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Old 08-12-2006, 03:40 PM #1
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Exclamation Anodizing terminoligy, and how to ask for a quote

OK people, lets all get on the same page here.
Anodizers, please jump in and correct me if I'm wrong. I don't want to speak for you, but I'm sure most of us use the same terminology, and price out stuff the same way.
The following is a guide of how to ask for ano quotes, how to use the info we give you to figure out what something will cost, and most importantly, some basic terminology.

First of all, don't ask for price quotes by starting a thread... There are lots of anodizers in the stickied list. PM, or e-mail them. Nobody is going to reply to a thread asking for prices. When you communicate via computer, always use the reply feature... it helps us keep track of what we've already told you.

Prices are usually per piece. Most of us offer package deals that include a certain number of parts for a bulk discount. The reason prices are per piece, is because honestly, there are so many different guns and accessories, it's impossible to keep track of how many parts are in a certain gun, regulator, or barrel kit. When we say it's $XX amount per part, don't come back with "It's a B2K4... how much will that cost?" It means you count the parts, and figure it out yourself.

Be specific, and include a picture of what you want. We all have our specialties, and if I'm not comfortable doing what you want, I'll tell you. Most of us are very good about talking you through an idea... we know what will look good, and what will look bad. That being said, don't expect instant replies, or tons of time being spent helping you design your next project. Expect to have to pay one of the PS'ers to help you with that.

Ask about turn around and shipping. You are not going to be able to send your gun out on a Monday, and have it back and shooting by the following weekend's tourney. Set up a schedule ahead of time, and give plenty of time to get your gun put back together and test fired long before anything as important as a tourney. Return shipping is never included in the price of ano. Depending on the anodizer, and what shipping method they prefer, return shipping generally ranges from $5 for 1 or 2 small pieces, to $20 for an entire gun... maybe more. Overnight return shipping is $20 to $35 more than standard rates.

Sometimes problems happen. If there is a problem, and the parts take longer than anticipated because they need to be re-done, you will be notified, and it will take longer.
If you get your parts back, and there is something that you don't like, contact the anodizer, and figure out a solution.
The bottom line is, if there is a problem, it will cause a delay. Just be happy that the problem will be corrected... not pissed that there was a delay.
Always try to work out problems in private. There is no reason to come on here bashing an anodizer without exhausting all avenues of solution.

Stripping and re-anodizing will generally remove up to .001". This posses no problem except with barrel bore dimensions. A .689 barrel will become a .691 (unless the inside bore is masked). With a two-piece barrel, the back is easily masked, but a one-piece barrel is nearly impossible to mask. If you have concerns with tolerances (especially if you know your parts have been stripped and re-ano'd before) discuss those concerns ahead of time with your anodizer.

Terminology

Acid bath:
Sometimes called electrolyte, is typically a sulfuric acid based chemical which conducts electricity. The parts are dipped into the acid bath, and current is applied to the parts, which grows the ano layer.

Anodizing:
It is an electrochemical process performed on aluminum that produces a hard, durable coating. The anodic coating is part of the metal, but has a porous structure which allows secondary infusions, (i.e. organic and inorganic coloring, lubricity aids, etc.).
Type II ano is room temperature anodizing that produces a coating ranging from .0002" to .001" in thickness. A wide range of colors are produced by dyeing after anodizing. This is the most common method of anodizing for paintball guns and parts. White dyes are not available for anodize coatings.
Type III ano is anodizing performed at very low temperatures, and very high current levels. It produces a coating up to .0035" thick, and is sometimes called "Hard Coat". It is a very durable finish, but can only be dyed dark colors. Some AKA products are type III anodized. Not many small anodizers offer this method.

Anode:
The parts that are to be anodized.

Bead blasting:
A process of blasting parts with small glass beads in order to produce a flat or dust finish. Different sized glass beads and different pressures produce different effects.

Bright dip:
A chemical dip that brings out the shine of aluminum parts. It will not remove scratches. Mostly used for freshly machined parts, not many small anodizers offer this service.

Buffing:
A process to produce a gloss finish using cloth buffing wheels and specific compounds. Scratches can be removed with extra effort. Sand scratches from 320 grit sandpaper or finer can generally be buffed out. Dust finishes can be buffed out with additional effort.

Cathode:
Negative lead of the anodizing circuit. Usually a plate made from lead or aluminum, and is submerged in the acid bath during ano.

De greaser:
A dip that removes polishing compounds, fingerprints, cutting solutions, etc.

De-smut/de-ox:
An acid based dip used to remove trace metals left behind after stripping or etching. Also used to remove oxides that occur almost immediately after exposing unprotected aluminum to air.

Dye:
Organic dyes are used after anodizing to create colored parts. Typically dyes are heated to 140F, and the parts are dipped into the dyes. Ano specific dyes are color fast, and resistant to fading from UV exposure.

Graphic:
A colored image made by masking and dying after anodizing, and before sealing the part.

Rack:
A method of firmly connecting the parts to the positive lead of the anodizing circuit. Usually made from titanium or aluminum, the parts are mounted to the racks, and submerged in the acid bath during ano. There will be a small mark where the racks made contact with the aluminum part.

