Gun Hub

Gun Hub (
-   M1 Garand (
-   -   Parkerizing Questions: (

JAS 11-05-2007 05:23 AM

Parkerizing Questions:
I get a lot of PM's on parkerizing and one of the regular's here asked a few questions that I get a lot, so I thought I would cut and paste my reponse and make it a thread to share with everybody here.

He asked three things; 1.) How is manganese parkerizing different from zinc? 2.) Is Brownell's post dip treatment needed? 3.) Is manganese darker than zinc?

Here was my reply:

1.) Manganese is different in that it requires an aging process that zinc does not. Manganese also operates at 190 degrees versus zinc at 170 degrees. Manganese leaves more crude in your tanks, but the cooled solution saves better than zinc. I use windshield washer fluid bottles for storing used manganese solution. I pour the cooled solution from the tank into the bottles using a paint strainer. I also use a paint strainer pouring stored solution back into the tanks for another session. Download the free parkerizing directions from Brownell's web site.
2.) I don't use Brownell's post pre or post dip anything. But keep in mind, raw parkerizing protects nothing. A freshly parkerized part left unoiled would begin to rust in hours. Parkerizing allows the surface of the steel to hold many times more oil than the bare steel itself ever could. I clean any oils or greases from the part, then bead blast to bare steel, from bead blast I go directly to the park tank, in the park tank manganese often stops gassing in a minute or two, but I leave everything in a minimum of 8 minutes and never longer than 15, from the park tank the part goes into a plastic bucket of cold tap water for rinse, immediately after the cold water rinse the part is compressed air dried and submerged in the oil bath. I use nothing but distilled (not deionized, or reverse osmosis treated) water for the parkerizing solution, but tap water is ok for the cold water rinse. Different oils seem to stain the parkerized finish different colors or shades. And the first oil that the part sees tends to set the color. I have not had much luck stripping old oil out of a parkerized finish and getting it to take a new shade with a different oil.
3.) Zinc is the lightest and manganese is generally darker. The darkest zinc tends to overlap with the lightest manganese. Keep in mind that different steels parkerize to different shades. Barrels are always darker than receivers if done in the same solution.

HighPowerShooter 11-05-2007 07:17 AM

The Moderators should make this a sticky [img][/img]

Budsboy 11-05-2007 07:17 AM

Good information - all of it.
One thing I have been doing with good results is after degreasing and blasting I have a tank of water boiling to dip the parts in before the park dip. My view is this helps to strip any oil left in the part and also brings the part up to temp keeping the solution temp constant.

Blood of Tyrants 11-05-2007 08:26 AM

Couple more points.

Manganese phosphate coating tends to run from dark gray to charcoal black, depending on the metal.

Zinc phosphate coating tends to be more in the mid gray range.

Both are equally acceptable milspec finishes.

I differ in that I use hot water to rinse as the hot part helps the water evaporate quicker.

NEVER, EVER use WD-40 as a preservative as it tends to attract moisture and cause the part to rust.

thedoc 02-04-2013 09:59 AM

do any one know how to make a homemade manganese phosphate parkerizing solution? CHEEP!

Kevin Gibson 02-04-2013 11:56 AM

Here's a recipe that's been going around for a LONG time; I've never actually used it myself.


You need a number of things to do a "home-brew" "Parker-job", but only 4 ingredients.

1. Phosphoric Acid (the active ingredient in Naval Jelly) usually procured at a chemical supply house.
2. Powdered Manganese Dioxide (a very dense and heavy dark gray to black powder) also available at any chemical supply house.
3. Distilled water (I've used tap water, but the distilled stuff gives more consistent results).
4. A biscuit of steel wool [linked by editor to product info at Rockler] (don't use soap pads or Brillo pads!)

I used to do this on the kitchen stove (I wasn't married in those days) in a one gallon Pyrex beaker (these little beasts are expensive, so be careful with them). Metal pots don't work as well (if at all) I understand, but then I never used anything else but Pyrex.

Proceed as follows:

1. Use one whiskey jigger (yeah, this is really scientific, right?) of phosphoric acid added to the water. Remember your high school chemistry, ALWAYS add the acid to the water, and it is best done by pouring it down a glass rod!

