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Old 10-18-2014, 06:49 PM
John1125 John1125 is online now
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Parkerizing - My experience

I wanted to share how I did this , it seems difficult to me to find consistent step by step instructions on how to park and what to get as far as supplies. I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination nor claim to be anything other than just a guy who wanted to try to put on a utilitarian type finish on a 1911 .

It was also helpful for me to understand just what Parking is , that is the actual science of what is going on , or what you are trying to accomplish with this procedure. Parkerizing or phosphating is a conversion coating that occures when a part is submerged in a phosphate manganese solution with the temp at 190-200 degrees . Iron is also present in that solution along with some other things like nickel depending upon who makes it . This is from the wiki page and explains it well and simply :

"The process involves submerging the metal part into a phosphoric acid solution whose key ingredient is often zinc or manganese, with varying additional amounts of nitrates, chlorates, and copper. In one of the many processes that have been developed, the solution is heated to a temperature of 190–210 °F (88–99 °C) for a period ranging between 5 and 45 minutes. A stream of small bubbles is emitted from the metal part as the process takes place; when the bubbling stops, the process is complete. In addition to this particular processing temperature, there have also been various similar Parkerizing processes developed and patented that permit using either lower temperatures (for energy efficiency) or higher temperatures (for faster processing)."

Now on to what to get to do the job.

First get the chems. I choose this stuff, there are many others out there and have read even where guys made their own home brew , but I thought the results may be more consistent if I just bought the stuff.

https://www.shootersolutions.com/parkerizing.html

Now you need some pots and a heat source for each pot and some candy thermometers .

http://www.walmart.com/ip/10927175

http://www.target.com/s/imusa+enamel...y9gaAsxF8P8HAQ


Here is what I got for a heat source ,there are many ways to go-- on the barbeque or even the wifes stove or propane cookers - but just make sure you use a ceramic coated pot or stainless and not aluminum or cast iron since then you will park the pot and not the parts . I don't know what happens with Alum. but all I have read says not to use as a cooker for park solution. I used the stainless one in the link for my park and the others for the hot water bath and degrease solution.

I am sure you could do this cheaper for the pots and hot plates by going to second hand stores or the like , it is just easier for me to click on the stuff and get it shipped .

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/2037400...sTUaAj7D8P8HAQhttp://www.homedepot.com/p/t/2037400...sTUaAj7D8P8HAQ
I got 3 of these but you may be could get by with just a couple by using one for the degrease and hot water but you would have to leave the parts set a while in order to bring the clean water to a boil. Also with these hot plates you have to use a pot that is ferrous metal .



Now the process:

steps

#1 prepare the parts / finish parts to desired smoothness and fit then I blasted mine with 120 AO blast media . I did this before I started the actual parking process that way I could make any changes and or corrections as desired .

#2 Put on some nitrile gloves so as keep thing clean and for some protection from the chemicles . Degrease - in a hot solution of degreaser at around 160 degrees for about 5-7 minutes (this degreaser is sold with the chems in a kit )

#3 dry parts with heat gun and or compressed air

#4 Go back into the blast cabinet and hit the part again so as to make sure that the steel is reactive and perfectly clean - again blow out parts with air

#4 I went into boiling water to clean all the blast media out and raise the temp on the part close to the temp of the park solution for about 5-10 minutes

#5 then into the park solution - you will see bubbling from the part , when that stops you are done. Now there will also be flocking present in the solution after your first batch and that is normal but it does make it harder to determine the fizzing of the part.




#6 go into a cold water bath to remove the solution


#7 spray part with dewatering oil , this is sold with the kit you will get with the chems.



Here is the finished product , I was happy with the results I got. As with most any type of finish it follows closely with the amount of prep you do. The better the prep the better the finish .



I did another frame (just the frame on this one ) and believe it or not the part will change color just a bit as a few days go by . It will get some darker , I read this and experienced it to be true.



Keep in mind you will need to season the solution - that is add iron to it before you do the first part . Brownells sells iron powder for this application and I have some of that, but used an old slide that was dimensionally scrap and cooked it for an hour at 140 degrees . You can do your small parts in a stainless strainer .

I found the instructions that Brownells supplies to be the best for me , you can access those from their site . The instruction with the ShooterSolutions was ok but a bit hard for me to follow, but now that I have done a little they make more sense. I also bought some chems from AGI and got their video ,but it makes no mention of seasoning in their instructions .

So I hope this maybe can help out somebody thinking of trying to phosphate some stuff. It really isn't rocket science , but it helps if you think a little . Handle the solution with care it will stain concrete and I believe long exposure to the fumes while cooking will have some bad end results.

Thanks for looking .

