Restoring the black finish on aluminum (w pics)
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default Restoring the black finish on aluminum (w pics)

Not every restoration I do is a complete tear down of a hopeless case. This is a good example. I picked up this 1961 Ted Williams model 34 Sears and Roebuck, 22 semi auto at an estate sale for $40. It was a great find with the original sears scope and vintage case and looked like it hadn’t hardly ever been used in its 50+ years on the planet.



The gun has an aluminum receiver and like all aluminum parts, the anodized finish on the high spots or sharp edges has worn through to shiny aluminum.







If you haven’t tried aluminum black, you should. Like gun bluing, it’s a wipe on, wipe off product that works very well.



Clean the areas with acetone or denatured alcohol and then with a swab, apply the black.



And this is what you end up with after 3 or 4 applications.







As long as I was at it I grabbed a piece of aluminum stock from the shop and gave it a brushed finish to show the coloring.







Like bluing, its good to polish the metal because aluminum black and gun bluing both etch the polished metal making the final finish less than polished when you are done. Since still photos make it hard to see the real effects of this etching, here is a video of how the gloss is etched away and you can compare the surface finish of the metal next to its polished self. The black makes the surface finish more of a matte finish. When finished, apply paste wax and buff your gun to a shine. (this offers additional protection and makes the gun look great)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qYho4v4H4Q

Lastly since everyone will care about the durability of this finish I took steel wool to the sample and buffed the hell out of it in what would be considered outright abuse to a gun. Here is the result of that abrasion exercise.



Repair those glossed over edges. It couldn’t be easier.

There are a lot of uses for such a product. If your a bowhunter, lots of archery related parts are made of aluminum. Use your imagination. Sometimes the use might simply be "because I can" and that's ok too. Such as aluminum cartridge casings.





If you have aluminum you need to blacken, this product works great and is far better than a sharpie marker since it blends perfectly with anodized parts where as a sharpie leaves a shiny look that is too black and comes off far too easy.

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Old 03-31-2014, 04:22 PM   #2
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DIY,

Good Thread and Good Product.
I would like to add one additional step that will increase the finish applied.
We use this procedure all the time in the AR-15/16 LE and Govt. Comprehensive Armorer Schools. And it is also used at the Armory of several well known AR Manufacturers by the Armorers. When they make a slight slip with a tool for example.
First you were spot on with the Birchwood Casey Aluminum Metal Finish product. There is none better.
But the extra step is in regard to preparing the metal for and while applying the Birchwood Casey.
When we apply the Aluminum Black we take a small Butane Torch hold it approximately 3 inches from the surface and heat the aluminum surface while periodically applying the BC. (not too hot just warm) This opens up the pores in the Aluminum and allows the Aluminum Black to be absorbed better and actually impregnate the surface. Therefore increasing the durability and to increase the prolonged life of the repair. Works great on any aluminum surfaces if the weapon has the black type finish. *Do not use on the older Colt AR grey finishes! In fact if the Trigger and Hammer Pins on an AR are shiny or other metal parts that look bad on the gun it will do a great job on them also using this procedure. Although Birchwood does have specific products for steel parts.

*DONT HEAT THE AMMUNITION CASES!

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Old 03-31-2014, 05:18 PM   #3
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this is exactly what im on looking for so i can grind on my scar17 handl lower innards to get the inside floor low enough for my traigger pack to work properly.

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Old 03-31-2014, 05:21 PM   #4
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Sniper, Thanks for updating this thread with that tip. Its my hope threads like this become ready references that readers can come back to when faced with a task that might be new to them. It reduces the fear and uncertainty that might keep some people from tackling this type of job.

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Old 04-02-2014, 03:16 AM   #5
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Great info thank you.

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Old 04-03-2014, 03:59 AM   #6
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Very informative. Thanks


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