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Old 06-23-2013, 03:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1st attempt at home anodizing

I got my field name of ToyBox because of years of tinkering and voiding warranties on things. One topic that has interested me since joining the forum is anodizing parts. After a bit of research and collecting of parts I ended up deciding to follow the instructions from THIS PAGE because I thought that avoiding acid might be a good idea.

The only two nasty chemicals I'm using are pictured here.


The oven cleaner is what I'm using to strip the parts and the ph Down chemical provides the Sodium Bisulfate I need for this method.

Stripping the parts was the first unknown for me. I actually tried a paint stripper that I had handy first but all that did was clean the part really well. With my clean part in hand I doused it with oven cleaner and went in search of how long to soak it for. About 20 minutes later (10 minutes too long) and a few minutes with a rag, this is what I had to work with.



You can see where the top side was resting in the solution and has caused some pitting. I will have to monitor more closely in the future and wipe the pieces down more frequently.

From there I mixed a solution of 12 cups distilled water to 24 tablespoons of ph solution in my plastic tub. I put a screw into the piece to give me something to clamp onto as shown here.



Using the body of an old Spyder as my cathode, I plunged both pieces into my solution and fired up my car battery charger on manual and trickle. Immediately, I could see bubbles coming out of the cathode.



The piece should be just about ready to come out now. I'm looking forward to seeing how the die takes to it. Look forward to updates here.
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cool, I love diy stuff like this. Good luck keep us updated
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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subscribed. looking forward to updates
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It was a simple question....I thought.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The first big surprise I ran into was the erosion of the clamp that I attached to the part that I was anodizing.



Which might be part of the reason my first dyed piece ended up looking like this.



The good news is that it looks purple... that is the colour of dye I was using. Of course, there's the issue that it looks all splotchy and uneven. This could be the fact that I used oven cleaner to strip the previous colour off it. This could be the fact that I didn't let the piece anodize long enough. It could even be that the solution I used had the wrong pH.

To rule out a few of these possibilities, I decided to try another piece. This time, I put a whole Victor body on the line.



So I hit it with the oven cleaner. This time, I was careful to wipe it down every ten minutes. When it was done, every ding and scratch jumped out at me so I attacked it with a wire wheel to clean it up more leaving it looking like this.



Right now, it's sitting in the bath, connected to the battery charger. Let's see what happens.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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if you need anno fodder i may be able to come up with some bodies
nothing special. keyword, fodder
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It was a simple question....I thought.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Interesting, I hope you figure out a good method for doing this diy mod with trying different steps/methods.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I also have some fodder.I have a few extra spyder body's and parts you can test on
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Is your purple part sealed?

I didn't have any luck with that method. Some of the "splotch" on that part is the actual grain structure of the aluminum, which comes from casting or high temperatures from machining. Light sanding or sand blasting will get rid of it, but I did keep one part that had some interesting grains from machining.

To save your clips, use some aluminum wire or titanium rods to hang your parts and clip onto the hanger outside of the bath.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip about the clips. I have a picture to share of the steel screws I was using to mount the pieces... at least what's left of the screw.

Gonna get some aluminium wire and try again using a higher concentrate in the bath.

Also going to spend more time with the wire wheel after stripping the old colours.

I appreciate the offers of donor bodies. Kind of funny how many old Spyders seem to be kicking around. Looking at the Kaos Pump, I'm kind of surprised more people aren't converting them into fun little pumps based on that design. I'm thinking that's the next step once I get solid colours happening.

To be continued...
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One suggestion, the finish on the part going in the bath is the finish of it coming out so if it is uneven and pitted going in it will be uneven and pitted when you color it.

After you strip the parts either polish, blast or brush the parts to get them evened out.

Also make sure the parts are super clean before anodizing.

Lastly, as mentioned before do not let any ferrous material be in the ano bath as you noticed it will disolve and contaminate your bath.
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