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View Full Version : Chrome-like finish...the cheap way!!!


02BlkImp
02-25-2004, 09:14 AM
There is a way to give your aluminum marker parts a chrome-like finish for about 6 bucks in materials (and some labor)

**It is very important that you wear rubber gloves and stay in a well ventilated area throught this process**

Materials:

1. Liquid Drano (Not the ripoff versions of drano, the real thing)
2.Small bucket or cup to hold part
3.Scrubbing device (Old toothbrush works great)
4. Mag/aluminum polish (Mothers is a good brand)
5. Some type of polishing device (Polishing wheels are best, but dremmel tools and drills with polishing disks work great too) The polishing can be done by hand, but it takes a VERY long time to get a decent finish, and you will probably never get that mirror-like finish
6. Some sandpaper may be needed to smooth bare aluminum...start off with 200-500 grit and finish with 1,000 grit


Directions:

1. Cover all threads (taking the anno off the threads will affect the threading process) and plug all holes, especially in bodies and barrels. Corks work great to plug barrel openings, and hot glue or standard modeling clay can be used to cover barrel port. Tape can be used to cover threads (I use duct tape)

2. Lay part in container, making sure that the WHOLE part fits easily inside. Cover the part completely in drano and let sit for about 10-15 minutes. After that time, you should start to see little flakes of anno floating around in the container.

3. Remove part from drano,( rubber gloves are very important in this stage) and brush remaining anno off until you are left with a bare aluminum finish. If you are having an extremely hard time getting anno off, put part back in the drano and let it soak a little more. Remember that at this point the aluminum will seem dull.

4. Wash the part in water and dry completely, then apply the mag polish with the buffing tool strenuously until you get the desired shine. Remember that this takes a while and you basically have to polish your *** off to get a good shine, unless you are using a machine. Some parts may have to be sanded after the stripping process, it all varies among the parts.


Some important reminders:

1. For all you scientifically challenged people, the aluminum will NEVER rust (impossible) or become discolored (maybe in about 300 years, but will it really matter then?)

2. Other solvents such as oven cleaner should not be used, and anno remover can be purchased, but the drano is cheaper.

3. The whole process usually takes about 30 minutes

4. Designs such as flames and stripes can be achieved by placing duct or masking tape wherever you want to keep the anno.

jdubau55
02-25-2004, 09:50 AM
once you do this you will have to periodically use the polish to keep it looking good. just like with wheels. just thought i would add that in. unless you polish it and then put a layer of clear ano on it. i think a clear coat of paint might work too.

02BlkImp
02-25-2004, 10:25 AM
I am working on my stock imp end cap right now, i hope to have pics up when im done, if anyone else has pictures, questions, comments etc. please post

jdubau55
02-25-2004, 10:26 AM
nice sig, larry is the man. GIT ER DUN!

02BlkImp
02-25-2004, 10:31 AM
Im gonna go in Victoria's Secret and get some GIT ER DUN drawers haha

thunderpig
02-25-2004, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by 02BlkImp

2. Other solvents such as oven cleaner should not be used, and anno remover can be purchased, but the drano is cheaper.


Just curious:

Why do you not reccomend oven cleaner? Easy-Off oven cleaner contains the same ingredient to strip anodizing that Drano has. Lye.

I've used Easy-Off cleaner many times to strip anodizing off, and have never had any problems with it.

02BlkImp
02-25-2004, 12:30 PM
I've been told that it is more harmful to the aluminum and threads, but if you've had good luck with it in the past i guess do whatever works. Is the cleaner you are using more of a gel base, or more of a liquid base? J/W because the drano is very thick gel, and that makes it harder to get into barrel ports or under tape onto threads.

thunderpig
02-25-2004, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by 02BlkImp
I've been told that it is more harmful to the aluminum and threads, but if you've had good luck with it in the past i guess do whatever works. Is the cleaner you are using more of a gel base, or more of a liquid base? J/W because the drano is very thick gel, and that makes it harder to get into barrel ports or under tape onto threads.

The cleaner I used was more of a liquid than a gel. If I was doing anything with threads, I just masked them with masking tape, and went about spraying the cleaner on.

I've never heard of oven cleaner being more harmful to aluminum, threads, or what-not. What i do know is, is if you leave drano or oven cleaner on the aluminum too long, it will eat at it or "pit" it pretty bad.

02BlkImp
02-25-2004, 12:57 PM
Yes it will, and today I made the mistake of putting the cap back in the drano to do some touch-ups to a stripe i had left on there thinking the aluminum would keep its color. Looks like I was wrong about that, b/c when it came back out the aluminum was so black, with the drano still on it, it looked like the anno was back on it. Looks like i've got some more polishing to do!!!

thunderpig
02-25-2004, 01:24 PM
Well, It sounds like you did a good job.;) Do you have any pics?

