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Thread: Green Home Parkerizing:

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    18th May 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA.
    Posts
    732

    Green Home Parkerizing:

    I Parkerized my 1927 Colt last night. I began the refinish process by glass bead blasting the entire gun, except for the barrel, bushing, disconnector and sear. Only the feed ramp was taped off. I used a pint of Duracoat Zinc Phosphate Parkerizing Solution from Lauer Custom Weaponry. I mixed 4 pints of distilled water with (1) pint of parkerizing solution. I mixed and heated the solution in an enameled pot on a hot plate.

    The instructions say to heat the solution to 170-185, but I had a lot of trouble getting the solution up to 175 because the bottom of the pot wasn't flat and didn't conduct heat very well. I finally got the solution up to 170 and added the requisite course steel wool pad and allowed the solution to cook for 30 minutes.

    When I put the parts in, I didn't get much of a chemical reaction as one would expect, most likely because the temperature was hovering around 175F and I couldn't get it any hotter. After 30 minutes in the solution, I pulled the parts, threw them in a bucket of hot water and used a toothbrush to knock all the 'frost' off the parts. The parts were a light gray, but the finish was very thin and light. Interestingly, the Hammer and the Magazine Release came out a dark gray, almost black.

    I then fired up the gas camp stove and brought the solution up to a light boil, removed the first steel wool pad and added a second one. I then dropped the temperature to 185-190 and re-introduced the parts into the solution. I still didn't see the 'gassing' that one would expect, although some parts did 'gas' more than others. Every 5 minutes or so, I would removed the 'gassed' steel wool pad and throw in a fresh one. All in all, I used (6) steel wool pads in the solution and I added (1) additional pint of distilled water to replenish what I lost from evaporation. I began to believe that perhaps my solution was bad, so I just turned the fire out and let the solution start cooling. The parts spent about 30 to 40 minutes in the solution all total, most of that time around 170F.

    I pulled the parts and submerged them in a bucket of hot, soapy water, scrubbed the briskly with a toothbrush and dried them with Brake Cleaner. I then placed several large sheets of foil on the camp stove and warmed up the parts with indirect heat. Once the pieces were too hot to hold on to, I began spraying them with Break Free. Instantly, the parts began to smoke and I turned them with rubber covered tongs and continued to apply more Break Free until they were saturated. At one point, the Break Free ignited and I just let it burn itself out.

    I tuned the heat off and allowed the parts to cool and then I wiped them with an old silicone polish cloth. The result is a grayish-green, very uniform color that I think looks great. The only 'blemishes' are where the slide is heat treated near the slide lock notch. In this area, the Parkerizing didn't color quite as well.

    I thought you might find this interesting, so I have attached some photos of the restoration process. The last two photos show the 1927 Colt with its fleet of Tripp Magazines and a side-by-side colour comparison with my factory-finished Norinco 1911A1.

    I hope you find this informative and helpful....Robert

















    Last edited by 10851Man; 11th July 2009 at 15:45.


  2. #2
    When doing this in the past, I have found that the larger pieces can drop your solution outside of the proper temperature range. Using a small camping stove, with limited BTUs available, it can take some time for it to recover. My answer to this was to warm the components in the oven.
    Please don't tell my wife!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    25th March 2005
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Posts
    362
    I have found that a toaster oven works well for pre-heating parts prior to parking, and for curing finishes that need to bake at 325F.

    I am not married, but in the summer time I much prefer to do this kind of thing out on the deck, and not run up my cooling bill.

    I don't see why it wouldn't work for married types, though. I admit that I prefer not to eat food from an oven which has been exposed to various firearms finishes. It may be a silly precaution, but the toaster oven was cheap, and it works well. I just don't toast any thing edible with it any more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    18th May 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA.
    Posts
    732
    Gentlemen,

    Great suggestions on warming the parts prior to immersion. However, I wonder if the low temperature-long saturation time had an influence on the color???

    The EMC hammer, the EGW Firing Pin Stop, the EGW Barrel Bushing and the factory 1927 Colt Magazine Release all came out a very dark gray color and all of these parts gassed heavily when compared to the other parts.

    Interestingly, I have several brand new Colt grip safeties, extractors and thumb safeties that I Parkerized in this batch and they all came out the 'green' color. I also have an original 1917 wide spur hammer that came out green, but the new EMC wide spur came out much, much darker.

    I have coated parts after Parkerizing with Vaseline as some have suggested, but the overall feel of the parts when treated with CLP/Break Free is much, much smoother and far less greasy feeling.

    The 1927 goes to the range this morning for test firing...Robert
    Last edited by 10851Man; 13th July 2009 at 09:42.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    18th May 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA.
    Posts
    732
    Interesting how a couple of parts (the EMC Hammer, 1927 Mag Release and New Wilson Mainspring Housing Retainer Pin) came out dark gray, almost black in the same solution. The EGW FPS really gassed a lot when placed in the 180F solution, but the other parts gassed much, much less.

    Of further interest, I Parkerized (3) different grip safeties (2) brand new Colt and (1) 1927 Colt, a few sets of recoil spring plugs & guides and (1) original 1927 wide spur hammer and all of them came out the grayish-green color.

    Test firing is complete with no problems. The EGW low radius FPS is really amazing...Robert

  6. #6
    No expert here, so don't get a big head, but it looks great to me! Nice job, and thank you for the details.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    18th May 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA.
    Posts
    732
    You are very welcome.

    Hope this helps...Robert

  8. #8
    Join Date
    24th August 2007
    Location
    Crystal Springs, Ms
    Posts
    675
    Quote Originally Posted by 10851Man
    Interesting how a couple of parts (the EMC Hammer, 1927 Mag Release and New Wilson Mainspring Housing Retainer Pin) came out dark gray, almost black in the same solution. The EGW FPS really gassed a lot when placed in the 180F solution, but the other parts gassed much, much less.
    Great job!

    Any idea why these parts came out darker? Would it be the alloy of the steel, the heat treating or perhaps something else? We see where the heat treated areas of the slide are a little darker, could the other parts be doing something similar?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    18th May 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA.
    Posts
    732
    Toolman,

    That's my guess....different metals, but a lot of the factory Colt parts I have (all brand new stuff) came out that grayish-green color...Robert

  10. #10
    Join Date
    21st July 2006
    Location
    Nebraska when not Overseas
    Posts
    89
    Looks nice! What is "gassing"?

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