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Discussion Starter #1
Today I sandblasted the frame of my P5 (original finish was damaged anyway). Should I blacken the frame or should I leave it as it is ? In my opinion the "two tone finish" doesn't look bad at all. Thanks for your comments !




 

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The two tone finish looks nice!

Since refinishing the aluminium frame is hard to do well, I would probably leave it as is.

In the last few years the gun industry has developed some spray on and bake finishes that are supposed to hold up very well. If you decide to blacken the frame again you might try one of those. (Brownell's is a good source)

I do know the original anodizing provides some surface hardness, so your "unfinished" frame might tend to scratch or wear easily, but you can always re-blast or clear coat the frame.
 

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Man, leave it!!! That is sweet.
 

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It sure looks good. My only concern would be how well it would hold up as is to the elements -- if, in fact, the elements ever come into play when you take it out for a test drive.
 

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I work quite a lot with aluminum, well, 6061 grade anyway, and aluminums vary greatly from grade to grade in many aspects, especially as to hardness, finish, and resistance to oxidation. I'd be curious to know what type/grade of aluminum is used on the P5 frame.
 

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Was the aluminum anodized before U sandblasted it? If so, U need it re-anodized. Otherwise, the metal will be soft.
 

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While adonizing does stiffen the aluminum, I would wonder how much Walther is depending on the stiffening for structural integrity as opposed to the base aluminum itself. In any event, it will almost certainly be necessary for finish durability

I also wonder whether there is a neutral type of clear adonization.
 

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I would recoat it with something....
no matter how hard you will try, sooner or later your sweat will start to damage the aluminum.
 

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Exactly: Uncut is (once again) correct.

At least one forum member is a huge fan of the hard chrome process. It looks absolutely dynamite and does a superb job of protecting the metal at a more-than-reasonable price. You might want to take a look at that option.
 

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U can't hard chrome aluminum without plating it with nickel first - that's 2 layers, and despite some claims, it COULD change the tolerances.

But, I know Berettas have some softening issues if U don't anodize them
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Your comments got me thinking. I'm considering to apply Birchwood Casey's "Aluminum Black" which reacts chemically with the aluminum thus giving a black appearance on the metal. But I don't know if this reaction adds some mechanical strength or a harder surface (?)
 

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Your comments got me thinking. I'm considering to apply Birchwood Casey's "Aluminum Black" which reacts chemically with the aluminum thus giving a black appearance on the metal. But I don't know if this reaction adds some mechanical strength or a harder surface (?)
Besides the strength issue, I've used that product to touch up frames and I'm not confident that you will get the results that you are hoping for. I suspect that you will find yourself left with a very uneven finish, but that is just based on dealing with very small areas.
 

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It is hard to give recommendations since we don't know what you have available to you over there in Europe.
Here in the US we have many companies or products to choose from when it comes to gun refinishing and it's almost as hard to pick who to use as to what to use.
I doubt that the finish adds that much strength to the frame to make a difference to the average shooter. Like said before I bet the strength comes from the material itself. However since aluminum is a soft metal, you might be able to scratch the frame or ding it easier not having the anodized top coat on the frame anymore.
I did a search and seen that there is a clear anodizing process too... so maybe you can find somebody that can do that for you....
 

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For the sake of your Walther toss the bottle of Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black in the garbage and don't look back!!!

Using that would be WORSE than trying to use Super Blue to refinish your slide and barrel!!

If you must refinish that fine pistol's frame, Please!!! Please!!! Have it professionally done.

You might try to spray and bake stuff from Brownell, that won't mess up the frame of your pistol - and can be blasted off again if it turns out bad, but that Aluminum Black is slobber and not a fitting treatment for any decent firearm!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for your advise guys ! At this moment I'm making the preparations to anodize the frame (i.e. collecting all the stuff needed for the job). As for the color, I believe I will leave it as it is because I really like the two tone finish and Aluminum Black doesn't seem to be that good an idea (it worked pretty well for blackening the disassembly latch). When the job is done (in a couple of weeks ?) I'll post some pictures with the results.
 

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Make sure you post the results!!!

I would be interested in seeing the set up you construct for anodizing the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I DID IT !

I realize I got you waiting for a long time but I finally managed to anodize the frame of my P5. First of all some comments : although I got some advice to have it surface treated by a professional, I have to admit that I very much doubt you will find anyone here in Europe. There sure are gun smiths who can blacken steel gun parts or do very fine jobs on (expensive) guns for a (very) expensive price. Having it anodized by an industrial company was not an option as they don't deal with private customers and they sure don't want to handle guns. So I realized I was on my own. Fortunately I found very usefull info at 2 sites (http://www.focuser.com/atm/anodize/anodize.html and http://astro.neutral.org/anodise.shtml). So I got to work : my father supplied me with the 12 Volt battery and battery charger. The lead, caustic soda and aluminum flat bars were purchased at the local DIY. It took me some weeks though to find a supplier for the sulphuric acid (public sales prohibited in Belgium !). I finally found it at a specialist shop for car parts etc. Told the guy I needed battery acid. Next step was to completely strip the frame and to sand blast it. It took me a 2 hours drive to find a company were I could blast it myself. (I don't hand my frame over to strangers). Back home I masked the exposed surfaces of the steel parts (hexagonal transversal reinforcement pin and the mechanical stop for the decocking lever) with two components polyester resin. Next thing was dipping the frame into a bath of caustic soda (i.e. etching). I almost fainted when - after rinsing in demineralized water - I noticed that the surface got unevenly grey ! After touching up the lighter areas with a soda dipped Q-tip, the result was much better and it even became perfect after washing the frame in hot soapy water. Then the "moment supreme" : dipping the frame into a suphuric acid filled container and putting electric power on it. However I noticed some very small bubbles rising very quickly from the mechanical stop area. I immediately fished up the frame, rinsed it and noticed that the pin was being eaten away due to a very small perforation through the masking layer. Got it removed, reapplied and restarted the process. After 45 minutes I lifted it out, put it in a cook pot (luckily I sent my wife and daughters to the shopping mall, cost me a small fortune though) and boiled the frame for about half an hour. Et voila ! Job done ! Afterwards I got myself a double brandy ! I have some pictures of the setup and the results but as I'm not a computer whizz kid I would kindly ask you if I can PM them to someone who would be so kind to post them on this thread, so all of us can share the experience. :)

Notice : extreme precautions should be considered when doing this at home. Caustic soda, sulphuric acid and boiling water may cause severe injuries or death. I sent wife and kids away and kept the dog in the garden. People who might try this at home (like myself) will accept full responsability for their own acts. The above described experience is for information purposes only. :cool:


(by the way, I noticed that "something changed" to the previous links of my pictures, so the moderator may as well delete them from this thread).
 

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I sent you a PM....
pics might take till end of the week to show here though.....
 
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