Black Oxide Kits
Being certifiably out of my mind, when I endeavor to do strange and unusual things in my shop, it rarely raises any eyebrows. However, my latest little foray into the unknown has a few of my car-guy buddies rather enthused.Specifically, I spent several months complaining about the apparent difficulty and cost associated with getting parts coated in black oxide for corrosion protection and good looks. It’s not that it can’t be done locally you understand (I’m all about that whenever possible), it’s the entire headache of the experience, from cost, to “down-time” to cost……..you get the idea.
So, I set off to research what options were out there to accomplish this type of work on a smaller, more affordable scale at home. Pretty quickly, I found there are basically two players in the “aftermarket” that offer viable black oxide kits: The venerable Eastwood Company and Caswell Inc.
As much as I appreciate the efforts of the Eastwood Company to support our hobby, my personal experience with most of these types of “kits” they offer has been anything but shining. On the other hand, I have dealt with Caswell for several years on powder coating matters and find everything they offer to be top shelf and have never been disappointed. With little hesitation, I purchased Caswell’s 1.25 Gallon Black Oxide Kit and waited only a few short days before it was at my door. This kit was particularly interesting to me based on the fact that it was a “cold” process as opposed to the old standard “hot” process. This technology was pioneered by the gun industry and the finish is found on countless firearms in almost every conceivable form.
The kit arrived very well packed and was rather surprising in its simplicity. The instructions were very easy to follow and with a few gallons of distilled water on hand, I was able to get started with my first batch of parts within minutes.
The simple process involved mixing the blackening agent with distilled water in the supplied 1.5 gallon bucket. Then, as simple as you please, I submerged my freshly blasted pinion support bolts as well as a tapered snap ring installation sleeve I made to help in rebuilding Ford Cobra Mustang rear brake calipers (long story). I used an old pair of long needle nosed pliers to place and retrieve the parts in the solution with the total submerged time of less than 5 minutes total.
The parts emerged from the solution a wonderful, even and very attractive black oxide finish, ready for sealing. The protective, penetrating sealant supplied in the kit is an oddly oily dark amber fluid that smells a bit like shellac. A quick 5-minute bath in the sealant was all that was required and I set the parts to the side for a few days to allow the sealant to penetrate and dry per the instructions. A quick drying off with a paper towel revealed perfectly uniform and evenly blackened parts with absolutely no headache whatsoever.
Jonard SST-716 Security Shield Tool with Black Oxide Finish, For 7/16" Hex Shielded F Connectors
BISS (Jonard Industries)