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Interviewing 101: Tips from the Hiring Manager

Interviewing 101: Tips from the Hiring Manager

If an exceptional person expresses interest in working at Kaser, I always want them on my team. As a result, I conduct interviews year-round. Here’s my advice to job candidates who want to level up their interview game. Be forthcoming.  I suspect people want to avoid...

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Enough Already: Please Stop Doing This to my Female Employees

Enough Already: Please Stop Doing This to my Female Employees

Men in the finishing industry – customers, vendors, and sales reps alike – respond to my female employees differently than they respond to me. This is a longstanding issue that has always driven me nuts. I’ve had a lot of women on my team over the years, of various...

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Hanging Parts: A New Powder Coater’s Guide

Hanging Parts: A New Powder Coater’s Guide

Hanging parts is often perceived as grunt work. On some level, it is – it’s manual labor that involves a significant amount of lifting, no matter the type of shop. However, good hanging requires far more skill than most people expect, particularly in a shop that...

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Powder vs. Liquid Coating: A Nuanced Discussion

Powder vs. Liquid Coating: A Nuanced Discussion

The powder vs. liquid coating conversation has been going on a long time. Experts have picked sides and spilled ink on the subject for decades, but customers remain confused. I get asked all the time which is better. While I am partial to powder coating because it has...

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What New Hires Don’t Know About Working at Kaser

What New Hires Don’t Know About Working at Kaser

I will be candid: new hires would be shocked to learn how quickly – and unanimously – the Kaser team can tell whether they’re a good fit. I’m not saying this to scare potential employees away. On the contrary, I think Kaser’s culture is one of our great strengths, and...

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Don’t Let Tik Tok Trick You: Respirators Aren’t Negotiable

Don’t Let Tik Tok Trick You: Respirators Aren’t Negotiable

Social media is a blessing and a curse for the finishing industry. On one hand, it’s an effective way to spread awareness about a line of work that’s poorly represented in trade schools; on the other, bad habits and misinformation – on any topic – seem far more...

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Fun Facts About Substrates Other Than Steel

Fun Facts About Substrates Other Than Steel

I could talk about steel for days, and I have. That’s partially because Kaser blasts & coats a lot of steel, but it’s also because steel lends itself well to social media content: it’s quick and rewarding to blast, it turns interesting colors after pretreatment,...

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Why Expediting Is Harder than It Sounds

Why Expediting Is Harder than It Sounds

Frustration is almost always the result of unmet expectations. It’s no wonder, then, that customers get frustrated with Kaser’s inability to expedite projects. In their minds, it takes no time at all to throw a single part up on a cart and spray it. While they may...

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Managers,  Are You Communicating Too Much?

Managers, Are You Communicating Too Much?

I used to be very transparent with my team about customers’ expectations for their projects. Let’s say the customer was demanding, or the spec was unusually rigorous, or the deadline was urgent – I communicated all of that to my team, thinking that the extra...

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The Three Cardinal Rules of Powder Storage

The Three Cardinal Rules of Powder Storage

Here’s a fun industry fact that most customers don’t consider: coatings that are not actively being sprayed must be stored. This presents a spectrum of challenges for a small business like mine. On the high-maintenance side, we have liquid coatings, which are...

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Quality Control for Busy Powder Coaters

Quality Control for Busy Powder Coaters

In a perfect world, the Kaser team would perform quality control at every step of the powder coating process, every day. Hanging, pretreatment, spraying, curing, and packaging – mistakes can (and do) occur at each of these stages, impacting the quality of the finished...

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My Latest (And Final?) Hiring Epiphany

My Latest (And Final?) Hiring Epiphany

I’ve recently evolved into what I think will be my final form as a hiring manager. Here’s what I mean. When I first started at Kaser, there were three of us: Stan in the blast booth, Chauncey in powder, and myself. Collectively, we had little experience in the...

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3 Questions to Determine Whether Blasting is Necessary

3 Questions to Determine Whether Blasting is Necessary

Customers sometimes ask me to quote powder coating projects with and without blasting, so they can compare pricing. I’ll spoil it for you: most of the time, blasting before powder coating doubles the cost of the project. Understandably, that gives some customers...

