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§         Phosphoric Acid - (chemical supply house)

§         Manganese Oxide or Dioxide (dense, heavy dark gray to black powder) also available at any chemical supply house.

§         Distilled water (can substitute tap water, but the distilled gives more consistent results).

§         A biscuit of steel wool (hardware store)



A burner (stove can be used, but a single burner electric unit is cheap, and this is best done on the back porch or some other well ventilated area)

A large Pyrex or stainless steel pot.


Proceed as follows:

§         Prep first!!! Have your parts degreased, stripped, sanded, bead-blasted, etc and ready to dip (suspended from copper wire or plastic (Zip tie or heavy fishing line works).

§         Add about a gallon of water (distilled if available) to the pot and begin heating

§         Add approx 1 cup of phosphoric acid. Remember your high school chemistry; ALWAYS add the acid to the water, and do it slowly !!

§         Add approx 1 cup of the (powdered) Manganese Dioxide to the solution.

§         Bring the solution to a very slow rolling boil.

§         Now add your biscuit of steel wool.

§        Stir this solution until the steel wool begins to disintegrate. You are now ready to Parkerize

§        Totally immerse the parts in the solution, being careful that anywhere the wire touches the part won’t show on the finished part.

§        Leave immersed for 20-45 minutes (depending on steel hardness and finish desired).

§        When item is ready, immediately remove and rinse in hot running water to remove solution and excess oxidation, dry lightly, and then spray with WD-40



NOTE: The solution can be used for the better part of a day. If it seems to be taking longer to coat items, try reactivating by adding a little more acid, manganese, and steel long as it is kept HOT!!  Once the solution cools, you are DONE! Re-heating it doesn’t work. Once you have finished up, and the solution has cooled, you can add lime or some other alkali to return the solution to base.