Customise your Case with Annodising

Curing the dye and conclusion

Step 13: Appearances are deceiving-green turns out gold
The colour of the solution can differ markedly from the finished product-green actually turns out gold!!! The solution is a true dye, that is, it changes the colour of the actual metal, and therefore it takes a few minutes for the pigment to penetrate the actual oxide layer-which at this point has a "sponge" like porosity. The longer the part is left in the dye the darker the finish, so if you are anodising several parts it is tricky to get an exact match unless you use a stopwatch.

Step 14: Boil or steam the part till its well done
After you have achieved the colour that you want, the next step is to either boil or steam the part for around 20 mins. If the colour washes off then something has gone seriously wrong-such as a lost electrical connection has occurred part way through the anodising process. Boiling converts the oxide into a different chrystalline chemical form, sealing the porous layer and permanently trapping the dye underneath, below the surface of the metal.

Boiling the part to ensure that the dye cures

Step 15: Polishing with a cloth reveals a deep lustre
After sealing, the part will air-dry to a matt finish that looks fairly ordinary. Fear not, this is just the residual dye left on the surface, and polishing it over with a cloth will reveal the deep lustre that you were hoping for. Additional shine can be achieved by using a soft abrasive-car polish is perfect-to remove any small imperfections and add some "reflective" properties to the oxide surface. Anodising won't chip, peel or scratch easily, making it one of the most durable finishes you can get.

In conclusion
Some ideas for anodising could be a 5.25in faceplate from a Nexus Superpanel, which only shipped in silver. Checker plate and expanded metal are some others that rate a mention, and would look cool for a case mod, but ultimately its up to you. Not too long after you have finished admiring your handiwork, you will realise that you are now left with an ecological issue-getting rid of the toxic chemicals all over your workshop. Disposing of the Sodium Hydroxide is a cinch...its made for cleaning drains, so thats the best way of getting your money's worth. Just make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle. The dyes are non-toxic, so they can be poured down the drain with plenty of water, or into a hole in the garden to disperse over time. The big issue is the sulphuric acid. It is nasty, toxic and dangerous to have hanging around the house, and shouldn't go down the drain either :shock: . The answer is to return it to the place of purchase, or dispose of it responsibly.

# HOT TIP: Wear safety equipment and slowly pour the acid into a container of anhydrous lime, it will turn into a neutralised paste. Let the pate dry off to a "play dough" onsistency, wrap it in newspaper and put it in a garbage bag. It can then be disposed of through the normal refuse system. So, be planet friendly.

Here are some other ideas if you are keen, and a demonstration of the colours available

The possibilities are endless, and so are the colours

Modded by PV5150

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Most Recent Comments

15-04-2006, 09:29:35

Its a great guide Peevs :)

I'm getting well tempted for a new case but lack of room restricts me at the moment. Once I get some more room then I'll buy a new case and get some annodising done :)

19-04-2006, 11:56:35

You're last pic in the first post is of an acid washed Angel, I used to have one just like that with a black and orange wash on it...

Cheers! :D

24-10-2009, 15:39:13

sorry for reviving this old thread, but it's worthy of revisiting :)

24-10-2009, 15:55:51

That is awesome but acid id something i dont want to play with, local companys tend to do it fairly cheap now adays

24-10-2009, 20:05:56

Great guide. Had been curious about doing this on a few parts since recently seeing it in a case mod I really liked! :)

25-10-2009, 04:16:55

isnt there an engineering company that sell a kit for anodising?

25-10-2009, 07:51:59

Caswell :)

25-10-2009, 08:20:04

marcus to the rescue, yet again!! wooop!

25-10-2009, 10:37:49


Caswell :)

Thanks Marcus!!!

I'm looking into it now

25-10-2009, 12:22:13

Here's some more info if you want to have a crack at it at home, it's from an e-mail I got from them a while back RE sourcing suplhuric acid.

Due to health & safety retail outlets cannot supply sulphuric acid in its neat form but can sell a formula for drain cleaning. We have found over the last 5 years that a product called "Oneshot" sold in B&Q, Robert Dyas and other good ironmonger stores is the best formula for our use. It is 91% sulphuric acid and as the colourant and odouriser are both organic, these disappear quickly with use.

To use this product you need measure out 2 litres of deionised water into a plastic container capable of holding 4 or 5 litres and also able to stand reasonable temperature. You would then the 1 litre of Oneshot into the water, NOT the other way round, but do this slowly as it will generate a fair amount of heat. You now have what is termed battery acid. For anodising one part of this acid is poured into two parts of distilled water and you now have an anodising electrolyte.


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