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Fewer Options Means Less Yelling: A Lesson in Stock Colors

Fewer Options Means Less Yelling: A Lesson in Stock Colors

Humans think they want choices, but they don’t. Exhibit A: powder coating colors. Kaser stocks 24 different powder coating options. They’re all affordable, high-quality products in a range of popular colors, textures, and glosses. Most customers are very happy with...

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Three Myths I Used to Believe about Part Time Workers

Three Myths I Used to Believe about Part Time Workers

If you had asked me last spring whether I’d consider hiring part time help at Kaser, I would have laughed and said “absolutely not.” One year later, I’m singing a different tune. I realized that if the hiring landscape wasn’t going to change, I needed to. Full time...

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I Just Raised my Bar. Here’s Why.

I Just Raised my Bar. Here’s Why.

I’ve never been the type to hire a warm body.  Even in times when Kaser could’ve desperately used another set of hands, I’ve proceeded cautiously. There’s too much at stake: the team’s camaraderie, the quality of Kaser’s product, the amount of time it takes to train...

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The 2020 Miscalculation That Haunts Me Two Years Later

The 2020 Miscalculation That Haunts Me Two Years Later

I recently realized that I’ve spent the last 18 months mis-categorizing Kaser’s busy-ness. I thought we had a staffing issue, and that hiring more people would take care of it; but the more I hired, the more the workload stayed the same. Turns out we were just coating...

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Life as a Liquid Coater

Life as a Liquid Coater

The powder coating shop is Kaser’s engine room: hot, busy, and largely responsible for driving the whole business forward. The liquid coating booth is Kaser’s sail: quieter overall with long stretches of downtime, but always ready to catch a big gust. While the powder...

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Introducing Lincoln’s Yellow Garage

Introducing Lincoln’s Yellow Garage

Downtown Lincoln is stepping up its parking game, and Kaser is involved. Haymarket visitors will likely be familiar with the red, blue, and green parking garages. What they may not realize is that long ago, when I was still in college, Kaser Painting, Inc, painted the...

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Settlers, Breweries, and Welding: A Nebraska Story

Settlers, Breweries, and Welding: A Nebraska Story

In 1904, settlers could purchase 640 acres of land in Western Nebraska for $14. This was known as the Kinkaid Act, and the settlers in question were called Kinkaiders. Fast forward to late 2021. Kinkaider Brewery, a beloved fixture in Nebraska’s microbrew landscape,...

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Let’s Talk About Raises

Let’s Talk About Raises

I have spent very little time as someone else’s employee. There was one research opportunity in college, where I worked for a professor – and my dad retained a lot of the decision-making power in my early days at Kaser, before I was comfortable handling daily...

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Day One at Powder Coating University

Day One at Powder Coating University

The Kaser team is growing rapidly. My managers and I feel a bit like professors, guiding a fresh batch of recruits through Powder Coating 101 every few weeks or so. This is not a complaint. Yes, training is hard, but the benefits of having a full crew far outweigh the...

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What To Do With Talented People

What To Do With Talented People

Once a year or so, I hire someone with the uncanny ability to handle any and all tasks that Kaser throws at them. It’s rare, but always exciting. Some people seem to have a knack for producing higher-than-average quality, no matter what task they’re given. For lack of...

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Kaser’s Workplace Culture: What Candidates Need to Know

Kaser’s Workplace Culture: What Candidates Need to Know

Some of the job candidates I interview ask about Kaser’s workplace culture but, to my surprise, most don’t. I guess it’s hard from an interviewee’s perspective – what questions do you ask to really get the info you want? Does the hiring manager know anything about the...

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What To Expect as a New Hire in the Powder Shop

What To Expect as a New Hire in the Powder Shop

Anyone who follows Kaser Blasting & Coatings on social media knows that I’ve had two mantras on repeat this year: 1. The Kaser powder shop is ALWAYS hiring; and 2. No experience required. So what can a new powder shop employee expect if they have no previous...

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A Day in the Life of the Kaser Blast Booth

A Day in the Life of the Kaser Blast Booth

Kaser’s blast shop gets less social media attention than the powder shop. That’s not a reflection of how much I value the work; it’s simply that the powder shop is twice as busy and much safer to document, because there’s no blast media flying around. As a result, I’m...

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What I Need from a Forklift Operator

What I Need from a Forklift Operator

Of all the jobs at Kaser, none is more misunderstood than the Shipping & Receiving/Forklift Operator position. I’m certain there are tons of large companies whose forklift drivers do nothing else. They sit down in the morning, move pallets around all day, and...

