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Author Topic: Adventures in Anodising  (Read 3919 times)

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Offline Avro

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #50 on: August 30, 2017, 07:50 PM »
Work on the parts for my Kuwahara Laserlite continues.
I have a nice set of Tech III levers which came to me raw, for the Laserlite they must be black, so a full rebuild and refinish was required.

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The old rivet was ground down to release the lever. I had already ordered a number of rebuild kits from Pork Chop. The kit includes the rivet, unfortunately not shouldered like the caliper rivet, but fine nonetheless, two plastic lever bushes and the adjuster spring and screw. The screw differs from '80's stock but no worries.

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Here are the parts prepped for the chemical cleaning and anodising. I have invested in a small bench grinder with polishing mops which has made things a little easier. That said, the lever bodies were difficult to get a good finish on. The metal appears to be very soft and also seemed to etch very readily which meant a final bright finish would be tricky. This is in direct contrast with the levers themselves which are a gift.

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« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 05:01 PM by Avro »
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Offline Avro

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #51 on: August 30, 2017, 07:59 PM »
I have also invested in titanium wire. This should improve the electrial connections and eliminate any risk of spark erosion. The wire is also very much stiffer so easier to suspend parts from and keep them apart once in the tank.

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After dipping in Caustic Soda and Nitric Acid it is into the anodising tank:

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All was as before and here are the parts out of the tank, one of the bodies was patchy and I do not know why. I did not have the heart to redo it so I dusted it with paint, a cheat I know but the bodies were awkward from the start and I deserve a break!

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All back together, rivet remade and not too shabby.

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« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 10:03 AM by Avro »
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Offline Avro

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2017, 04:01 PM »
As luck would have it I came across a 44T Sugino chainwheel at a really good price recently, it had already been polished so all the better for anodising....or so I thought.

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The metal looked so good that all I did was chemically clean in caustic soda and nitric acid before rinsing in deionised water, then another go at masking, and then into the anodising tank.

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The anodising looked perfect, super fine streams of bubbles from every which way. Pah! Masking failed again but the anodised black looked the beans.

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So, yet again, I had to clean the teeth with a fine brush and caustic soda. I am beginning to think that the masking is more complex than I thought, more research will follow. The end result is good although, given the shiney and near mirror on the metal, I was surprised by the blemishes. Serves me right for not hand preparing. That said, I am pleased and the Kuwahara will have it's 44T chainwheel. Maybe the 43T anodised in an earlier (and more successful) experiment will do for my Tioga Rhino Charge? I was hoping to fit a CD Tioga chainwheel but have only found concrete evidence that these are 1986 on?


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I could always re-anodise the 43T to another colour if one were needed?

« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 04:03 PM by Avro »
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Offline oldschoolace

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2017, 04:13 PM »
Might be worth trying artists masking fluid (like a natural liquid rubber) or copidex glue. Both should peal off once you are done and should resist the anno
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Offline Avro

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2017, 04:31 PM »
I had wondered about that only this morning. I do have some 'Liquid Mask' (stuff you use on the cockpit glass or windscreens on models) that I thought would give a try. The bottle gives no clue to the contents but is smells like old inner tube. I would have to do a blind test in to see if the acid reduces the mask in any way. The mask just has to resist the anodising process and nothing to do with the dying phase.

Thanks for the input, it is good to hear peoples' thoughts along the same lines particularly when I was only discussing it earlier with my girlfriend here not 5 hours ago.
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Offline Avro

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #55 on: September 05, 2017, 07:03 PM »
...the current rarely goes above 1.64 amps
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Offline Avro

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #56 on: September 15, 2017, 03:45 PM »
This is a cathartic post. I was never happy with the 44T Sugino chainwheel. I wished I had prepared the surface myself rather than assuming that the polished surface as received was good enough. When I stripped the anodising from the teeth I had a few mishaps which required touching in etc etc. Needless to say it bothered me.

I decided to do it again. However it was not that straight forward. I ended up doing it nine times again! The anodising and/or dying phases kept failing. I tried this and that but still pants. Deep breath and remembering that winners never quit and quitters never win, I perservered. For some unknown reason attempt number nine was super, possibly my best result ever.

I had tried liquid mask on the teeth but it too failed a couple of times so I decided to anodise the whole thing and mask later to remove the excess. Result. Cathartic as I said.

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« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 03:47 PM by Avro »
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Offline Avro

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #57 on: February 14, 2018, 08:27 PM »
MX900's from raw to blue.
I had to redo one caliper as the process completely failed but other than that they turned out lush.
I have changed the way I mount parts for the anodising tank. I now effectively make frames from nuts and bolts. The change has proved very effective.


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Offline Avro

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2018, 07:25 PM »
I bought this MX900 at MK17 for the princely sum of £25, bargain.

