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Can I stop?

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  • Can I stop?

    Hey guys, you will be happy to know I havent posted for a while because I have been busy anodizing with some pretty great results.(thanks Caswell). Now that I things are going good I need to know a couple more things.

    Can I stop? OK not all together just momentarily, is there anyplace in the process I can put the parts on hold. By this I mean. Lets say I make my ano tank bigger but dont want to make all my dye tanks the same. If I do a batch of parts that all need to be the same color, can some of the parts wait while I put what will fit in the dye at a time? I have been dyeing most colors for 30 minutes and dont know if a part can wait that long between ano and color.

    Also it takes awhile for my tanks to heat up so it would be easier if I could one night prepare a bunch of stuff for ano batches for the next night. So what would happen if I did sp and de-ox one night, then left parts in a rinse tank untill I put them in a ano tank a day later?

    I am only asking cause sometimes I think to much, and it would maybe be more efficient if I could do one part of the process a night, but i dont know if its possible. I have read that from dye to sealer must be done quickly, so I know thats out.

    Thanks Guys,

  • #2
    Just my take on this situation. I prep my parts, degrease, and set my hanger wires. If doing cast parts, I'll do the etch step. Then if I need to wait a day or two, the hard part is done. The DeOx/DeSmut step I like to do right before anodize. From anodize to dye, you can wait a while but the parts need to be kept wet. Either sit in some RO water or spray with a squirt bottle every so often. Dye to seal, I do fairly soon after dye.

    I don't see many places to postpone the process for extended times once it starts. There is a time before the dye step the guys doing trick color jobs do their masking or what ever. I don't know how much time that is or what the constraints are.

    I know this is not the definitive answer you were looking for, but i hope it helps. If nothing else maybe someone more knowledgable can clue us both in.


    • #3
      Sswee has the right idea.

      You should also be able to stop safely after the parts are anodized and properly rinsed. Under no circumstance should you let them dry out before you have sealed them. The best way would be to have them completely immersed in clean water suspended by their hanging wires, not touching other parts or the walls of the container.


      • #4
        Thanks guys. That helps alot. I was going to try letting the parts sit in the ano bath after I shut the power off to it, but Ill just make a rinse tank instead. It will help some.

        Meanwhile I think I figured out how to speed up my heating of the tanks. I am going to use a deep fryer setup. to pre-heat the solutions then use the tank heaters to maintain the temp.

        On another note, I am in the process of making a new, bigger ano tank. Where can I find some bigger lead plates? I have checked the hardware and asked around a bit and everyone just looks at me funny when I ask. I have a bunch of stuff to do so I was hoping to find them local so I didnt have to wait for shipping.

        Lastly when I mix up the new ano bath, I know it is always add acid, but I want to use what I already have mixed up also. Should I make the new soloution, then dump the old in on top? That way I am adding acid to water, then mixing two like products.
        Thanks guys, always a pleasure.


        • #5
          If you had let them sit too long in the anode bath, it would open the pores up too much to hold dye or dissolved the coating back to nothing.

          On the deep fryer, if you're using the same container to preheat your solutions, you will be risking cross contamination.

          Check Caswells anodes under commercial sized annodes.

          If you mix a new tank and then add your old solution to it there won't be a problem.


          • #6
            Like sswee said, letting them sit in the anodizing tank for any length of time is bad. We do prep some racks of parts ahead of time, such as clean, etch, and de-smut, all with appropriate rinsing between steps of course. Then if any length of time elapses we do a quick run through the hot cleaner again, just to be sure they are still 100% clean.

            I know fibergeek and others have mentioned they see a negative effect and avoid letting the parts dry once anodized, but sometimes we dry 100's of parts a day after dying but before sealing, and they look good and come out very clean looking. Someday we may have to compare notes on this. Unless the rinse water is distilled, RO, or otherwise exceptionally good quality water, you may get water spots on them unless the bulk of the water is blown off and then force dried with moving air. But clean water for many steps is essential either way. Some rinse water will actually cause smut to form as soon as it hits the hot seal bath.


            • #7
              On the subject of heating, insulating your containers, including insulated covers, does help very significantly and is well worth doing. It seems like it can about double the horsepower of whatever you use for heaters. Of course if you use a flame or hot plate that isn't an option. With buckets, placing one iside another helps. With other containers, wrapping them with sheet foam works well.

              We have a 55 gallon polypropylene barrel we use to rinse cutting oils of part (not anodizing related), and it is insulated. With one 300-watt ceramic heater from Caswell's it gets way to hot for comfort unless we cycle the heater off and on. Of course it takes a good day day or so to get that hot, but it would never get that hot without being covered most of the time and without insulation.

              On the acid mixing, I can't answer conclusively, but we haven't had a problem to date mixing two batches of previously mixed acid and water together.


              • #8
                I know fibergeek and others have mentioned they see a negative effect and avoid letting the parts dry once anodized, but sometimes we dry 100's of parts a day after dying but before sealing,
                Allowing anodized parts to dry before dyeing causes the negative effect.