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First Time Anodizer! Any HELP APPRECIATED.

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  • First Time Anodizer! Any HELP APPRECIATED.

    Hey Guys!

    So I finally decided to ditch the Anodizing Co. I had been using to anodize the custom pickguards I make for my customers guitars I build. I've done several weeks of research, but by NO means am an expert on anodizing...

    I was hoping I could post my process I did tonight, and you could maybe fill me in on where I went wrong (scrap 6061 Aluminum test piece would not take DYE)

    My Setup:
    5 Gallon Bucket
    3 Parts Distilled Water 1 Part Battery Acid
    8" x 8" Lead Sheet (From Caswell)
    Water Heated to 75 Degrees (using ceramic Fish tank heater)
    Fish Air Pump agitating water
    Titanium Wire hung around Aluminum bar, tied tightly to scrap Alum test Piece

    Scoured Alum with Grey scotch brite and All Purpose Cleaner
    Cleaned aluminum with All Purpose Cleaner, Acetone and Distilled water (til water flowed off)
    Attached Alum to Titanium wire, submerged in Acid Bath
    Set Power Supply to 2.2 Amps (based on 89 Square Inch Test Piece)
    Anodized for 20 minutes (im thinking THIS is where I may gone wrong)

    I did NOT do the LYE Bath/Soak before anodizing, as I had heard this was not necessary if your piece was clean enough/water flowing off.

    Like I said, ANY help or tips, would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank You!
    Last edited by SceroGuitars; 11-04-2020, 11:17 PM.

  • #2
    Good try but there's many things wrong here LOL

    Lets start with the electrolyte, it looks like you are trying to run LCD but your electrolyte density is too strong, yet not strong enough for the 12ASF method. While I don't run the LCD method I think it's supposed to be 63ml/L electrolyte density to be run at 6ASF current density.

    You have way too much cathode in the tank, the ratio should be approx 1:3 cathode to anode so you can cut off a 7" stripe of that lead. Actually cut two piece 1" x 8" and hang them on each side of the tank leaving about an inch out to the tank so the wiring does not submerge. The parts should be centered between the top and bottom of the cathodes when anodising.

    Tank temp should be kept as close a possible the whole time between 68 to 72 deg

    Air agitation is good and necessary

    Racking your parts with Ti wire is ok but don't wrap it around the parts as the area the wire touches does not anodise. If there are no holes in the part you are better to make (or buy) Ti spring clips to grip the outer edge of the parts so once finished the connection points can't be detected.

    Invest in a proper degreaser that won't attack aluminium, Caswell sells a good one.

    Desmut/de-oxidiser is an important step. You mention using 6061 and while some will tell you it does not require de-oxidising I simply would not anodise without it. The difference is visible.

    Amperage based on surface area (LCD method) is to low. You should be running 3.7 amps @ apporx 15v +/- peak for 120 minutes if you are running the LCD method. What power supply are you using and can the voltage be set independent to the current?

    Try again and report back.
    Last edited by gardinhackle; 11-05-2020, 09:17 AM.