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Old 08-11-2012, 11:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Well, getting Rit will be somewhat of a problem for me.. I know some that used cloth dye, but that does not always work that well. I got my first dyes from Electronic Thingks - Willkommen but those are way too expensive. Then i found Caswell europe, so i'm sticking with those... Maybe expensive, but i like to do things right.

You can get preservatives for your dyes... maybe that will also work with Rit?

Thank you for the tip on rubber cement, i'll check if i can get it locally.

My tank is in the "shed" so to speak.. I live in a apartment on the ground floor, and it's also where i park my scooter... For ventilation i can keep the door open a bit, and i have a flexible hose with a fan that blows out. The watercooling works ok, but it's a bit tricky... You will have to keep it cool with enough flow, because when it heats up it takes longer for more waterflow to cool it.

Last thursday i ran 10A trough the bath, and could just barely keep the temperature within acceptable ranges. I have a batch cooking right now, and yes, with a bit more waterflow and lower amps like you suggested.
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah, I forgot. The lower current doesn't heat as much. On a 70 degree day you can just set it and leave it (mostly). The other nice thing about the lower current density run is that you can do more parts with a small current supply (not that you need that).

Rit is a cloth dye, there is a European equivalent, but the name escaped me I while back. I would get some Caswell dyes if I could find a color/pattern I wanted to do more than once.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I really like the color of the flashlight.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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@ Spider!: Interesting... I thought the voltage had to be at least above 12 volts to anodise. I'll try to do a run today on lower voltage, to see if that makes much difference. I did notice that during anodising the voltage drops slightly, but this is due to the anodised layer being built up.
I don't think the voltage is important. Everything I see about anodizing is concerned with current density.
Consider ohms law: V=IR (voltage = current x resistance)
Your resistance is due to the part and tank fluid, which is not easily controlled. Therefore, if you want to control current, the voltage will naturally be the value that will change throughout the process. If you control the voltage, current will change during the process, which I believe is not desirable. I would expect the voltage to rise during anodizing to maintain current because the oxide is a poor conductor (higher R). It is interesting that you see the voltage drop. I am thinking there is some change in the bath that causes improved conductivity, such as a temperature increase.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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First off, Nice work! I few years back I wanted to get started Anodizing. Did tons of research, reading and bought a very nice power supply off ebay. And to this day it still sits in the same box it shipped in. My garage is just over filled and I really want to set up an anodizing station with enough space to keep it separated form may machine stuff and keep it clean. I also want to setup my anodizing bath inside a small cheap horizontal freezer which takes more floor space I really donít have. Iím envious that you get experiment and do what Iíve only read about. Someday I hope to explore the possibilities of anodizing what I machine. Again, your work looks good.
Deming in Cord A Lane dripped the dies onto the part to give a camouflage pattern that just rocked. I also seen an ano job that looked like they sprinkled a power die onto the gun and then misted it with water to make the colors bleed. There is no limit on how to apply the dye. Have fun and post more pics.
Have you noticed any shadow effects due to blind spots between the cathodes and the part? How far do the fumes travel? Have your neighbors noticed or complained? Any rust issues in your garages since you started?
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:31 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Have you noticed any shadow effects due to blind spots between the cathodes and the part? How far do the fumes travel? Have your neighbors noticed or complained? Any rust issues in your garages since you started?
I want to hear fiXel's part, but I will add a bit for comparison.

I've had my acid bath on a work bench (crowded garage) since the first pile-of-poo build off a couple of years ago. I have all sorts of metals around and it's inches from the sheet rock. I can't see any unusual corrosion around. I've been looking for it. I have a reloading press a couple of feet away that I watch as well. I have to keep my good stuff wiped down for the humidity anyway. The previous owner(s) used to keep muriatic acid around the garage and tool shed. In the heat it would vaporize and eat everything above it. I have a huge hole in the side of the sheet metal shed in the shape of a big vapor trail.

I don't ano more than four parts at a time, so the ano vapors are very light. The stinky stuff is stripping, but with only a few parts at a time the collective vapors are not noticeable outside. I actually get complaints from my wife for roasting coffee in the garage.

I've gone to a weaker acid bath (around 6% I think), so the acid is not too mean. The lye stripper and etch baths will put holes in your clothes if you get sloppy.

I think I had a little shadow on large parts in the past, but that was without any kind of agitation and no current control. Other than keeping the parts clean, it has been relatively straight forward.
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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@newmaticarsenal: Thank you for the great tips on dye-ing... I'll try to experiment with that in the next run!

