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Refinshing aluminum. Couple questions.

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by bmw2, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    I just picked up a pistol with an aluminum grip frame and it's missing about half of the finish. Can any standard bake on finish be used on aluminum? Also, whats the best way to prep aluminum before finishing? I'm sure bead blasting it is a bad idea but I want to make sure the new finish takes.

    Thanks
     
  2. Bigbaddude

    Bigbaddude West linn Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have had good luck with a green pad and then wipe down with acidtone.
     
  3. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    Refinish with dura coat or gun coat. A fine bead blast finish is recommended for most of the bake on finishes.
     
  4. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    Is it safe to bead blast a anodized surface? I've heard conflicting answers.
     
  5. bnr32gtr

    bnr32gtr Vancouver, WA Member

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    Don't use beads for blasting media unless you want to constantly redo your work. Bead blasting basically polishes the surface and closes the pores, making whatever you are spraying on it harder to adhere.

    I personally will only use 80 or 120 grit Aluminum Oxide to prep aluminum. Then, I use some sort of MEK(Acetone or brake clean are my favorites) to clean the surface, inspect then clean again. Preheat to the specified temp(different finishes will specify different preheat and baking temps so don't use measurements from different manufactures), remove and check for oils, finger prints, etc. Clean if nec. and preheat to desired temp, spray your chosen finish and bake away!

    You can also use CeraKote, Moly Resin, KG GunKote and/or Duracoat air cure. They do not require the use of an oven(though I find preheating to about 120* F really helps) and will be cured in about 5 days.

    Please check out this NWFA thread showing some of my work and also feel free to email or PM me with a few questions. I'll do the best I can to help answer them all. http://www.northwestfirearms.com/forum/custom-firearm-stands/18530-slide-mag-barrel-refinishing-glock-sig-hk-cz-kel-tec-etc-$40-$60.html

    Good luck with your project! Mike
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  6. SJS46

    SJS46 yamhill county Active Member

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    Decide what coating you want to use and just call the company and find out what they recommend, Duracoat is real good about answering question. They will recommend that you bead blast with aluminum oxide before coating for the best adhesion, in fact most manufacturers recommend bead blasting first.
     
  7. cyclesurvival

    cyclesurvival Vancouver Well-Known Member

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    Ther are a number of videos on brownells web sight. you can buy several finnishes in several colors. its not hard. prep work and cleaning is the key.
     
  8. bnr32gtr

    bnr32gtr Vancouver, WA Member

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    I lightly blast anodized surfaces just to rough it up. If the part has just come out of the ano tanks, no blasting is required. Same with freshly park'd materials.
     
  9. oregonshooter

    oregonshooter AMERICA Member

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    Cerakote H series will adhere to anodized aluminum without having to hog off type III.

    Just hit it with 100 grit alum-oxide and follow bnr32gtr's instructions.
     
  10. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    Hmm.
     
  11. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Bare aluminum needs an acid etch for paint to stick well to it. That's found in the zinc chromate primer, the TwinEtch treatment, and there's another available at auto paint shops called Alumiprep.