View Full Version : Finishes: Parkerizing- material/size for tanks?

cvl engr
October 15, 2000, 23:53
I applied my first manganese phosphate finish tonight, on a S.African FAL lower. Finish came out a nice grey color.I came to the conclusion that I need to get some Commercial Solution for cost effectiveness ( just used distilled water/steel wool/manganese dioxide/phosphoric acid per Dick Culverts instructions) and a Stainless pan. I am sure that the finish would be darker if I hadn't used a galvanized sheet metal pan, knew better but it was three bucks at home depot.Is there any vessel large enough to hold a barreled upper, cheaper than brownells?My current heat source is a colman two burner propane stove.

[ August 07, 2001: Message edited by: EMDII ]

Mike in GA
October 16, 2000, 09:28
Check back in HD at the wallpaper department - sometimes they carry SSteel pans for soaking rolls - If they don't have them, check in phone book for wallpaper stores.

Another alternative is to take a piece of PVC conduit - 6-10" diameter, slice longitudinaly, and glue on end caps - but you'd need an immersion type heat source for this one...

Good Luck!

October 16, 2000, 10:45

I was thinking about this. Do you think that water heater elements would work? It seems like they would be easier to control the temps because you could hook them up to a rheostat.

Originally posted by Mike in GA:
CAnother alternative is to take a piece of PVC conduit - 6-10" diameter, slice longitudinaly, and glue on end caps - but you'd need an immersion type heat source for this one...

Download free targets at

Mike in GA
October 16, 2000, 15:05
yeah, I think they would work fine! Actually, come to think of it, a water heater would make a damn fine park tank. Glass lined and all, electric only of course, just cut off the top, fashion a basket or other rig for lowering into the unit, make an insulated lid to control temp and let er rip!

October 16, 2000, 15:56
cvl engr, what did they call the park tanks at Home Depot? They didn’t have the SS wallpaper trays at the one in Grand Rapids.

If you fill your galvanized tank with dilute muriatic (sp?) acid, it will dissolve the zinc much faster than the steel. When the bubbling slows and all the zinc is gone, rinse and fill with hot park solution immediately and keep heated for 20 min or whatever. Your tank should then have a nice rust resistant and inert finish. Inert when using park solution anyhow. If it does anything, it will just park your tank some more, and the steel in the tank will just do whatever the steel wool does.

I’ve never tried it, but it seems like it should work.

Where did you get the manganese dioxide & phosphoric acid? -Paul

October 16, 2000, 19:53
Hey guys, I might be able to help out here if anyone is interested. I'm a tinner by trade. (commonly refered to as a tin-knocker by the wire-skinners and nail-benders) http://www.fnfal.com/forums/smile.gif The shop I work for specializes in stainlees steel fabrication.

If anyone want's to post some dimensions and preferred gauge, I could probably crank a few out. Corners and seams would be silver soldered or 50/50 if lead/tin will not react to solution? Welded would be too costly. I could work up a fair price or maybe trade for parts, mags, ammo, etc. I can make just about any size. Any interest?

October 16, 2000, 20:58
Try a retruant supply house. Steam table pans.

"Press hard, there's four copies..."

cvl engr
October 16, 2000, 21:22
I did't have a SS pan. Used a galvinized sheet metal pan (like thin oil pan). Got my chemicals from a toy company, Brookside Toy Co

October 17, 2000, 01:50
I'm interested in rolling my own.
What do you do with the chemicals afterwards.
This there some may to neutralize the solution?
Hey, I'm getting responsible in my old age.


cvl engr
October 17, 2000, 22:51
I don't know the self life of mixed solution, but you can filter/strain the sludge off and neuatralize with a base,(Baking Soda is Convienent)

October 19, 2000, 02:10
What's the steel wool for?
Is it just tossed into the soup?


October 19, 2000, 14:59
Hey civil,
I haven't priced Brownell's tanks but I'm planning on making my own. I've got SS enough to do a few. If anyone's interested, I would consider special-order making some. I don't know if this is the kind of thing people would want to buy online or what, but if anyone needs a tank I know I could beat commercial prices TIGing 'em in my garage...
And, yes, this is my first post, but no I'm not an HCI woman trolling. I have been politely lurking for a few months to get to know A LOT. Thanks to all on this board.

