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Thread: home anodizing?

  1. #1
    snupontgeam
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    home anodizing?

    Anybody ever try it? I read up a bit and it sounds pretty easy?

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    Laugh it up Fuzzball.
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    Not nearly as easy as it sounds. Without kowing what you are doing and getting the solutions correct the first time you can make the parts look worse than when they started.

  3. #3
    dan bones! goldenskeletons's Avatar
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    there's a couple threads related to this if you feel like searching for them. i was pretty interested in it back over the summer and while its plausible to do yourself, its not something i would feel confident doing on my own where i live. it basically boils down to you hooking up a car battery to a tank of sulfuric acid. you really need to know where you can dispose of the leftover acid byproduct when you're done if you're going to pursue it.


    you also might have better luck getting info on this on paintball forums. lots of serious paintballers DIY anodize their barrels and what not.

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    Lurker for Life yonderboy's Avatar
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    http://www.warpig.com/paintball/technical/anodize.shtml

    The editor's note says to use glass instead of plastic. The best thing would be one of those 5-gal food-grade HDPE buckets. You could probably find one behind your favorite restaurant.

  5. #5
    Luchador
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    sounds pretty cool

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    sneeuwpret
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    A couple years back I tried to anodize a bunch of parts for a single speed I built up for my wife (then gf - it was actually the bike I proposed with - story for another time).

    ANYWAY - results were very mixed. The stem took the anodization very well. The cranks, not so much. There were other test pieces I did with similar mixed results. Still not entirely sure why that is. I might try to get some photos up. The suggestion to look outside the world of bikes is a good one. One of the resources I used was a motocross bike modification site. If I find the links, I will post those as well.

    One thing I took away from it is that it is best to anodize new stuff (because having a really clean, smooth surface to start with really helps). Old stuff that is scratched - even slightly - came out looking like crap. The anodization seemed to almost bring the scratches out.
    Louis knows how to ride a bike, and he'll bring you beer to prove it.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick.decker@ View Post
    Anybody ever try it? I read up a bit and it sounds pretty easy?
    I extremely doubt the costs/stress to set it up yourself and dispose of it properly will be better than having it done by professionals. Plating isn't all that expensive, although I don't know how many places there are for that in your area.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffvsjeff View Post
    A couple years back I tried to anodize a bunch of parts for a single speed I built up for my wife (then gf - it was actually the bike I proposed with - story for another time).
    Story for right now, you mean! Leaving us hanging...

    One thing I took away from it is that it is best to anodize new stuff (because having a really clean, smooth surface to start with really helps). Old stuff that is scratched - even slightly - came out looking like crap. The anodization seemed to almost bring the scratches out.
    Exactly right.

  9. #9
    sneeuwpret
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    Really not much of a story - she also really likes bikes - but mainly rides b/c she is a triathlete. She made it very clear that instead of wanting a ring, she wanted a kick-ass tri bike to replace the cannondale she was riding (she bought it used before she knew how to fit a bike, and it was really too big for her). I worked at a shop that dealt in Orbeas, so I put an order in for an Ordu, but was told it would take almost half a year to get back in stock. So I decided to give her a proxy bike until the real deal showed up. I took an old Mariushi, had the frame powdercoated, hand-built a set of SS wheels with high flange hubs my boss had at home collecting dust, put on new handlebars (bullhorns), and tried anodizing the bar and cranks to match the decals, which I had made by one of my students (I was teaching HS at the time) who was doing decal making in a shop class. In total, it was an awsome conversion for under $100. The only problem is the non-drive crank arm was damaged and wouldn't stay on - it fell off on her when she was 8mi from home in the country. I got an earful that night about the quality of my builds. Now the non-drive crank is a mismatched "normal" crank, which I have convinced myself makes it look more interesting (one orange, one alloy crank). It will probably stay "normal" (see below).

    Still, she absolutely loves the bike (both of them - the tri bike got there eventually). I am more proud of the build, considering it was my first attempt at wheelbuilding and anodizing. Now I really feel the pressure to get some photos of the work up..

    To bring it back to the topic of this thread, anodizing was enough of a pain, mainly due to the harsh chemicals involved, that I will never try it again. It is a lot of work for just a couple of parts. If it was something I did regularly and could establish some sort of permanent set up - that might be another story.
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  10. #10
    Member bliorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffvsjeff View Post
    ...I worked at a shop that dealt in Orbeas...(I was teaching HS at the time) who was doing decal making in a shop class...
    You were working at the shop, and teaching in a high school?! That bodes ill - I'm about to start working toward certification to teach chemistry...
    It's better to be a spectacular failure than an apologetic one.

  11. #11
    sneeuwpret
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    The bike shop thing started as a summer job mainly, but even during the school year I would manage the shop for one night a week. Through high school I always wanted a job at a bike shop, but could never get one. In college I always opted for jobs better suited to build towards a career. When I started teaching, I decided I would give it a shot to get a job, so I called around and said, "Hi, I have no shop experience, but I want a job as a low level mechanic and I want to work my way up. I know very little about how bikes work, but I have a master's in mechanical engineering, so I'm pretty mechanically-minded and I can work things out quickly. I currently teach high school, so I am good at dealing with people if you need me to work the sales floor." It was in the Twin Cities, so I tried at tons of shops. Lots weren't interested b/c they didn't want to train someone, but plenty were. I hit it off with the owner of a very mom and pop shop that had lots of people working there who were like me (adults who were professionally something else, but they liked bikes), so that is where I worked.

    It was never about the money - I can't really complain about what I got paid as a teacher and I lived comfortably off that, and I can guarantee that I lost money at the bike shop (spent more than I made), but I now have an impressive stable between me and my wife, and the knowledge of how to work on them.

    It was seriously one of the best things I ever did. I learned tons about bikes. I started with basic assembly, then went on to tune ups, repairs, and assembly of higher end bikes. However, my sales numbers were good enough (I guess) that I got scheduled more and more for the sales floor. I preferred learning how to work on them, but it is also really satisfying helping people find the right bike to get them riding more.

    Again, to bring it back to the thread at hand, one of the best things about teaching is that the school is a great resource for projects. The shop dept sandblasted my stuff for free as long as I was OK with kids doing it for experience. Like I said before, I had a student of mine make decals as a project for another shop class. I borrowed a power supply from the physics dept for the anodizing, and I used NaOH from the chem dept for the anodizing. The chem teacher even mixed the right concentration for me.

    Good luck Bliorg - I am sure they have probable mentioned this in school, but something like 40% of new teachers burn out in the first three years. I am one of that 40%. I found that finding the right mix of passion and detachment is tricky. I taught physics, math and computer science during my career, and I also found there was a huge difference between elective courses kids wanted to be in (physics and CS) and required "cattle" courses (algebra, geometry). You are in the same fortunate position I was in, where if you get tired of it, you can opt out and probably find yourself a private sector job without too much trouble. Again, good luck!
    Louis knows how to ride a bike, and he'll bring you beer to prove it.
    -MH

  12. #12
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    imho if u aren't looking at making a business off of anodizing.... most places who anodize things will charge one fee for a "bucket" and whatever fits inside of the bucket will be for that price.... around here it's like 75$ a bucket.

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