I've been thinking about doing this for a while, I just haven't picked up the spare spyder body from my friend yet. When I do it though, I'll post some pics.

02BlkImp
02-25-2004, 03:44 PM
Well I have a few pics of the front cap, but remember these are only after the first polish, i havent really got it the way I want it.

P.S. Notice the pimp old-school stripe :|

02BlkImp
02-25-2004, 03:47 PM
Pic of the cap on my imp.

P.S. this cap will be for sale when I'm done, b/c I just got my new ND cap in

02BlkImp
02-26-2004, 05:01 PM
If anyone else has pics please post (especially if you have done the trigger frame or solenoid tray on an imp) I want to attempt those, but im not sure what it will look like.

ShadowWalker
02-28-2004, 07:51 AM
i've done Internals for the hell of it. I was bored last night and had a few broken/spare pieces laying around. I went downstairs and used a buffing wheel on a lathe. I used 3 solid buffing compounds that you put rub on the wheel before you begin to polish (it was a 3 step dealy). Then i cleaned it off and used a bit of liquid polish by hand. They turned out very very nice.

02BlkImp
03-01-2004, 06:12 PM
I am currently working on my stock trigger frame on my Imp, I have it stripped now, and I will hopefully have it done with pics tomorrow.

** Edit **

There has been a change in plans for the trigger frame...since my OTB frame should be here shortly, I have decided to try a clear coat on the frame, to see if clearcoat holds up as well as annodizing. The only color i had around is white, so thats the new color of my stock trigger frame...the first coat has been applied and now i'm waiting to add the second and then onto the clearcoat.

TheKoalaGuy
03-16-2004, 04:53 PM
Would Liquid Plumber work? I want to do my barrel and the body of my Imagine, but for the heck of it, use your strategy and make some flames!:D

thunderpig
03-16-2004, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by TheKoalaGuy
Would Liquid Plumber work? I want to do my barrel and the body of my Imagine, but for the heck of it, use your strategy and make some flames!:D

Check the label on the liquid plumber. See if it says anything about Lye (sodium hydroxide or something like that). If it doesn't say anything about that, then it probably won't work.

TheKoalaGuy
03-16-2004, 06:13 PM
Liquid Plumber does have Lye in it, but my dad thinks it will eat away my marker:|

thunderpig
03-16-2004, 06:23 PM
Heh, Parents are usually that way.:P

Just don't leave the liquid plumber on there too long. Then it won't eat away at it. I've used it on numerous paintball items and its worked well so far.:)

-=DFOX=-
03-17-2004, 12:22 PM
Piece of cake, here is a whole cocker polished, everything shiny is polished ........cept the stab, lpr and ram.

http://members.cox.net/foxshop/sto-sale.jpg

Durandal
03-17-2004, 02:46 PM
Thats pimp.

98c71390
03-17-2004, 03:46 PM
should i do this to my 98 custom and make like flames or something on it?:confused:

02BlkImp
03-18-2004, 02:13 PM
Aren't Tippmann bodies plastic?

-=DFOX=-
03-18-2004, 02:15 PM
No, cast aluminum, they can be polished, but they dont come out as shiny as good aluminum. This is y favorite polishing pic, I did these for a company that bought them cheap cause they were purple.

http://members.cox.net/foxshop/P-wgp-change.jpg

f2f4
03-18-2004, 02:36 PM
Ooooooohhhhhh...sooooo shiny... :eek4:

STO Balla 22
03-20-2004, 01:06 PM
Some of the chrome parts I have are getting pretty dull. Should I polish them or should I do the thing you guys are talking about with the drano and everything? [edit] And I have an extra blue STO ram and Rock LPR, and I want to make them chrome, what should I do to make sure that the drano doesn't mess up the internals?

thunderpig
03-20-2004, 01:08 PM
I would polish them up. I bet they'll be just as shiny as when you got them.:cool:

STO Balla 22
03-20-2004, 02:14 PM
OK, I went out and got some chrome polish and some metal polish. Would it be ok to polish the gun body and barrel with the metal polish or do you think it would hurt the annodizing?

thunderpig
03-20-2004, 02:17 PM
The metal polish won't hurt the anodizing at all. I've put some on a couple of bodies and no harm every came too them.

STO Balla 22
03-20-2004, 02:23 PM
Alright, thanks a lot for your help thunderpig.

