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Old 06-19-2005, 08:15 PM   #1
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How does one remove anodizing?

In the old "Cooper on Handguns" the Colonel suggested removing the anodizing on an aluminum framed Commander to achieve the two-tone effect. His words "simply polish it off" have left me somewhat uncertain as to exactly how I am to polish it off.
Is there a good way of doing this that doesn't take a long time to finish and at the same time will not eliminate lettering/numbering on the frame?
I'd like to hear if anyone has done it and how they did it.
 
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Old 06-19-2005, 08:25 PM   #2
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I'd avoid removing it if possible, especially just for cosmetic reasons. Anodizing is a hard surface layer that will help prevent wear on aluminum frames.
 
Old 06-20-2005, 03:26 AM   #3
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You can sand it off, but you will find the underlying aluminum will be easily scratched and will oxidize. The anodizing gives aluminum a hard surface and resistance to scratching. In short, don't strip the anodizing.
 
Old 06-20-2005, 07:42 AM   #4
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If for some odd reason you wish to remove the anodizing, oven cleaner will work in repeated
doses. Don't do it though, you'll regret it.
 
Old 06-20-2005, 08:09 AM   #5
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Okay.

Normally, I am headstrong and charge ahead if I can find even one timid soul to possibly agree that I might not be totally mistaken.
However, I have learned from past experiences where I charged ahead even though EVERYBODY told me not to (and somehow miraculously survived to get older) that when there is a consensus NOT to do something it's usually because there is a REASON.
So. I will listen to y'all. Darn it all! I wanted a two-tone.
:roll:
 
Old 06-20-2005, 10:57 AM   #6
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You'd be far better off having the aluminum frame plated, NP3'd, coated with a spray and bake finish over the anodizing or even re-anodized with a clear anodizing than to have bare aluminum.
 
Old 06-20-2005, 04:53 PM   #7
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Spray and Bake

Okay, I live in an underdeveloped area and won't be able to do MOST of the finishes normally available to those living in more enlightened domains. Also, there are some hostile borders between me and friendlier places so shipping the frame is out of the question.
However, the "spray and bake" idea is tempting. In the old days -- 15 years ago plus -- I coated M-16 receivers with "Gun Kote" and bakes it on and it held up well. I assume the spray and bake process has been somewhat refined even more since that time.
Is there a spray and bake finish on the market that would give me a nice "two-tone" effect with the blued slide?
Remember; there is nothing WRONG with my anodizing. I was simply desiring to achieve a two-tone effect and THOUGHT that polishing off the black might be the way to go. Obviously, I have reconsidered polishing off the black -- but I still wouldn't mind getting a two-tone gun that can be done at home.
 
Old 06-27-2005, 03:17 AM   #8
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Gun-Kote is available in stainless silver and it looks like a matte stainless finish, sort of metallic gray. The process has not really changed, degrease the part, KG Coatings recommends a base layer of parkerizing and they sell do-it-yourself "parkerizing". I did hear a nasty rumor that aluminum will not fare well with these finishes, something about the heat from the oven breaks down the aluminum. I dunno, 350F seems a long way from the melting point of aluminum. I did the shake and bake (black, it was the only color available way back then) to an old S&W 39-2 once and it seemed just fine, looked good too!
 
Old 06-27-2005, 07:47 PM   #9
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Must I bead blast?

Yes, you are dead-bang on! That is exactly the stuff I have been looking at and wanted to get some opinions on. Now, when I read the instructions in the Brownell's catelog for all this stuff it mentions that it should be applied over a bead-blasted surface.
That's going to be a tough nut to crack for me. Here in bananaland, there is nobody around that can do that for me and unless there is a cheap and easy way for ME to do it I don't think I'll be bead-blasting.
How did you do it with your 39? Interestingly enough, I have a 3904 that I'd be willing to do FIRST (because it doesn't mean as much to me as my Commander) as a test-bed project to see how things come out. I don't exactly want me 3904 ruined either but aluminum frames are aluminum frames and I'd risk it over my Commander.
Any suggestions about this type of process -- or alternatives -- will sure be appreciated. :lol:
 
Old 06-28-2005, 03:23 AM   #10
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Lightly scuff the anodized finished with a Scotchbrite pad, don't remove the anodizing, just roughen the surface slightly. Fully and completely degrease the frame. Once it's degreased, don't handle it with your bare hands. The number one killer of Gunkote is oil, even trace amounts, on the surface of the metal. GunKote is an excellent product for the do-it-yourselfer if you follow the directions. The one downside to GunKote (and all spray on finishes) is that they wear and chip around the edges of the gun.
 
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