Pre black or post black.
When using the manganese solution on parts like an AK receiver where it is comprised of
several components the different parts may come out different colors due to the hardness or
composition. If an even color is desired a blackening solution is used. I have been using the
black oxide from caswelll Plating. I had been using it as a pre black, but at times it would
produce a black film that would rub off. The parts were still black and the parkerizing was
good but the parts were messy. I tried using the black solution after parkerizing and it works
really well, the parts come out jet black and there is no black residue on the parts. It also
keeps the parkerizing solution cleaner.
Processing your parts
Once your parts are degreased, and blasted you are ready to parkerize them.
set up your 3 tanks and a box or pan to put the parts in to spray them with the dewatering /
Mix the chemicals according to the manufacturers directions. The water here in south
Florida is heavily treated, so I use distilled water for the chemicals.
one tank will be plain boiling water to preheat and wash the parts, the next will be the
heated park solution and the third the black solution
Put the clean freshly blasted parts in the hot water, when they are hot put them into the
heated parkerizing solution, it should be 180 to 180 degrees.
The parts will start to fizz, leave them in the solution till the fizzing stops, this can take up to
Remove the parts and put them back in the boiling water for a few minutes,
if you are using the black solution put them in the tank for about 5 minutes.
Remove them from the black and reboil them for a few minutes.
Remove them from the water and shake off excess water then spray with the neutralizer /
dewatering solution. let the parts set for about 20 minutes then wipe and blast out the
nooks and crannies with compressed air to remove any blast media . the parts are done.
Chemicals and Equipment
There are a number of places to get parkerizing chemicals. The ones I use are from
Shooters Solutions. They have both zinc and manganese solutions. The zinc will produce a
gray color and the manganese will be black. The solution is mixed in a 10 to 1 ratio so a
quart will make 2.5 gallons. The solution is reusable if it doesn't get contaminated. It also
doesn't require tempering or aging like some solutions, the first part is as good as the last.
Neutralizer / de watering solution, this is an oil based spray you use to coat the parts when
they are done. Both Caswell and shooters solution make the product, but I like the one from
Shooters Solutions best. It comes in a spray bottle and is easy to use.
I use the Black Oxide solution from Caswell Plating. I have used this to produce an even
black on AK receivers where they are composed of several parts and in the case of the
OOW receivers have the hardened areas around the pin holes. I have used this stuff as
both a pre black and a post black, and think it works better as a post black.
It can also be used by itself to put a quick black finish on steel. It is used cold and seems
fairly durable, although it is not as good as a parkerized finish.
Tanks, burners and other assorted items
You will need at least 3 tanks, one for preheat / wash, another for parkerizing and a third for
the black. The wash tank and a De greasing tank can be made from aluminum gutter. You can
get a 10' length and several end caps for less than $15.00 Cut the size sections you need then
crimp on the ends and seal with silicone caulk. Plastic gutter or PVC pipe can be used for the
black oxide solution since it is used cold. I made a tank for my MG 42 receiver from 4" PVC
pipe and 2 rubber caps, one for the bottom and the other for a lid.
The parkerizing tank needs to be made from stainless steel. You can buy pre made park tanks
or improvise. I have used spackling pans from Lowes and Home Depot, the ones from Lowes
are the best as they will do an AK receiver nicely. You can also put 2 of these together end to
end to make a tank that is about 23" long to do barrels. You can cut off the ends and rivet them
together and seal them with silicone seal. Restaurant supply houses have steam table trays
that work well too. They also have tongs, strainers, thermometers and measuring cups. The
stuff is surprisingly cheap. I have used all of the above and gotten good results.
There are a number of options for burners, you can get single head burners that screw onto
propane bottles, propane stove burners or make a pipe burner. I have several of the burner
heads, they are easy to use, cheap and quite effective. They are also useful for your hurricane
A thermometer is needed to monitor temperature, a measuring cup to mix the chemicals, tongs
to handle the parts and some iron wire to hold small parts is handy both for parking and