KR
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2014, 06:56 PM
snyper762 snyper762 is online now
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Looks really good man. Thanks for sharing. I prefer that finish over standard hot blue. Have to acquire some more pistols first before I give it a go though.
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2014, 07:16 PM
drail drail is offline
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IT"S LIKE MAKING CHILI ON THE BACK PORCH!! That turned out really great. Of all the finishes I have tried over the years I think Park is my favorite also. I have several heavily used Parked 1911s that are from the 80s and they still look good.
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Old 10-18-2014, 07:26 PM
bamashooter bamashooter is offline
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Very nice work and tutorial. Perhaps a sticky?
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2014, 08:21 PM
David Panciotti David Panciotti is offline
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Originally Posted by bamashooter View Post
Very nice work and tutorial. Perhaps a sticky?
Sure. We'll stick this up top for a while.
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2014, 09:32 PM
bamashooter bamashooter is offline
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Thanks c2.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2014, 09:40 PM
RKP RKP is offline
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Great and informative write-up John ... thanks !
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  #8  
Old 10-19-2014, 10:18 AM
Dave Berryhill Dave Berryhill is offline
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Nice write up! Palmetto Enterprises is another popular parkerizing chemical.
http://www.palmettoenterprises.net/P...-Welcome-.html

Does anyone have experience with both the Shooters Solution and the Palmetto that can compare them?
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  #9  
Old 10-19-2014, 06:32 PM
Rick45 Rick45 is offline
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John1125 - to my old eyes that looks to be a very nice, pleasing to the eyes, finish. I'd say you definitely did something right! Very nice!.
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2014, 06:46 PM
John Q. Citizen John Q. Citizen is offline
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One thing to be aware of with regards to heating the park solution: If you use a heat source which comes up from the bottom of the container (stove, bbq, etc.), you must not allow the "sludge" to settle at the bottom. It will harden and trap the heat under it. Eventually, there will be enough heat build-up and the whole thing will "pop" with a good deal of force. It could splash hot solution on whatever is nearby. Stirring the solution frequently while treating parts will keep it from settling at the bottom. I use a wooden spoon.

If you use a heat source that is at the side of the container (like a propane flame set-up) this isn't an issue.

Also: to keep your solution potent and ready for the next job, decant the park solution after it has cooled and the "sludge" has settled to the bottom by using a siphon. DON'T siphon from the bottom so the "sludge" stays behind. Scrub the hardened "sludge" out of the container after each use. After time, the amount of "sludge" generated by your solution will decrease and be less of a problem. Fresh solution can be added to the old mix at anytime and it will continue to be low-sludge.

If "sludge" is allowed to settle on the work piece during treatment it can leave the surface finish uneven and have a slightly yellow-ish speckled effect.

Last edited by John Q. Citizen; 10-19-2014 at 06:58 PM.
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  #11  
Old 10-19-2014, 10:58 PM
John1125 John1125 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Q. Citizen View Post
One thing to be aware of with regards to heating the park solution: If you use a heat source which comes up from the bottom of the container (stove, bbq, etc.), you must not allow the "sludge" to settle at the bottom. It will harden and trap the heat under it. Eventually, there will be enough heat build-up and the whole thing will "pop" with a good deal of force. It could splash hot solution on whatever is nearby. Stirring the solution frequently while treating parts will keep it from settling at the bottom. I use a wooden spoon.

If you use a heat source that is at the side of the container (like a propane flame set-up) this isn't an issue.

Also: to keep your solution potent and ready for the next job, decant the park solution after it has cooled and the "sludge" has settled to the bottom by using a siphon. DON'T siphon from the bottom so the "sludge" stays behind. Scrub the hardened "sludge" out of the container after each use. After time, the amount of "sludge" generated by your solution will decrease and be less of a problem. Fresh solution can be added to the old mix at anytime and it will continue to be low-sludge.

If "sludge" is allowed to settle on the work piece during treatment it can leave the surface finish uneven and have a slightly yellow-ish speckled effect.

I noticed if the temp is kept under 200 -205 this popping or violent bubbling is kept to a minimum . I filtered the solution between jobs after it cooled through a coffee filter, although I am sure decanting/siphoning would be much more effective .

As to the salts that can collect on the parts, I was able to alleviate that issue to some degree by actually rubbing the parts lightly immediately upon entry into the cold water. There was not a great deal of this noticeable since I did stir often as you said , good points - thanks
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2014, 04:51 PM
John Q. Citizen John Q. Citizen is offline
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Yeah, the hotter the solution the worse it will be. I never park over about 185 degrees. It increases solution loss via evaporation, and it adds no benefit to the quality of the results.

I tried the coffee filter thing the very first time I parked, but the "sludge" just ran right through the filter. A gunsmith friend of mine gave me the siphon idea. Works great.
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2014, 05:01 PM
schlarmanm1 schlarmanm1 is offline
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Originally Posted by custom2 View Post
Sure. We'll stick this up top for a while.
Thanks, will make it easy to find in the future as i plan to refinish a gun soon.
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2015, 07:00 PM
John1125 John1125 is online now
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Here is another that turned out really well .