October 19, 2000, 21:18
Hey Doubleought..
The tanks would have to hold a barrled action..36-38inches..maybe 7-8 inches wide and deep....don't know about the guage, but i'm interested,...How much ya think??

October 19, 2000, 21:46
i'd be interested in one of those tanks

cvl engr
October 19, 2000, 21:52
I'm interested. Brownell's is about $145+shipping, I believe their dimensions are 6"x9"x40".What gauge? I was talking to a freind about bending some SS sheetmetal, and welding with stainless rods in stick welder, If your closer to my budget I won't even bother.

October 20, 2000, 03:25
I too would be interested in a tank..... I understand you can use the standard 'black iron' tank Brownells sells. It'll just park the inside of the tank. Eventually the tank will corrode through, but if you don't store the solution in the tank and clean it out after use, I think it would last quite a while. Think the Brownells tank is like $35-$40? not too bad really. RT

October 20, 2000, 12:03
Glad to see some interest. I'd like to be able to contribute.
I'm sorry I didn't do my homework last night, though.
I'll look & see what materials I have in the garage tonight & post what I could make.

October 20, 2000, 12:05
Sign me up for a SS if the price is right...

October 20, 2000, 19:44
I've received several e-mails so I thought I'd post a general quote for the group.

For a tank roughly 6x6x36 20 ga. SS $30-40
6x6x24, $20-30 6x6x15, $15-20

These prices may go up or down some depending on shipping, the number of tanks you would want, and whether or not I can find enough usable pieces in the scrap bin. If I have to buy metal the price will be higher, but I think I would still be able to beat the Brownells price. Need to crunch some numbers.

I can only offer spot welded and silver-soldered seams. Top edges will have a 1/2" hem. Any gauge from 24 to 18. If you want something heavier you may want to contact Manamongmen about welded joints. I'm thinking that lighter gauges will keep costs down, and should not warp under heat as long as there is liquid in the tank. I'll be experimenting this weekend with silver-bearing solder and cadmium-free 40% silver solder to see which turns out better.

E-mail me with questions or comments.

For the record: I share Gunplumber's belief that gunsmithing is a disappearing art. I read somewhere that in 1990 there were more than 200,000 FFL's in the US. As of this year there are less than 90,000. Anything I can do to help perpetuate the craft is worth the time and work. I,m here to learn all I can, and help when I can. Your patience is appreciated.

October 20, 2000, 20:08
I would be interested in a SS one, BUT I would tend to like one out to 40". http://www.fnfal.com/forums/wink.gif

I have a friend of mine that has a 8"x8"x40",
works great for just about everything.

DavidT / DTHOR

October 20, 2000, 20:41
The sizes I posted above are representative. I can make just about any size. Also working on SS baskets for the tanks.

October 22, 2000, 15:44
I'd like one of the SS tanks - price around $ 40.00 as I understand. What do you think shipping will cost?


Jim Z

October 22, 2000, 20:36
I would also be interested in a ss tank. 8"x8"x40".

"Press hard, there's four copies..."

October 23, 2000, 15:48

I would be interested in a ~ 8x8x40 with a lid, if possible. A baset would be a plus too!

October 23, 2000, 20:51
A few years ago I built a stainless steel tank to parkerize my Garand. I got some light gauge stainless and silver soldered the seams. It works very well for under $20.00. Don't forget to get a cover made for the top. This helps to control heat better.Just keep the tank full of solution or you could run the risk of splitting seems if you solder it. HTH

October 24, 2000, 15:02
Sorry for the delay getting back at ya gentlemen. Upon inventory, my stocks reveal that what I have would probably be of little use in this application. The majority of my stuff is 14ga but only 4" wide. I only have enough 6" to make one tank. Boy is my face red. I hope I didn't cause anyone to pass anything else up. If anybody NEEDS something heavy like this I can get material and make 'em special, but cost would probly be around $100 bucks for a 6x6x40.

October 24, 2000, 19:53
Hi guys, sorry about taking so long getting back. I've been working a lot of overtime lately and the wife makes her living with our computer. If any of you are still interested in a tank please e-mail me with your specs. Six tanks have been ordered so far. I can make lids for them if you want, for an extra ten bucks. I'm definately going to have to buy a couple of sheets of stainless. Baskets might not be workable. Stainless screen is a little pricey. Maybe a stainless pan with holes in the bottom? Going to try to post some pictures later tonight.

