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Thread: Parker Phosphate Coating for Steel in the Home Shop

  1. #1
    Mark Presling's Avatar
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    Mark Presling's Tools

    Parker Phosphate Coating for Steel in the Home Shop

    I have tried using cold bluing solutions for surface treatment of small tools that I make in my home shop. They look good and the process just requires good clean steel for it to work. However the coating is not very durable and it soon rubs off. It also doesn't prevent corrosion for very long. I had been doing some research on Parker Phosphate coatings (parkerising) but it seemed too complicated and I thought it would be difficult to get the chemicals required. Living in Australia is a disadvantage when it comes to processes like this since many vendors in overseas countries don't like shipping to Australia, especially when it comes to chemicals. I found a company in Australia called Jane Kits and they sell a really comprehensive range of supplies for metal plating and parkerising. It is possible to purchase the chemicals in dry powder form and they sell in quantities suitable for a home shop. I purchased a 4 litre kit which comprises a Metex M activator for the pre treatment of polished mild steel, the parker phosphate powder and a bottle of parker dry touch oil for the post treatment (looks like ordinary soluble oil to me). I ran a number of parts recently and I was surprised at the quality of finish I could achieve in less than 20 minutes of processing time. The surface looks a dark grey, very uniform in colour and it has a texture like it has been bead blasted.
    Check out the video to see the work flow.
    Regards,
    Mark Presling

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    blkadder's Avatar
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    Very nice. There are some here in the U.S. that use this same process on firearms that they make (usually from scrap or parts kits). It is a bit on the complicated side at first, but once you have it all down, it is amazing how many things you wind up Parkerizing.

    Thanks for posting.
    ...Semper Fidelis...

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    Thanks Mark Presling! We've added your Parkerizing Setup to our Miscellaneous category,
    as well as to your builder page: Mark Presling's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    wizard69's Tools
    Thanks for this post! I been cold blackening some tools I’ve made with highly variable results. With mixed results and the damp environment I’ve been looking into alternatives. This is another idea to pursue or at least look into.

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    Brownell's Gunsmithing in Iowa offers Parkerizing and bluing solutions, cleaners, post treatments etc. I Parkerized a Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolver for my son and it turned out almost complately black, but it never rusted again.

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    Jon
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    Congratulations Mark Presling - your Parkerizing Setup is the Homemade Tool of the Week!

    This process will come in handy for many homemade tools, and expands on your previous build of the Parkerizing heater.

    Some more nice picks from this week:

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    Mark Presling - we've added your tool entry to our All Homemade Tool of the Week winners post. You'll be receiving a $25 online gift card, in your choice of Amazon, PayPal, or bitcoin. Please PM me your current email address and gift card choice and I'll get it sent over right away.

    More importantly - this is your 3rd Homemade Tool of the Week win! You join these other 3-Time Homemade Tool of the Week winners: rgsparber, rossbotics, mr95gst, Paul Jones, Christophe Mineau, Captainleeward, immortalx, scorch, Brendon, Frank S, mklotz, Vyacheslav.Nevolya, brianhw, kess, LMMasterMariner, jjr2001, Tuomas, olderdan, tonyfoale, bobs409, Mikhandmaker, thehomeengineer, old_toolmaker, Stevohdee.

    You'll notice the 3-Time Homemade Tool of the Week award trophy graphic in your postbit beneath your avatar.




    Here are all of your Homemade Tool of the Week winning tools:



  8. #7
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    Mark Presling's Tools
    Yes, I am now hunting around my shop looking for things that I can dunk in the tanks. It takes a while to set everything up and to bring them to the correct temperatures which is why it is best to do a whole batch of parts in one go. I have tried lots of different metal finishing processes but this one has given me predictable and reliable results every time so far.
    Regards,
    Mark Presling

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    Well, I can tell you that this process has given me reliable and repeatable results every time I have tried it. I cannot vouch for the long term protection of the coating but I have done a series of test pieces to test for the best after treatment (wax, oil, WD40 etc) and I am also going to test for abrasion resistance and paint adhesion. I am going to leave the test pieces out in my shop for 6 weeks to see if any rust or corrosion reappears. I'll be posting the results in a few months.
    Regards,
    Preso


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