Author Topic: re-anodizing metal case?  (Read 1664 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline gameaholic

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 426
  • Location: California, USA
re-anodizing metal case?
« on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 01:46:11 »
I'm still waiting for mechanicalkeyboards.com to restock the TEX Black Filco/Oni keyboard case.  I already have one in grey.  About how much would it cost to re-anodize the case in black?  Does anyone have a suggestion for a machine shop in the Bay Area that could do it?  What about getting it in black brushed aluminum?  What are the different options for black? 
IBM Model M SSK, Filco MJ2 Ninja TKL with Reds ergo-clears, CM Storm QFR 55g Whites, Poker II with Reds

Offline Jixr

  • Posts: 863
  • Location: Austin Tx
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 11:27:36 »
not really possible to keep it looking pretty.

Probably best to just paint the case if you really want black.

Offline Photekq

  • wheat flour zone
  • Posts: 4701
  • Location: North Wales/Loughborough, UK
  • sorry if i was ever an ******* to you
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 12:07:04 »
not really possible to keep it looking pretty.

Probably best to just paint the case if you really want black.
Why isn't it possible to keep it looking pretty?

So long as he goes with a reputable anodising firm who does good work, rather than anodising it himself with buckets full of chemicals, it will look just as good as a freshly anodised keyboard.

Also, since you want it in black, that opens you up for hard anodising.

I don't have any suggestions for companies, sorry, and the costs will vary a lot.

Offline Jixr

  • Posts: 863
  • Location: Austin Tx
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 14:35:15 »
you'd have to media blast the case down to raw alum, and hope the blasting process does not etch the case, then you'd have to re anodise it, its possible, but i don't think it would come out flawless.

Most shops stateside are super expensive because of all the regulations of the chemicals involved in the process. I'd guess $200+ if you'd want it done right. ( Most shops have a minimum fee of around $75 in my area regardless of size, plus the cost of blasting )

Offline ceflame

  • Posts: 293
  • Location: OC, California
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:03:31 »
I had my LZ-GH reanodized (clear coat) for $40 from a shop in orange county, if you want a price reference.

edit: just keep calling different metal finishing shops. The first place I called had a $550 lot charge... lol
second place had a minimum charge of $60, but let me have it done for $40 since it was just one part.
« Last Edit: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:17:19 by ceflame »

Offline Tactile

  • Posts: 1267
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:34:14 »
Why not get it powder coated? Just about any color you can think of is available & you can get it gloss, matte, satin, semi-gloss, etc.

Offline ramnes

  • Posts: 797
  • Location: France
  • T fou, mec?
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 16:41:40 »
I had my LZ-GH reanodized (clear coat) for $40 from a shop in orange county, if you want a price reference.

edit: just keep calling different metal finishing shops. The first place I called had a $550 lot charge... lol
second place had a minimum charge of $60, but let me have it done for $40 since it was just one part.

Nice! Do you have some before/after pictures?
23h18 - photekq: hhkb with silenced realforce sliders and lubricated well is
23h18 - photekq: the best switch i've used

Offline ceflame

  • Posts: 293
  • Location: OC, California
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 16:55:06 »
Sure :)
Before:
More



After:
More



Pretty good quality on the anodizing, even if it was just from a small shop.

Offline njbair

  • Posts: 2825
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • I love the Powerglove. It's so bad.
    • nickbair.net
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 17:07:59 »
You want to look for an anodizing shop, not a machine shop. Most machine shops send parts out for finishing. But you want a bright finish Anodize or you'll end up with dull grey.

Alpine Winter GB | My Personal TMK Firmware Repo
IBM Rubber Band "Floss" Mod | Click Modding Alps 101 | Flame-Polishing Cherry MX Stems
Review: hasu's USB to USB converter
My boards:
More
AEKII 60% | Alps64 HHKB | Ducky Shine 3, MX Blues | IBM Model M #1391401, Nov. 1990 | IBM SSK #1391472, Nov. 1987, screw modded, rubber-band modded | Noppoo EC108-Pro, 45g | Infinity 60% v2 Hacker, Matias Quiet Pros | Infinity 60% v2 Standard, MX Browns | Cherry G80-1800LPCEU-2, MX Blacks | Cherry G80-1813 (Dolch), MX Blues | Unicomp M-122, ANSI-modded | Unicomp M-122 (Unsaver mod in progress) | 2x Unitek K-258, White Alps | Apple boards (IIGS, AEKII) | Varmilo VA87MR, Gateron Blacks | Filco Zero TKL, Fukka White Alps | Planck, Gateron Browns | Monarch, click-modded Cream Alps

Offline ramnes

  • Posts: 797
  • Location: France
  • T fou, mec?
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 17:22:49 »
Sure :)
Before:
More
Show Image

Show Image


After:
More
Show Image

Show Image


Pretty good quality on the anodizing, even if it was just from a small shop.

