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topic 1845

anodizing small aluminum parts at home ?


I build small aluminum parts for archery bows, and would like to anodize these parts black to start with.

Is this process a dangerous one as with chrome plating?

And can a person do it at home, Will it involves lots of toxic chemicals.if it could be done

Could some one send me a list of the things I would need to get started.

The aluminum is 6061 the size of the parts would not exceed 12" in length, smallest being approx. 1"

Michael Capp
Home Business


If you anodize on any scale, you are going to generate Hazardous waste. This gets Your local EPA involved.

It is extremely expensive to run an anodize line for a part now and then.

It can be done. Most of the anybody can do it articles that I have seen in a couple of places will not produce good anodize unless it is a small area part in a relatively large tank to control the temperature rise.

If the words lye and battery acid do not bother you, it can be done.

I am not recommending it. There is a lot of homework to be done for even a tiny line and accidents do happen, especially to unqualified people.

Minimum lot charges will appear high to you, but when you get rid of your waste, it is $300.00 a barrel or more. The fine is up to $25,000 per violation.

If you are going to anodize, I would think of it as a weekend business where you do other peoples stuff also. I upgraded one persons line ( he was EPA compliant) and his business got to the point that it occupied all of his spare time so he quit for a while.

If you do anodize, remember that you can fall under the "conditionally exempt small quantity generator" status. Eliminates several of the pains of paperwork. Satellite accumulation container is another big help in holding costs down.

Quality work is not cheap.

James Watts - FL


Mr. Capp,

Listen to James! You may want to consider outsourcing the process, or evaluating other coatings for durability. The cost does not justify the expense for small businesses.

Todd Miller
- Oceanside, California

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