Parkerized Finish AK


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THE DARK KNIGHT
September 2, 2009, 07:54 PM
Iím looking to refinish an ďAKĒ Saiga build with a nice, dark grey parkerized looking finish. However, I donít have the resources to Parkerize it, so Iím going to go for one of the Parkerized color finishes, Aluma-Hyde II Dark Parker or Duracoat in Parker.

However, I have a few questions? First off, which finish is superior? Or are Duracoat and Alumahyde II about the same? Iím leaning more towards the Aluma-Hyde II cause itís just a spray rather than needing an extra spray tool.

What kind of prepping is needed to paint the receiver/barrel? Degreased with Alcohol of course, then what? A nice sanding with a semi-rough grit, then a fine sanding with some 0000 steel wool? And then the paint?

How well do these finishes hold up to heat? Say I take it to the range and put 2-300 rounds through it on regular semi auto fire, the finish isnít gonna melt off the barrel is it? It says 500 degrees F, but Iím not sure how hot the barrel gets.

How about Abrasion? Say the surface was properly prepped, I hit the finish with a blowdryer for a little while after painting, then let it cure for a couple weeks. The paint isnít just gonna scrape off with my fingernail is it? This is tough stuff like they advertise?

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dfariswheel
September 2, 2009, 08:43 PM
Duracoat is somewhat tougher than the Aluma-Hyde.
Duracoat is a two part epoxy, which is tougher.

For best durability, the metal really needs to be bead blasted.
This cleans it off and gives the surface a rough "tooth" that finishes bond to much better than smooth metal.
Using sand paper is better than nothing, but it just doesn't give the best adhesion like bead blasting.

Follow the directions for best results. This usually means a thorough degreasing with a tough cleaner like "Simply Green" or "Greased Lightning", followed by a solvent like Acetone or Lacquer Thinner. (OUTSIDE, away from sparks or pilot lights).

After drying, bead blast to remove the old finish and roughen the surface.
Flush with a good solvent. Duracoat sells one specifically for use with it.
Let dry THOROUGHLY. Any solvent left in a crack will blow out when you apply the finish and contaminate it.

Make sure the metal is at least warmed in the sun, then spray on the finish.
If you use Duracoat, make sure to use an in-line filter if you use anything but the canned propellant.
Put the propellant in a pan of warm water before and during use to increase propellant generation.
(Note: You much better to use a compressor or a truck tire for air, but be SURE to use a filter. If you don't you'll get a slug of moisture that will ruin the finish).

After coating, put the gun aside and GO AWAY for at least a week. NO TOUCHING.
Duracoat don't reach full hardness for 3 weeks.

If you do it right, bead blast, get it really, really clean and let it cure, it won't scratch off with your fingernail.
Heat is another matter. I've never heard too much from anyone about the barrel finish burning off, especially with Duracoat.

AK103K
September 2, 2009, 08:53 PM
I have a good bit of experience with Aluma Hyde II, and have had good results with it. If you follow the directions, and allow it to cure fully, it should hold up very well to use.

Prep is everything. Your best bet is to have everything all set up before you even open the can. Break the gun down into the smallest parts your comfortable with and rig them up to "hang". I usually just use wire coat hangers and duct tape. For the barreled receiver, I put a piece of "all thread" down the bore and secure it with a couple of fender washers, at the chamber, at the muzzle, and at the end of the rod. That gives you something to hold onto as you paint, and something to hang it by when your done. That way you dont ever have to touch what getting painted.

Mask off anything you dont want painted, like the internals, etc.

You do have to degrease well. Do the gun and parts a couple of times, and do your hands too, as your doing it. I use Gun Scrubber, and use it liberally.

After each "light" coat, hit the parts with a hair dryer to set the paint. Let it dry about 20 minutes, then give it another light caot and hit it with the dryer again. When your done, hang it all up, and then leave it alone for a couple of days to a week before you put it back together. If you dont let it cure properly, you cna peel it off with your fingernail, or the sweep of an AR safety. Wait till its cured, and you'll have to bead blast it off.

Check out Aluma Hyde II on Brownells web site. They have videos that will walk you through the process. They work well with other paints too, even if you choose something else.

I would also suggest that if you get Aluma Hyde II, you also but the spare nozzles they sell at the same time. You can usually paint a number of guns with one can, and its best to switch out the nozzles when you use the can again. Saves a lot of headaches.

One other suggestion. Parkerizing is usually a pretty cheap finish to have applied. You may want to look into just getting the gun parked. Probably wont cost you more than $100-150.

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