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Your Perfectionism Might Be Lying To You

Your Perfectionism Might Be Lying To You

My name is Jase Kaser, and I’m a perfectionist. Perfectionism gets a bad rap, but it’s a trait I really value in myself and others. For starters, I think my pursuit of perfection benefits Kaser’s customers – they’ve come to expect great quality, and all of our...

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What You’ve Always Wanted to Ask about Working at Kaser

What You’ve Always Wanted to Ask about Working at Kaser

Kaser Blasting & Coatings is always hiring. Our job posts, while abundant, don’t always get into the nitty-gritty details of what we offer. So if you’ve ever wondered about compensation, benefits, and time off, here’s what you need to know. Compensation Kaser does...

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Three Tough Questions to Ask Yourself About Safety

Three Tough Questions to Ask Yourself About Safety

None of us will ever achieve a 100% effective, all-encompassing, fool-proof safety program with total adherence. It’s not possible. As managers, our best shot at keeping our teams safe is to commit to progress. Our safety programs are an exercise routine, and we’re...

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Three Reasons I Don’t Need an Automated Line

Three Reasons I Don’t Need an Automated Line

Kaser Blasting & Coatings employs a batch booth setup, instead of an automated line. Honestly, that’s been a point of contention for more than one prospective client. Several large manufacturers have declined to give us their business because we don’t have a line....

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3 Common Causes of Rework (And What to Do About Them)

3 Common Causes of Rework (And What to Do About Them)

We live in a world of dirt, oil, and human error. As finishers, it’s good to acknowledge these realities. The sooner we embrace the inevitability of rework, the sooner we can get to problem-solving.  Here are the three most common rework scenarios I see at Kaser, and...

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Making Small Talk on Big Subjects: The Finisher’s Dilemma

Making Small Talk on Big Subjects: The Finisher’s Dilemma

Scenario: I’m in a situation that calls for small talk with a stranger (i.e., getting a haircut, sitting in an Uber, or meeting someone for the first time). They ask me what I do for a living. I pause to weigh my options. Option 1: tell them I’m a coater and leave it...

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Paint Gets No Respect

Paint Gets No Respect

Firetrucks are large, complex pieces of machinery designed to do life-saving work under brutal conditions. But the first – and possibly only – thing that the average person will ever really notice about them is that they’re red. Coatings matter. And while those of us...

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The Three Rules of Selling to a Millennial

The Three Rules of Selling to a Millennial

When I first started at Kaser, I was ordering a box of powder coating every two weeks.  Now, I’m averaging ten boxes of powder coating a day. There are a number of vendors I’ve stuck with through all of this growth – reliable, high-quality suppliers who’ve earned my...

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You Might Be A Powder Coater (Who Just Doesn’t Know It Yet)

You Might Be A Powder Coater (Who Just Doesn’t Know It Yet)

I’ve been hiring long enough to know that the world is full of people whose skills would be valuable in the powder booth…if only they knew that powder coating existed. But they don’t. The more I think about the hordes of mechanically-inclined folks graduating from...

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All This Ambition And Nowhere to Put It

All This Ambition And Nowhere to Put It

My name is Jase Kaser, and I’m aggressive. When I say “aggressive,” I mean I’m ambitious. I’m risky. I like to push the production schedule to its limits. I like to get results when no one else can. That’s my brand, and it’s the Kaser brand – we take on projects that...

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Why Washing Steel Isn’t Enough

Why Washing Steel Isn’t Enough

If you see a piece of raw steel that isn’t actively rusting, that can only mean one of two things: it’s either covered in oil, or there’s a conversion coating on it. Folks who don’t work with metal may not realize just how oily raw steel can be. Greases and oils can...

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You Think You Love Powder Coating…But You’re Wrong

You Think You Love Powder Coating…But You’re Wrong

Anytime a customer expresses satisfaction with our coatings, what they’re really happy about is our surface prep. They just don’t know it yet. We’re called Kaser Blasting & Coatings because “Kaser Sanding & Pretreatment” doesn’t really have the same ring. But...

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Safety Green Flags: Three Signs You’re Doing Something Right

Safety Green Flags: Three Signs You’re Doing Something Right

Creating and maintaining a nuanced and effective safety program is hard, no matter what. And if you’re a small business struggling to find good help in a pandemic landscape, staying OSHA-compliant can feel like an unscalable mountain. I’m going to assume that we all...

