In our exclusive interview with Valeri Lennin, President of the Benco Sales, we reveal how to stay safe when chemically stripping powder coated or painted parts.

RossKote (Kim Scott): Keeping your prices reasonable and powder coating is important to stay competitive, but restoration is labor intensive and time consuming. How do you manage both? Using an efficient method of chemical stripping can help keep those costs down. In this month long product focus on stripping, we sit down with the president of Benco sales, miss B17 herself, Valeri Lennon. Valeri is committed to bringing you quality as well as preserving small businesses availability and access to her line of efficient and effective products. She shares everything you need to know about how to get started stripping, using her methylene chloride based products. We talk safety, best practices, as well as some of the new, less toxic stripping products. Let’s get ready to level up your powder coater game.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Welcome to episode nine. I’m Kim Scott, your host of the powder coater podcast. Where we interview influencers and cover trending topics in the industry. So powder coaters can effectively learn and grow their business. Today’s episode was, inspired by a shout out to Brian Moreland. He’s been following our podcast since day one and he loves the show and he wrote to us a few weeks ago and wanted to know if we would consider interviewing someone in stripping. And so his email went, “I would consider myself a semi-pro barn coater, LOL. I’m wanting to move up into powder coating, bigger things, and I’ve been doing roll cages, buggy frames, wheels, et cetera. I was curious if you guys would be interested in having a show based on stripping and stripping chemicals. What chemicals work best? How effective are they on different materials and how long do you leave them submerged? Where do you buy them? What companies do you recommend?” Thanks, Brian. And to introduce today’s guests. We have an American made product, high quality control, proven effectiveness, no costly shipping.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): And today we’re introducing Valeri Lennon, president and COO of Benco B-17. Hi, Valeri. Welcome to the show.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Hello, thank you for having me.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Thanks for that long winded introduction. Sorry about that. But I wanted to give a shout out to Brian for the inspiration. So how long have you been working in the industry?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): I’ve been with Benco for a little over eight years now.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): We’re in Tennessee and I moved here. When the previous owner who had been in business for 40 years, decided to retire and a partner and myself purchased Benco from him. And it’s been an amazing adventure, it’s a great company.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott):It sounds like it. I will admit that we are Benco users ourselves, B17 .
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): And I think we started purchasing the product about three years ago. But what do you do there? What’s the day to day for you there?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): All aspects of the business. I manage the manufacturing, the plant manager reports to me. I work on new business new marketing, new ideas and new products.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): When we deal with new products the previous owner usually comes in since he was a chemical engineer. And he likes to keep involved because he misses it terribly, but there’s all kinds of things. And then Benco also has their own fleet of trucks that travel the United States, to deliver products.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): So we ship common carrier and we have our own trucks. It’s a wonderful benefit because our customers get to know our truck drivers, invite them in for lunch. It’s really personal. But in this industry, in this world today, truck drivers are hard to come by. So unfortunately it does create a little bit of a hiccup in shipping at times when we’re only down to two drivers or something like that.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): But otherwise it’s a busy day at Benco.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): I bet.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Now you also have, I’m not sure of the relationship there, but there’s another company called Bestway. How are the two inter related or are they related at all?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): They were interrelated a number of years ago, in that my business partner owned Bestway and together we put Benco together with Bestway and essentially merged. Bestway had furniture, stripping products and Bestway is really now a branded product within Benco. They were a smaller sized company in comparison to Benco. And so we make and service the Bestway customers.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): So there are other and I’m going to say this wrong methylene chloride, right?
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Is that how you say it?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yes, we have methylene chloride based products, as well as non-methylene chloride products. With methylene chloride based products have been leading in the industry for so many years due to the fact that it’s the most cost effective way to strip. And it’s so quick that you’re  minimizing your exposure to your chemical.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): I’ve been with Benco for a little over eight years now.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): We’re in Tennessee and I moved here. When the previous owner who had been in business for 40 years, decided to retire and a partner and myself purchased Benco from him. And it’s been an amazing adventure, it’s a great company.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): It sounds like it. I will admit that we are Benco users ourselves, B17.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): And I think we started purchasing the product about three years ago. But what do you do there? What’s the day to day for you there?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): All aspects of the business. I manage the manufacturing, the plant manager reports to me. I work on new business new marketing, new ideas and new products.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): When we deal with new products the previous owner usually comes in since he was a chemical engineer. And he likes to keep involved because he misses it terribly, but there’s all kinds of things. And then Benco also has their own fleet of trucks that travel the United States, to deliver products.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): So we ship common carrier and we have our own trucks. It’s a wonderful benefit because our customers get to know our truck drivers, invite them in for lunch. It’s really personal. But in this industry, in this world today, truck drivers are hard to come by. So unfortunately it does create a little bit of a hiccup in shipping at times when we’re only down to two drivers or something like that.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): But otherwise it’s a busy day at Benco.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): I bet.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Now you also have, I’m not sure of the relationship there, but there’s another company called Bestway. How are the two interrelated or are they related at all?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): They were interrelated a number of years ago, in that my business partner owned Bestway and together we put Benco together with Bestway and essentially merged. Bestway had furniture, stripping products and Bestway is really now a branded product within Benco. They were a smaller sized company in comparison to Benco. And so we make and service the Bestway customers.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): So there are other and I’m going to say this wrong methylene chloride, right?
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Is that how you say it?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yes, we have methylene chloride based products, as well as non-methylene chloride products. With methylene chloride based products have been leading in the industry for so many years due to the fact that it’s the most cost effective way to strip. And it’s so quick that you’re minimizing your exposure to your chemical.

