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  • Let's Parkerize Something!

    Per request from a new board member, I am posting this article here. Please forgive me, but you may have seen this already over on HomeGunsmith.com, but its been noted here that HG is dying, and there may be a lot of people here with stuff to parkerize, that may not even be into guns. So here goes!

    After building a few guns, with varying results, I've come to the conclusion that Parkerizing is the only way to go. No matter what finish you do afterwards, a good sandblasting and parking will enhance and prolong the life of your weapon. So I started reading about it, and I bought the AGI dvd and watched that a couple times.

    I decided that I wanted to do a few more guns than just a couple AK kits, so I would need a fairly decent tank. More importantly, I would need a heat source. I decided to make my own heat source, and after much waffling about, and a couple Pepsi-colas, I cobbled-together my own pipe burner, with stand to match my tank.



    Made from simple angle iron, and black iron pipe. I drilled holes evenly-spaced in a 60-degree angle all up and down the pipe, and drilled 1/4" holes in the end cap for carburation. A small ball valve adjusts the gas flow.



    An $8 low-pressure regulator on a 40# bottle provides the fuel.



    Here it is all lit up. Surprisingly, a nudge of the ball valve here and there will adjust the flame quite nicely.

    Sometimes the professional is hidebound by tradition while the skilled amateur, not knowing it can't be done blazes a new trail. -JCHannum

  • #2


    Here is the tank I bought from some dude selling them on ebay for $99. It was more than I wanted to spend, but its a far cry for what everyone else was charging, so I happily shelled out the greenbacks for it. I'll have to admit that I am somewhat dissapointed in the quality of work on the upper corners. Notice how they turn down? Looks like he made a couple of bad bends and the sides were too high, and he hammered the corners down and welded them in. Oh well, it holds liquid and does not leak, and was cheap. Aesthetics aside, I feel happy I have it.



    This is the setup I put on the side. All in stainless, the large thermometer is a boiler thermometer I bought at a yard sale for only a dollar a few years ago. It has been serving duty on my smoker, but I decided to clean it up and try it here. I decided that I did not like it there, and since these pics were taken, I have removed it and installed an elbow. The ball valve you see here has a barbed fitting attached to make draining the tank really easy.



    I can't remember why I decided to go with the Lauer solution, but I suspect it was price. I'm not a cheap-ass, but hey it was a lot cheaper than the Brownell's.

    Sometimes the professional is hidebound by tradition while the skilled amateur, not knowing it can't be done blazes a new trail. -JCHannum

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    • #3
      I mixed the solution according to their directions in this nice nalgene container. I have a few of them that I picked up wicked cheap at an auction. Handy for stuff like this, and mixing antifreeze, and whatever.




      This is a thermometer I use a lot when I make a knife or have to harden something, it provides an accurate temp for the quenching bath. I ditched the boiler thermometer because in the location I had it, the reading was 10 degrees lower than this one.



      FLAME ON!

      Sometimes the professional is hidebound by tradition while the skilled amateur, not knowing it can't be done blazes a new trail. -JCHannum

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      • #4
        After the solution got to the desired temperature, I had to throttle it down a bit. Surprisingly, the temp held steady once I was able to do this. It stayed between 175-180 degrees the whole time.



        A real necessity or urban myth? Lauer directions called for tossing in a pad of coarse steel wool to "condition" it, but the AGI video said it wasnt necessary with their managese solution. I decided that the best course of action was to blindly follow directions. Hey I ain't no ekspurt ya kno! :lol: Anyway, you can see that after 15 minutes, the steel wool was pretty much parkerized!



        Here is my barrel and receiver assembly stewing away nicely. I washed it in the dishwasher while the old lady was out shopping and blasted it with 120 grit AO set at 80psi.

        Sometimes the professional is hidebound by tradition while the skilled amateur, not knowing it can't be done blazes a new trail. -JCHannum

        Comment


        • #5
          And here is the fruit of my labor. This is one of the "Rusty Romys" we all scrambled to buy last year. I was lucky to get a few. It is nice to see new life breathed into it. I like this gun. Its got a Magpul MOE attached to a Vltor M4 stock adaptor. The grip is a CAA, and the handguard is a Choate (which I think is infinitely better than Crapco). The flashhider is a Krebs, and I planned on getting the Krebs peep sight, but the car decided to throw a fit, and cash needed to be diverted from my gun-fun stash to the get-to-work-and-keep-money-coming-in account.





          Thanks for reading. I know I probably left something out. If anyone can think of it, then holler at me!
          Sometimes the professional is hidebound by tradition while the skilled amateur, not knowing it can't be done blazes a new trail. -JCHannum

          Comment


          • #6
            How do you stop the parkering from happening inside of the barrel? Or where you don't want it.
            Andy

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            • #7
              Very nice setup and great post.

              Couple questions,once everything is up to heat and cooking about how long does it take to complete?

              Also once it's Parkerized does the part need anything else to prevent rust?
              I just need one more tool,just one!

              Comment


              • #8
                Great post and nice build. Thanks for sharing. We do Parco Lubrite coatings on some of the parts we make. We always put a good sized piece of steel wool in the bath before we start soaking parts. We have some litmus paper that turns good and pink, almost red when the mix is right. We let the parts sit in the mix for about 15 minutes or until the part quits bubbling. We have another tank we rinse the bath off in, then we blow the part dry which just takes a second since it is so warm, and dip it in a heated oil tank. Let it cool and wipe down the excess oil. Turns out good and black.

