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Anodizing Colors and Voltages

Discussion in 'STR's Backyard KnifeWorks' started by STR, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Everyone asks me this all the time what colors I have and I recently had to flush all my fluids in my anodizing tanks and refresh with new which kind of changed some of the colors and voltages required to get that color so I thought I'd post this up with a couple different angles so folks can see some better in some shots than in others. Please note I cannot get black or red colors.

    While its true I can get more colors than this these are the ones I'm asked to do the most and therefore this is what I did for 'top 12' if you will.

    Left to right is

    12volts what I call khaki
    15volts dark khaki/brown
    18volts violet purple more 'blue' toward royal blue
    25.5 volts what I call the blue jean blue
    28 volts regular blue or sky blue I guess
    55 volts sage green
    58 volts gold
    62.5 volts golden/mauve like color
    75 volts plum purple more 'pink'
    90 volts a teal green
    95 volts green
    100 volts emerald green.

    Hope you can see all these.
    Colors not shown are 9 volts which is an even lighter khaki, 35 volts which is a very faint almost faded looking blue and 40 volts for blue green color which is also quite faded looking IMO. 50 volts which is also getting into the green shade but not coming out at you yet like it does at 55v with this new solution. With my old solution I used to be able to get a nice blue at 80 volts. That is not happening for some reason with this new solution.

    I can still get some more subdued colors in the lower voltages and to do that I've been doing the pry bars without etching them. Etching them first makes them brighter like shown here. Some of you have ordered the khaki color wanting the 'olive drab' look or military looking one like Nutnfancy got. I can still get that and its not shown but its basically 12 volts but I do it skipping the one step is all so you end up with a pry that looks like a 'dirty brown' or olive drab look. On these the color may not be as uniform looking but since most people are using them and scratching them up pretty quick it doesn't seem to matter. Anyway, I can still get that and a more subdued or dirty faded looking blue jean blue by not etching also. :thumbup:


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  2. xtestifyx


    Feb 4, 2010
    This is awesome. Will you offer Titanium anodizing to the public?
  3. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    No no. Been there done that and this is simply for the things of my own that are made and sold by me. I'm not interested in taking on others products or their knives and such to start anodizing them for them again. Thanks anyway.

  4. jylong_away


    Nov 13, 2006

    Where did you get your power source for the anodizing? I can't seem to find anything at the local electronics supply that goes above 24v.

    Hooking up a bunch of 9v batteries gets good results, but it's getting a bit tiresome..

  5. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    What are you using to etch with ?


    What is your anodizing fluid ?
  6. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Okay, the power source I use is one I was first turned on to by the local High School labs. Back in the late 90s early 2000s I substitute taught in the mid high and the high schools in the area. These power supplies were there used by the students for various things with the teachers in various studies. They took a pretty good beating and seemed durable to me even if they are made in China.

    Anyway I was sold by how much the students abused these things and even with broken parts, like knobs and handles and other things they still worked fine. So looking around the class room I found the book the teach used to order them and found out they came from Circuit Specilists.com which I promptly got in touch with. I bought mine back when you could get one of these for $99 and the one I have is the CSI12001X model. Single output bench power supply. Its been a number of years so its probably more than 99 bucks.

    My multi etch was something I found from Reactive Metals.com which has really helped with colors above 70 volts. The old solution that I bought and used at first would actually strip color if I did one that screwed up. Now if I screw up I have to physically hand rub it off or bead blast it again as this new solution they sell and insist is the same over at RM simply does not work like the old did. I don't know why but recently I dumped my old solutions for new and it really messed with my routine. They say the recipe is the same for this etch but apparently something is different because I know how the old worked and used it for years. This new stuff is weak by comparison. It still helps and I still get good color at room temp. Perhaps if I heated it up I'd be able to then strip color to correct mistakes but right now I can set one already anodized a color in the tank of the new multi etch all night long and come out next day and its still the same color! The old would have stripped off that color in about a minute. Big diff if you ask me. So from my stand point its good but boy I wish I'd have kept that old solution. It saved me a 300 paces walk back to the bead blast cabinet many times and this new stuff simply will not strip off and clean like the original.

    I use the dish soap TSP Free from Reactive metals to make the solution for electrolyte to color the titanium. You can use any number of things. Some prefer an industrial drain cleaner and I've done that also. Both work. I prefer the less caustic of the two and since I have pets that seemed to make better sense to my wife and I.

  7. Leadfoot2


    Aug 21, 2007

    Would the above power source also be capable to etch logo's on blades?

  8. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004

    I have no idea about that. Not sure how thats done other than an electrolyte fluid. I tell you what though the power source I use, while made in China has been a good unit for me well worth every penny for what I needed. I happen to know the school labs for high school and mid high in my area have used the same units just like mine for about two years longer than I have and they are still going strong so if that is any indication hopefully I'm good for a while.

  9. freewheeling


    Dec 30, 2012
    How much for mauve-teal-khaki-puce ?

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