View Full Version : Post Parkin' Depression
August 27, 2001, 19:16
Well, I spent many wasted hours this weekend on a try at Parkerizing. Went something like this:
Step 1. Buy a "Home Parkerizing Kit" by Advantech off of Ebay.
Step 2. Pick out a bunch of parts to experiment on based apparently on the following criteria: I really need them to turn out good and/or they are irreplaceable.
Step 3. Spend hours degreasing using a.) the degreaser that came with the Advantech kit... Hmm, these are still greasy why dont I try b.) Acetone. Harsh, expensive, but effective so now its time to...
Step 4. Sandblast, using my handy dandy $50 Harbor Freight blast cabinet. This is the only good part of the whole experiment as it works on the first try, so then
Step 5. Mix and heat the black phosphate. first I start with a 4 gallon stainless stock pot on a single burner hot plate. After an hour at 120 max, switch to a propane burner. O.K., now heating good. Get it to about 170deg and following the GP instructions
Step 6. "Season" the mix with a piece of degreased steel wool. WOW! This thing really bubbles! Lots of fumes too! Well, I didnt need that lung tissue anyway, so...
Step 7. Time to try it for real. Remove remains of steel wool, which are encouragingly black and proceed to heat up to about 185deg in preparation for...
Step 8. Hang some (re-degreased and heated in boiling H2O) parts in the brew. REALLY bubbling now! Hey, theyre actually turning grey/black! Whoo-hoo! After a while they are still bubbling, but pretty black, so I guess its time to...
Step 9. Remove and rinse in more distilled water. Hmm, not bad. Theyre even blackish grey! Just what I wanted! But wait. So are my (gloved) hands. In fact all of the black stuff is coming off on my hands, leaving a grey tinted-to-bare metal part behind! This cannot be good! WTF???!?!?!? Guess I'd better...
Step 10. Read instructions that came with kit. Well, it says to have the solution BOILING! GP never mentioned that! Curse Mark and go back to the drawing board. Crank up heat until it boils. Then...
Step 11. Put some more parts in. Surely THIS TIME it will work, now that I am following instructions in a MOST un-manly fashion. Take parts out and, PER instructions...
Step 12. Put them straight into the preservative oil that came with the kit. Funny, this smells and looks JUST like the WD-40 that I tried on the other parts. Oh, well, maybe theres a secret ingredient. Hey theyre black! But wait. Whats that black scum floating on the surface? It sure looks like the same color as the park that I just put on...HEY wait a minute! It IS the park that previously resided on my parts. Take back what I said about Mark, but...
So now TELL me (one at a time, please) WTF did I do wrong here????? I went back and degreased some other parts with MEK and then also brake cleaner with the same results. I even carefully hung some without touching to see if it just needed to "harden" (from the Advantech instructions). Every single part sheds its park with a mere brush of a finger or a rag. Is it this ^(@*&%(!&*** 'ing parkerizing kit that I bought or did I screw up? I'm dying here, somebody tell me the secret! Please?
[ August 28, 2001: Message edited by: gsmart ]
August 27, 2001, 19:52
OK. Calm down.
You know the first mistake. You didn't get the first batch hot enough. Not a big deal. The thing you did next started the problems later.
You should have went back and sandblasted everything AGAIN. The park really seals the surface so you can't park over park. After you blast again, rinse with RUBBING alcohol and go immediately into the real hot bath.
Skip the final bath--it really is an oil. What I do is out of the park tank, I rinse the parts immediately in warm water, rubbing with my hands to get solids off. Then get it out of the water and spray with WD-40 and lay on fresh newspaper. Finish all your parts, clean up your mess then hand rub the parts with 10w-40 or any other regular motor oil. You are now done.
Dan at VOW
August 27, 2001, 20:10
I'm a little confused, actaully I'm more than a little confused, but that's another story. I don't think the low temp had as much to do with the failure to park as you might think. gsmart mentioned "Black Oxide". Is the kit a black oxide or is it a manganese phosphate solution? Park solution does not require boiling, I have had parts turn out quite well at 160 degrees, it takes them longer, but they will park.