 

 

Benco (Valeri Lennon): As long as you have your safe practices in place. It’s a very advantageous product to go with. And it’s blended of course, with other things. It’s not just straight methylene chloride.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Right, but there are other methylene chloride companies out there that sell this based products with this chemical. But what makes B17 so popular or so much better?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Because it’s the most cost effective and time efficient product that’s out there. It’s blended. It has a lovely blend of acids that helps permeate that coating in order for the B17. To the substrate, to delaminate the powder coat from it. You will notice when you use B17, you have sheets of powder-coat that come up.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): It’s because it’s been delaminated, essentially. It doesn’t eat away at the powder and because it doesn’t eat away at the powder, you don’t lose your strength in your. You will lose some stripper due to evaporation, depending on heat in the area, the ambient heat of course, inHawaii, I’m sure that you noticed a little bit more evaporation than somebody would in Wisconsin.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): But as long as you keep it covered and manage it properly, you won’t have a lot. We do have also some ingredients help minimize that evaporation and hinder it from going so quickly. But you will find that is the fastest and most effective. And then all you have to do is tap it off. It’s very infrequent that you would have a costly additive or anything like that to our B17.

 
RossKote (Kim Scott): So on your website you say that the 17 is having you give three reasons why it’s safer than other strippers and I’ll just name them.Cause it’s fast acting. You have less exposure. I think you’ve covered that already. And because it works without having to scrub which means you’re not interacting with it, hands-on where you don’t have to.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): And because it’s completely neutralized with water, there’s less chemicals involved. So are those, some of the additives. That you put in there. That is what interacts with the water. How does it neutralize?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Let’s see here. How to explain it. When you use B 17, we recommend, it’s imperative that you have a water bath process.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): You lower your wheel or your item. You’re going to strip into the B 17. You wait for it to delaminate. You take it out of the B 17, allow all the excess to drop back into the B 17 tank, and then you move your item to a water bath tank. The purpose of the water bath tank is to neutralize any acids that were left in the nooks and crannies and to trap any trace chemicals.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): And that water will do its best when it’s at a neutral pH between eight and 10. Once you’ve put it through the water. It’s like a 32nd minute thing. It’s not if I leave it in there for an hour, then you can take it out and you can rinse it because it will be chemical free and once dry, you can re-powder.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): And so it’s a pretty quick from beginning to end, it’s a pretty quick turnaround, which is especially great for the smaller customers that need to have quick turn around in order to push this.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah it was, I must admit I, my husband was going, definitely was one of those people and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, where they, once they got it and they started utilizing it or using it for stripping, it was like, why did we wait this long?
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): I guess we should have probably invested in it a lot longer, because we had been struggling. We’d been buying stripper at homeDepot or Lowe’s or wherever we could get it, of course, being at an island, if somebody comes in and beats you to that shelf then you’re really out of luck is in you’re waiting another week or two before it gets restocked.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): So it has really been. A godsend for our business and has allowed us to. Keep our prices reasonable, especially with rim stripping and powder coating. So that’s definitely helped our business tremendously and I totally recommend the product in that sense.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): I’m so happy to hear that.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah. Yeah. It’s good. So recently, We got the notice from you guys, I think late last year, because recently the EPA banned the active ingredient in many paint strippers from retail stores. If you are a professional with a business ID, you can buy your product. Has this hurt your sales and in any way?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): No, it has not. And let me give you a little bit of the background with the EPA. I was involved in all the panel discussions as well as the previous owner, the chemical engineer.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): And the whole reason the EPA went this route. There were too many people. There were a few people, I shouldn’t say too many.There were a few people that purchased over the counter methylene chloride based products from retail stores, but they did not read the label nor heed any safety warning, and may have locked themselves in a room to strip something.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): And they were overcome by the fume. It’s similar to somebody closing their garage door and letting their car run. You can’t do that.You need good ventilation. So with that said, they took it out of the retail market and because businesses typically have OSHA standards in place and practicing safe stripping methods. And because it’s so important in the industrial world to have that efficiency, that’s why we can say we can sell it as a business to business.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): And so basically, how does. I guess you just need to show a business ID. Of course they were already buying so I think you already had that information.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): What exactly does a business need to provide you guys, what are they looking for?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): What we need to have, and it may never be looked at, we don’t know, but what we do is we need to prove we’re selling to a business. And so a federal ID number is always the easiest thing to do. Federal ID number a sales tax number.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Anything that proves that you’re in a registered business.
 