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What Rain REALLY Does to Your Parts

What Rain REALLY Does to Your Parts

I might be the only person in Nebraska who hasn’t been happy about all of the rain lately. I’ve talked before about how rain causes chaos on the Kaser campus, as we scramble to get vulnerable parts indoors – but it recently occurred to me that the average person might...

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Two Things I Want (And One Thing I Don’t)

Two Things I Want (And One Thing I Don’t)

Believe it or not, I’m not looking to hire expert powder coaters.  I’m not even necessarily looking for finishing industry experience. I’m not interested in college degrees, trade school educations, or whether a candidate has ever held a pressure washer. I’ve learned...

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What Nobody Told You About Being “More Than Just a Number”

What Nobody Told You About Being “More Than Just a Number”

You would be shocked at the number of job candidates I’ve interviewed over the years.  Yes, Kaser is small, but we’re never not hiring – and since the pandemic started, we, like everyone else, are desperate for good help. I ask every prospective employee what they’re...

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Four Harsh Truths about Transit

Four Harsh Truths about Transit

If you work in the finishing industry, I have news for you: customers care a lot less about how good the part looks coming out of the oven, than how it looks when they receive it. In other words, the damage that happens in transit reflects poorly on the powder...

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Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before Yelling

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before Yelling

Kaser recently had a bad production day.  We’d been firing on all cylinders for weeks, churning out great work in record time through our busiest season. Then on a single day, we fell behind on a handful of projects. Customers weren’t happy, and neither was I. I...

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Why We Choose Powder Coating over Liquid Coating

Why We Choose Powder Coating over Liquid Coating

I suspect general public customers are partial to liquid coating because they imagine they could do it themselves.  The concept is familiar: they’ve used spray paint, latex paint, even acrylic paint - how different could industrial coating really be? So they push me...

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It’s Pretty, But Will It Last?

It’s Pretty, But Will It Last?

A lot of people approach shopping for industrial coatings as though they were buying their metal parts a makeover. While there’s nothing wrong with prioritizing aesthetics, there’s so much more to be gained from the coating process if you know how to ask for it. I’m...

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Patio Furniture Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Patio Furniture Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Metal patio furniture tends to be the general public’s gateway into the world of industrial coatings. This is particularly true in Nebraska, where harsh winters, hot summers, and constant humidity takes a greater-than-average toll on outdoor tables and chairs....

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Cross Training the Smart Way

Cross Training the Smart Way

It’s a classic rock-and-a-hard-place scenario: on one hand, having a lean staff and a busy production schedule makes it hard to cross train employees. On the other, what if someone calls in sick? Having a lean staff and a busy production schedule means you can’t...

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How to Get an Accurate Quote for your Car Restoration

How to Get an Accurate Quote for your Car Restoration

Car restoration projects are like snowflakes. No two are alike. The car’s make, its age, its condition, and the restorer’s knowledge, skill level, and vision - all of these variables impact the project’s cost, workload, and timeline in (often unexpected) ways. It...

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The Cost of Refinishing Aluminum Wheels

The Cost of Refinishing Aluminum Wheels

It’s a fact that I don’t relish sharing: aluminum wheels are more expensive to blast and powder coat than steel wheels. Customers who don’t understand the discrepancy will likely be frustrated by it. Let me assure you that our pricing is not arbitrary. There’s a...

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Hot Tips for Oven Health

Hot Tips for Oven Health

A powder coater’s oven is both their strength and their weakness. Kaser’s large oven is 12’ tall x 14’ wide x 30’ long. It’s essentially a whole room made of thick, insulated panels and a 2.5 million BTU burn box on top, which puts out a significant, gas-powered...

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Hurry Up and Wait: How 2021 is Making Deadlines Difficult

Hurry Up and Wait: How 2021 is Making Deadlines Difficult

Thanks in equal parts to caution and luck, Kaser Blasting & Coatings made it through Covid unscathed. But 2021 has brought us face to face with an even more disruptive reality: we can’t coat parts that don’t exist. The majority of our customers are metal...

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Let’s Talk About What You See on Instagram.

Let’s Talk About What You See on Instagram.