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First it is stripped down and cleaned with a tooth brush and detergent, I don't want to pollute my deep cleaning solutions with oil and grime. This is what they caliper arms look like after stripping in caustic soda and then scrubbed in a nitric acid solution, this is as raw as you can get the aluminium.

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The calipers are then hand polished with pastes, starting with Autosol and finishing with Peek. I then polish with a dremmel and my little bench grinder which is dedicated to polishing. I went straight to the finishing compound. I decided to try a red this time, the colour is called 'Fiery Red'. They are not perfect, I actually forgot a final dipping stage but the results are still pretty nice. I really get the feeling that I am getting somewhere with anodising now. The blue calipers I did before have really encouraged me.

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« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 07:30 PM by Avro »
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Offline griff

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2018, 11:30 AM »
They look great!  :daumenhoch:

Offline mivvi

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #60 on: May 10, 2018, 11:32 AM »
Hi Avro, Been following this thread from the start and just came back today and was chuffed to see it was a sticky  :4_17_5:
I enjoyed the posting of your failures and obviously your successes! I love this kind of work and I work in research myself. So you got me on the track of having a go myself but have hit a brick wall and wondered if you may be able to help? I have everything set up and go through all the prosesses but when I take the piece out of the dye tank and put it into the sealer tank, the dye just falls off? I have tried various voltages/ampage/times but to no avail. Any help would be greatly appreciated.  :daumenhoch:   

Offline Avro

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #61 on: May 11, 2018, 10:21 AM »
If virtually all the dye 'falls off' when put into the sealer then the anodising itself has failed. It can be incredibly frustrating. The blue calipers I did for Sleag40's Rickman were an example of this. Both sets of caliper arms were mounted in exactly the same way, connected to the same power source and anodised in the same bath. Both put into the same dye bath for the same time and at the same temperature. One pair of caliper arms came out lush, the other pair completely failed.

I have recently bought a length of aluminium studding which I have cut to various lengths. These lengths of studding are now my frames from which the parts are mounted. It is a further improvement, all to get the electrical connection as perfect as possible. What I would really like to find are cone shaped nuts that could be used against the part to be anodised (imagine the tapered end fitting into a drilling). This would do away with the small areas where no anodising takes place as a nut has been hard against the object.

I think titanium wire is a must, it was a suggestion made by a member on this forum that was golden. Aluminium just is not up to the job, too prone to deteriorate and too prone to spark erode.

To get going start by using black and seal the part in the dye solution, that is after the dying phase raise the temperature of that solution to 90 degrees for 45 minutes of so without ever removing the item from the solution. It will impact your electricity bill but worth it to gain confidence and experience. Most of my early attempts were done in this way and I did get good results eventually. Back to Sleag40's caliper arms, as one caliper arm was really good I decided to try to match it rather than start both sets of arms from scratch. After 20 minutes in the dye bath it was clear that they were a lighter in colour, this would only be made worse when put into sealer. I quickly decided to do the black trick and left the arms in the dye and ramped the temperature up to 90 degrees, the idea being to force more dye in and seal it in one operation. Worked a charm and both calipers looked identical.

It was only with later attempts that I used the chemical sealer, obviously desirable due to no energy cost. I make a fresh solution after every couple of runs.

Perhaps if you tell me what you are trying to anodise I can give you my times if the items are comparable? I keep a log book of all my attempts with times, amps, volts and temperature.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 10:23 AM by Avro »
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Offline mivvi

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #62 on: May 11, 2018, 11:42 AM »
Hi Avro,
Cheers for your reply, I will let you know where Iím at. The rig is set up at my place of work and its my little my project. I work for a research company and a lot of parts I create need anodizing, so my boss said letís make a rig up and do it ourselves. (He has no problem with me doing my bike parts either). Probably invested £800 in it so far, after constant failure, my boss has given up on the idea but I am patient and donít give in easily ha,ha.

I have made a number of frames for suspending the parts, I am using aluminium welding rods to connect the test pieces, all fixings are bolted and have had no sparks or poor connections that I know of so far. I will need to look into the fixings you talk of too, once I get onto doing proper parts! So far I have placed nothing more than a flat piece of 2mm thick aluminium (12ĒSq surface area) into the tanks.

The tanks I have are all heated: Degrease, acid wash, caustic acid, Sulfuric/water (Anno tank), dye and sealer tank. I then have De-smut and rinse sprays.   

I am going to try and do the high temp dye/seal method you mention. This seems to make perfect sense. I need to order more dye to try this as my sealer tank is quite large and the dye tank is much smaller. Electricity cost is not a problem, as thatís all included in the rent for the workshop we have  ;D
 
Thanks again for your help, let me know if its better to PM you instead of clogging up your thread.  :daumenhoch:

Offline Jon1971

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Re: Adventures in Anodising
« Reply #63 on: July 08, 2018, 06:22 PM »
Great work mate. Might need you sometime soon if you fancy a bit of work. A few bits and pieces.👍🏻
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