I haven't noticed any blind spots, but i agitate the bath with air. The fumes can travel a good bit if you don't use ventilation, my first runs were with the lid of the wooden crate open, so i could see what was going on. The last two runs i closed the lid of the crate and activated the fan between two lengts of flexible hose, and route that to the door. That way any fumes are hardly noticable. No complaints from neighbours, but the amount of fumes is tiny, even with 10 parts anodising in one run. I must add that i use a anti-fuming agent in the tank. Like spider! said, the lye bath gives much more fumes, but that also is not too an extent that neighbours could complain. Usually i strip only a few parts at a time to keep some control on the stripping process. It starts slow, and after it eats trough the anodised layer, it goes fast. I also need time to brush off the parts and soak them some more in lye if needed.

As to corrosion of the surroundings, nothing yet, but i only have done 5 runs so far. After each run i do remove the kathodes from the bath, spraying them off with demi water and putting a lid on the bath. Then i close the lid of the wooden crate it's in.

Oh, and pictures... Well i did do some anodising during the weekend:



Did a Tac-one body, (horrible to strip and clean proper with all those weaver rails) emag rail, and re-annoed the maglite and pneupack. Unfortunatly the housing of the maglite lost it's connection, so i had to redo that. The pneupack housing as a smudge on it from the sealer bath.. A olive drab annoed part lay on it i think. Also the feedneck turned out darker, i think this is not 6061 aluminum.



Also done some other parts, the heatsink i redone in bordeaux red instead of the normal red, this material does not take color well... (also strips almost instantly) The empire rail failed due to inproper stripping (not sure what's going on here, it does not want to strip clean) A5 ASA adapter, stripped and annoed clear, and another feedneck that was annoed bordeaux red.



Still not perfect, but i'm learning from every mistake i make. I've also got mail from Caswell europe that my black dye is shipped out today, and i've ordered some blue and gold to go with that aswell.

I've also tried cooling with frozen waterbottles, that also does work nicely!
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Also done some other parts, the heatsink i redone in bordeaux red instead of the normal red, this material does not take color well... (also strips almost instantly) The empire rail failed due to inproper stripping (not sure what's going on here, it does not want to strip clean) A5 ASA adapter, stripped and annoed clear, and another feedneck that was annoed bordeaux red.
Yeah, I've had some parts like that. You think they are stripped, but an edge or inside corner is either not stripped enough or just too dirty to ano. I think the parts need to strip a little longer after the color comes off, since the base layer isn't porous (no color). I don't have the Caswell desmut either, so I scrub the parts in the sink.

Greens seem to show metal variations a lot. I've seen that in my parts and more experienced anodizers' parts. I like it that way though. I also don't mind a small defect on something that I plan on playing with. That way I won't feel bad about bumping into trees and bunkers.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The desmut is well worth buying, i don't have the one from Caswell, but it works awesome and also cleans out some color i've missed after the lye bath... And i don't use it at reccomended temperatures either.. I just drop in a 100W fish tank heater and let the parts soak for a while. Didn't have any greasy parts so far, so it's working like a charm.

That the greens are off, has to do with untimed dipping in the dye, and different kinds of aluminum and finishes. I did the coloring by eye, with unfortunatly poor lighting. The AGD stock feedneck is not 6061, seeing how it reacted to the lye bath, and how it colored in the dye. My guess is that it is 7000 series aluminum, since AGD has also used this for their valves. The "battery pack" is made from 5754, and takes on alot of color easy. The emag rail was polished, and the Tac-one body was dust... It is possible to make them all the same color, but if the finish isn't the same on all the parts, it's alot harder to do.

Oh well, this is just clowning around a bit for now... For my first few anodising runs, things are going well... Now to improve on consistent results, and saving up for a polishing wheel and a blasting booth...
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks for the information on fumes and corrosion. I love that dark green. I've got some raw parts that I would love to get ano-d in that shade of green. What colors are you can you do? I'm always looking for a good anodizer. If youíre looking for work and a chance to experiment on someone else's parts PM me. I would be interested to know what you charge for small runs.

I have read that any way you apply color to paper you can dye an anodized part. Dipping may be the most common but you can airbrush the dye onto the part. I have seen some cool skull stenches for airbrushing. Rubber cement can be used for more advanced masking besides splash ano. My brother had an AC with a comic book warrior etched and ano-d into the side. She was colored in several colors including some nickel plate.
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