Search #powdercoating on Instagram, and you’ll see hot pink wheels with contrasting inlays, metallic powders layered like galaxies, and neon green car parts with clear coat so thick you could get lost in it. It’s beautiful. It’s also very niche. Most people don’t...

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It’s Never Been Easier to be Exceptional

It’s Never Been Easier to be Exceptional

I will be honest: it’s been a discouraging week, for reasons I’ll explain momentarily. But my loss is your gain, because the struggle has served to crystallize a truth so simple, so universal, and so revolutionary, that I can confidently offer you THE secret to...

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Dump Trailers and Growing Pains

Dump Trailers and Growing Pains

 Some types of growth are eminently measurable. Financial growth? Check the statement. Physical growth? The tape measure will tell you what you need to know. Other types of growth are open to interpretation. How do you tell, for instance, whether you’re more skilled...

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IT Advice from a Self-Taught Enthusiast

IT Advice from a Self-Taught Enthusiast

Ask any small business employee what IT support looks like at their office, and they’ll probably shrug and tell you that they just go to That One Person from [insert any department here] Who Knows About Computers. At Kaser, I’m that That One Person. I don’t mind – in...

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Say It, Don’t Spray It: The Case for Filter Maintenance

Say It, Don’t Spray It: The Case for Filter Maintenance

No powder coater in their right mind would take a freshly-blasted piece of steel and dunk it in water. Why not?  Because ferrous substrates are particularly prone to rusting after they’ve been blasted…and if there’s one thing the finishing industry hates, it’s rust....

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Setting Up your Air Supply

Setting Up your Air Supply

Compressed air powers most of what we do at Kaser. There could be no blasting, no blowing off, and no spraying powder - or paint - without it. Because it’s both invisible and baked into all of our processes, it'd be easy to take air for granted. If it’s been a while...

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You’re Grounded. (Hopefully.)

You’re Grounded. (Hopefully.)

In powder coating as in life, we should aspire to be well grounded. The good news is that, at least in the powder booth, proper grounding is easy to achieve. Please note that the following advice comes from someone whose powder coating experience revolves solely...

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Three Signs your Part’s not Properly Grounded

Three Signs your Part’s not Properly Grounded

I would wager that most career powder coaters are not physicists. I certainly am not.  And yet, success in our occupation relies upon our ability to understand - and harness - certain electrostatic phenomena, including the all-important concept of grounding. Failure...

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If You’re Learning, You’re Winning: The Limits of DIY

If You’re Learning, You’re Winning: The Limits of DIY

Odds are high that if you’re an entrepreneur, you enjoy problem-solving. Odds are also high that if you manage a production schedule, you’ll do just about anything to keep it on track. I have a foot in each of those camps: I’m part problem-solving junkie, part...

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The Bad Kind of Blooming: Jase’s Search for Answers

The Bad Kind of Blooming: Jase’s Search for Answers

If the word “blooming” evokes happy thoughts of springtime and flowers, congratulations – you’re normal. If the word “blooming” triggers feelings of frustration and a deep-seated fear of rework, then you (like me) are probably a powder coater. I would venture to guess...

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The Pursuit of Smoothness

The Pursuit of Smoothness

Shortcuts and work-arounds are lifesavers for busy powder coating job shops. Anytime I can cap threads instead of painstakingly masking them with tape, for instance, I consider that a victory – it’s a time-saver that does not negatively impact the end product. There...

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Got Kerf? Here’s Why.

Got Kerf? Here’s Why.

Busy powder coaters will agree: silicone plugs are life-savers. They’re the quickest, most fool-proof way to ensure that blast media and powder coating stay out of vulnerable, threaded areas, and they’re reusable to boot. Like any other tool in your shop, though,...

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Quotes Notes: Things your Shop Can’t Do for You.

Quotes Notes: Things your Shop Can’t Do for You.

I’ve been quoting projects like crazy, lately, and I find myself writing the same notes over and over. That usually means it’s time for a blog post. General public customers, this one’s for you: here’s everything your blasting & coating shop can’t do. My note:...

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Friability is your Friend: Demystifying Blast Media

Friability is your Friend: Demystifying Blast Media

I’m a Mechanical Engineer who gets excited about material properties, and today, I’m sharing one of my favorite words: friability. Friability measures how well a piece of material holds up under duress. All solid substances in the world experience friability, to...