You need to be patient, wait until the bubbling stops, then remove your parts. Most park solutions work best at around 195, not boiling. By boiling you are doing nothing more than sending your solution up in steam, it goes fast enough as it is. Blast the parts again, you can't park over old park, you can blue over park though, and you can cry over park too! Just be careful where you park, you might get a ticket or have a hard time sitting down for a while. Doing it in your wifes kitchen (parkerizing, get your minds out of the gutter) will also cause marital disharmony. HTH, Dan.
August 27, 2001, 20:53
Actually it was manganese phosphate. Slip of the fingers. The parts I parked in the second (hotter) batch were virgin parts (not re-parked from the first) As noted they came out the same. I am beginning to think that something in the solution was the problem. The parts never stopped bubbling even after as much as 30 minutes. Too weak? It was mixed per their instructions. I'm thinking about buying some Shooters Solutions mix and trying again after re-blasting these parts. Everyone seems to like them. The big question in my mind is why didnt it "stick"? I havent seen anyone report this problem before. If I degreased them any more they would have melted and I handled them with surgical gloves.
August 27, 2001, 22:12
This is a good thread. I, too, am getting ready to do my first park on my L1A1 kit, and after reading all the "it's so easy" posts it's nice to read one where something actually went wrong ('cause I know it will happen to me) and we get to see some troubleshooting. Keep the ideas coming!
Dan at VOW
August 27, 2001, 22:39
I have degreased with a number of things, acetone, lacquer thinner, detergent, simple green, mean green, brake parts cleaner, MEK, all kinds of stuff.
What color was your solution?
Was there still a reaction going on when you removed the steel wool?
Also, try a coffee filter nest time, place the degreased steel wool in the filter and tie it.
Did you have any "flakes" , and I mean you would notice these, floating in your solution?
Was there a silt layer that the parts were laying in? It shouldn't have built up at this stage, takes a few sessions to get some good silt going.
Have you thought about using a 'preconditioning' dip, such as a 10/1 mix of Muriatic acid and water? I have found this to help with parts that would normally have color bands caused by heat treating. At least it seems too.
If parts feel greasy, then they might be. Don't use carb cleaner to degrease, a lot of them now contain 'top cylinder lubricant' or oil by any other name.
Lots of questions, some were probably covered in your first post, which I will go back and read again. Hope some of these will help. Dan.
August 27, 2001, 23:41
Post Parkin' Depression- good one, GSMART!
Dan, how is the back doing? Getting enough rest? Don't push it.
August 28, 2001, 07:05
Dan- Per your suggestion of a while back, I tried the Muriatic acid dip on about half of these parts. Didnt seem to make a difference as to whether the Park stuck or not. The solution was kind of a really pale purple tinted, almost clear color that turned a little yellow as I continued to use it. After the steel wool, there WERE some black flakes floating on the top. I skimmed them off the top before starting with real parts. There was just a really slight silt layer on the bottom after I was done. This shouldnt have been a factor, since I was hanging the parts with stainless safety wire above the bottom. As far as the degreasing, I am 99.9% sure that they were grease/oil free. I even boiled some in that seriously strong purple degreaser that they sell at Home Depot towards the end. That stuff will strip paint, so I KNOW that at least those parts were dead clean. I also only handled parts with either plastic tongs or surgical gloves, since I've seen so many stories about parts that were'nt properly degreased. :confused:
August 28, 2001, 07:44
gsmart... I don't believe that you are doing anything wrong, just that you have a kit that may not be a true "Manganese Phosphating" kit. My first attempt at home parkerizing was with a kit from Adventec that a friend was having very little luck with. I tried and got the same results as he did, and you seem to get .... the finish seemed "gummy" in appearance and would wash/rub off when it first came out of the solution. In fact, the instructions stated that the finish would be soft and needed to "harden" before rubbing! What I have learned since makes me believe that it was not a true phosphating process, since the true process of phosphating is a conversion-coating process wherein the acid actually dissolves some of the metal from the surface and re-deposits it in the form of an insoluble metal salt onto the surface. This "salt" is a combination of iron and phosphate (in the case of iron phosphating), iron, zinc, and phosphate (in the case of zinc phosphating), or iron, manganese, and phosphate (in the case of manganese phosphating). If you leave out the manganese, what you get is iron phosphating, which has the same color as the base metal. Since the "black" does not stick, I suspect that it is not truly manganese in solution. Maybe some sort of "dye" that just acts to color the iron phosphate coating. The fact that the solution is "black" to begin with may also be a clue. The typical solution should be almost clear, with maybe a slight blue/green tinge. As I said, that was my first atttempt and it almost put me off until I did some research and decided to try another type. The kit offered by Shooter's Solution is a true manganese phosphate kit and works very well. Now, I just mix my own from chemicals bought from a supply house.
