DIY anodizing?

Cool link, Vactor. Thanks a lot.

Not that I'll ever use them myself, but I keep links to tutorials on how to do various things in the realm of knife making. Maybe can share someday, when somebody more knowledgeable isn't about.
First, you would have to polish the parts you wish to anodize. We recently went through this on this forum. Ti anodizing works by interference colors, so the light has to be able to reflect off the surface, which it will not do well if the surface is bead blasted.

Second, please note that the link provided by storyville describes a process that uses trisodiumphosphate (TSP); the chemical shown, however, is clearly NOT TSP, and I have no idea what it is. Check the box out, however, and you will see that it says 'phosphate free', so it is obviously not TSP.

Third, are you really sure you want to do this to a very expensive precision made instrument??

i was going to follow the steps in the link using (3) 9 volt bateries and the bathroom cleaner. i love my umfaan, but think the polished side with the graphic could use a light blue or purple color. from my understanding:
1) the umfaan can be easily taken apart and put back to gether (and is designed for the customer to do so).
2) the umfaan already has one side that is polished.
3) my understanding of the anodization process is that the parts are not damagaed in any way, and the anodization can be buffed off or re anodized.

any cons to this? is my understanding accurate? any other reasons why i would NOT want to do this to the polished side of my Umfaan?

again, all help and comments gladly accepted.
I say do it.... as long as you're prepared to handle the consequences.

I have been making MOD's to my knives, guns, toys etc my whole purchasing life. (never one of my Reeve's though) 95% of the time I love the results, there are times when I hate what I did.

Once, not too long ago, I got a knife in a trade with a value ~$100, was not real crazy about it and set out to do some MOD's. After about 5 hours of work and another $15 in parts I had to scrap the knife, I screwed it up big time! :barf: :barf:

Such is the life of a tinkerer:)
I have all the stuff and I am ready to do it. I'll let you know if it works. The instructions say buy "clean shower", but I could not find "clean shower", I found "shower clean". And it says nothing about being phosphate free.I am doing it to a Boker Brend. The liner and bolsters are titanium and I only spent $45 on it.

Here I go.
Good luck! Worst case scenario you electrocute yourself :D

Glad to hear you're not doing your Umfaan first. I'm definately interested in hearing how it comes out.
Unless you have a background in this sort of thing, I would leave it to the professionals. *holding ears waiting for explosion*
can it really be that hard to hook 3 batteries together, pour some cleaner in a jar, attach a lead to the Ti piece, put a lead in the solution, and then submerge the Ti in the solution for 5 seconds??
No, I think it's cool and I'm honestly waiting to hear how it comes out.

I just wouldn't use a $300 knife as my first guinea pig.

I'm going to have an extra "old style" Sebenza clip soon, I'll probably try it out on that first.
Vactor; of course it is not hard putting some cleaner in a jar and proceeding as you have indicated. It does, of course, involve anodizing with a chemical compound you have no idea is the compound that is suppposed to be used, and flies in the face of common sense, at least to this scientist.

But do let us know how it turns out. Walt
Well I did it. Who ever said to submerge it for 5 seconds is in for a shock.

The solution I used was Shower Clean and it works. I say it works, but to a point. I had to submerge the Ti for a minimum of 5 minutes before the color came out. I think you then let the piece dry before wiping the solution off. I say this because the first time I took the Ti out and wiped it with a cloth it smeared the color.

There is simply not enough juice in two 9 volts. You would have to leave the Ti in for 30 minutes. Three and four 9 volts work just enough to get the solution fizzing.

You should keep a careful watch on the Ti so as to get the right color. The colors seem to come in a pattern. Dark blues and purples first, then comes lighter versions, then on to an ugly gold brass color, and that is where it stops. Once I went past the the blues and purples, I could not get back. So watch it if you want a specific color.

All of this happened with a solution called Shower Clean I bought at Fred Myer. I used three 9 volts and some aligator clamps. So if you do this with exactly the materials I used, it should come out like mine. By no means is this review a guide to be followed.

Well I am going to try to fefine my technique a little and see what happens.
Sounds cool!

Could you hit a spot of it with a scrub pad or 600 grit to see what happens to the finish? Just curious as to how durable it is..
Check out some of the stuff posted by Tom Anderson on, under the "folder forum". Tom does great stuff with anodizing Ti and he is always willing to share what he has learned. (He does use "real" equipment, but I'm sure he understands the principals well enough and would be willing to help you out in your project...) ...and he makes a mean custom folder too!!!:)

Good luck!! Keep us posted... maybe I'll attack my TNT!!!

The stuff comes off with a good scrubbing of 800 grit.

I think this is more about fun than actually trying to become good at it. With the eqipment used in this experiment, I don't think it is meant to give perfect results only to add a splash of character.

The recipe was taken off a hobby page and by no means was it meant for abusive situations you may encounter with your knife. I too like modifying blades I buy, but this anodising process does not give reliable results(IMHO). One side of my liner does not match the other.
I only have so much Ti to work with(I guess I could keep sanding it off until I get good at it). Unfortunately only rather expensive knives are made of Ti.

I am still thinking about the bolsters on my LCC DA!
i have removed anodization on Ti with Flitz.
1st time unintentionaly :eek:

hardly removes any metal too.

later, mark
i was only going to add a bit more 'splash' to the already polished side of the Umfaan i have, and not touch the other slab. thanks for the Tom Anderson name, i will gently inquire as to percautions and advice. and as alway, comments and criticisms freely accepted :p
C4: I found this on today's search. Thanks for the recommendation!

Anyone who is interested in the process of anodizing titanium can go to The Folder Forum at and click on the topic "ANODIZING TITANIUM 101". The entire process is described in detail, along with photos and descriptions of some of the power sources that I've used for anodizing titanium. I'll be glad to help anyone who visits with their questions. :)

By the way - you can anodize over bead blasted surfaces. It changes the refraction a bit, but you do get a subdued rendition of the color that will contrast nicely with adjacent areas that have been machined, filed or ground. I believe Bob T. has been doing it for years on his folders. ;)