benco sales b17 adRossKote (Kim Scott): And that’s it. And so for powder coaters that don’t meet these minimum requirements is there another product that they can buy or are they just stuck with going to home Depot every time?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): No, and going to home Depot, they won’t find a powder coat stripper.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): We have two products. We have our B96, which is a cold product. But it’s going to take awhile, you might leave something in overnight or it might take three hours. And then we have our new B 17 eco-strip. Which is a product that you need to heat, it only needs to heat to 185 degrees.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): And we have some customers that have been using it in Chicago and they found that they’re getting an hour and a half strip times on Durango wheels, Porscha wheels, all the wheels that have been pretty stubborn. But they’ve been getting really fast stripped times. So a lot of people really like.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Of course you have to be able to have a heated tank or we have heated tanks we’ve developed that work really nicely. And so for the people just starting out, they can do that. OrI have a starter kit, which is a drum with a drum heater and they can get the whole package, shipped to them with a drum of the eco strip and the heating the drum with a drum heater so that they can.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): That way on a small scale it’s a 55 gallon drum. It’s a 50 gallon metal drum with a drum heater. And then we also supply the 55 gallons of the eco strip product. And in that package comes some safety gear the rubber apron, a disposable face masks and gloves, and then also a siphon pump to transfer the liquid into from the poly drum that it comes in to the metal drum where you heat, you might want you to fill the heat, you fill it halfway so that you’ve got room for disbursement.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): And then you save the other stripper in your polydrum for future use.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): That’s really nice because I’ll tell you, I’m tired of hearing my husband getting, looking at his arms, getting burned and stuff. And

