No announcement yet.

Fumes and basic newbie questions

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fumes and basic newbie questions

    I feel like such a newbie.

    Can the new LCD system be used inside my basement or do I need to do it in a well ventilate area like my garage. The only problem with the garage is its not heated and I live in Minnesota.

    I assume to get the best results its best to shine up the part so it looks like chrome before it goes through the process. What do the parts look like after going through the stripper, are they shinney or dull and need to be polished?

    What is the easiest way to polish up parts, buffer, chemical, tumbler

    How do I determine the surface area of a part that has many sides, curves and angles? Guess??

    Where can I get the instructions, I have never ordered so I can't download them?

  • #2
    Relax, everyone was a newbe at one time, we survived it, so will you.

    I haven't seen your basement, but any normal sized basement is fine. Your wife will murder you if you attempt this in the kitchen. The lower acid concentration used and the slow, low current density used greatly reduces the acid fumes. If you have a basement window or door that you could open and put some kind of a window fan in (blowing out) would be a good idea. Anodizing in an unheated garage in a MN winter won't work too well.

    Shining up a part is only done if you want the part shiney after it's anodized. Beadblasting is very effective and easy if you want a matte finish. The object in prep is get the part utterly clean, including removing the natural oxide that forms on the aluminum by it's exposure to air. Look around in this forum, there is a lot of information on prep.

    If the shape of the part makes direct calculation difficult, carefully wrap the part with with pieces of paper or aluminum foil, avoiding overlap. After you have it covered completely (inside and out) take off the paper, and add up the areas of each piece of paper. If you can get within 20- 25% of the actual surface area you'll be fine.

    I'll get back to you later about your last question.


    • #3
      Thanks for the quick response. I guess the thing I am most concerned about is the labor involved in shining up the parts. I like shiney metal objects as most guys do and I know how much time is involved in shining up a small RC part with a dremmel. I am hoping that its a lot faster with a buffing machine.

      I think this will be a good excuse to finnally heat the garage, I insulated it and put up sheet rock about 4 years ago so all I need is a heater installed.

      After reading a bit it seems like one of the hardest parts is to get a good contact with the cathode to the part without it leaving a mark. Is that really that big of a deal or what.


      • #4
        You will find a wealth of information in the Metal Polishing Questions forum on this site. Go look. Almost all of it applies to anodizing as well as plating.

        Where can I get the instructions, I have never ordered so I can't download them?
        I asked Mike about this. His policy is that you have to buy something (anything) before he will allow you access. Buy a bottle of anodizing dye, any color you like, your are surely going to need it later. The invoice will have a username and password that will allow you access to the LCD instructions.

        BTW, I am not a Caswell employee.


        • #5
          Thanks. I think for now I will start out by ordering one of the polishing kits with the buffer and get that all figured out first while I read more about anodizing.


          • #6
            Re: Fumes and basic newbie questions

            1. After going through the stripper, the parts will be dull. You will need to polish them before re-anodizing.

            2. Determining surface areas can be difficult and/or somewhat confusing. If I made a MS Excel worksheet to calculate surface areas, would this help? If it'll help, I'll spend a little time and make one up.

            3. Although a vibratory tumbler has to be the easiest way to polish aluminum, they're expensive for the average hobbyist. I've done lots of aluminum polishing, and I'm gonna tell you a secret that is well-kept. Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish. I've tried it for anodizing, and it can give you a highly reflective finish that rivals a buffing wheel. Here's a pic.

            hope this helps!



            • #7
              Mothers huh, I will give it a try. How would a spreadsheet help determine the surface area and how accurate does it have to be?


              • #8
                The surface area calculations are just multiplication and addition. If you want to use a spread sheet to automate the calculations, go ahead.

                I answered the accuracy requirement further up in this thread.

                Let's not be so lazy guys.