effects of manganese phosphate on nickel boron finish?

Discussion in 'Engraving & Refinishing' started by epleyjoseph, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. epleyjoseph

    epleyjoseph New Member

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    I'm having the slide of my 1911 refinished with nickel boron, and I have an idea to make it more of a personalized, custom look. I was thinking I use a dremel to make an engraving and then drop it in the parkerizing solution to blacken up (and protect, of course) metal that I took off. But then, I'm not certain how it would react to the nickel boron finish. I have heard that it wouldn't have any reaction, or that the phosphate would simply rub off, but I have no reliable sources on this. Any experience or better ideas to accomplish the same thing?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    It is not good to finish over parkerizins.

    I would engrave and then cover is oil. Oil is easier to remove than Parkerizing.
     

  3. epleyjoseph

    epleyjoseph New Member

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    Oil is always a good idea of course, but would it be enough to protect bare metal over many years and hard usage?
     
  4. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    Dremels are not for engraving. At best, the work will be crude. At worst, it will look awful.
     
  5. epleyjoseph

    epleyjoseph New Member

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    Actually, there are all kinds of dremel bits that are designed specifically for engraving (even engraving steel). With a little experience and a steady hand, you can get very nice results.
     
  6. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    As a professional hand engraver and cutler, I can safely say that you are wrong. You can make marks in metal with a Dremel, but controlling those marks enough to call it "engraving" is nearly impossible.
    Also, cutting through your nickel plating can cause flaking and corrosion in and around the cuts. BTW- I do plating also.
    You should have had any engraving done before the plating.
     
  7. epleyjoseph

    epleyjoseph New Member

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    Thank you, that's the kind of information that comes in handy before starting a project, lol.

    I'm still a little skeptical that engraving of any kind CANNOT be done with a dremel. But I only say this because I've seen some good looking designs done that way. Of course I would never encourage anyone to shamelessly take a dremel to their firearm, but this was meant to be a small learners project anyways.

    Thanks again though for the heads up about the plating chipping off.
     
  8. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    Practice that Dremel engraving on scrap steel.
    Then get back to me.
     
  9. epleyjoseph

    epleyjoseph New Member

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    Challenge accepted!!
     
  10. DuraCoater

    DuraCoater New Member

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    The only way a Dremel will be able to cut it at engraving is if you use it in conjunction with one of those kits that basically turns your Dremel into a drill press station or similar.

    By hand? You won't be happy for sure.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  11. epleyjoseph

    epleyjoseph New Member

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    I was considering something like that!

    I guess in fairness, Bill was probably referring to doing something by hand in particular.

    Although, at this point, the slide is already being plated, so I won't be engraving that.
     
  12. DuraCoater

    DuraCoater New Member

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    Well, when I say "cut it engraving" I really meant - way better than doing it by hand, but probably not going to make you happy either.

    haha

    Engraving is a very specific skill set - it would be like picking up an automotive HVLP spray gun and doing a full hot rod candy coat paint job because you figure the handful of times you spray painted model cars should have given you enough practice to be good at it.

    Its like one of those funny picture graphs like this:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  13. epleyjoseph

    epleyjoseph New Member

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    That's a fair statement, lol. I at least like to try doing things on my own first, though. There's something about having a firearm that you've worked on yourself as opposed to something you've paid someone else for. I guess I will stay away from engraving for a while, but it's something I might want to get into at some point.
     
  14. DuraCoater

    DuraCoater New Member

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    No argument from me on DIY and learning - I've had to redo finishes on my own various stuff with DuraCoat finding the perfect mixing formulas based on stupid stuff like humidity, or how DuraCoat reacts on various types of materials. Even one type of plastic may be more of a PITA than another plastic.

    Good example is Magpul stuff, their polymer is awesome with DuraCoat, texture, absorbs and retains well. Then you take something like a cheap $10 butt stock that is more like ABS plastic, very smooth, bad starting surface for the finish to grip to. Cheap crap takes way more prep time.

    If you are intent on wanting to engrave on firearms, you gotta start out smaller.

    Practice on spare pieces of metal from a local hardware store, then progress to something like zippos, then maybe something bigger like a tool box.

    Etc. Etc.

    Edit: Or even better, seek out junked gun slides and stuff. I've heard gunshows have vendors who sell old firearms frames/slides/parts for super cheap so people can practice gunsmithing on them.
     
  15. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    If you are interested in learning hand engraving, let me know here. I can point you in the right direction.
    Step one: learn to draw what you would like to engrave.