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Thread: Re-Anodizing after engraving lower

  1. #1
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    Re-Anodizing after engraving lower

    I have a couple of lowers that I will have professionally engraved. The problem is they are already anodized. The engraving will of course take the aluminium down to the white and will look weird. What's the proper process - just fill in the engraved area or send off to an anodizing specialist, have the old finish removed and re-anodize?

    I understand the latter can be expensive.
    Maj. USAR (Ret) 160th SOAR, 2/17 CAV
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    Black Mesa Ranch. Raising Fine Cattle and Horses in San Miguel County since 1879

  2. #2
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    If marking with a laser, the lettering is white and can be just left or hit with a black sharpie pen.
    Black River Tactical
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    Cheap option would be the Birchwood Casey super black pen or maybe aluma-hyde.

    Iíve used these for small chips and scratches and itís looked fine.

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    These are both a kind of "XM Gray" lowers, and the the black of the Aluma-Hyde may not be appropriate. I have used it on SBR engravings for black anodized lowers.
    Maj. USAR (Ret) 160th SOAR, 2/17 CAV
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    Black Mesa Ranch. Raising Fine Cattle and Horses in San Miguel County since 1879

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    Aluma hyde, sharpies and even model paint from the hobby store are probably your best and least expensive options. Some anodizing shops are not ffl holders and cannot except the lowers as they are technically the firearm. Some of those that specialize in firearms refinishing will only work on class 1 weapons. If you have an nfa item you may have to look for an even more specialized shop. If you had a complete, matching finished weapon, you now run the risk of getting a mis matched one because each shop uses a different formula, prep process or times in the solution tanks. You also have to have the items totally dis-assembled for refinishing which can lead to problems during both the taking apart and putting back together phase. Just some things to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpddoug162 View Post
    Aluma hyde, sharpies and even model paint from the hobby store are probably your best and least expensive options. Some anodizing shops are not ffl holders and cannot except the lowers as they are technically the firearm. Some of those that specialize in firearms refinishing will only work on class 1 weapons. If you have an nfa item you may have to look for an even more specialized shop. If you had a complete, matching finished weapon, you now run the risk of getting a mis matched one because each shop uses a different formula, prep process or times in the solution tanks. You also have to have the items totally dis-assembled for refinishing which can lead to problems during both the taking apart and putting back together phase. Just some things to think about.
    The lowers in question are not NFA items, and are currently stripped. I have looked at US Anodizing as an option, but it appears @ $250 to remove current finish and re-anodize for 1 lower.
    Maj. USAR (Ret) 160th SOAR, 2/17 CAV
    NRA Life Member
    Black Mesa Ranch. Raising Fine Cattle and Horses in San Miguel County since 1879

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    Birchwood Casey used to make (still some floating around) a dry film lubricant pen called MLP that might be a better match for the grey color. Drawing a blank on which companies (Sandstrom is one) make the dry film lube mentioned in the armorers manuals for touch up work, but running the NSN will get search hits. Either should be durable, tech correct(Sandstrom or equivalent), likely visually ok, and removable with solvent if desired.

    https://www.skygeek.com/sandstrom-28...RoCbFkQAvD_BwE

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016783579



    Aluminum black(liquid or pen) may be black or grey depending on reaction with the alloy. Works like cold blue.

    https://birchwoodcasey.com/products/...ng?category=28
    Last edited by jsbhike; 10-28-19 at 12:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsbhike View Post
    Birchwood Casey used to make (still some floating around) a dry film lubricant pen called MLP that might be a better match for the grey color. Drawing a blank on which companies (Sandstrom is one) make the dry film lube mentioned in the armorers manuals for touch up work, but running the NSN will get search hits. Either should be durable, tech correct(Sandstrom or equivalent), likely visually ok, and removable with solvent if desired.

    https://www.skygeek.com/sandstrom-28...RoCbFkQAvD_BwE

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016783579



    Aluminum black(liquid or pen) may be black or grey depending on reaction with the alloy. Works like cold blue.

    https://birchwoodcasey.com/products/...ng?category=28
    The MLP by Birchwood Casey looks promising. I would apply it to the engraved areas, then have to do a quick wipe with some kind of mild solvent to remove from the non-engraved areas. What about spraying CRC Dry Moly Lube from the aerosol can? Spray it on then quickly wipe off around the engraving. I've seen online videos of people applying paint that way to engraved areas on the AR lower.
    Last edited by OH58D; 10-28-19 at 15:51.
    Maj. USAR (Ret) 160th SOAR, 2/17 CAV
    NRA Life Member
    Black Mesa Ranch. Raising Fine Cattle and Horses in San Miguel County since 1879

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    Just leave it. Why bother? It won't hurt a thing.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by OH58D View Post
    The MLP by Birchwood Casey looks promising, but what about spraying CRC Dry Moly Lube from the aerosol can? Spray it on then wipe off around the engraving.
    Didn't see any graphite listed on the CRC MSDS so worth a try.

    I assume spray/wipe the excess on engraving would be fine if my assumption that the engraving is a constant depth versus some roll marks that seem to have shallow spots that get wiped out. If not, you can always wet a tooth pick or fine tip brush and fill in if that is the case.
    Last edited by jsbhike; 10-28-19 at 16:13.

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