sometimes I think he’s just immune to it now at this point, because he’s been stripping for so long.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): And we stripped in our other business, we used to have a refinishing business. And so we were used to already stripping or using chemical stripping and stuff. I think he’s just become immune to it, but it’s nice to know that there’s an eco-friendly. But what’s the startup price on this initial package?
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Do you have a starting price?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yes, I do. I have a special on the eco-strip start-up kit. It’s $1,699.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Wow.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): It doesn’t include delivery. If you get it delivered on our truck, it’s only $50 and typically we’ll. Yeah. And we do freight quotes for people. And typically on the starter kits I split the shipping if it has to go, if it has to get skidded and put on common carrier.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): That’s nice. I think that’s actually pretty reasonable, especially if you’re just a single guy.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): You can use the eco strip at home. There’s a lot of home coaters people working out of their garage or their barns. And I think that’s a great, relatively inexpensive way to get started and start saving time and effort.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yes. I’ve been really excited about this new product because we’ve had large and small that have switched from another competitor’s product.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): That was a heated product. And they said they love it because they’re getting faster strip times it’s less than half the cost and their sludge buildup is minimal. The eco strip just becomes a little murky and after you strip for a quite a long time, all you have to do is let it cool. And then pull the the eco strip chemical off the top.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): With a pump of some sort, and then you have a little sludge at the bottom and all you have to do is evaporate that, and it becomes inert.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Great, and no more burns, right?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): No burns, but let’s go back to the burns. I understand that it is an extremely aggressive product and it’s an important product in certain businesses because of the speed.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): But safety gear is extraordinarily important. A lot of people find. Let me back up. I’ve had customers that had 3000 gallon tank of B17, and they stripped over 5,000 wheels a week with a conveyor system. Nobody came in contact with the B17 and they had no burns. And then there  are other people that have hoists, a gantry system with the hoist and they lower it down and they bring it up and the burns are very infrequent. But then I hear about people getting burned all the time and I keep asking them, are you wearing your safety gear? Do you have your gloves and your apron? It’s a great product, but it’s not real user-friendly I will admit that, but you just have to be cautious.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): And I think it’s all about perception too.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): I’ve not heard any kind of negatives, feedback. If I did, I pretty much just blame it on the user because, you’re putting the product out there, but you’re also being very straightforward about the kind of best practices that you need to do that.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): You actually have a page on your website called best practices. I think that a lot of, if you do get any negative feedback, people are being, I don’t know.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Not even that it’s the person that says, “oh, I just have this little thing to strip and I’m in a hurry. And it’s, since it’s a little thing, it’ll be fine”.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): And the minute they go to put it in there, they drop it. And it splashes back up on them because they were in a hurry and they didn’t stop to put their face gear or their covering on, sometimes it’s just as simple as that. So you just can’t let your guard down. It just safe practices.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Exactly. Do you sell now you sell it by the barrel and you sell it by five gallon containers.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): That’s the only two sizes correct?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): No, I sell B17 and eco strip in 275 gallon totes as well.
RossKote (Kim Scott): Oh, okay. That’s good to know. Okay. I didn’t know that. We’re unique out here in Hawaii and when I was cost comparing the barrel to the five gallon, I didn’t know about these totes. I somehow didn’t even consider that, we actually opted for the five gallon because it was palatable. And we could actually, we couldn’t really get around the shipping. Shipping is just shipping here in Hawaii. And so we actually opted for I think we bought 30 or 45 gallons.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yeah for a bigger pallet it’s 32.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott):Yeah, 32. Yeah. And they palleted, wrapped it.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): It didn’t get damaged in shipping. And I think that says a lot about your company too, is the way that you make sure that a everything was wrapped. Cause I tell you, I order a lot of stuff from the main land, whether it’s a metal equipment or anything, and some of the stuff that just comes here and, it just gets damaged in shipping.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): And I was so worried about this product coming here because of what it was. And it just came so quickly. It was still that all the wrapping and shipping was in intact not disturbed at all. Nothing had spilled, nothing was broken, nothing was punctured. It was just awesome. And it was a big relief.