Dan at VOW
August 28, 2001, 07:51
I use the park solution from Brownell's, have always had consistant results, except when I screwed up. :D My solution has a green tint to it. The flakes I was asking about should be white and look like a snowstorm under water. I can recommend the kit from Shooters Solutions and the one from Brownell's. Don't buy the neutralizer from Brownell's, I have a half gallon left I will send you for free!
My park tank setup is very crude and ugly looking, made from 1/2" steel, not stainless, so it had to season. I can put parts in it and start getting a reaction at 140 degrees. However it works best at 180-195 degrees. Most parts will finish in about 7-10 minutes, though the slide on one of my Springfield 45's took over 30 minutes, probably due to type of metal. Here are the steps I go through to park.
1 Degrease parts, lowers are soaked in lacquer thinner at least an hour or so, preferably overnight.
2 Sandblast, old park must be removed for a uniform finish.
3 Degrease again, lacquer thinner followed by simple green, mean green or equivilent.
4 Muriatic acid dip, short immersion, usually a minute or less.
5 Into the park solution
6 Out of the park solution, rinse well.
7 Neutralize. I do not recommend using WD 40, YMMV. I use LPS 3 and yes it is expensive, but it works.
8 Wipe excess oil from parts and admire your work, pat yourself on the back, brag to your friends and wife, make grunting noises ala Tim Taylor.
I think the problem is with the solution you are currently using, I don't think it was with the way you did it. Of course that is only my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions! ;) HTH, dan.
Hey Buff, I wish I had a better answer about my back. Right now it still sucks to be me. The results from the surgery have not been what I expected or was lead to believe. Hope to have a better answer and better news in a few days. Thanks, Dan.
[ August 28, 2001: Message edited by: Dan at VOW ]
August 28, 2001, 10:42
I just wanted to throw my two-cents-worth into the discussion. I have been parkerizing since the early '80s and hopefully I can help. The brand of solution that I use in my shop is Aerocote#4. It is manufactured and distributed by a company of the same name out of Houston, TX. It yields a manganese-phosphate that exceeds U.S.Mil-spec.
In my experience, two things other than surface preparation can cause the "smutting" that you are experiencing (a) tank temp is insufficient, Aerocote operating temp is 205 degrees, (b) solution ph is incorrect. On some alloys(carbon steel alloys), you have to slightly increase temp and/or acidity for the reaction to take place. The tank shouldn't be brought to boil, 212 degrees.
The only thing that I do differently with respect to surface preparation from what I've read posted above is that nothing touches the parts after they've been blasted but air. I take them out of the blast cabinet suspended from stainless wire, blow the dust off of them with compressed air that has passed through a dryer, and into the tank they go. I have not heard of the practice of applying any kind of degreaser on freshly blasted parts. I use an in-line dryer so that not even water vapor that forms in air lines is blown on the parts.
I hope this helps Sir.
August 28, 2001, 12:38
I think you forgot to use your agitator attachment on your Dremel.
You didn't get agitated until after you dunked the parts!
August 29, 2001, 00:01
Like Dan at VOW, I use Brownells park solution and have had no problems. The only thing I do a little different is to only use distilled or de-mineralized water when mixing the solution. I believe Brownells states that ordinary tap water can be used, but why mess with success.
August 29, 2001, 00:15
How much parkerizing solution does the one gallon bottle from browneels make?
August 29, 2001, 00:26
1 gal of Brownell manganese phosphate park will make 4 gal of solution. My tank with 3 gal is just right for parking a 21" barreled receiver. I use the 4th gal for recharging the solution.
Dan at VOW
August 29, 2001, 06:12
Ape and I are both using Brownell's solutions, just different types. Mine mixes 14oz of the park solution to 114 oz of water. I will post the part number of the solution I use later, it does make 9 gallons of park. Parts come out a very dark charcoal, almost black. HTH, Dan.
