Originally Posted by acidrain
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.
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.
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.
The parts that are to be anodized.
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.
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.
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.
Negative lead of the anodizing circuit. Usually a plate made from lead or aluminum, and is submerged in the acid bath during ano.
A dip that removes polishing compounds, fingerprints, cutting solutions, etc.
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.
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.
A colored image made by masking and dying after anodizing, and before sealing the part.
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.
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.
A sodium hydroxide based dip used to remove existing anodizing. Parts must be stripped of previous coatings before new anodizing can be performed.
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.