View Full Version : HOW TO: Parkerizing

07-16-2005, 9:15 AM
I am currently finishing up my polytech USGI conversion and starting the parkerizing process. Here is my write up.

The formula was taken from Parkerizingtanks.com


The how to:

For less than $20 you can do this at home. My formula uses Jasco Primer and Prep for the phosphoric acid source.

For a zinc phosphate coating that is hard, durable and lends itself to paint adhesion simply use pennies newer than 1994 or some zinc fittings from home depot/Lowes.

Use 3cups of Jasco Primer and prep
to get manganese simply use the dark portion inside a dry cell battery (duracell, energizer, etc...) the brown portion uses managese as a catalyst. Or you can get it from a pottery supply shop, they ues it for glazes. If using batteries make sure to grind the brown/black portion to an almost powder consistency.
Then 1 gallon of distilled water, or if you have a water softener from the tap will work.
1-2 steel wool biscuts. These must be cleaned and degreased.

To mix use a large stainless steel (very important as the chemicals will react with regualr steel and may eat through an aluminum pan.) bowl or pot.

Add 3 cups of the Jasco solution, then if you used batteries, 2-3 d cell's or 14grams manganese.
Add 1/2 gallon of water and then the steel wool

Heat to ~190 deg F and allow the steel wool to dissolve then add the other 1/2 gallon of water.

The solution is ready, I suggest testing a few pieces of scrap metal first as the solution may still need to age a bit before you get that nice dark color.

To use the solution simply sandblast or use sand paper and clean the surface, then use carb cleaner to degrease the part. After degreasing do not touch it with your hands.

Dip the part in the solution using either a basket or a piece of wire attached to it. The part will begin to fizz as the process begins. Keep the temp at ~180-190. Wait about 20min or untill the majority of the bubbling subsides.

After you remove the part from the solution quickly rinse in a water bath and remove any scaling or residue, then soak the part in some sort of rust preventing oil. WD40, motor oil (new or used), Break free CLP are products known to work. A good resiliant mix is CLP and wax melted and mixed to help it adhere to the phosphated surface.

To do a zinc phosphate coating drill holes in a few penneis dated 1994 or latter or use the zinc fittings found at any hardware supply store. Use these in place of the manganese from the previous recepie.

TIPS: My first attempt with this failed and the phosphate coating rubbed off easily. After adding a 2nd steel wool biscut and then allowing the solution to cool I strained the sludge out with a coffe filter. After reheating the solution to the proper temp the part came out nice and dark from being properly coated from the manganese phosphate process.

Zinc phosphate is the easiest to do while manganese phosphate may take some tweaking with the formula before it works properly. But the manganese phosphate coating is better for parts that see friction or may be prone to galling.

If you would like to paint the freshly processed part then skip the oil bath and simply blow dry the part with an air compressor. then immeadiatly paint as without the oil being absorbed into the phosphate coating the part can rust