plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Procedure for Homemade Fade Anodizing?
Hello, I like to modify paintball guns for a hobby, and I have my own anodizing setup and even a beadblasting gun to make matte finishes. But I was wondering if it was possible to do a fade anodizing finish without buying expensive machinery. The way I understand that big companies do this is with a machine that slowly rotates the product on its own. As a hobbyist, however, I do not have that kind of space nor money.John Camp
Hobbyist - Munster, IN USA
By fade I'm assuming you mean the effect where one end of the barrel is a lighter shade of the same color than the other side of the barrel.
An easy way to do that at home is anodize the whole piece, when you get to the dye stage quickly dip the whole barrel in the dye bath (lets say we are using red) and pull it out. The barrel will probably be light pinkish color. Now dip one end in to a depth most the length of the barrel..leave it in a bit longer than last time and pull it out...the shade should be a bit darker. with practice you should be able to a nice steady fade from one end to the other. You may have to tinker with your dye bath concentration/temperature. You can also do a rainbow type effect by dying the barrel a certain color and then doing another portion a darker color (like yellow first then red)
If this is too much hand work and you wanted something automated, it would be fairly simple to make a device to automatically raise the piece out of the dye bath. Look into stepper motors. you should be able to get all the parts needed to make an automated winch to lift the parts for under $100. if the parts are light enough you could even make it out of stepper motors from old computer parts.
- Flint, Michigan
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