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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did a search, got conflicting answers...

Once you grind down aluminum--say the corner of a frame for a bobtail--would "painting" it (one of the popular coatings) suffice, or must you anodize for strength?
 

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Anodizing is not particularly durable. It is only fractions of thousands of an inch thick and is not much harder than the base metal. Hard coat anodizing is another process entirely. If the original finish is plain anodize then you can probably do a good touch up with something like Brownells "Alumahyde" spray paint.
 

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Birchwood Casey makes a touch up aluminum oxidizer you can buy at WalMart or from Brownell's, of course. It works okay for small areas you are indicating. I had to smooth out the ground area and refinish the whole side of a Ruger SA revolver I purchased because of some really bad grinding the previous owner did to the grip frame. The Birchwood touch up did the trick.
 

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Anodizing is not particularly durable. It is only fractions of thousands of an inch thick and is not much harder than the base metal. Hard coat anodizing is another process entirely.
Well, not really. The main PROCESS differences between a type 2 (cosmetic)and type 3 (full hardcoat) anodize are:

Type 3 requires a chilled tank and longer time/higher current density.

Type 3 will not take on a color- it self-seals and becomes grey to olive depending on several variables.

Other than those differences, the basic equipment, techniques, and solutions required are essentially the same.

You are quite right about the durability aspect, however. A true class 3 hardcoat anodize job is worlds apart from a cosmetic anodize. (Hint- if it is deep black or any color other than an olive gray it is NOT a class 3 anodize).
 

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Archer said:

You are quite right about the durability aspect, however. A true class 3 hardcoat anodize job is worlds apart from a cosmetic anodize. (Hint- if it is deep black or any color other than an olive gray it is NOT a class 3 anodize).
Not exactly. I work for a cookware company. Yes, the expensive black anodized stuff. Anodized alumunum can be deep black, It's just a function of the time in the acid bath and the current used.

I worked in the anodizing department and we sometimes put out pieces that were almost as black as graphite. Repeated aplications of oil can turn the piece black as well. As the oil soaks into the metal it gets darker.

The only time parts came out olive colored was if a rectifier shut down half way through the cycle. Those parts went straight to the scrap bin or were sent out to be etched so they could be anodized again.
 

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Well, I work for one of the largest sporting goods companies in the world, with what was once the largest automated anodize line in North America, and my tanks are bigger than yours !! (j/k)

And I cook on Calphalon.

:D :D :D

Remember, though, that different alloys will respond differently to the process. 7075 requires a different process than 6061 or 5086.

Most firearms are bult with 6061 T6 or 7075 T6 condition material and a true, gloss black is not going to meet Class 3 specs.
 

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Archer:

Thanks for the clarification - bad choice of words on my part. I said "process" I should have said "procedure". In my experience (medical equipment) the most durable anodize was heavy hardcoat then vacuum impregnation with a teflon slurry. Color seemed to be alloy dependant.
 

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yeah, well you are all wrong - my dad's got a friend at work who's brother in law's neighbor's paper boy has a customer on his route that said...
 

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"my dad's got a friend at work who's brother in law's neighbor's paper boy has a customer on his route that said..."

"Swat it with a rolled up newspaper until it's the right color".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow. I leave for a day and I get all these responses...

I'm still on the hunt for a lightweight CCO model (Alloy Officer frame, Commander slide) with a slightly rounded butt. Not a bobtail, since I'd keep the MSH--just rounded enough to help with concealment. Lots of options, none of them simple...
 
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