Powdercoating/Anoziding a MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Astroboy907, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Astroboy907, Jul 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013

    Astroboy907 macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    Spaceball One
    #1
    Well, thats it. My trusty computer is finally starting to give out the count... Its an Early 2009, and the back panel has started to fall off, half the screws are stripped on it, my hinge had to be superglued to keep working, and the blasted headphone jack keeps on going out for no apparent reason, and takes a restart to get it working again.

    So I'm thinking about just doing a lot of the necessary upgrades and rebuilding that I need to do (reapply thermal paste, replace panels and possibly get a Blu-Ray drive). I was going to buy some cheap replacement panels on eBay or somewhere, but the thing is, I *really* want to have the computer anodized in some color. Probably matte black for the panels and as close as I can get to electric blue (or teal or light green) for the chassis. However, I'm not sure how to do this. I messed around some with anodizing using battery acid and RIT dye, but have so far not been able to get the dye to hold when sealing.

    Anyways, if I am going to anodize this myself I'm going to need some professional stuff (dye, sealant, etc), as well as some information, it would be greatly appreciated.

    What I want to know...
    Macbook body aluminum type (6061, what is it?)
    Does anyone here do anodizing for themselves? If so, could you help me decide whether I could do this at home (preferred), or if I need to go to a professional. I'd like to do it as cheaply as possible but am willing to spend a few $$ if its necessary.

    Apart from that, what are your guys opinions on this? Just to let you know, I totally understand what I am getting myself into. I've rebuilt my MacBook more than once, I understand it takes time and skill to get everything together. But now is a great time to do this for me, its summer, no school, the adhesive on my replacement glass finally gave out so it would be ridiculously easy to get my panels off... I'm not stupid. I just really want a nice looking macbook. I don't care if it scratches and looks like heck after 6 months, it will still be decent looking to me!
     
  2. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #2
    Anodizing is not something you can do at home. It requires passing an electrical current through the metal while in an acid solution. Nasty chemicals and vapors.
     
  3. esskay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    #3
    Have you thought about a bake-on finish like Duracoat?
     
  4. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #4
    You can do it home. I can't cause I'd kill myself, but they sell anodizing kits for the house. Scares the hell out of me though.
     
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #5
    You are correct but the Caswell kit off Amazon costs $460 and doesn't include the acid or dyes. It says you need one gallon of battery acid.

    Not exactly a cost effective solution for reviving an old MacBook.
     
  6. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #6
    Im not trying to advocate this dangerous process. I am just saying it can be done. I watched a youtube video and anything that involves acid, water, electricity, wires, dies, and boiling is crazy.
     
  7. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    #7
    It's like any tool - take appropriate safety measures.

    A screwdriver can kill you, as could a radial arm saw, oxy-acetylene torch, hammer forging, sandcasting, etc.
     
  8. Chuck-Norris macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 17, 2012
  9. Astroboy907 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    Spaceball One
    #9
    I actually bought a lot of the stuff needed for home anodizing- battery acid, wiring, variable current power supply. I've done a couple test runs on scrap aluminum and can get a clear finish, but my dyeing needs improving (which of course i will work on, I believe I need to get a better sealer than boiling water)

    To be honest, the chemicals scare the crap out of me, but I am taking pretty good precautions (chemical gloves, face mask, thicker clothing, closed toed shoes and whatnot)

    The chemicals are nasty, the vapors are horrible ("One breath and you'll never do it again", quote from a local guy who does at home stuff. I've been lucky enough not to breath it in yet :D)

    Anyways, i think if I got good enough with the dye and deox/desmut (to clean it), then I'd have a pretty decent chance at getting it to work. If it doesn't I'd just be stuck with my old crappy chassis and panels...

    What I want to do also is take some black anodized aluminum (aluminium? Brits...) and get it cut out for a screen bezel (like a macbook air). It would reduce some glare on the screen. I'd never be able to touch the screen again, but whatever.
     
  10. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #10
    Stop it your making me feel unsafe sitting on my chair watching tv.
     
  11. Astroboy907 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
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    Spaceball One
    #11
    Tv. Tv is the third largest cause of deaths behind freak radioactive spider accidents and death by chocolate.
    Just thought it best to let you know :D
     
  12. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #12
    Does chocolate really kill you? That would suck cause I ate some chocolate covered raisins last week.
     
  13. Astroboy907 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

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    #13
    It very well could. Where did you find these chocolate colored raisins? Hopefully not in the forest...
     
  14. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    #14
    Why not just find a machine shop in your area that does anodizing? Motorcyclists and car enthusiasts get parts anodized all the time, it's a pretty common service.
     
  15. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    #15
    I`d say this tbh.
    You`re clearly comfortable with stripping and rebuilding the machine so I`d just strip it all down to just the chassis and send that away for anodizing.

    Sounds like a LOT of hassle/risk anodizing at home...
     
  16. scbond macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #16
    And I would say good luck to the OP if he wants to try obtaining that much battery acid lol.
     
  17. Astroboy907 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
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    Spaceball One
    #17
    AutoZone - $4 a box for about a half gallon of diluted acid.
     
  18. got556 macrumors 6502

    got556

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    #18
    You guys make anodizing sound like cooking meth. I have anodized many purple lower receivers and KAC forearms in my day. Just YouTube or join a few gun forums. Plenty of easy/cheap how to's.
     
  19. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #19
    I have no advice on how to do it, but Im sure most of us would like to see pictures of your progress once you get into it :]
     
  20. Astroboy907 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    Spaceball One
    #20
    I'll look into seeing how much it would be to have it commercially done (as far as I know no one local would do it, its a small town)

    If it is ridiculously expensive I would try to see if I could get good enough to do it at home.

    Lol but then I would have to decide what COLOR to do! I like the black/blue look but there are so many other colors. Maybe teal. Too bad no one can anodize white... Teal and white would look boss.
     
  21. esskay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    #21
    Another issue with certain colors may be that the final result might not come out exactly the way you had envisioned...? I had a buddy anodize something, he wanted it to be bling gold and it came out more orangish IIRC.
     
  22. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #22
    OP if you get this done show us the result I'm a pretty interested in this
     
  23. ErikJN macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    #23
    Just checking in to say best of luck!

    I think this is an awesome project, and I hope you decide to do it yourself. I assume that since you've never done this procedure before yet seriously consider it, having a fully operational machine post-op isn't of vital importance to you. In that case, you've got little to lose, and a pretty ********** ballin' machine to gain.

    I love the attitude, and really hope the results turn out good.

    Keep us posted!! (with pics of course)
     
  24. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #24
    You want blue... FYI, blue and red are both notoriously prone to color fade / bleeding. Not sure exactly why, but even pro shops have terrible yields with those colors. I can't tell you how many expensive fixtures faded to the point you thought they spent the past 75 years outside in the sun (literally months after delivery). So just a heads up with that part.

    Another route: Powder coating, robust, easier to DIY, likely far cheaper whether it be DIY or shopped out.

    If you're in/near NH, I've got access to some equipment. :)
     
  25. Astroboy907 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    Spaceball One
    #25
    I'd really like to do this but it might stay on the back burner for a while, or until I can get new panels. I'd of course like to be getting completely, brand new stuff but that would probably cost more than I paid for the computer in the first place.

    There is one auction on ebay right now that is the same model computer for about $50, complete with scratches and dents. But it might be the /cheapest/ solution.

    Power coating /might/ be the way to go. Seems like a good solution, and it is cheap, but I don't know how long the results will last. I've heard things about powder coating wearing out. And with wrists/palms on and near the keyboard it would probably wear out first there..
     

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