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Because I didn’t want any of the shippers getting hurt or anybody in between all that. Like what’s this product and who’s this company and everything like that, so I was really excited that you guys took the time to wrap it just right.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Safety is key. We try to culture our customers, and I want all my employees to be safe. We all want good things to happen for everybody. And if they’re buying B 17, it’s going to help them make money. But it’s all about keeping it safe before it even begins.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah. And I think that’s a really valuable core thing that you just said, because I think that maybe.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): The buyer knew how much safety and attention to detail that you guys do. They probably wouldn’t take better care of themselves as well, just bleeds into itself. So it’s good that we’re talking about this because I don’t think a lot of users maybe that get burns more frequently if they knew how important it was, from how serious you take that.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): And there’s, the user’s safety and wellbeing, may be they would probably pay a little bit more attention to safety. Let’s continue on with best practices. Oh, go ahead. Yes.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Oh, good. In fact, I was going to talk about that. I was going to say another important thing to consider when you use these B 17 is you must have proper ventilation.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah, exactly. Set up and proper ventilation.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yes. We’d like to tell people too, because them ethylene chloride vapors are heavy and you will lose some as your stripping is going on. You will lose some, and sometimes it’ll float over the top of your strip tank and down to the ground.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): That is where your vapers are. So you want to think of silt in water. You want to gently roll them out of your workspace and preferably into the fresh air because they just vaporize and become inert. And just roll them out. If you over fan them, then you’re putting them up into your breathing space and you don’t want to do that.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): So are you recommending some kind of over head ventilation? If you are working in a small space, then I would say the main thing is that you have some sort of fan or vent right over your area there. Or if you’re working in an open space, just make enough room to to do all of this work, have this special session in your shop area, where that’s all you’re doing.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yes. And actually, because your vapers are rolling to the ground, it’s as simple as putting a box fan at about knee height to roll the vapors out of your work area. Because sometimes if you over ventilate, think of silt and water, you want them to roll out of the way.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): You don’t want them to get forced up into your breathing area by over ventilating them. So just a simple box fan on low helps move them out.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Okay.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): That’s good to know. I’ll get my husband on that because I don’t think we have that set up just yet. We are bigger, so we just let the vapers do their thing when he pulls it out.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): But I think something simple, like that would be ideal.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yes, too many people think they need to suck it up into an overhead ceiling fan or an overhead feeling exhaust, but you’re pulling the vapors up through your breathing area. So that’s not necessarily the smartest way to do it.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah. And we just bought something from Granger.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): I was gonna look online. I just bought, he wanted this product. It’s called a spill pallet, we bought it from Granger. I’m not sure if you sell them. It’s back ordered, so I can’t even get it here until like probably the end of the year. But are you recommending something like that? If you have the stripped container, the round barrel one,
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): You said a spill pallet?
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah, it’s called a spill pallet. This one is 53 by 50 it’s just a giant square.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): I see it. Okay. I just looked it up, I Googled it. I see what you’re saying. Something, that would be a good thing to put under neath your strip tank, especially if you’re in an area where there’s where you don’t have concrete or some of the industrial areas, they’ll have a concrete floor and they’ll have a moat around their strip tank or excuse me, a border around their strip tank.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): So that if there is a spill, it doesn’t go any further than a small confined area. So that actually is a very good idea. And in our B 17 starter kit, we sell the overpack drum with that, which is the same concept, that high density polyethylene, it’s the big yellow 95 gallon overpack drum, where we still have starter kit with that a drum of B 17 and then all the safety gear for just under a thousand dollars.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): I didn’t know you sold the whole kit there and maybe that, is that something new or have you always had that? Because I remember considering a metal strip tank buying one of those from you and having it shipped, but I thought, but shipping was going to just be outrageous if I did that.