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Old 03-07-2015, 08:34 PM
TacoBobbo TacoBobbo is offline
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That looks really nice. Great job.
Bob
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  #16  
Old 03-10-2015, 01:27 PM
Tom in Ohio Tom in Ohio is offline
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I use steel wool pads to season the solution. Make sure you degrease the pads first. Instead of spraying with a dewatering oil, I submerge my parts in oil or grease heated in an electric broiler at 200 degrees. I let them soak in there for an hour or so.

When I first started parking, I worried about what to blast and not blast and whether to park before or after fitting certain parts. I've tried it different ways and this is what I've settled on:

First, unless you go crazy in the blasting cabinet, any material you remove is replaced with the parkerized finish, and dimensions aren't really altered. The only surface I mask in the blasting cabinet is the breech face. I final fit my hammer, sear, and thumb safety after parkerizing. I don't park barrels, but if I did I would plug it and finish ream, crown, and polish the chamber after parking.

Last edited by Tom in Ohio; 03-10-2015 at 01:52 PM. Reason: addition
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  #17  
Old 03-22-2015, 12:52 AM
R1Rider R1Rider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John1125 View Post
I wanted to share how I did this , it seems difficult to me to find consistent step by step instructions on how to park and what to get as far as supplies. I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination nor claim to be anything other than just a guy who wanted to try to put on a utilitarian type finish on a 1911 .

It was also helpful for me to understand just what Parking is , that is the actual science of what is going on , or what you are trying to accomplish with this procedure. Parkerizing or phosphating is a conversion coating that occures when a part is submerged in a phosphate manganese solution with the temp at 190-200 degrees . Iron is also present in that solution along with some other things like nickel depending upon who makes it . This is from the wiki page and explains it well and simply :

"The process involves submerging the metal part into a phosphoric acid solution whose key ingredient is often zinc or manganese, with varying additional amounts of nitrates, chlorates, and copper. In one of the many processes that have been developed, the solution is heated to a temperature of 190–210 °F (88–99 °C) for a period ranging between 5 and 45 minutes. A stream of small bubbles is emitted from the metal part as the process takes place; when the bubbling stops, the process is complete. In addition to this particular processing temperature, there have also been various similar Parkerizing processes developed and patented that permit using either lower temperatures (for energy efficiency) or higher temperatures (for faster processing)."

Now on to what to get to do the job.

First get the chems. I choose this stuff, there are many others out there and have read even where guys made their own home brew , but I thought the results may be more consistent if I just bought the stuff.

https://www.shootersolutions.com/parkerizing.html

Now you need some pots and a heat source for each pot and some candy thermometers .

http://www.walmart.com/ip/10927175

http://www.target.com/s/imusa+enamel...y9gaAsxF8P8HAQ


Here is what I got for a heat source ,there are many ways to go-- on the barbeque or even the wifes stove or propane cookers - but just make sure you use a ceramic coated pot or stainless and not aluminum or cast iron since then you will park the pot and not the parts . I don't know what happens with Alum. but all I have read says not to use as a cooker for park solution. I used the stainless one in the link for my park and the others for the hot water bath and degrease solution.

I am sure you could do this cheaper for the pots and hot plates by going to second hand stores or the like , it is just easier for me to click on the stuff and get it shipped .

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/2037400...sTUaAj7D8P8HAQhttp://www.homedepot.com/p/t/2037400...sTUaAj7D8P8HAQ
I got 3 of these but you may be could get by with just a couple by using one for the degrease and hot water but you would have to leave the parts set a while in order to bring the clean water to a boil. Also with these hot plates you have to use a pot that is ferrous metal .



Now the process:

steps

#1 prepare the parts / finish parts to desired smoothness and fit then I blasted mine with 120 AO blast media . I did this before I started the actual parking process that way I could make any changes and or corrections as desired .

#2 Put on some nitrile gloves so as keep thing clean and for some protection from the chemicles . Degrease - in a hot solution of degreaser at around 160 degrees for about 5-7 minutes (this degreaser is sold with the chems in a kit )

#3 dry parts with heat gun and or compressed air

#4 Go back into the blast cabinet and hit the part again so as to make sure that the steel is reactive and perfectly clean - again blow out parts with air

#4 I went into boiling water to clean all the blast media out and raise the temp on the part close to the temp of the park solution for about 5-10 minutes

#5 then into the park solution - you will see bubbling from the part , when that stops you are done. Now there will also be flocking present in the solution after your first batch and that is normal but it does make it harder to determine the fizzing of the part.