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A Crash Course in Corrosion

A Crash Course in Corrosion

As far as Kaser Blasting & Coatings is concerned, corrosion is Public Enemy #1. All of our services – blasting, pretreatment, coating, packaging – have the same end goal: keep corrosion at bay for as long as humanly possible. In the grand scheme, it’s a losing...

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“So What Do You Do, Exactly?”

“So What Do You Do, Exactly?”

I spend so much time around the Kaser team (and interacting with fellow industry professionals on social media), that I have to pause when I hear “so what do you do?” from someone in a public setting. If I say the words “blasting, powder coating, and liquid coating”...

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The Two Rules of Delegation

The Two Rules of Delegation

The concept of delegation is fairly simple: handing a task over to another person should, in theory, lighten your load while giving them a project to which they’re suited. On paper, delegation is a win-win. A lot tends to go wrong in practice, however. If you’ve ever...

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The Case for Creating a Playbook

The Case for Creating a Playbook

Time is a scarce and precious resource for small business owners and managers. I get it – there aren’t enough hours in the day, and you have to be judicious about how you allocate them. That’s why a lot of small businesses don’t have a training book. It takes time to...

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Life Advice from a Brain Ninja

Life Advice from a Brain Ninja

Shari Kaser is a lot of things: she’s an accountant, a UNL grad, and a founding member of Kaser Painting, Inc. She’s also my mom, and, as the rest of my family will attest, a skilled brain ninja (more on that nickname in a moment). I sat down recently to interview...

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What Sports Fans Already Know about Management

What Sports Fans Already Know about Management

Managers, it’s time to face facts: we will never manage a whole crew of Michael Jordans. Not everyone we hire will be the Tom Brady of our industry. It’s unlikely that you will ever discover (much less successfully recruit) the Wayne Gretzky of powder coating. And...

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Cross-Examining Crosslinkers

Cross-Examining Crosslinkers

American powder coaters: it’s time for us to get acquainted with our crosslinkers. The crosslinker is responsible for causing polymer chains to link during the curing process. In other words, it’s the chemical agent that transforms the grainy powder we spray into the...

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Fail Friday: How a Perfect Coating Might Still be All Wrong

Fail Friday: How a Perfect Coating Might Still be All Wrong

Imagine for a moment that you’re a powder coater. You manage a well-regarded, family-owned blasting and coating business in Lincoln, NE. One day, a customer drops off two signs (that look very similar to one another), and asks you to powder coat one in blue and one in...

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The Three Pillars of Pretreatment

The Three Pillars of Pretreatment

Good powder coating does not exist in a vacuum. It’s not enough to simply purchase the best powder on the market, and ask the most skilled powder coater in the world to apply it – not if you want your coating to last. High-quality powder and skilled application are...

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The Road is Rougher than you Think

The Road is Rougher than you Think

Anyone new to the world of powder coating needs to internalize one fundamental truth: yes, powder coating is durable…but it is not indestructible. If you repeatedly hit a powder coated surface with a hammer, it will eventually chip. This may come as a sad revelation...

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Unfixable Flaws and How to Avoid Them

Unfixable Flaws and How to Avoid Them

True or false: there’s no need to package parts before sending them to the finishing shop, because any damage caused in transit will be invisible after blasting and coating? False. While most people understand that freshly-applied powder coating needs to be babied on...

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Every Little Thing Matters

Every Little Thing Matters

This is a sad story about mistakes made, lessons learned, and rework. To set the scene: it’s late summer at Kaser Blasting & Coatings. A set of parts arrives, the likes of which we’ve coated many times before. It is, by all appearances, a regular Tuesday. The...

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Keeping the Schedule Train on Track

Keeping the Schedule Train on Track

I’ve said it before: scheduling your part’s blasting and coating well ahead of time is a great way to keep turnarounds short. With proper scheduling, (and depending on the size and scope of the project,) we can usually get parts blasted, coated, and back in your hands...

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The Three Rules of Training

The Three Rules of Training

We all reach points in our careers where certain aspects of our jobs become ingrained in our instincts and muscle memory. For powder coaters, industry lingo becomes second nature. We become comfortable identifying substrates, and predicting how they’ll behave. We can...

