exactly what I'm talking about. It can be an incredibly frustrating process, and we decided that a simpler, less expensive option was the better way to go. Overall, I'd have to say that this was a good decision. Sand blasting can give the parts a very nice look. 

So, this is what we're going to do... The first batch of pedals has already been powder coated. So, were going to keep the first batch as it is. The second batch, and all future batches will be sand blasted. 

The community really stood behind this decision, and that is why I am so proud to be a part of it. Sure, there are some of you that won't like this change, and that's certainly understandable. All we can do is apologize for our mistakes, and move on. We hope that you'll understand why we had to make this change, and we hope that you like the new look! Be sure to check out our "Media" page for high res images of the sand blasted version! 


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