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Best way to go about stripping the anodizing off of my FT-02?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
As the title implies, I'm in the process of doing some modifications to my FT-02, I've cut into the aluminum outer shell, and exposed the bare metal, and would like to strip the rest of the anodizing off..what would you recommend is the best way to go about this operation, caustic soda I'm guessing? If so, what should the mixture ratio be like, and what is a good containment device for it, so that I can submerge parts of the case into it?

I would love some feedback and advice on this matter, also on a side note, I would love some suggestions on what I should repaint the case as, the hardware I have has a bit of a black and red theme, so I would like to try and keep it in lieu with that to some degree.
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by GHADthc View Post

would like to strip the rest of the anodizing off..
Anodizing isn't a coating like paint. It's an electro chemical treatment of the the surface. Usually a dye and sealer are added after it's anodized.



If you're going to paint anyway, just rough up the surface with some fine grained sandpaper, then prime and paint. There's no reason to remove the anodized layer.
Edited by billbartuska - 10/22/14 at 6:08pm
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post #3 of 5
If you want to strip the aluminum of the anodizing use sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda or lye). You can find it in oven cleaner such as easyoff, or just buy it from a chemical supplier online. The best way to go at it is to just apply it and scrub. If you submerge it the caustic soda will EAT the aluminum. You can reanodize the aluminum by puting it in sodium hydrogen sulfate and hooking it up to a large battery, then dye it. You would need a big vat of the solution though and a sizable battery. Or you can get it powder coated.
post #4 of 5
If you want to paint the case, do as was already mentioned, anodization is a pretty damn good base if you prep it right, and use a good primer
Scuff it with 400-600 grit sandpaper (i prefer wet sanding it cut down on metal dust, which can be explosive/highly flammable if you aren't careful, and it helps keep the sandpaper from getting loaded with the dust), I wouldn't swirl around the sandpaper but that's just me having it drilled into me from wood working
get a good self etching primer, you really only need to do 2 thin coats, if you plan on making it an automotive/"show car" finish, do another 2 coats of normal metal primer and try to color match the primer to the color layer, and wet sand it with 600-800 grit sand paper, again use sanding blocks
you can rattle can the color layers if you want 2-4 coats of the color you want, if you want that deep color like on "show cars", do 5-6, and wet sand it with 800-1200 grit sand paper
if you don't mind orange peel(slightly bumpy texture of the paint) you can stop there, i'd never put clear over orange peel, it looks awful, but if you want that "show car" look, make sure you have a near mirror finish of your color layers, 2-6 layers of clear depending on how deep you want the color to look, and wet sand it with 1200 grit sand paper

i've seen the above method used with rattle cans and it looks great and it's a ton cheaper than getting a compressor(especially one that can give enough cfm to drive a hplv sprayer most people would end up getting) and a decent hplv sprayer, trying to learn on the cheap ones from home improvement stores usually isn't a good ideal, you're better off buying a used one on ebay if you want to go that route

or you could skip most of that and go the matte paint route, but that's a another matter
or you can get it powdercoated, which is usually a lot easier in the long run even if you have to ship the parts off to get it done
or you can get it re-anodized
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your help and suggestions guys! I've gone the easier path, and just sanded the surfaces and got it ready for etch primer, I'm just going to paint it, I didn't like the idea of having it soak in caustic soda too long and have it etch into the aluminum...so I've gone the method of less hazard.

Now I just need to figure out what colour I'm going to paint the inner chassis of the case, and the outer aluminum shell, and I will attempt to give it as good a finish of paint job as I can with the rattle cans (I don't have a very good set-up for it, but I'll do my best, if it turns out not so great, I can always sand it down and try again).

Any suggestions on colours, or effects I could attempt to pull-off would be very much welcomed!
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