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Anodizing?(10 posts)

Oct 16, 2002 1:37 PM
I am planning a winter project and would like to know if anybody has done something similar or if it is even possible.
I love the way my friends Giant XTC MTB looks, flat black anodizing , very stealth and mean. Is it possible to strip my aluminum frame and then have it anodized flat black?
What would be the cost of something like this? Anybody done this?
It is possible, but... ( a little long)pappy_d
Oct 16, 2002 2:23 PM
Anodizing is the removal of non-aluminum metals from the surface of the aluminum alloy, as pure aluminum is almost completly resistant to atmosphere this leaves you with a very sturdy finish. I don't know how much it would cost to have this done in your area but here are a few considerations:

What you see is what you get. Your anodized finish will look the same as the unfished alumnum, only colored. All imperfections will look the same or slightly exaggerated- so make sure you polish or bead blast your frame.

You can anodize it yourself- if you dare. There are many online tutorials about home anodizing- basically you need battery acid in a container so that you can completely submerge you bike frame, a battery charger or equivalent power supply, frame sized container of dye-Black in your case, and again a similar sized container of boiling water to seal the frame's finish. The specifics and time of each step is better described by other online sources.

Cost, I don't know the specific costs, but as you can see it is somewhat of an involved process. Look up Metal Plating/Anodizing in your area.


Get a bomb can of matte black engine paint at the hardware store( $4.99 for the good stuff)

--A kiddie swimming pool on clearance would make a nice tube for the anodizing---
Chemistry/metalurgy all wrongKerry
Oct 16, 2002 4:50 PM
Anodizing is NOT the "removal of non-aluminum metals from the surface." It IS the creation of an aluminum oxide surface layer. Aluminum oxide is a ceramic, and therefore harder than the alloy below. Plus, since it is an oxide, it can't oxidize further (no white alumina powder). A home brew anodization might be a fun experiment, but I would much rather perform my experiments on YOUR frame than mine. That way, when things go funky, I'm not stuck riding on some strange brew situation.
OTOH, it would not need to be locked up... -nmSnowBlind
Oct 17, 2002 6:57 AM
thanks for the replies.853
Oct 16, 2002 5:10 PM
I would rather have a profesional do it,anybody have a guesstimate as to what it would cost? If it's to expensive I might do that flat black paint.But that would not save any weight and just cost me time and money just for looks only. The anodizing I can justify a little by saying it's going to save me weight and look good.
Anodizing at Homejohnnybegood
Oct 17, 2002 6:06 AM
Although you apparently have decided not to do it yourself, here is an interesting URL I pulled off of one of the cycling forums a few weeks ago. Check it out.
Just did it to my Mtn bikespookyload
Oct 17, 2002 1:26 PM
I took it to a local annodizing shop here in florida. It cost ne $100, but was also able to throw in a bunch of bolts and even my chainrings. Basically you are paying a flat fee for the cost of the set up of the color you want, and anything you can get in the tub is the same cost. My local shop does lots of parts for the local air force base so they offered black, red, and silver(clear). One note, make sure your frame only has aluminum on it. By this I mean no steel bottle cage mounts or other hardware. The acid will eat off any steel bits and pieces while submerged. I had to reinstall bottle cage mounts on my frame when finished, but they were the rivnut style so it wasn't too hard. As for getting the finish off, I went to the auto parts store and bought a can of Aircraft Grade Paint revover. It is a spray on and it eats the paint away. No sanding or scraping needed.
Easy if done right. But beware!cyclequip
Oct 18, 2002 4:42 AM
We do it all the time. 1 major problem - the frame will need to go into a caustic bath first - as previous posters pointed out this chews all the steel parts - but a rivnut gun will fix the water-bottle mounts. A bigger problem is that the caustic eats away the top layer of the aluminium and if the frame is left in the caustic too long it will eat away BB threads and loosen the headset collars in the headtube. You need to get it done professionally so the frame can be neutralizedbefore the plating and staining. As an option you can get the frame glass-bead blasted (similar to the K.E.T process used by Deda) and forego the caustic bath - but this requires careful handling to avoid contamination after blasting. But the matt finish is awesome - the same as the one seen on the Principia frames.
Would a bike shop be able to put new waterbottle mounts?853
Oct 18, 2002 6:59 AM
I'm really interested in doing this and want to do my homework.
But of course I will get it done by a pro, I've looked them up and there seems to be alot of shops in the neighborhood that anodize.
If it cost about $100.00 then I'm doing it for sure.
Depends on the shop.Spoke Wrench
Oct 18, 2002 7:23 AM
If they have a strong service department, the answer is "Yes." It's not even that big of a deal. Unfortunately, today I think you might have to try 3 or 4 shops to find one that can do it. I think that you might be surprised when you find who is equipped to service bikes and who just does assembly and tune ups.