 
RossKote (Kim Scott): So we opted for the plastic container.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Okay. Now we just started that and actually you’ll see that promo on our website. Probably tomorrow, we ran it a while back and it was very popular. And I think it’s a really good way for people to get started.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah, I think it is too. And I think everybody should be, if they’re complaining about getting jobs done on time, maybe they’ve got too many jobs and they can’t get them done fast enough, where sandblasting just cutting it.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): This is definitely, it was a game changer for us, but let’s continue on. So what substrates or types of metal can use to use with B 17, any of them, all of them, none of them. What are, what do you have?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): B 17 works really well on if we’re talking wheels, steel, aluminum.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): The only thing that it’s a little bit too aggressive for is if you have a lot of magnesium or softer metals coming through. You need to back down to our B 14, but most wheel refinishers are doing aluminum, alloy wheels, heavy duty, and B 17 is the way to babysit it. When you first start using beef 17, you need to babysit it and check every three to five minutes until you understand how quickly things go.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): So that you don’t have any mishaps, B17 will etch your substrate slightly, but a lot of people love that for re-adhesion. But if you leave something in your B 17 overnight, it’ll look like Swiss cheese in the morning. So that’s why I say you’ve got to babysit it’s you understand it for awhile.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): And then once you get to understand it and you’ve been using it for a while, you can say this wheel is probably going to take 20minutes to 40 minutes, and then you know to check it. Correct? I assume that’s what you guys do.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Exactly. And he’s I don’t know. He’s done enough stripping now where I know, he knows how long it takes.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): He doesn’t even have to go back and check it. Now he just puts it on a timer and then, he’s that confident with it and I think it just takes a little bit of time. There’s probably a little bit of a learning curve there. But I agree with you, you just have to learn your product and learn your business using this product. This next question. It was an interesting one because I guess, because we live in the tropics, my husband never really got a heating band, so we actually don’t even use the heat band, but I guess we’re in the tropics. So maybe it’s not as critical as maybe someone that lives in a colder climate.
RossKote (Kim Scott): Can you go over that?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yes, we do not recommend any heating on B 17, because if you heat B 17 over the point of 104 degrees, a 100, 104, then you’re lease those methylene chloride, vapors, and you’re going to upset that wonderful blend, that strips so quickly and efficiently. Yes, the eco strip needs to be heated because you have to heat, it strips at 180.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Now the cold climates, some people find that there are B 17 slows down that’s normal because the chemicals start to get a little cooler so they can heat it to 80, but never recommend over that. And most people just,it might double their strip time, but they don’t mess with heating it.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Sounds good. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff, but I think we’ve talked about containers. Were there any other things that we wanted to cover with containers just that you sell them?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): We do sell them, but a lot of people that are in this industry can fabricate like easily.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): If that’s the case, I welcome a phone call and I will help you design your tank. It needs to be heavy gauge steel and heavy duty welds and other things. And I have examples of photographs that I can show them to help them with their tank. And then because everybody’s business and workflow is so different, they may think of something totally different than what we’ve made.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): That’s much more efficient for them. Everybody in this business, I find is so creative and they understand their workflow and what they need. So I’m happy to work with them in any way I can to help them achieve what they need to make a better business.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): That’s great. It’s nice to know that when you’re buying a product that you’re getting that comradery or relationship that you’re going to help them get started or established or help them solve their problems when it comes to stripping and chemicals and stuff. That’s awesome. Cause I never really would’ve thought of doing that. Like I guess Ross would just be, I don’t know, Googling it somewhere else, but it’s nice to know.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): We can just pick up the phone call and call you guys.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yes, please. When you buy from Benco you’re entering a relationship, we’re all in this together.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): And you’re certainly right about the creativity of custom coaters that hands down, they are probably the most industrialist people,I have met in terms of problem solving.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott):Yeah, go ahead. Sorry.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): I was just gonna say I learn new things every day from my customers.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott):Yeah, so let’s go over a maintenance on the product.And maybe there’s a difference between what you do with B 17 and B 17 E on some of your other products. But first and foremost, how do you remove the sludge?
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): What’s the best actions to take when you’re doing that part.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon):Okay. Alright, as far as removing sludge, don’t bother removing it until it starts to getting in your way. Because you don’t want to aerate your product, in order to encourage evaporation. Everybody has a different way they like to do it.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): I’ve built some prototypes of, a shovel looking thing with that’s perforated so that you can pull your sludge up. Everybody has a different way. They like to do it, but typically it’s a, some kind of a screen. And hopefully soon I will have something I will, I can sell that will help.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): But even a perforated shovel to pull up the sludge, allow all the liquid to fall back into your tank. And then you take that sludge and you can put it out in the sun and cook it until it totally dries. And a lot of people to be extra cautious, they’ll take that dry sludge, pop it in their oven and make sure it’s crispy.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Because once you do that, all the chemicals have evaporated and you will not be creating any problems by disposing it in a dumpster at that point in time. And to take extra measure, you can put some baking soda in it, mix it with some bentonite or some pot ash, whatever you have and then it’s safe.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): As far as maintaining the B-17 itself, the sludge.That’s all you have to do. You do have to maintain your water bath or prepare your water bath. You can use it over and over again until it gets too dirty to stand, but you just want to make certain, you can take a cheap swimming pool, tester, check the pH, make sure the pH is between eight and 10 for your best results. Because you don’t want any acid left on there to try to re-powder because it won’t get your best results.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): You can manage the pH with, depending on the sizeof your water tank with baking soda, or we sell caustic liquid. If you have a huge water tank, caustic liquids, really economical. Everybody does something different. Some people like to use TSP.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): You put that in the water bath to keep the pH between 8 and 10.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Oh, okay.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Now one of the other things that I see my husband do, I’m not sure if it’s recommended or what, but he doesn’t fill it all the way to the top. He leaves it, more like about a third of the way up to the tank. He’s only just enough to where it can submerge and cover that rim.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Cause obviously when you put something in, the volume of the water, of the the liquid goes up. So I would guess that you’re recommending that people don’t fill it all the way up to the top.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): We’re talking about the B 17 tank, correct? Yes, because you have to plan for displacement.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): And a lot of times I recommend that they take their tank that they’re going to use and they put their normal sized product. Typically it’s a wheel, you put a wheel in there and then fill it with 17 just to top off. So you’re just a little bit over the top of that wheel and that would be your maximum fill that you need in order to strip. And then, once they pull the wheel out, they’ll see where that level is because it’s best to have your level no higher than 12 inches from the top of the tank, because of that vaporization of the methylene chloride. Once you pull your wheel out and the vapors will go back into the liquid and it will be maintained.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah. It made sense to me, a lot of people who are just considering maybe even buying B 17, these are some of the points that we need to cover so that when they do get it, they understand exactly what they need todo. So this is great. So let’s talk safety gear You have on your website, a page just for this.
 
