View Full Version : First Experiments Anodizing Aluminium at Home

09-02-2011, 03:33 PM
Disclaimer - None of the following is garrenteed to be strictly accurate. However it is garranteed to be extremely harmful to your eyes, fingers and other extremities if you don't take care with chemicals. Take care and don't blame me if it all goes badly wrong.

the idea was 1st sparked by blackburn mark, when he asked me on the phone (had i ever done any anodising ) and told me about one shot.

stuff i got and where from:
1, one shot B&Q 10.35 for 1 ltr
2, caustic soda 2 and distilled water 1 per 2.5 ltr from asda
3, http://www.gaterosplating.co.uk/index.php for de-smut and dyes they sell on ebay as well put in anodise not anodize

well here's where i am up to atm.

1. mix about 3 table spoons of caustic soda to 1 ltr water. i leave my part in this for about 10 mins, longer if removing old anodise.

here's my setup the bath is 6 ltrs distilled water then added to it the 1 ltr bottle of one shot. allways add acid to water never the other way round.
there is a peace of sheet lead in the tank that the negative is clipped too, the positive is clipped to the bass bar which my part is hung from using aluminum wire. i am using a 12v battery charger on the fast charge setting.

here's my part fizzin away :naughty:

it can be in there for up to an hour, i have found that when the multi meter voltage is fairly stable its cooked.
(multi meter is clipped too the + and - on the battery charger)

now anodised.

first step to dyeing it, let it sit in the dye for up to 10mins for a deep colour. (this is just food colour)

then i steamed it for 10 mins

this is it after 20 mins of boiling in water to seal it, it did buff up ok.

here's some other parts i have been playing with.
part polished

anodised and lost its shine :cry:

dyed with the red food coloring

the gold part was black so removed the anodise polished it to very shiny re-anodised it.
used yellow food colour, and it came out still shiny :smile:

thanks for reading

09-02-2011, 04:27 PM
Interesting...isnt experimenting fun... its on my list to try too...

Think you need to explain the electrical setup... what are you using as electrodes and power supply?

09-02-2011, 04:56 PM
updated for you mate ;)
my de-smut and pro dye (blue) came today will post when i have had a play :)

09-02-2011, 05:59 PM
Have you tried any of the commercial dye yet? I think you'll find it a lot better.

One thing I've found with anodising is that you need to clean stuff with distilled water, a LOT. Clean in with normal water, then distilled, then etch it, then clean again with distilled, then anodise in distilled water&acid, then clean in distilled water, then dye (with the dye made up with distilled water), then seal in distilled water.

If you don't do that I've found you get nasty white deposits on the part.

Here's the first part I anodised, 2 years ago now :eek:


09-02-2011, 06:39 PM
that part looks cool jonathan. i have been using distilled water all the way no tap water at all.
just got commercial dye today (blue) reds on it's way.
did you or do you de-smut before anodising?

09-02-2011, 07:14 PM
Any chance of a list of suppliers, as this is something I was looking at recently for an upcoming project?

09-02-2011, 11:21 PM
Any chance of a list of suppliers, as this is something I was looking at recently for an upcoming project?
^^ pretty much what he said^^
I'm collecting the kit to do this. I've found that battery acid is still available from some motorbike shops, that Dylon fabric dye is supposed to work well and that the rest of the stuff, especially nitric acid for de-smut isn't easy to get (LabPak do it but it's expensive).

Nice thread!

09-02-2011, 11:46 PM
1st post updated ;)
just got in from the shed/workshop with some more tests realy happy will post with pics and vids tomorrow.

10-02-2011, 03:49 PM
i polished just half of this to see how it turned out.



here's the parts anodised.

dyed for 10 mins.

sealed in near boiling distilled water for 20 mins.

very happy with these test pieces :naughty:



some not very good vids but hope they help.





blackburn mark
10-02-2011, 08:19 PM
SSSSHPLENDID!!! that blue is a winner :)

turn the power off ??? dont be pretending your all "health n saftey" in front of all these nice people chris, i bet you where sat there watching it fizzzz with a tab in one hand n a tinny in the other:rofl:

11-02-2011, 08:56 AM
:rofl: you know me so well :rofl:

c cunningham
13-02-2011, 01:10 PM
Yea I bet he was too , thats what sheds are 4 , sky TV is melting peoples brains LOL