2. Use one whiskey jigger of the (powdered) Manganese Dioxide in the solution.

3. Bring the solution to an extremely slooowwww rolling boil .

4. Now add your biscuit of steel wool.

I used wooden sticks placed across the top of the beaker and suspended the parts in the solution using steel or iron "machinist's wire or some such. DON'T use painted coat hangers or any wire with grease on it! You can usually get this stuff from a machine shop or from Brownells [linked by editor to Brownells website].

Parkerizing Solution

The parts should be totally immersed in the solution, being careful that anywhere the wire touches the part won't show on the finished part (usually easy to do -- like in the firing pin hole of a bolt). The part(s) to be Parkerized should be totally "de-greased" and sand or bead blasted prior to finishing (depending on the texture you desire on the finished part). Once you have bead blasted the part, you should handle the part with gloves (never greasy hands) and store them wrapped in clean paper towels awaiting the Parker Bath. Any grease on the parts or wire will cause what can only be politely called a variation in color (the parts come out streaked and spotted like a "paint horse").

I usually let the part remain in the solution for a total of 20 minutes (less MAY work, but I was told 20 minutes so that's what I used and it worked marvelously). When you withdraw the part, immediately rinse it in hot running water to get the solution off of it. Use extremely hot water, and the part will dry itself. Let it dry (and get cool enough to touch) on some clean paper towels, spray on some lubricant and voilà you are done!

Rumor control said that if you immersed the freshly rinsed and still hot part in Cosmoline, it would give the sometimes sought after "gray-green" tint to it. I have never tried it.

The original formula called for Iron Filings vs. steel wool, but since I didn't have any floating around, and didn't want to file on the cast iron stove, I found that the steel wool worked just fine. What you get is a chemical reaction that causes an iron phosphate to form on the metal (steel phosphate I suppose, using steel wool). I have found that the resultant finish is just as durable as the Arsenal finishes and has exactly the same appearance! -- an attractive dark gray, almost black. Some say that adding more manganese dioxide causes a darker finish, but I've never tried it, as I was happy with what I got!

We often used this technique when finishing .45s built on early Essex frames that needed a lot of fitting, thus often requiring the removal of offending metal. I used to checker the front straps (also violating the finish in a rather spectacular fashion) and the resultant finish worked great and showed little or no wear even with extensive use -- much like the official GI finish. I'm still using a wadcutter gun I performed the magic on back in the '70s and it still looks new.

A couple of cautions:

1. Always be careful of any sort of acid, even such an innocuous acid as phosphoric. I certainly would never deliberately inhale the fumes (although there is no great odor to the process that I could tell, but then I smoke cigars). I started doing this back in the early to mid '70s and still have no "twitch" that I can directly attribute to Parkerizing on the kitchen stove. Just use common sense, WEAR GLOVES AND EYE PROTECTION ANYTIME YOU ARE PLAYING AROUND WITH BOILING SOLUTIONS (with or without acids being involved).

2. Be very careful not to cause any splashes with the boiling solution (of course the same can be said of boiling corn).

3. Prepare your area and your parts before hand, don't try to do this on the spur of the moment.

4. Once you have allowed the solution to cool, you are DONE! Re-heating it don't cut it, It simply doesn't work (I've tried it on several occasions). Have everything that you want to Parkerize ready to go when you fire up the solution. You can keep Parkerizing as long as the solution is hot, but allowing it to get cold kills it -- you've gotta brew up a new solution and start from scratch.

thedoc 02-06-2013 09:22 AM

do you know about how much the phosphoric acid and manganies dioxid will cost or a site where i can get the pricing?

thedoc 02-06-2013 09:34 AM

allso to kevin gibson, i have read that you can re use the "aged" parkerizing solution by replenishing the chemicals lost by adding more of the mixed pakerizing solution if you wish to follow this lead i got it frome the parkerizing manual avalible free from brownells. on google search.