Sealer:
Sealing is performed by immersing in live steam, boiling water, or near boiling nickel acetate/water solution. It closes the pores of the anodize coating, trapping the dye (when present), and sealing against outside elements.

Stripper/etch:
A sodium hydroxide based dip used to remove existing anodizing. Parts must be stripped of previous coatings before new anodizing can be performed.

Tattoo:
Performed by placing a mask on a polished surface, and bead blasting the surrounding area. The result is a polished image on a dust background. The process can be done in reverse as well for a dust image on a polished background.
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Last edited by acidrain : 08-23-2006 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 08-12-2006, 04:25 PM #2
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well done Acid, and sorry about the big delay in me sending my **** out. I wasnt sure if you were accepting work, i seen a few people say that you werent until a later date. good guide tho man, hopefully this will get alot of views and help some of the more confused people.
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Old 08-12-2006, 05:02 PM #3
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Thank you Acid.

-Todd

Edit: PLEASE STICKY THIS!!! RICK for President.
Edit: Sticky without the posts saying to sticky!

Last edited by gruntbull : 08-12-2006 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 08-12-2006, 05:25 PM #4
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nice work. STICKY
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Old 08-12-2006, 05:48 PM #5
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Old 08-12-2006, 06:09 PM #6
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I will point this thread to every new customer that says how much to ano my ego
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Old 08-12-2006, 06:55 PM #7
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Stick it
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:35 PM #8
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Sticky, seriously.
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:15 PM #9
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Rick never ceases to amaze people.

Got my vote for a sticky
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:27 PM #10
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I think part of this would be a great addition to my website? mind if I copy some of it rick?
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:41 PM #11
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Acidrain....if you make a new thread I will sticky it. Make sure you do it while I'm online. I don't want to sticky this one with all of the stupid "STICKY THIS" posts. I don't want to sticky it with a dozen deleted posts on the first page either.
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:07 PM #12
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so if stripping a type 3 anodizing, it will remove more than .001" of material right. Does that mean that a thicker ano coat of type 2 can be applied to make up for the loss of material? Is there any way to get a type 2 coat thicker than .001"?

Would a small increase in oring size make up for the lost material? also, what about set screw threads? Will they be effected?
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Old 08-23-2006, 07:32 PM #13
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A very good question. Ano growth of type III ano is maybe 1/3rd into the aluminum, and 2/3rds proud of the surface. Stripping type III will definitely remove more material than the a type II ano. Without expensive measuring equipment, it's just a guess as to how much material will be lost.
No, type II ano cannot be built thicker than .001 (not consistently).
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Old 08-23-2006, 07:39 PM #14
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thanks acidrain.

So, stripping type 3 ano and reannodizing to type 2 is safe as long as the anodizer is aware that a particular part is type3 anodized?
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Old 08-23-2006, 09:48 PM #15
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I won't strip type three, something that thick has to have been taken into consideration by the maker of the marker for tolerances. It can be as thick as five mil's. So, taking a 1/3 of that (theory numbers here, actual would have to be measured) you lose about 1.7 mils on outer surfaces and 3.4 on internal surfaces.

Thats alot, I think.
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Old 08-24-2006, 05:07 AM #16
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well, I dont think aka's is that thick. I dont see a paintball gun having that thick of a surface by growing anodizing and still having good tolerances. It just aint gonna happen. Unless there is a way to precisely control ano growth to .001" increments.

Besides it could be polished off w/ a dremel wheel, so I KNOW its not that thick. Its not even 1 mm thick. Its just surface thick if you ask me and not much thicker than a type 2 from the looks of it.
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:07 AM #17
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He isn't talking about millimeters.
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:28 AM #18
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Mil = 24 microns.

Millimeters =/ not the same thing. A mil is about the thickness of a human hair, ish. The range for type III coat is 12.7 - 115 microns or half a mil to about 4.79 mils.

My point is: Even if AKA only built it to 3 mils, or even 2 mils, I don't want to be the guy that turns your marker into a paperweight, thats all I'm sayin. Yes, it is possible to control the growth of anodizing to .001, in fact as far as anodizing is concerned thats a rather large number. Most machine shops can control tolerance within .001, as well. So your claim that AKA can't engineer around that assumption is... well, its wrong.
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:32 AM #19
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I am told that the parts had an oring on it, thus I felt it is good, Ill let you know Rick how it comes out. If it takes an Oring, it should be no problem, may have to increase a size on the ring, but shouldnt be any problem. But then you really dont know till you try the part, as Yak told me the parts are like 12 bucks, so there is little to worry about if it doesnt turn out as expected.
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:01 AM #20
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ok rick. Thanks for the explaination. I had no idea about the mil terminology.

I honestly dont know why they use type3 anodizing anyway. They should just use type 2.

And yes, Im not worried about it. The part itself is cheap. I will just up an oring first. I can get tons of orings at the local pro shop. I tech markers for them quite a bit, so they pretty much just give me whatever I need. I think it will be okay either way. I was just curious thats all.
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:10 PM #21
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Ok, heres a terminology question, what and how is an "Acid Wash" ano job done, ya know, with one base color and a cloudy looking effect with another color?

Also, you mention masking, but what do they mask with? Especially to get very fine detail?
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