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I am currently finishing a rod with a cork reel seat and aluminum sliding bands. The rod look good with the all cork handle and the cypress burl winding check that I made, but now I feel that the aluminum is too 'cheap' looking for the other parts.  Is there a simple way to color or anodize the aluminum parts for a better look?  (Ken Jacques)

    There is a product called Aluminum Black that Birchwood Casey sells... you can get it in many gun shops and have occasionally seen it at some of the Marts.  It does make aluminum a deep black, but I like nicely polished aluminum much better.

    Just curious, what kind of AL reel seat do you have that looks cheap.  I personally LOVE aluminum and put it on most of my rods.  It can be made to look as good as NS or any other metal, in my opinion.  (Bob Nunley)

    You could color them with Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black and then clear coat them with a clear like Sta-Brite.  (Dave LeClair)

    Thanks to the many that responded to me question re: coloring aluminum slip rings.  Many asked for me to share the responses so here goes...

    1) Aluminum Black [an aluminum coloring agent - turns aluminum black] made by Birch Wood Casey and available from Brownells. Have used it to touch up anodized aluminum with success.

    2) Polish with Simichrome polish (from Golden Witch).

    3) Polish with successive grades of silicon carbide wet/dry paper, down to 1500 grit.  Then polish with standard household tooth paste on a soft cloth at low speed. (Ken Jacques)

Rule

Anyone anodize aluminum?  I'm gathering the materials and equipment to do this, I just was just curious if anyone is doing this right now and could share with me some of the tips, short cuts, no no’s, etc.  (Kyle Druey)

    I haven't done it but got interested awhile back. Found a couple of sources that may help.

    Mini-Lathe.com Anodizing  (Art Port)

    Check out Caswell Plating,  they have all kinds of coatings and finishes for metals.  Check out the metal plating tab.  (Mark Babiy)

Rule

Has anybody out there had any experience with home anodizing? I've Google’d the topic and it doesn't look to bad; but then I thought that about rod making.

Basically all I need to know is "is it worth the hassle or should I find a friendly metal finisher and ask a favor.

I've just had a go at making a reel (had to justify the new lathe some how). It's OK as first attempts go, good enough to go on a rod, put it that way, and was wondering about a finish.

If anyone's got any other suggestions for finishing aluminum I'd like to hear them  (might not use  them but would like to hear them)  (Luke Bannister)

    Judging by the amount of kit my old chums Spa Anodizing in Tunbridge Wells had then its not very DIY.  There are several sorts of anodizing and which can be used depends on the nature of the alloy used.  Quite a bit of current, together with baths of acids and other noxious compounds are used, you may have a sourcing problem. Deep Anodizing is the best as it is in rather than on the aluminum and can be up to 50 microns thick, but the bath runs at zero centigrade. The result is grey, I'll show it to you on my Hard Alox Litespeed when we meet if you like. Durable it certainly is, as it's Aluminum oxide you can wreck files on it. Search for a trade anodizer and send it off, if you settle fora lesser grade of anodizing you could perhaps get it dyed to match your favorite whipping color?  (Robin Haywood)

    I  have done anodizing over the years, along with most electro plating. I would go with either a powder coating or a spray on baked finish. Check out Caswell. They carry all the plating, anodizing and powder coating equipment you  would need.   (Dave LeClair)

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