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Aluminum Anodizing Workshop at Milwaukee Makerspace

What is anodizing?

Anodizing is a type of surface treatment that can be done to certain metals like aluminum and titanium. Using an electrical source and a sulfuric acid bath, a microscopic layer of oxide is 'grown' on the surface of the metal.

With aluminum, this oxide layer not only provides abrasion resistance, but the layer can be colored with a vast array of dyes and masking techniques.

Once the dye is sealed into the oxide layer, the coloration becomes highly resistant to solvents and harsh environments, making this a very durable way to finish aluminum.

Using surface treatments like polishing, hammering, mill rolling, sandblasting, and etching in conjunction with anodizing provides an almost endless array of potential effects.


Interested? The class will consist of:

  • A brief lecture describing the process and showing samples of what effects can be created and the techniques use to achieve them, then we'll head to the workshop and get our hands dirty with:
  • Etching, hammering, and other surface finishes to apply before anodizing
  • How to properly prepare your parts for anodizing with the cleaning and etch baths
  • Using the anodizing bath itself (safety first!)
  • Rinsing and dyeing parts
  • Sealing parts after dyeing
  • How to use masking and bleaching to selectively color the metal
  • Playtime - once you see how the process works, and how different effects are created, you'll be eager to begin experimenting and develop your own techniques: “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.” – Bob Ross


Instructor: Artist, maker, professor, and longtime friend of the Milwaukee Makerspace, Frankie Flood

Date: Saturday, 16 NOV 2013, 10am-6pm

Cost: $15 per attendee, attendees must be makerspace members. Cost covers all supplies.

Attendees (maximum 20 students per session):

  • 1) Have Blue (organizer) (paid)
  • 2) Kathy Cannistra (paid)
  • 3) Shane T.
  • 4) Vishal (paid)
  • 6) Lance
  • 7) Jim Kelly (paid)
  • 8)
  • 9) Kevin Crowley
  • 11)
  • 12) Tony (paid)
  • 13) Rick B.
  • 14) Pete (paid)
  • 15)
  • 16) Adam Cohen
  • 17) Kevin Bastyr
  • 18) Ray Albarelli
  • 19) Joe R.
  • 20) Son of Joe R.

Students: What to bring to class


  • Safety glasses
  • $15 (if you haven't already paid Have Blue (Michael) beforehand)


  • disposable latex or nitrile gloves


  • any premade small aluminum parts that you'd like to try anodizing (need to be of an appropriate alloy)
  • sponges (the more open and porous the better)
  • precut vinyl stencils
  • rubber cement
  • webbing spray paint
  • paper towels

Potential future classes

People interested in a second session (date to be determined, suggestions welcome):

  • Have Blue (will organize again if desired)
  • Adrian Volden
  • bvramlow
  • Mike Massie
  • Jerry [HM]
  • Bob Trocke
  • Eric Berna
  • Alexia
  • Linda S.
  • Matt W.
  • Colleen W.
  • Matt J.
  • ladytek007
classes/aluminumanodizing.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/19 15:03 by haveblue