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Removing Anodization

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Sharperthansticks, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    918
    Sep 19, 2017
    Background: My knife maintenance and tinkering skills are improving, but I'm not a craftsman. I have a Dremel and Flexshaft, 2 Wiha bit sets, a small working area in my apartment, a table vise, and various screwdrivers and other standard hand tools. I do not have a full workshop. I'm comfortable tearing down knives to clean, lube, and reassemble them , though it takes me a LONG time to get them back together with the centering and action just right. (I'm looking at you, Kizer knives.)

    I told you all of that to describe my skill level as well as my inventory of tools, because I'm interested in purchasing a knife that has an anodized back scale, and stripping the anodization. I'm considering trying Flitz and a cotton Dremel buffing wheel at 5000 rpm. (That's the slowest I can make it.) An alternative idea I'm considering is buying a small rock tumbler from Harbor Freight and stonewashing the anodization off.

    What do you guys think? I'm not a tool expert.
     
    aleforme likes this.
  2. aleforme

    aleforme Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    It doesn't take much. I removed the old Ano off my CRK with a Scotch Brite pad pretty easily. Granted it was an old Ano job. I would maybe start with the Scotch Brite pad and use the Dremel cotton buffing wheel to polish it up. Assuming you want a polish.

    See my post in this forum from early today.
     
  3. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    918
    Sep 19, 2017
    Thanks, and I looked at your posting from earlier today; it looked to me like in one of the pictures that the ano was still partially on the knife. Will have to look again. So, removing ano from a front scale may be easier than from a back scale. Is it easy to get the scotch bright pad around the curves in the finger cutout of the back scale? I'd think there would be an uneven removal of material in that area. (That's what I've found in my Dremeling experience.)
     
    aleforme likes this.
  4. aleforme

    aleforme Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    It might be a bit tricky but I was able to fold the SB pad and get into the grooves pretty good. Granted I wasn't going for a nice smooth polished finish.

    Any color in the after photos are from lighting or post processing. The Ano came off really easy. Took me about 10 minutes.
     
  5. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    If the knife is aluminum, and has real anodizing, Easy Off oven cleaner will remove it.
     
    SVTFreak and 1SHOT1KILL like this.
  6. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    918
    Sep 19, 2017
    And if it's titanium?
     
  7. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Darned if I know- I don't deal with Titanium.
    If it's electrical "anodizing" for color, I would think sandpaper would work fine.
     
  8. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    agreed...since anodizing only affects the very shallow micro-surface layers of the steel...
     
  9. aleforme

    aleforme Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    Just curios, what kind of knife?

    It would awesome if you could post before and after photos. I love seeing stuff like this.
     
  10. 1SHOT1KILL

    1SHOT1KILL

    Mar 28, 2009
    I use the bead blaster at work to strip ano off of Ti knives. We use ceramic grade glass beads and I set the pressure to 40psi.
     
  11. turtle13

    turtle13

    433
    Apr 23, 2012
    Use hydrofluoric acid such as whink rust remover for titanium. It is super nasty stuff, wear gloves and a respirator if you have one.
     
  12. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    918
    Sep 19, 2017
    That sounds terrible and with the potential for taking off way too much metal. Hmmmm.
     
  13. turtle13

    turtle13

    433
    Apr 23, 2012
    It actually isn't that bad as long as you pay attention. It's far more harmfull to organic material than metal. If you are worried about the strength, dilute it down with distilled or RO water and let it soak longer.
    Either way it will remove less metal than any kind of mechanical removal.
     
    Sharperthansticks likes this.
  14. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    918
    Sep 19, 2017
    All right. And how do you dispose of that stuff? Just down the drain, and flush it with plenty of water?
     
  15. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016

    Don’t bother stonewashing it off.

    Insteas buy some Whink brand rust stain remover and submerge the anodized part in it for a few seconds. It will eat the anodization right off of titanium.

    It is %2 hydroflouric acid. Just be careful it will etch even stainless steel in a matter of seconds.
     
    Sharperthansticks likes this.
  16. turtle13

    turtle13

    433
    Apr 23, 2012
    To neutralize use an alkaline solution of your choice. Baking soda Dissolved in water works fine. Or just put it in a sealable open top plastic container and keep it till next time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  17. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    918
    Sep 19, 2017
    It was a Liong Mah knife at a good price on the forum. The knife had a bad ano job. Anyway, I thought it over too long, and someone else finally bought it. No biggie; I'll probably try this again in the future.
     
  18. aleforme

    aleforme Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    I almost jumped on that knife as well. Then I saw the ano job. It was a great deal though. I sold my Warrior One V2 CF a while back and regretted it instantly. Awesome knife.
     
  19. kaput

    kaput Gold Member Gold Member

    484
    Mar 17, 2016
    Sounds like whink is the defacto easiest option. I'd like to get back to raw titanium from some anodized screws, would this be ok too?

    Is it actually eating away metal? Will it potentially effect threads or fit etc?

    Thanks
     

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