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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

My buddy did his girl a solid and talked her into buying a Scott Voltage FR 10 frame. She loved it, bought it, but didnt dig the color(white with black graphics). So my buddy took the frame and got it painted(powder coated) the paint shop didnt plug the holes properly and sandblasted the frame leaving pits in the aluminum. Then the guy plugged some of the frames holes and powder coated the frame blue. The paint looked good color-wise, but the bearings wouldnt fit back into the frame because of the excess paint in the bearing seats cuased by not taping off these and other areas, the BB wouldnt thread due to the sandblasting of the threads. Taking the frame to LBS, they tried to "face and chase" the frame, but couldnt get either accomplished due to the thickness of the paint in attachment areas and the heavy pitting caused to the BB threads by sandblasting.

-Stay with me, my question is coming~

At the time, neither my friend nor the LBS understood that the BB, headset and other open areas were "pitted". It seemed as though there was a grit texture in the headtube, BB and other non-plugged or non-taped areas of the frame. The thinking at the time was that it must be some part of the powder coating process to apply this gritty stuff on the frame in order to help the coating stick? Now we understand that the grit texture, was actually pitting in the alum. parts/frame caused by the high pressure sand blaster.

So after taking the frame back to the powder coater and asking them to just remove the blue powder coat and the gritty stuff in all the holes of the frame in order to make it a raw colored frame, we arrived today at the paint shop to find a raw frame, that was covered in gritty stuff! Upon closer inspection the frame was missing threads, all holes(where you would attach drop-outs, rocker arms... were completely oval. Bearing seats were blown-out and split from being sand blasted, removing the aluminum and splitting open the holes. The BB threads were virtually gone. The welds on the frame have holes from the material being removed by the second sandblasting. We then understood that the gritty stuff was actually pitting caused by the high pressure sandblaster on the aluminum frame. The frame is totaled now!

The owner of the shop is refusing to pay for the damaged frame now and suggested that my friend would have to go to court b/c he wont pay the cost of a new frame = SuckS!

So my question is that if anyone else has had a similar experience and how it turned out or any advice that may help my Bro and his not too happy girlfriend, with the court proceedings?

I know- PICTURES or it didnt happen. Ill get them posted soon, but my buddy was in no mood for photos at the time.

Thanks for any contributions!
 

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Sounds like the powder coater didn't know what he was doing. To the best of my knowledge you shouldn't be sandblasting aluminum. The sand is to abrasive for it and some other blasting media should be used. A good powder coater should have know that.
 

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No Clue Crew
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I don't doubt it happened. You don't sandblast aluminum frames. I just had my Morewood powdered. It was chemically stripped first, which is the proper way to do it.

I'd imagine the shop has some sort of disclaimer against damage. Check your state's laws on small claims. Honestly, I doubt your friend will be successful, but good luck.
 

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Proud lame eBiker
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always use a reputable powdercoater! Not just the cheapest on the phone.

Man, that sucks. SCOTT has a 'crash replacement' that I'm sure you could use to get a new frame for a discount.
 

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Jcook is correct. You can very well media blast aluminum. You just cant use sand. We blast aircraft parts all the time at work, we just use plastic media beads. The shop probably used the same machine they use to blast steal.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The shop came highly recommended, but it turns out the worker who did the recommend-ees frame and whom previously showed great attention to detail, no longer works there. Was not the cheapest in town- Boise Idaho. Not many to chose from either- total of 5 powder-coaters in town.

LBS said that crash replacement was 1199.00. The prob. is that painting voids warranty and thus no crash replace option. 1499.99 for new frame.

@slick- are media beads the obvious answer or rather, should the shop have completely known not to use a reg. ol' sandblaster? Is it sand in a sandblaster?
 

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zaner31 said:
@slick- are media beads the obvious answer or rather, should the shop have completely known not to use a reg. ol' sandblaster? Is it sand in a sandblaster?
It really depends on the shops experience. If all they do is blast and paint old car parts they they might not have know. Sand is in a sand blaster. The term media blasting is typically thrown around when using other methods, like plastic media or walnut shells of what ever the kids are up to these days. If I was getting something blasted and repainted I would be curious to know the stripping method. Your buddy might have expected a more knowledgable employee, but when that much cash in on the line I would have done my homework and asked some questions and not just trusted that the shop knew all about high end aluminum framed bikes.

Really sucks. You might be able to get the shop to own up. But it really depends on the conversation about the service went and how detailed into the service description your buddy went. At the least I would have asked if they had done comparable work
 

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It sounds like it's time to lawyer up. You, nor your buddy, don't know the best way to proceed, or if you even have a solid case. Consult a lawyer who can tell you how best to proceed. The way I look at it, you either pay $1,500 for a new frame or some amount less than $1,500 in legal fees and significantly increase the odds of getting a new frame paid for by the powder coater (and they may have to cover legal fees for you).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the info guys! I think consulting a lawyer is def. on the list!