                Do you dip yours in oil after your setup?
                Jonathan P.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Your burner reminded me of these - not because there's any fault with your burner, but because I'm adverse to yellow flames on a burner

                  http://www.tejassmokers.com/newproducts_page6.htm

                  The brass jets can be made or purchased separately.

                  Back to the thread - that is a nice setup. The results speak for themselves. What are the concerns with the chemicals, and are they a use once and toss or are they re-usable?

                  I have a number of smaller parts I'd like to treat to prevent corrosion so don't need a rifle-sized tank. I think a stock pot would satisfy all my requirements, in fact, but I don't want to buy a 20 supply of chemicals

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vpt
                    How do you stop the parkering from happening inside of the barrel? Or where you don't want it.
                    Rubber plugs. Some people whittle their own out of wood. In this instance, the Romanian AK has a chrome barrel, so I didn't bother.
                    Sometimes the professional is hidebound by tradition while the skilled amateur, not knowing it can't be done blazes a new trail. -JCHannum

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dp
                      Your burner reminded me of these - not because there's any fault with your burner, but because I'm adverse to yellow flames on a burner

                      http://www.tejassmokers.com/newproducts_page6.htm

                      The brass jets can be made or purchased separately.

                      Back to the thread - that is a nice setup. The results speak for themselves. What are the concerns with the chemicals, and are they a use once and toss or are they re-usable?

                      I have a number of smaller parts I'd like to treat to prevent corrosion so don't need a rifle-sized tank. I think a stock pot would satisfy all my requirements, in fact, but I don't want to buy a 20 supply of chemicals
                      Not trying to hijack but have a look at this:

                      http://www.blindhogg.com/homemadesalts.html

                      Not park'ing but suitable for small parts nonetheless.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by japcas
                        Great post and nice build. Thanks for sharing. We do Parco Lubrite coatings on some of the parts we make. We always put a good sized piece of steel wool in the bath before we start soaking parts. We have some litmus paper that turns good and pink, almost red when the mix is right. We let the parts sit in the mix for about 15 minutes or until the part quits bubbling. We have another tank we rinse the bath off in, then we blow the part dry which just takes a second since it is so warm, and dip it in a heated oil tank. Let it cool and wipe down the excess oil. Turns out good and black.

                        Do you dip yours in oil after your setup?
                        I rinse with clean water, then use Lauer Post Treatment Solution.
                        Sometimes the professional is hidebound by tradition while the skilled amateur, not knowing it can't be done blazes a new trail. -JCHannum

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wierdscience
                          Very nice setup and great post.

                          Couple questions,once everything is up to heat and cooking about how long does it take to complete?

                          Also once it's Parkerized does the part need anything else to prevent rust?
                          The oil you would use to protect the steel, soaks into the phosphate coating. It is rare that you ever see a rust on a parkerized gun.
                          Last edited by Kibby; 01-31-2010, 01:32 PM.
                          Sometimes the professional is hidebound by tradition while the skilled amateur, not knowing it can't be done blazes a new trail. -JCHannum

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dp
                            Your burner reminded me of these - not because there's any fault with your burner, but because I'm adverse to yellow flames on a burner

                            http://www.tejassmokers.com/newproducts_page6.htm

                            The brass jets can be made or purchased separately.

                            Back to the thread - that is a nice setup. The results speak for themselves. What are the concerns with the chemicals, and are they a use once and toss or are they re-usable?

                            I have a number of smaller parts I'd like to treat to prevent corrosion so don't need a rifle-sized tank. I think a stock pot would satisfy all my requirements, in fact, but I don't want to buy a 20 supply of chemicals
                            Yeah my flames are kind of smokey. Its definitely not a professional setup, but indeed it would cost considerably more to purchase a better setup through Brownell's.

                            The chemicals can be reused many times. You will probably lose chemical due to boil-off (evaporation) and likely need to add more. There is a cruddy sediment-like contamination called "flock" that happens as a normal part of the process. I strain it with a coffee filter back into the jug between uses. There is only one precaution to take concerning the flock. You should stir the solution frequently to assure even heat distribution, and assuring that the flock does not settle. Keeping it floating in solution will eliminate a blotchy park job.

                            Any stainless steel vessel should work fine for the small stuff. I use a steel stockpot and a hotplate for the small stuff I do.
                            Sometimes the professional is hidebound by tradition while the skilled amateur, not knowing it can't be done blazes a new trail. -JCHannum

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by websterz
                              Not trying to hijack but have a look at this:

                              http://www.blindhogg.com/homemadesalts.html

                              Not park'ing but suitable for small parts nonetheless.
                              I've seen Blindhogg's method on another site. For my money, a gallon of solution from Lauer Custom Weaponry will yield 5 gallons of parkerizing solution. All you have to add is heat. Blindhogg's method is dangerous, overcomplicated, and probably just as expensive. FWIW, I have seen guys parkerize stuff in a stainless drywall compound tray from Home Depot, on top of a Coleman stove.
                              Sometimes the professional is hidebound by tradition while the skilled amateur, not knowing it can't be done blazes a new trail. -JCHannum

                              Comment

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