STO Balla 22
03-20-2004, 03:32 PM
I just polished the whole gun- :love: . It looks awesome! Next weekend I plan to take my extra ram and lpr and chrome them out. Custom mods are awesome! :D

bestdamnballer
03-21-2004, 02:00 PM
then change ur sig...lol, its says blue sto, make it say chrome.:cool:

TheKoalaGuy
03-21-2004, 03:13 PM
Ok I finally have permission to do my barrel and I have decided to do front part of my Imagine. The problem with my barrel is that it has tons of porting. Would my barrel be ruined if the Drano got inside? Anyway, I plan to do my Imagine sometime this week. I'll post pics when finished:)

STO Balla 22
03-21-2004, 03:39 PM
No, I just polished the chrome parts, I didn't make the gun chrome.

thunderpig
03-21-2004, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by TheKoalaGuy
Ok I finally have permission to do my barrel and I have decided to do front part of my Imagine. The problem with my barrel is that it has tons of porting. Would my barrel be ruined if the Drano got inside? Anyway, I plan to do my Imagine sometime this week. I'll post pics when finished:)
I would try to mask or just stay away from the porting. If you got Drano in there and it was on there for a while, it will make the surface extremely rough.

Just be careful, I guess.:)

JoeSmo122
03-23-2004, 10:19 PM
I've been planning for a while to make a custon aluminum body (well, basically a custom gun). Should i take the fabricated parts and have them annodized or should i do this polishing? If i had it professionally annodized i would proble get chrome or black. I dont want to screw up the threads and stuff so im leaning more towards the pro. annodizing on the main parts.

-=DFOX=-
03-24-2004, 06:19 AM
Most ano places include polishing or beadblasting in the price.

sain
03-28-2004, 08:12 AM
Originally posted by -=DFOX=-
Piece of cake, here is a whole cocker polished, everything shiny is polished ........cept the stab, lpr and ram.

http://members.cox.net/foxshop/sto-sale.jpg

hey i have a question how idd u do this did u just strip the whole gun down and strip the body...wouldnt that strip the insides aswell....or would it not matter? cause im wanting to do that to my bros gun...spyderr victor?

slikna99
03-30-2004, 08:31 PM
Heres what i wonder about

my barrel is black.... so when i do this... it will look odd with the inside all black and the porting holes black.. and the outside not. also i can take the anno off the whole body right? including the threads and the inside?

Btw im thinking of doing this to an e99. lol

-=DFOX=-
03-31-2004, 06:30 AM
Ive done countless bodies, from Spyders to Timmies. I have used cockers that were stripped inside and out, I have never had a problem with threads stripping, the biggest thing is that the finish needs to be touched up occasionally, depending on your climate. Here in Arizona, that finish last for about 9 months at a time.

Ive done barrels like that too. Leave the inside black looks fine, its actually hard to tell. You really WANT it to stay anodized inside anyway, alot of friction in there.

stealthgerbil
04-02-2004, 04:02 PM
How would you strip the anodized part without stripping it from inside the barrel if you have to submerge it in the drano?

I want to do this to my Icon Z, because one of my dad's friends owns a few auto part shops, and may be able to let me custom anodize my marker.

slikna99
04-02-2004, 04:15 PM
they said u plug the holes....

Butter Knife
04-07-2004, 12:40 AM
Just as a thought, it might be a good idea to take a junk towel or some such piece of worthless cloth/paper and roll it up inside of barrels or other holes that you would prefer be as frictionless as possible (since this process only makes it look chromy, it doesn't actually make it that smooth... trust me). Not only would it protect the inner anno (which is much smoother than raw aluminum, even if the latter is well polished), but it would allow the Drano to reach all exterior parts that don't need the anno. Including the edges of the porting.

May or may not be a good idea, but it doesn't seem like a bad one.

Bloencustoms
04-10-2004, 05:36 AM
If you absolutely must do this to your marker, Id do everything possible to keep the anodic coating intact on any internal parts, barrel included. To remove the ano from the outside of a barrel without harming the finish on the inside, you might try wrapping the barrel with a spiral of paper towel on the outside, and using an acid brush to apply your strip solution to the towel. Make sure the lye soaked towel is in contact with the entire exterior of the barrel, and don't be sloppy. You don't want to use so much that it drips into the ports or insides. Also, wear rubber gloves, a rubber apron, eye protection, and a respirator (seroiusly, sodium hydroxide is no joke). And keep an eyewash bottle handy in case you have an accident.

-=DFOX=-
04-10-2004, 07:29 AM
Here is an ol page with somemore pics, most of them work :)

http://members.cox.net/foxshop/polishedparts.htm

radishboy
05-08-2004, 08:51 PM
i know it's dead but...

heres what did. i have yet to polish it and what not but here she is. what do you think?