August 29, 2001, 07:54
I think GEM hit the nail on the head, its not real park, the only way real park will rub off by hand is if you're holding a piece of sand paper. I use brownel's park solution the same stuff as Dan. It works great, very forgiving. I degrease with brake cleaner. Before and after sand blasting. After parking I wash the parts with the garden hose and dry with compressed air. Post teat with WD-40. The free instruction from brownels make it sound much more complicated then it is. I do not boil the parts in water or dip in acid; but maybe this helps on hard to park parts? I do not do this for a living but I get professional looking results. Give the Brownels solution a try, you won't be disappointed.
PS what's wrong with WD-40? It appears to work ok, but if theirs some thing negative about it I would like to know, I only use it because its cheap and easy to find.
[ August 29, 2001: Message edited by: 3GUN ]
August 29, 2001, 08:03
I understand Dan's reluctance to use WD-40. BUT--I use it only as the moisture displacement coating right out of the tank. After all is done and put away the tools, I hand rub the parts with motor oil. I don't rely on the WD as final coat.
August 30, 2001, 00:57
Well duh ape
1 gal of brownells solution = 128oz
ratio is 16oz solution to 128oz water = 144oz of park solution.
128oz / 16oz = 8
8 times 144oz = 1152
1152 / 128 = 9
Thus 1 gal of brownells = 9 gal of parking solution.
Your right Dan
make note to self. No math after 10 oclock
August 30, 2001, 12:52
I to use the Brownell's park solution and have had absolutely "0" problems. Once, my propane tank ran out of LP and I had to switch tanks and the temp dropped 10 degrees while the parts were still in the tank. I thought I had blown the whole operation. But to my suprise it came out looking fine.... It's truly hard to screw it up. The one thing that I do is after the gasing stops I immediately submerge my parts in a cold water flow tank and lightly scrub the parts to deactivate the salts left on the surface of the parts. I then take it out of the tank and blow it dry with compressed air and spray with WD40 or even better cheap Super Tech Lubricant which in my opinion is better than DW40.RB
August 30, 2001, 15:47
Vanden Berg, I have some of the Aerocote concentrate. What is the water to solution ratio that you use? I have a couple of gallons with no instructions. Thanks.
August 30, 2001, 19:16
You actually need to be able to titrate the solution to make sure you have the proper ph. I think that the best thing for me to do is to give you Aerocote's phone number. They are really nice people to do business with and I'm sure that they will help you. Their number is (713)224-6185.
My tank holds approx. ten gallons. I think that I mixed 1.6 gallons of solution and the rest water. The Aerocote folks can tell you for sure. I set this tank up in 1988 and have not had to start back up from scratch since.
Good luck Sir,
Ed Vanden Berg
August 30, 2001, 23:52
Damn you guys are knowledgable!!!Thanks for the info.It will be of great assistance when i park my G1. Thanks again
August 17, 2002, 18:21
Adventec sucks and also their products
August 17, 2002, 23:21
Originally posted by john dillenger
Adventec sucks and also their products
Ditto, I played around with their stuff after using Brownell's park solution because Adventec advertises "black manganese", stuff is total crap. I used an old Imbel MB, ended up looking like I dug it out of the mud after 30 years. I went back to Brownell's.
August 18, 2002, 00:00
I've parked a few rifles. First thing I did was to do a search and read all threads about parking. What I found was that there is always a some variation between processes amoung different people. That said I did what I think was simple.
I set up the park tank and degreaser.
I first bead blasted everything then dumped it in the degreaser (a mixture of about 2 oz of muriatic acid to about 1.5 gallons of water). While in the degreaser I heated up the park tank. From the degreaser still dripping wet straight to the heated park tank. It only takes about 8 to 10 minutes in the park tank. Then a spray down with wd40. I used the Brownells soluton. The mixute of park I used was 4 oz to each gallon of water. Water used was tap water. My results was nice.
All I have is the cheap harbor freight cabinet and funny thing is it gave me the most trouble.
Some one posted a pic of cutting a hole in the side of the cabinet and using pvc pipe to extend outward so you can blast a barreled receiver. Maybe some one has the link to do that?
Everything I've learned about fals was on this site, just keep reading. Lots of knowledge here.
August 18, 2002, 00:01
I have been using the Brownells solution Dan and the others have been using with excellent results I initally tried the shooters solutions kit and it did not do a real good job the park was kinda thin and light colored. Heating beyond 185-190 is a waste of time as water is simply boiled off faster and the reaction is not accelerated by any appreciable ammount. I store the mixed used solution in the plastic bottles the distilled water came in and that helps judge how much water boiled off and save it for re-use a few times.
