Anodizing titanium

Wayne Bensinger

Well-Known Member
Hi guys,
As many of you know I've been trying my hand at a few liner locks lately which means I'm using titanium. The first knife went well I thought, so my next one I was thinking I would step it up and try this anodizing thingie that everybody but me seems to do, lol! Can anybody give me a few details on how to do it correctly. If it works I'd also like to do a little file work on the liners if that would make a difference with any info, thanks guys.


wayne
 

Frank Niro

KNIFE MAKER
Hello Wayne. The hard part is spending the money for the variac- voltage regulator- very common on Ebay and bridge rectifier. Once you have those you mix up a super saturated solution of TSP, make yourself a container to hold some and a negative strip in that container and a thin strip of titanium with a small screw to attach with and you are ready to go. Blue anodized titanium liners with a file worked back bar in titanium anodized purple and Mr. you will give yourself a real thrill of what pretty can be.
Frank
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Like Frank, I built my own anodizer from "parts" as he mentioned. A few years ago I thought I was upgrading by going to one of these power units..... http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1Z2T8ETTX1HNBT34V220

What I failed to realize when I ordered it was that it's only 1amp....... it would take 10-15 MINUTES for a set of framelock scales to anodize! I ended up giving it away, and going back to my homemade anodizer, that I can vary the amps with. (I generally run it on 4 amps, which pretty much anodizes immediately) Here's a pic of a color chart I created for the power unit I listed above....


With a bit of practice/playing around, you can do all kinds of "out there" coloring with Ti and an anodizer....





 

Frank Niro

KNIFE MAKER
Boy that's some super anodizing, Ed !!! I may have a start on getting to where you are. I can already get the colors. Haw Haw.
Frank
 

Wayne Bensinger

Well-Known Member
Wow is right, Ed, that amazing! Any chance you published a book or wrote down diagrams on the build, lol, I'll need to research this, I build my own HT oven and it was a real fun project, this should be as well, thanks all.


Wayne
 

KCorn

Well-Known Member
I built an anodizing machine that also doubles as an etching machine for my stencils. Base unit is a 0-130v variable transformer with 3 amps. Bought a bridge rectifier, a project box, some banana plugs and a toggle switch (to change from AC to DC). The anodizing is fast and accurate and the whole project probably cost me less than 100 bucks. The variable transformer can be found on Amazon right now for 64.99 from PHC Enterprise. Hope that helps!
 

Wayne Bensinger

Well-Known Member
Thanks to all, I'm gonna finish this folder I'm working on and one more for my son then I think I'll try this build, should be fun.

Wayne
 

J S Machine

Well-Known Member
I built an anodizing machine that also doubles as an etching machine for my stencils. Base unit is a 0-130v variable transformer with 3 amps. Bought a bridge rectifier, a project box, some banana plugs and a toggle switch (to change from AC to DC). The anodizing is fast and accurate and the whole project probably cost me less than 100 bucks. The variable transformer can be found on Amazon right now for 64.99 from PHC Enterprise. Hope that helps!
I'd like to know more about this. I actually built a stencil machine a few years ago too, but I can't remember where the plans were found. I made it out of parts from radio shack. Mine has the AC/DC switch and is in a project box.

If I already have this, would the variable transformer be all that I need? How would this be wired up? Would you happen to have any plans?

I too was gonna buy one of the voltage transformers like Ed spoke of. The 15 minute thing isn;t really a problem for me, but if I can build it cheaper than i can buy it I will entertain that route.

The unit I think Ed may be referring to is this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dr-Meter-HY...196707?hash=item338dca97e3:g:gxAAAOSw9NxTvfhz

It is $275 by itself. If I could do what I needed to do with the $64 variable transformer, I would definitely try it.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
A couple things.

Reactivemetals.com sells something called Multi-etch. This acid makes a huge difference in being successful or not. I just looked and they call it "new cold process" so the formula I have used may have changed. The multi-etch I have used calls for it be warmed up and when used warm it works significantly better.

Find some TSP at your local hardware store in the paint department. It's used for cleaning. It doesn't matter whether you use powder or liquid but the liquid mixes better/easier. Don't stress too much about getting the exact water/TSP ratio. If it's weak, it will only add a few more seconds to the process.

Use alcohol to wipe off all the parts and then wear gloves. Acetone leaves an oily film and will fog up the finish. Every fingerprint will show up.

get some scraps and create reference test coupons like Ed and mark them so you can repeat your results or you will have to test every time. Once you get the voltage down, you have a better chance at repeating colors. Some colors are really easy to achieve time after time. Some are not and may not be worth going after. A solid teal is tough, purple is easy.

for a spot applicator, you can use an alligator clip on a cue tip (soaked in TSP) or better an artist paint brush with a metal feral bristle holder.

nail polish makes a great resist and you can get pretty fancy with home made stencils (screen, plastic, what ever) creating layers.

You want to use a titanium hook or niobium hook to suspend your part in solution. It should take just a few seconds to get your color, leaving it in for longer doesn't seem to thicken the layer much in my experience but I could be wrong about that.
 

KCorn

Well-Known Member
Wink brand rust and stain remover works just as well as the multi etch. It contains Hydrofluoric acid which is one of the only acids that will react with Titanium. Make sure it is the "Wink" brand. You can order from Amazon or find at most ACE hardware stores.
 
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dan van

Well-Known Member
I have played around with using a transformer from an old model train set. It will anodize Ti and will etch steel but I have not done enough testing that I am confident that I can repeat what I did or to have a nice color/ time chart like Ed's. Dan
 
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