Do you all think it the responsibility of a shop owner being paid and in the business of "coating" to either know what he is doing and the capabilities of staff/equipment, or the responsibility of the customer to ascertain the knowledge/methods, capability of staff/equipment? Other than- Can you do this? Have you done this before? How much will this cost?

Isn't the contract entered into when the shop says, they can do it for this $amnt.? Then one agrees to do it or not. And then does agreeing to pay for the service to be done make the customer liable for poorly done work because the customer believed the shop when they said they could it?

I just cant imagine taking my car to a mech. and asking- how do you repair it? What tools and methods do you use? Then when car gets sawed in half, its the customers fault for not having asked if the car was going to be sawed in half?

~ Im writing these thoughts out, because I know my friend thinks that he is somehow to blame for what happened and I keep telling him that its the onus of the business to know what what they can or cant do. They accepted the work and were paid for it, but destroyed the frame and say they are not responsible. "They only did what they were asked to do". Im sort of hoping that my thoughts are confirmed cause I know hes reading this.

Thanks again guys!
 

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we handed 6 rims to a local place here in VA... they tried to do a chemical strip and accidentally left two of them in too long so the spoke holes were all messed up and they had to throw them away. they did pay me so l could buy more rims but that didn't cost em $1500... no contract --- they just did it.

l also have a bud who powder coated his Evil frame -- they milled the headset so much, trying to remove the excess that you can literally push a headset into the frame by hand. That company didn't offer and compensation for basically messing up the frame.

me, l don't think l'd ever bring my bling-bling brand new bike to be powder coated without a contract stating they'd replace it if they F it up.
 

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this is 100% the shops fault, they should know not to sandblast a aluframe, or any alu parts with sand, or heavy grained material like that.

soda/glass blast etc, is common knowledge.

or chemical stripping.

Anyways, consult with a lawyer if it will be worth the effort to sue them, it does sound like you have a decent case.
 

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What DeanH said. A professional should know how to blast aluminum without destroying it. You don't have to know that, unless you especially ask for a sandblasting regardless of the possible damages.. As i understood, he asked and paid for a repaint, not crapping the frame.
The masking of the bearing seats etc. might be your responsibility, atleast for saying what holes are important not to blast/paint, but for any threaded parts (BB) should be common sense not to destroy.
 

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zaner31 said:
I just cant imagine taking my car to a mech. and asking- how do you repair it? What tools and methods do you use? Then when car gets sawed in half, its the customers fault for not having asked if the car was going to be sawed in half?
I can't tell you for sure because I don't know the shop. I would equate it to taking your Ferrari to a gas station mechanic and asking them to swap the clutch. I'm sure the guy know how to change a clutch, but is he really the best guy for the job? I would take it someone who's worked on Ferraris. As with a powder coater. Say the guy does primarily cars or steel restoration. He may not grasp the subtleties of stripping an mtb frame.

I do think your friend could have a case but it really come down to that expectations that he got from the shop and how they represented their expertise.
 

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I have had many things blasted over the years some media some sand etc depending on the item. But i have sent a few items to be blasted and the one thing the shop would tell me is that it may not be a good idea to blast it but they would but it would be at my risk. That is perfectly reasonable and i went in knowing it. So if the shop did not tell you any type of disclaimer, then it is a 50 50 thing. And most likely if you went to court it would be the same. Good luck
 

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I grew up in south Louisiana, my dad was a career sand blaster and painter. I worked for him blasting and painting from my freshman year in high school, till I graduated from college. It's not considered a skilled profession, and often they'll hire any crackhead off the street to risk silicosois of the lungs to do it for $6.00 per hr., rather than higher, someone who know's what they are doing and pay them more.

Few things probually happened:
1. Too coarse of a grit (grains were too big). Explains the heavy pitting. Coarse grain is used to remove heavy scally rust, thick industrial paints and/or used to provide a solid tooth for industrial paints to advere too. It leaves a pitted surface on steel as well.
He should have used a finer grain of sand. Or another medium such as crushed wallnut shells.

2. Too high of pressure and too large of a nozzle, and probually holding the nozzle too close to the frame explains why he blew all the packing or masking off the theaded partions of the BB, and ovalized the derailer drop out.

3. Who ever did the job didn't realize the value of the frame, and didn't give a crap if he F'ed it up. Just assumed it was some cheap Wallmart bike, and no big lose it it was screwed it up.
 

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V-Shaped Rut
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They wrecked the frame. Time to lawyer up, often just a lawyer letter will do the trick and they'll instantly become reasonable. If not you just need to run the numbers to see if it will be worth it financially/time wise to go after them in small claims court.
 
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