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Old January 30, 2014, 11:14 PM   #1
k Squared
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Anodizing an 80% AR Lower

I am considering building an AR-15 from an 80% lower.

I assume anodizing the receiver after I finish making the final cuts would provide a stronger receiver, as apposed to bare aluminum on the inside of the receiver.

I've also read that there are different anodizing methods, with some being better (tougher finish) than others.

Are there in fact different anodizing methods, and are there shops that will do the better anodizing on a "home made" lower?
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Old January 31, 2014, 12:22 AM   #2
Dixie Gunsmithing
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Hard anodizing can be done, but it is harder to do. Anodizing generally goes in these steps;

Polish
Etch with lye solution (optional)
Rinse
Anodize
Rinse
Dye
Seal
Clean and oil.

For a frame, you'll need a good size power source, with a way of controlling the current. I would use a 30 amp supply at minimum, and a 50 amp optimum, with adjustable voltage and current. Use sheet lead for the anode, but you can use aluminum. For a part of this size, some use Coleman coolers for the tank. Keep a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda around for the acid for safety. Wear rubber gloves, and vent the area when doing the plating, so you can get rid of the hydrogen.

You can use RIT dye, but buy a sealer. The etchant can be Draino. I would add a shot of dark blue dye to the black for the correct color.

Last edited by Dixie Gunsmithing; January 31, 2014 at 08:26 AM.
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Old January 31, 2014, 05:44 AM   #3
Ritz
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Another alternative is to airbrush/paint it.
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Old January 31, 2014, 12:24 PM   #4
k Squared
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Looks Like Dixie Gunsmithing is the Place to Go

Dixie,
Great explaination, but after looking at the Dixie Gunsmithing web site, I think it would be simplier to just ship the receiver to you.
Now all I have to do is get the receiver and work it up.
Kevin
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Old January 31, 2014, 03:31 PM   #5
Dixie Gunsmithing
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K Squared, that isn't my website. That is a business in Virginia, and I sit on the Ohio River where Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky come together. Thus the name, since the muddy Ohio was the dividing line between the north and south (and as a tribute to my grandfather's sister, Dixie, whom I always liked).

I'm actually not doing any work at the moment, as I got sick about a week back, and is why I am back on here commenting now, so I'm taking a while off. I have a worker who is going to catch up on what was already here for me, but after that's done, I'm going to wait until I get feeling better again, before I take in any more work.

I think the other Dixie does do that type of work, as I've been by their website, but you would have to contact them about it. I've seen several anodiziers on the net that are doing great work on other gun parts, and complete paint ball guns, so you may want to look at one of those who show off the work they've done.

You might contact these guys, to see if they will anodize it for you:

http://www.lockestone.com/shop/index...te=common/home

or:

http://www.usanodizing.com/pricing.htm

Last edited by Dixie Gunsmithing; January 31, 2014 at 03:46 PM.
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Old January 31, 2014, 06:36 PM   #6
Dfariswheel
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Another top service is Techplate. They're big in industrial and airo-space work.

They do several types of anodizing, including the hard coat type.
Best to actually talk to them about which is most appropriate fro your application:

http://techplate.com/specchart1rev.htm
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Old January 31, 2014, 07:55 PM   #7
k Squared
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Thanks

Dixie,
Thanks for the follow up.
I hope the rest will have you feeling better soon.
K Squared
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Old January 31, 2014, 09:58 PM   #8
Bill DeShivs
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Wait- You are using an 80% receiver, that does NOT require you to go through an FFL, but you would ship the gun to an FFL to have work done?
I thought the whole 80% thing was to avoid a paper trail.
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