RossKote(Kim Scott): And I know it sounds like a lot of what is on this list is actually included in that kit or that starter kit that we were talking about earlier, correct?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon):Yes, it is. We recommend heavy duty rubber gloves over 30 mLs. We have 30, I believe we have 35 and 50 mL gloves. And then on the starter kit, we supplied the rubber apron and that’s great.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Cause it goes down below the knees typically, unless of course you’re seven feet tall. And then, if it’s a matter of covering your skin then that comes with a face shield. Face shields have been hard to come by. We used to have some really nice face shields with our kits. But with COVID we’ve had to go to what we could get.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): So I apologize if the face shields are a disappointment, hopefully we’ll get back to our normal one. We always include in that kit, a calcium gluconate tube, which is salve for acid burns. So if it splashes on you for some reason and misses your glove and hits your skin, rinse it with water real quick, and then you put the calcium gluconate on, and that helps neutralize any acids that are on your skin to minimize that burn.

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RossKote (Kim Scott): Oh, that’s good do sell that separately? I think we can order some of that today. Yeah. Okay. We missed I know that in terms of wha twe’ve used in, after burns or whatever is like the silver cream it’s like a cream that has silver nitrate in it, I guess.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): I don’t know if it’s, I’m saying nitrate, but it does have silver in it. So that actually helps heal the skin. I ended up with a second degree burn on my hand many years ago, not from stripping. Was pouring hot water. It was one of those kitchen disasters.

 
RossKote (Kim Scott): It was one of the worst things that ever happened tome. And I’ve been lucky enough not to be in any car accidents or anything like that, but I’ll tell you getting a third degree burn on your hand is just one of the worst things that can happen. Yeah, and they put some kind of a silver at that clinic on the hand.

RossKote (Kim Scott): And that really helped too. So it’s nice that you’re, having all this available to people that they can come back in order over and over again on the gloves. I remember ordering gloves for Ross and he. There were two kinds, right? There was one that was thicker, but then something, I remember her talking about which one I wanted and one, actually, if you get it near a razor, if it cuts really easily there’s two kinds of gloves, right?

RossKote (Kim Scott):One does one thing. And when does the other right?

Benco (Valeri Lennon): The ones that cut easily, those are the ones that are meant for the furniture strippers that need to have more pliability in their fingers. And then the other ones, the 50 mLs are electrical linemen gloves, that didn’t quite meet spec for the electrical alignment.

Benco (Valeri Lennon): And we were able to get some in that’s why we offer them at such a great price. We do quality check them here. We blow air and make sure there’s no holes.

Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yeah. Makes sense. And what sizes do the gloves come in?

Benco (Valeri Lennon): They come, some of them come in size, 10, 11, 12, and some just come in small, medium and large.

Benco (Valeri Lennon): It just depends on which glove you go with.

Benco (Valeri Lennon): And it’s just men’s sizes? Are there women’s sizes too, or just men’s?

Benco (Valeri Lennon): A universal size. I have small hands and I use the nine in the big, heavy duty gloves and they do pretty well for me. If you can put your item on a hoist or a hook or something like that.

Benco (Valeri Lennon): So you don’t have to come in contact with it until after your water bath. That is the safest thing.

RossKote (Kim Scott): Okay. And in terms of I would assume if you’re in a job shop, hopefully you’re wearing at least tennis shoes, not slippers or flip-flops or whatever, mainland people call slippers. We call them slippers here.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): But anyways yeah, I would assume steel-toed boots or some kind of, heavy duty work boot or protection on your feet in case something does happen. That seems like the more likely that a drip would happen and it would land right on top of your foot.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Absolutely. And that’s goes back to safe practices.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): If you’re going to be in the shop, you should have steel toed boots. You should have heavy duty boots on not necessarily pennies or flip-flops or what do you call them? Slippers?
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah, big controversy here in Hawaii with slippers versus flip-flops. And it’s good to know that you’re on all these boards and that you’re really paying attention to your business and, like that you’re involved in that part of the community.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): There’s so much misinformation about this, about methylene chloride based supers. And then the other thing that I didn’t touch on that probably should have so many people think that methylene chloride based strippers are carcinogenic and methylene chloride is not a carcinogen. It’s been tested and tested.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Kodak did a 20 year study on their employees that were exposed to far more vapors, then what our stripper would expose you to for20 years. And there was no incidents increase of cancer

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RossKote (Kim Scott): I guess that’s been the thing for us is when we, when we have our employees, Ross has always been the one to manage the stripping part of the job, just because he does want to limit his access to the employees.

RossKote (Kim Scott):How do you have any insights or tips on. In terms of, allowing employees or just maybe designating one person to be in charge of stripping all the time.

Benco (Valeri Lennon): That would be unique train, at least one person. It depends on how much volume you’ve got going, but one or two people that are really well-trained on the safety of using the product is important.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): And Like when we hire anybody here, we have a list of what we go through for safety. And we check it off as we go. And then they signed to say, yes I listened to you. I understand. And then they have some personal accountability to make certain that they’re very safe because they’ve been trained.
 