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Busting the Myth of Self-Direction

Busting the Myth of Self-Direction

To the casual observer walking by Kaser’s campus on a weekday, our operations look like a buzzing hive of freight trucks, forklifts, and carts. The intensity level ranges from “moderate flurry” to “fog of war,” but one thing remains constant: from 7 AM to 4 PM, Kaser...

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Moving Past Yelling: A Manager’s Evolution

Moving Past Yelling: A Manager’s Evolution

If you haven’t been around a college student lately, you’ll perhaps have forgotten how very young they are, and how little real-life work experience they have. That certainly was the case for me, as a freshly-graduated college student taking a manager position at...

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Scheduling Backward Instead of Forward

Scheduling Backward Instead of Forward

A textbook might describe the metal manufacturing process this way: a customer has an idea for a metal part they want made. They find a fabricator, who comes up with some drawings. Once the design is approved, the part is made. If the fabricator provides in-house...

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Heat, Sweat, and Soreness: Summer Powder Coating Problems

Heat, Sweat, and Soreness: Summer Powder Coating Problems

Imagine the hottest day of a Nebraska summer. Now add ten degrees to the temperature. Now picture yourself wearing full-body personal protective equipment and a respirator, while pushing large metal parts around on carts.  That’s a normal August day in the life of a...

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What’s in a Lead Time?

What’s in a Lead Time?

What do urgent care and the fire department have in common? Their lead times could be a matter of life or death. If you’re calling an emergency locksmith because your toddler is stuck in a hot car, you’re going to want that service provided as quickly as humanly...

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No Need to Panic: A Tale of Rust Streaking

No Need to Panic: A Tale of Rust Streaking

I got a call the other day from a Kaser client with a question worth blogging about. The client is a retirement community, for whom we had powder coated quite a bit of railing five years prior, all in white. If that raises red flags, it should: I’ve blogged before...

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Treat Yourself to Proper Pretreatment

Treat Yourself to Proper Pretreatment

Pretreatment is neither the most visible nor the most glamorous part of the coating process. It doesn’t involve color, it doesn’t photograph well, and it makes for less-than-ideal social media content. It’s no wonder, then, that most customers don’t prioritize...

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The Secret Kaser Family Packaging Recipe

The Secret Kaser Family Packaging Recipe

True or false: the back of a truck (pickup truck, air-ride-equipped semi, or any model in between) rides as smoothly as the cab of said truck? False with a capital F and an exclamation point. While suspension has improved over the years, the back of any truck will...

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Getting Wheel Specific

Getting Wheel Specific

Today, we’re tackling another one of Kaser’s all-time FAQs: “how much will it cost to blast and powder coat my car’s wheels?” The short answer is, “it depends.” While I’m more than happy to give a quote over the phone or email, there are 3 questions I will need...

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It’s Time to Talk about Cc

It’s Time to Talk about Cc

I’m taking a break from blogging about niche, coating-related issues in favor of a much more universal topic: the humble workplace email. Email users, assemble. It’s time we have a frank conversation about the Cc function. Let’s begin with a definition: Cc stands for...

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Shop For Powder Like A Pro

Shop For Powder Like A Pro

Good shopping means asking the right questions. This is true for just about anything money can buy, and powder coating is no exception. I’m not talking about the powder coating service, this time. I’m talking about the powder itself. No matter who you choose as your...

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Sales: Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Sales: Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Imagine for a moment that ABC Powder Supplier and XYZ Powder Supplier are two companies that offer the exact same powder, of the exact same quality, at the exact same price point. Let’s take it one step further and imagine that neither company charges for shipping. In...

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When Sales Reps go Rogue: A Rant

When Sales Reps go Rogue: A Rant

I’m a pretty positive, results-oriented person who is fortunate to work in an industry full of positive, results-oriented people. But, my fellow powder coaters, general managers, and small business owners, can we take a moment to bond over what I am sure is a shared...

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The Magic of Scheduling

The Magic of Scheduling

Is there anything more frustrating for a customer than calling a powder coating shop and being told that the lead time is 4-5 weeks? No. I get it, and I’m here to help. First, I want to reframe how we look at lead times. While a long lead time is an understandable...

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What Blasting Can’t Do

What Blasting Can’t Do

Myth: blasting parts is the same as cleaning them. Fact: blasting and washing are two very different processes, with very different results, and you cannot substitute one for the other. I think social media may be (at least partly) to blame for the confusion. We’re...

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