#6 go into a cold water bath to remove the solution


#7 spray part with dewatering oil , this is sold with the kit you will get with the chems.



Here is the finished product , I was happy with the results I got. As with most any type of finish it follows closely with the amount of prep you do. The better the prep the better the finish .



I did another frame (just the frame on this one ) and believe it or not the part will change color just a bit as a few days go by . It will get some darker , I read this and experienced it to be true.



Keep in mind you will need to season the solution - that is add iron to it before you do the first part . Brownells sells iron powder for this application and I have some of that, but used an old slide that was dimensionally scrap and cooked it for an hour at 140 degrees . You can do your small parts in a stainless strainer .

I found the instructions that Brownells supplies to be the best for me , you can access those from their site . The instruction with the ShooterSolutions was ok but a bit hard for me to follow, but now that I have done a little they make more sense. I also bought some chems from AGI and got their video ,but it makes no mention of seasoning in their instructions .

So I hope this maybe can help out somebody thinking of trying to phosphate some stuff. It really isn't rocket science , but it helps if you think a little . Handle the solution with care it will stain concrete and I believe long exposure to the fumes while cooking will have some bad end results.

Thanks for looking .

KR
Good read! I am happy to see someone FINALLY taking the time to do their homework and do something correct!
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  #18  
Old 04-14-2015, 01:07 AM
best45auto best45auto is offline
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Originally Posted by John1125 View Post
Here is another that turned out really well .

Very nice
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  #19  
Old 04-22-2015, 09:42 AM
michaelcj michaelcj is offline
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Any one know of a "Touch-up" product?

I have a SPRFLD Mil-Spec [1994] that was "fitted: with an Ed Brown grip safety sometime in it's life before it came to me.

The original "fitting" left the sharp edged of the rear of the frame proud when the safety is engaged causing some discomfort and sometimes a little blood loss at the web of my hand after extended practice sessions.

The gun is in great shape and does not need a complete refinish.

So…. after I reshape/fit the small area at the top of the frame in this area…. is there a "touch-up" process/product that will work well and match the original finish??

I guess my only other option is to have the whole frame refinished…Don't really want to do that unless there are no other viable options.

Thanks
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  #20  
Old 04-23-2015, 06:33 PM
John1125 John1125 is online now
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So…. after I reshape/fit the small area at the top of the frame in this area…. is there a "touch-up" process/product that will work well and match the original finish??

That is tough to say- touch up blue might get it back to the same color possibly , but may not match the finish .

I guess my only other option is to have the whole frame refinished…Don't really want to do that unless there are no other viable options.


This is the best option if really want it to look good .
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  #21  
Old 07-20-2015, 06:03 PM
bonesaw bonesaw is offline
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John,
Your parkerizing is going well. I also parkerize, but use coarse glass beads, which I know is not optimum, but I am slowly moving away from it. MOST times, the beads are just agressive enough, but sometimes not. When it does work well, the results are worth it because there is very little degredation to the minute nuances of the original finish. I am going to try a fine ground glass to see if I get a bit more cutting action with the most of the safety of glass beads. If that is not aggressive enough, I will try fine Garnet, which I use at work, and if that is not enough, it will be the A.O. as you are using.

Danny
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  #22  
Old 07-21-2015, 12:14 AM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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I love the nickname, John1125.
Anyway, I have one of the 1900 Colt 38 autos that is in pretty bad shape, I surface ground the sides below the abuse and rust and wanted to send it off to Turnbull, until I got the quote. So I'm thinking I'll parkerize it, but I wonder if it was ever issued to troops, and if it was ever parkerized.
That's about the only way this gun will look even halfway nice.
parts
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  #23  
Old 07-21-2015, 12:16 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Originally Posted by partsproduction View Post
I love the nickname, John1125.
Anyway, I have one of the 1900 Colt 38 autos... I wonder if it was ever issued to troops, and if it was ever parkerized.
Yes and no.
But a good smooth Parkerized finish will look better than blue over pits.
Especially if you then dunk it in the bluing tank which will turn it dead black.
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  #24  
Old 07-30-2015, 12:31 AM
DrDenby DrDenby is offline
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How can I tell if this 1911 I have is parkerized or blued?

Pictures of both, look the same to me compared with mine





Doc
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  #25  
Old 09-26-2015, 04:40 PM
bonesaw bonesaw is offline
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Doc,
I can't tell from the picture, unfortunately. It is a bit too dark and the resolution too low. I have done parkerizing for years. I can tell you that depending upon surface preparation, even for me, sometimes I can't be sure if something is parkerized or not. There is somewhat of an overlap between the two, if dark Manganese has been achieved with media that is not aggressive, then compared to a Black Oxide (blued) finish that was more aggressively prepared. Who manufactured the 1911 and what model is it?

Danny
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