Kevin Gibson 02-06-2013 01:02 PM


Originally Posted by thedoc (Post 529888)
allso to kevin gibson, i have read that you can re use the "aged" parkerizing solution by replenishing the chemicals lost by adding more of the mixed pakerizing solution if you wish to follow this lead i got it frome the parkerizing manual avalible free from brownells. on google search.


It's been 25 years since I've done Parkerizing and let's just say I was never the brains behind the whole thing. I did prep work, and dropped things in the tanks and pulled them out. I don't recall if I ever actually did the alchemy to create the solution. But what I can tell you is, it's really not all that tough. I never paid REAL close attention for two reasons:

1 - I was young, so I was probably goofing off, or thinking about girls
2 - I recall it wasn't exactly rocket science and after watching it done once, I was confident that if I ever really had to do it on my own, I'd have no time figuring it out.

Just be smart, and start with something that really doesn't matter, to get the solution right; then do the guns.

thedoc 02-08-2013 09:15 AM

thanks for the tip. i originaly planed to practice on a old peace of plate iron. also where did you get the chemicals you used for your parkerizing project?
the sight that i found will scalp a guy on the prices.

Kevin Gibson 02-08-2013 09:40 AM


Originally Posted by thedoc (Post 529917)
thanks for the tip. i originaly planed to practice on a old peace of plate iron. also where did you get the chemicals you used for your parkerizing project?
the sight that i found will scalp a guy on the prices.

We had an account with Brownells, so we got them there. Then later we moved to a different solution (still zinc) from another maker, but I can’t recall who that was right now…lemme think on it.

If you’re just going to do one gun, the way to go is the Pilkington solution, get a used stainless “tank” from a restaurant supply company, and do the whole thing on a Coleman stove; easy peasy.

thedoc 02-08-2013 09:51 AM

ya. also is all you need is phosphoric acid manganees dioxide and iron shavings? im still a bit new to the concept and i like to make shure so i dont screw up.

Kevin Gibson 02-08-2013 10:31 AM


Originally Posted by thedoc (Post 529920)
ya. also is all you need is phosphoric acid manganees dioxide and iron shavings? im still a bit new to the concept and i like to make shure so i dont screw up.

That I don't know, like I said; I was never the brains of the outfit.

stand watie 02-08-2013 02:06 PM

Dear friends,

I need the slide & barrel of my "daily carry" 9mm Sig-Sauer P-6/P225 parkerized FLAT BLACK, if anyone is "running some parts" in manganese soon. - I'll be glad to trade you "dead presidents" for the work.
(As is usual with that handgun, the finish is thin/coming off the slide.)

You may PM me here.

yours, sw

2k05gt 03-19-2015 07:04 PM

I tried several DIY park solutions and the best that I came up with was the D CELL Battery one.

A standard Alkaline D Cell has two components
Magnesium Dioxide (Black material)
Zinc Oxide (Grey material in the center)

I use the Zinc and dry the Alkaline off it by using an old iron skillet, heating the grey paste in the skillet slowly spreading it out using a putty knife.
Once dry I add a small amount of the Magnesium to get the color I like
Zinc is a light grey and Magnesium is a dark grey to black finish.

I add a little Green dye-oxide to the mixture to give it a greenish tint
Green dye-oxide is a metal dye or patina sold in craft stores.

mix 1 gallon of distilled water and 1/4 cup of Jasco Prime and Prep
add in 3 table spoons of the Zinc mixture
heat it up in a stainless steel container to 180 - 190 deg

Parts must be glass beaded (sand blasted) cleaned and oil free.

drop in pot for 10 min.

rinse in cold water and blow dry, void using WD 40 for your curing oil.
Kroil oil works best.

William R. Moore 03-21-2015 10:49 AM

Atlanta Cutlery used to sell bottles of the greenish phosphate solution. They suggesed a 3% solution. I've still got some left, I used those ceramic coated pots (ironstone?) to process 1911 parts and it worked well. They don't list it anymore-at least the last time I checked. Possibly the hazmat rules got them.

One thing to remember: the parkerizing is a surface coating ON the base metal. If you very closely fit parts (slides & frames) and then park them, they may no longer work.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2002 - 2020 Gun Hub. All rights reserved.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.