Benco(Valeri Lennon): And I find that a lot of customers that do that have better success. Then any kind of loose training, they make it a little bit more stringent and formalized. And that helps.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): I agree. And I think that’s it just someway as a business owner to protect your business is to really pay attention to the safety and the OSHA standards because it’s there for a reason to protect your business.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah. Okay, as we’re wrapping up, talk about the specials that are on your website or navigating your website, what’s the best way to order this product, whether it’s the starter kit or just a reorder, what’s the best way to contact you guys?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): The best way to do that is to send an email or call.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): You can send an email to office@bencosales.com or you can call our main number, which is on the site, which is 931-484-957. We have customer service people here that answer the phones and they will help you as much as it possibly can get you exactly what you want. If you have more questions than I typically get the calls and I can answer any question.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): I did recently hire a national sales person and he’s learning things very quickly. And so he would be another contact that we could put you in contact with, but you will be taken care of. It’s not just punching something on the internet and saying, send this to me. We like to help because of course there are many times when people call in and say, I have something that’s way too big to submerge in my tank.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): We have a semi paste version of B 17. And it’s our B15. And then we explain how to use that, the best practices, how to clean it up and all of that. And it’s much the question and answers gives you much more information.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): That’s good. And I like the fact that you actually put up regularly when the trucks are leaving, because it helps me time, my order. So you guys generally keep that well up to date or you’ll post it on social media. I believe you have an Instagram.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Yes, we have an Instagram and a Facebook and the office manager does a great job of posting that whenever there’s a change in shipping or we schedule up the next couple of months, she always posts it so people can plan ahead.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah. And I think I’ve even had conversations with her, a direct message on Instagram. So she, a lot of custom coaters, they’re just looking for that instant communication or connection. And I don’t know, I haven’t been messaging her recently, but I know that I have asked her. And that’s when I found out about the two different kinds of gloves was through a direct messaging on Instagram.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): But yes, you guys are really responsive with the emails and getting back to us and stuff like that.So I’m so happy to have you on the show to really clarify. What your product does, how to use it, how to protect yourself. And I really appreciate you guys coming on to talk about it because so many custom coaters need this product today.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): So thanks for joining us.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Thank you for having me I appreciate it.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Awesome. And you’re having that special I guess the starter kit should be up on the website tomorrow. Is that what you said?
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): It should be? I asked my web guy to put it back up for tomorrow and we’ll probably run that special till Thanksgiving.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): Give people plenty of time.
 
RossKote (Kim Scott): Yeah. And tell us about it one more time.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): The special is this two starter kits available. One. TheB17 starter kits, which gives you the big yellow overpack drum, which holds, it’s a 95 gallon, so you won’t have to fill it very high, of course. And it gives you a drum of B 17.
 
Benco (Valeri Lennon): You get an apron, you get heavy duty gloves, you get a siphon pump, you get the burn cream and a face shield, and that’s $999. That does not include tax or shipping. The the starter kit for the eco strip includes a metal drum with a drum heater for your heating. It includes a poly drum full of our eco strip chemical.

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Benco (Valeri Lennon): You also get an apron and gloves and a face shield and the siphon pump and that’s $1,690. Without tax or shipping.

RossKote (Kim Scott): And you’re paying just a little bit more for that, but you’re saving your skin and I’m interested in trying this eco strip. Now, I think we’ll try to order that on, a couple of it comes in a five gallon or does it only come in the drum?

Benco (Valeri Lennon): It only comes in drums. It doesn’t make sense to do it in five gallons, but you give me a call and let me know. If we’ve got a customer that says it only works, if we can do it in this kind of a quantity or this kind of a size, there are many times that we can help you out. So it’sjust ask the question and we’ll figure it out.

Benco (Valeri Lennon): Typically it’s just the 55 gallon drum.

RossKote (Kim Scott): I’m thinking of all the people that do Yeti mugs or smaller, just really small stuff that could really. Yeah.

Benco (Valeri Lennon): You’re right. They can, that’s something new that I didn’t think about in that. And you could just use a Crock-Pot, a big Crock-Potto heat it.

Benco (Valeri Lennon): You’re not talking about a huge investment to get started.

RossKote (Kim Scott):Yeah, I think that, I think that’s, you never know, who’s listening to the show, Valerie.

RossKote (Kim Scott): Thanks again for joining us today. And I’d like to thank our supportive followers and fellow powder coaters out there. I hope you’ve learned something new about your powder coating business. Please comment, share, follow, and like the podcast. And if you have a topic you’d like to discuss, email us at info@mauipowderworks.com.

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