Paint it Black.

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Mike Kennedy, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I just love the look of my Nikon FE black body that I picked up from a fellow APUGer. It got me thinking that an all black Trip 35 or Zorki would be kind of cool.
    A forum search turned up ways to paint brass but not aluminium. Does anyone have suggestions?

    Thank You,
    Mike

    PS:No deception for resale is intended so I won't be advertising an "all black Leica" from the Russian Federation. Zorki in a black overcoat.
     
  2. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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  3. wilhelm

    wilhelm Member

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    Aluminum is usually colored by anodization. It's a great looking finish, and fairly tough too. Though it could be a bit costly to do for just a couple small parts. Probably check local chroming and electroplating shops; if they can't do it, they can probably point you to somebody who can, or at least for an estimate. Some anodized parts on a camera would probably look really sharp though. :smile:

    Another thought I had is parkerization. My dad refinishes WWII-era guns, and uses a home parkerization kit to do some of the smaller pieces. It's a flat (as in not glossy) coating, and it's pretty tough. I'm pretty sure it's an electroplating process. Though most of the gun parts my dad deals with are ferrous metals, so I've got no idea if it'll work on aluminum.

    Will
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Mike
    Why do you think the covers are aluminum? They could be just about any non-ferrous metal. Leica used zinc for their chrome bodies.
     
  5. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    There are also gun blue-ing kits, that give a shiny finish, but its really a deep, deep violet-blue colour, not pure black, although you have to see it in bright light to distinguish. Aluminium can be painted successfully, that is not a problem - look at the number of aluminium panelled cars out there - with great care to surface cleanliness and something like an aoutomotive finish you should be able to get a pretty durable finish.
    I have to agree though, anodizing would be the bomb, but probably prohibitive cost-wise. You may also want to look into powder coating, a tough finish often applied to alloy wheels (which, contrary to the popular name "mag" are usually made up mainly of aluminium). There are powder coating facilities in most cities, your best lead may be a custom car shop of some sort.
    As you can see, there are many options for near bullet-proof finishes - so look into cost and availability in your area. I would say anodizing and powder-coating would probably be the most durable in parts that are handled frequently, with a nod to the former as it is not really a coating per se.
     
  6. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    The powder coating sounds like an interesting idea. You might even carry the "automotive" theme further and add hot-rod pinstripes or flames, starting a whole new trend and business venture. Careful, though. You might end up with a TV show called "American Clicker" and have to walk around in a muscle shirt. :wink:
     
  7. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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    There is also a product called I think,"Aluma-Black" which works chemically to give a semi flat black finish. We used it for a project at work and I think we got it at a gun store. It is a very thin coat but does not come off easily when dry.
     
  8. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    But you need the pre-requisite wacky family that will fight and cuss on camera:smile: