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Very Old Salt
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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering what the heat tolerance is of a GI solid fiberglass hand guard? I've painted a few before but I'd like to use an engine paint that I can bake for a little to help the finish hold up better. Is this possible or more of a potential disaster?
 

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What about the possibility of permanently affixing some of that aluminum duct tape to the underside, would that not make a decent heat shield?
 

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Very Old Salt
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Discussion Starter #3
It's not so much about the underside of the hand guard. No matter how precise I am with a silicon cloth, it somehow comes into contact with the painted hand guard I previously did, and it kinda ruined the excellent flat black finish it had before. Now it has a very faint gloss, and being pseudo OCD it bothers me lol. My newbie logic tells me that if I can bake on the finish a little it will hold up a little better in case it happens again.
 

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If the paint is any good, just wipe it down with rubbing alcohol and the flat black should re-appear. If the paint is really good, try acetone.
 

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It's not so much about the underside of the hand guard. No matter how precise I am with a silicon cloth, it somehow comes into contact with the painted hand guard I previously did, and it kinda ruined the excellent flat black finish it had before. Now it has a very faint gloss, and being pseudo OCD it bothers me lol. My newbie logic tells me that if I can bake on the finish a little it will hold up a little better in case it happens again.
Yea that Objectively Critical Dissatisfaction will screw things up every time.

 

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If your really concerned about the heat effecting your hand guard you must be spraying a lot of bullets around the country side. Heating up a barrel enough to harm the hand guard requires a lot of abuse. I've never seen one damaged by heat even in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 

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Let me take a shot at this as seemingly no one understands your question. I doubt it would be a good idea to attempt to bake a solid handguard to improve the paint. There is too much possibility of deforming the handguard.
 

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Very Old Salt
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Discussion Starter #8
Let me take a shot at this as seemingly no one understands your question. I doubt it would be a good idea to attempt to bake a solid handguard to improve the paint. There is too much possibility of deforming the handguard.
Anndddd thank you sir lol.
 

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I'll just add this: The silver paint on the inside of USGI handguards was added in an attempt to reflect heat away from the guard. This silver paint is often in pretty poor condition on a 50 year old used handguard. If in doubt, strip that old paint from the inside and repaint with VHT high temp silver engine paint. (Any auto parts store.) I have used the VHT silver on parts in car restoration, and it is a really high quality high temp paint that gives a smooth shiny silver almost chrome finish and it's rated to something like 500 degrees and would be my first choice for restoring the heat reflective finish on the inside of the handguard.

As for baking (heat curing) a paint finish on the handguard, every time you get that handguard hot it will bake itself automatically just as much as it needs. There would be no sense baking a handguard to 300 degrees if the handguard never gets hotter than say 150 degrees in hard hard use, like maybe 3 gun.
 
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I baked one of mine, but I got it no hotter than 250 degrees, the paint called for higher temps for the best toughness but I was concerned with the same issue you are. I did not want to melt it. It turned out great for me, the paint is still in great shape and the handguard is still in its as issued shape. If you want to try higher heat you could get a cracked or broken HG to see how it takes the higher temps before trying it on your good one. A broken or cracked HG should be very cheap, if not free if you get lucky. Good luck.
I will add... I also refinished the inside with a heat resistant silver engine block paint. It is messy stuff so mask off the outside before spraying it. A good wash with denatured alcohol after fine sanding and before painting will help to make sure the paint adheres good and does not "fisheye".
 

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Very Old Salt
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Discussion Starter #11
I baked one of mine, but I got it no hotter than 250 degrees, the paint called for higher temps for the best toughness but I was concerned with the same issue you are. I did not want to melt it. It turned out great for me, the paint is still in great shape and the handguard is still in its as issued shape. If you want to try higher heat you could get a cracked or broken HG to see how it takes the higher temps before trying it on your good one. A broken or cracked HG should be very cheap, if not free if you get lucky. Good luck.
I will add... I also refinished the inside with a heat resistant silver engine block paint. It is messy stuff so mask off the outside before spraying it. A good wash with denatured alcohol after fine sanding and before painting will help to make sure the paint adheres good and does not "fisheye".
Awesome, I may give it a try with a beater hand guard.
 

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In the gilded halls of Valhala
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Pretty much everyone in the tactical community has gone to ceramic handgaurds.

When I'm foolishly dumping mag after mag in to ipsc targets I like to KNOW I'm heat protected.



OK that was all a joke


HOW HOT does your rifle really get. I mean... come on
 

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In the gilded halls of Valhala
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What about duracoat?

Or allumahyde ii

Man my spell correct has a fit over the allumahyde

Take or leave this advice , your talking to a guy with a duracoat toilet


Not really.. but not for lack of will.
 

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Did you prep or prime it first?

Few years back I was painting some plastic soffit vents and was told that wiping them with vinegar first would put a slight etch and let the paint adhere better. I tried it and it did.

I assume these were vinyl…and I would assume trying to paint fiberglass it would need etched as well...
 

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Very Old Salt
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Discussion Starter #16
Did you prep or prime it first?

Few years back I was painting some plastic soffit vents and was told that wiping them with vinegar first would put a slight etch and let the paint adhere better. I tried it and it did.

I assume these were vinyl…and I would assume trying to paint fiberglass it would need etched as well...
I prime first. I'm just curious and getting opinions here
 

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I'll say it again, in a different way. If you want to restore your flat black finish, try wiping down your existing paint job with alcohol. Most likely, a nice new baked on flat black will take on a shine with some ArmourAll or silicone oil. You'd still have to wipe the shine off with something (like acetone) to keep it flat black.

Good luck!
 

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Yes, I primed it 2 times, sanded between coats. I tend to be a perfectionist, but My handguard turned out with a very nice ans smooth finish. I finish cabinets and furniture for a living, so perfection is part of my life.
 

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If you're going to prime and paint a handguard, use oven cleaner first. Gelcoat is pretty tough and oven cleaner won't harm it, but it will remove everything else and leave a slightly rough finish for the primer to adhere to. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse the oven cleaner from the handguard as paint doesn't react so well with it.
 
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