October 24, 2000, 21:25
Here are a couple of photos of my stainless tanks:


This tank is 6x6x36 20 ga.

BTW, Steve, forgot to put a hem on this one. Let me know if that's ok.

[This message has been edited by Doubleought (edited October 24, 2000).]

October 25, 2000, 08:21
Doubleought: Nice workmanship. A lid is virtually a necessity, as is a tray.
Stainless screen is cost-prohibitive, but
a tray with holes(& preferably with an upward-lip: to capture all the small stuff), would be perfect. The buyer could
make bale handles out of stainless wire, & drill holes in it to attach the handles
where he wants.The ideal tray would have round corners...but be costly.
Without a cover the tank will have to be drained each time(lotsa fun), or the buyer will have to devise a lid.
I'll definitely buy one tank w/lid & tray, preferably: 8x8x40, 6x6x40 if necessary, 6x6x36 as a distant third choice. A lip around the tank tops would be nice, but complicate manufacture. A
plain lid with a lip would probably be the cheapest way to go, leaving the handle choice up to the buyer to install.

cvl engr
October 25, 2000, 18:00
I'm still interested,is a 8"x8"x40 is still an option, interested in price w/ and w/o lid. E-mail me if you need to discuss specifics

October 25, 2000, 19:44
Nice looking tanks. Not to take any work from anyone, but you could try a restaurant supply house for ss baskets. They come in different sizes or do what I did and go through the wife's cooking utensils. Found a ss strainer basket that holds small parts and scews. Till this day she is still looking for it.

October 25, 2000, 20:32
Manamongmen, I have two 6” x 4” x 21” steam tray pans I would like to have cut and welded into 1 36”+ tank. What would you charge to do that?

I may be able to get lids so I would like a quote on cuting and welding them too. -Paul

October 26, 2000, 03:44
Doubleought, how much for a 6by6by40, with hemmed edges and a lid? RT email at home <rthomas8@austin.rr.com> Thanks.

October 26, 2000, 08:02
How much more do you suppose it would cost to fold over the edges with about a half inch break to make a double wall? Stuff the gap with ceramic fiber fo maintain a more constant temp.? Maybe I'm thinking too much.
Anyway, I'll be getting one of those when I start making money again.

October 26, 2000, 11:03
Paul S.,
How 'bout $25?
-lids no extra.
What kind of thickness is the material?
I'm in Kalifornia. I'd ship 'em back-w/in the 48 at my companie's -er, my expense. http://www.fnfal.com/forums/wink.gif

I dont know, is that too much? I guess about an hour of time total....

[This message has been edited by Manamongmen (edited October 26, 2000).]

October 26, 2000, 17:38
I shop the local freight salvage house for all kinds of stuff. Had been wanting some stainless tanks for parking for a while. Found a commercial kitchen range hood unit with a small dent in one corner. Enough stainless there to built every tank I would ever need plus a table top, etc. It was roughly 6'x4'x3'.Paid $50.You guys might look for a place like that to get some cheap. My pistol parking pan is a stainless pan from a restaurant supply house. Use a diffuser plate especially if you do it on the range top.

[This message has been edited by BBBBill (edited October 27, 2000).]

October 27, 2000, 00:15
heads up, Checks in mail coming from Atlanta...can't wait to fire up the new Park tank!!! My wife gets her Pyrex back....

October 29, 2000, 11:33
Latest update: I have received 12 orders or inquiries about 20 tanks. I,ve made arrangements with a friend who has his own shop, to build about 25 tanks. We will begin production as soon as we find a source for SS sheets. I don't want to buy the metal from my shop because I'll be charged a 30% mark up, which I would have to pass on to buyers. Due to limitations at my friend's shop, the heaviest gauge I can offer will be 22 ga. Unlike the tank pictured above, these tanks will have a 1/2" hemmed flange on top, turned 90 degrees out.

I,m sorry for any frustration this may have caused. I did'nt realize this thing would get so big. In the mean time I will still be making tanks from scrap when I cand find pieces that are large enough. (some of you are asking for some pretty big tanks) Obviously, no one is under any obligation here. If I have any tanks left over, I will post them on other boards, e-bay, etc. E-mail me with questions/comments.

November 08, 2000, 22:42
hang in there, Your scrap yards might be able to help.

July 31, 2001, 20:00
moved to FAQ