August 18, 2002, 00:49
Here's the link to Aerocote! Aerocote Corp (http://www.aerocote.com/) :)
I'm not sure that it really makes any difference, but if you're concerned about maintaining steady temperatures, try a hot water flush or bath before going to the Park tank. A big hunk of cold steel will cause the solution temp to drop! Overheating the solution a little, before putting the parts in would accomplish the same thing, I suppose. Just some food for thought.
August 18, 2002, 13:16
I've parked using Brownells maganese and Palmetto enterprises solutions both are good! I've had the park rub of with both types. I've done entire guns and have only the selector switch and rear sight rub off! every other part on the L1A1 kit was fine. these parts were not the first or last in the tank and they were done at seperate times in the process. I've also had this happen while parking FSE folding cocking handles, but not to my moses brakes, although when parking brakes made from 4140 I've had rub off! I've come to the conclusion that sometimes something happens in the solution that makes some metals need to be parked for an unusually long time! when I re blasted and parked these parts again I left them in at least 30 minutes until all fizzing stopped. this time they came out fine. the strange part is parts I was doing at the same time didn't need to be left in but 5 minutes at the most. Just a certain few parts keep fizzing. this doesn't happen a lot but on occaision it does rear its ugly head. I've also had park solution go bad after reusing a lot and it'll turn all the metal a purple color.
August 19, 2002, 13:14
When you get a deposit that rubs off, either your free acid content is to high, or your iron levels are low. Add a little bit of soda ash (sodium carbonate) to lower the acid level. Add ferrous sulfate to increase your iron levels. Or steel wool, whatever they recomend to increase iron.
The fizzing is normally proportional to the hardness of the material. Soft metals will stop fizzing faster. Hard metals may fiz for an hour or more.
Hint: I get really good deposits by dipping the parts in a hot rinse tank prior to submerging in the park tank. By elevating the temp of the parts before phos, the surface is quickly activated and it shouldn't take you more then 5 minutes normally to get a good black deposit no matter what the hardness.
August 19, 2002, 13:58
Tried adventec and it is absolute trash. You can also etch the parts away if you let it go too long. Went back to Brownells for both heavy zinc (super-economical) and manganese and I ain't 'spearminting any more... ever! Their heavy zinc is superb alone or under GunKote.
August 20, 2002, 17:02
my .02, if you are only doing a rifle or two go to mg34.com and get an allegheny arsenal home park kit, cost about $25 bones. i've done an stg,g1 , a thompson and a bren and this stuff works great! nice dark grey. comes with degreaser(looks and smells like window cleaner,) park concentrate, and some kind of oil to seal it. ive done it on the stove in a pyrex pan and works good from 170-200 degrees. best $25 ive spent on gun stuff!
August 21, 2002, 14:31
My recent experience with home parking with the recipe posted earlier yielded the same results.
Liquid in SS tank was black upon addition of powdered Mn02. Steel wool fizzed a good bit. Slowly disappeared. Temp of soln.
was 180-190. Beadblasted parts were dipped for 10 minutesj- continuously fizzed to some degree during the whole time. Brought them out a nice solid darkgrey black. Rinsed with cold water. Sprayed down with Wally world oil. Wiped off all the black stuff!?????!?!?!?!!?!?
So it seems from the reading that either my liquid was too acidic (using 78% Phos. acid) or not enough steel wool dissolved in the mix. If I can't titrate please tell me the final pH the soln is suppose to be- I can check the pH with test strips from work. How much steel wool should I throw in? 2 attempts have yielded
the same results and 3 trips to the beadblaster.
August 21, 2002, 15:26
When I test phos solutions, I wish I could use a pH meter. My lab sheets don't mention anything about pH. That doesn't mean that other brand solutions don't use this though. Testing for free acid, I have to use phenolthalein and titrate.
You can either cut your solution or add sodium carbonate (Alkaseltzer will probably do) and add steel wool. I've been high on iron and haven't had a problem.
Baking teflon on my lower as we speak. God I love this hobby.
August 21, 2002, 21:23
I think I'll test an 8 oz bottle of Shooter solution mixed with water for pH and try to get my solution about the same. That might work. Thanks for the responses!
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