Impressive, for a 40$ job! Will definitely take a look around my place if there is an anodizing shop somewhere.
23h18 - photekq: hhkb with silenced realforce sliders and lubricated well is
23h18 - photekq: the best switch i've used

Offline Agnohaveno

  • Posts: 1
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 15 February 2020, 17:32:49 »
Sure :)
Before:
More
Show Image

Show Image


After:
More
Show Image

Show Image


Pretty good quality on the anodizing, even if it was just from a small shop.

Hey...sent you an DM about that shop you had your case re-anodized at. Thanks!

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 2684
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 16 February 2020, 02:32:57 »
you'd have to media blast the case down to raw alum, and hope the blasting process does not etch the case, then you'd have to re anodise it, its possible, but i don't think it would come out flawless.

Most shops stateside are super expensive because of all the regulations of the chemicals involved in the process. I'd guess $200+ if you'd want it done right. ( Most shops have a minimum fee of around $75 in my area regardless of size, plus the cost of blasting )

They chemically strip the oxidation layer,  bleach out the color, add color, then re-oxidize it. Even if you blast it they will need to strip it to make sure it's clean of everything.

You are correct about the cost though, most shops have a minimum of $80 or more for common colors, and if you want an odd color it goes up (time and money) from there. Silver or black is pretty easy to get on a minimum charge as they do it so often it can be slipped in with other orders.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline mode

  • Posts: 153
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 16 February 2020, 06:21:10 »
I wouldn't bother, have you looked at the ali express YMDK case in dark grey? It's very similar to the tex case.

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 2684
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 16 February 2020, 18:34:10 »
I wouldn't bother, have you looked at the ali express YMDK case in dark grey? It's very similar to the tex case.
While they look similar the only similarities are that they fit a TKL Filco.

The Tex and Vortex clamp the bent edge of the Filco/Cooler master plate making for an INSANELY stiff setup, though it does prevent the use of universal plates (unless you get adapters). The YMDK bolts the plate to the top cover with 5 bolts, not nearly as secure or consistent, and while it could work with a universal plate those will lack the necessary mounting holes and due to how they are made you may not be able to put them in place. I like the usb connector but I keep looking at the thin bottom of the case and I just know it will not feel as solid as the Tex/Vortex (which is an absolute beast).

The Tex/Vortex case is cast (with very little margin for error, foreshadowing!) then milled, the YMDK is milled from a single chunk, while casting and milling is fine, there's a good reason the Tex/Vortex has a blasted finish. Those tight tolerances sometimes shift leaving rough casting where the mill never touches (mine was off but could only be seen when decided to work on it), the blasting helps hide this. The YMDK probably blasts to hide imperfections as well, particularly in the lower plate, which is just a thin sheet they countersunk, while not noticeable while using it, that bottom will likely not feel very good in your hand as it's likely very flimsy.

Which is better?
Manufacturing and quality-wise, YMDK. From an engineering and sturdiness standpoint the Tex/Vortex.


By the way, if you are waiting on the Vortex cases to be replenished, don't.
Best I can tell this is maybe the second batch they ordered (in 5+ years) and I have little faith they will order more considering the issues they had getting the feet. I'm also convinced Tex is actually just Vortex with as lightly different name, Chinese manufacturers do this quite often for various reasons.

I also should add that considering the costs of new vs changing color, it may be more practical just to get another.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline mode

  • Posts: 153
Re: re-anodizing metal case?
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 17 February 2020, 01:41:54 »
There are ways to affix the bottom of a plate, I run a bead of epoxy down mine which along with the two screws at the top makes it super sturdy., Iím not fussed about needing to remove my plate though.