Do It Yourself: Home Parkerizing


Project: Refinishing FAL magazines.


DISCLAIMER: Parkerizing involves the use of Hazardous chemicals, please follow the manufacture's Warning labels to avoid injuries. Please follow safety direction and use personal safety equipment (shop glasses & rubber gloves) in order to avoid injuries. Parkerizing does give off some toxic fumes, so make sure you have adequate ventilation.

I'm re-Parkerizing some steel FAL magazines in this project, but the procedures in re-Parkerizing a pistol, rifle and other steel parts is basically the same process.

You don't need all the tools I've listed below, especially for Parkerizing small parts. I first started out with just a (1 gallon) glass cooking pot  made by Corning, called VisionWare. You can use a stainless steel pot if you have one available. Some people have even used Casserole dishes for Parkerizing small parts.

I used to heat the Parkerizing solution in the glass cooking pot on top of the kitchen stove and park all kinds of small parts over the oven. I've re-parked a lot of small parts and some pistols over the kitchen stove. ;o)

If you do use a glass bowl or pot, make sure it's designed for cooking! The temperatures reached in Parkerizing usually go no higher than the 'boiling point' of water. You don't want to boil your Parkerizing solution, as the water will evaporate faster than need be. If your going to use cooking utensils/ pots for Parkerizing, I wouldn't recommend that you re-use cooking utensils/ pots to cook food afterwards.

For large pieces, a stainless steel tank is hard to beat! The stainless steel tank that I have wouldn't fit over the stove top, so I purchased a 3 burner LP stove ($29 - looks like it's been discontinued) and a gas regulator ($15) from Harbor Freight. I purchased my stainless steel tank from DoubleOught. Brownells also sells stainless steel tanks, but DoubleOught's price was hard to beat and his tanks are built very nicely.

I ordered 1 gal. each of the Manganese (# 082-200-128 ) and Zinc (# 082-091-128 ) Parkerizing chemicals from Brownells. I wanted to try both Parkerizing solutions to see how they would come out. Parts dipped in the Manganese Park solution usually come out a charcoal black to a dark gray in color. Parts dipped in the Zinc Park solution usually come out as a light gray to a silver color. The type of metal and the preparations done to the parts before the Parkerizing, will effect the color of the final product.

Brownells has an excellent Parkerizing instructions booklet (# 076-200-482) on how mix the solutions and age it, and best of all... the instructions booklet is FREE. A virgin mix of Parkerizing should be properly aged once before ever using it, otherwise the first few parts may not come out thoroughly covered as well as later parts. It's all explained in the Brownell's instruction booklet.


3 burner unit from Harbor Freight and propane gas tank from Home Depot.

 1 gal. VisionWare glass cooking pot, with a candy thermometer (

Stainless steel tank (Doubleought) for parking long parts and stainless steel basket for small parts.

Air compressor (Sears) & blasting cabinet (Harbor Freight)

bulletPreparations of the parts and readying the Parkerizing solution.

Preparation of the parts is the most important process in the Parkerizing project. The final outcome is very dependant on how well the parts surfaces were prepared. Thoroughly remove as much of the oil/ grease/ dirt off the parts before blasting the parts in a blasting cabinet. If you don't clean the parts before blasting with sand/ glass beads/ or aluminum oxide, you risk the chance of contaminating the blast media. If your not recycling the blast media for further use, then it may not matter that you contaminate it.

Take your time blasting the parts, make sure you get every inch of the part and also make sure the coverage is even & consistent. In case you don't have an air compressor and/or a sand blasting kit, some people have prepped parts by using sand paper. Using sand paper will probably not give you as nice of of finish as if you had sand blasted the part.

Click photos for larger image.

Click picture for the larger image.

FAL magazines dis-assembled. (BEFORE PICTURES)

Click photos for larger image.

Click picture for the larger image.

Magazine parts after they have been blasted with Aluminum Oxide

Aged and premixed Park solution (in clear jug) was poured into glass pot and heated to 190 degrees. The Park solution was mix & aged, by following the directions provided by the manufacturer.


It Begins...

Once the Park solution is at it's optimal temperature, you can start dipping/ hanging the parts into the solution until they stop bubbling. I found that my optimal operating temperature is around 185-195 degrees, but your Park solution may differ. Be careful when handling the parts, as you don't want to leave oily fingerprints on the parts. Rubber or latex gloves are recommended when your handling the parts and when your working with the Parkerizing chemicals.

After Parkerizing the parts, you want to oil/ lubricate the parts as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the parts may 'Flash rust' on you.

If I'm Parkerizing a lot of parts, I would toss the parts into a bucket of Hot water until I finish a batch of parts, then I would pull them out of the Hot water bucket one by one and blast them with air from my air compressor nozzle. I would then spray the parts with an anti-rust lubricant (WD-40, BreakFree CLP).

Magazine body in park solution, notice bubbling.

Bubbling stopped, part is done.. pull out. Rinsed in hot water, blow dry with air compressor, and then it's first oiled with WD-40.

I use a stainless steel cooking strainer for small parts. Pulled the basket out when bubbling stops, rinsed the parts in hot water, blow dried with the air compressor nozzle, and then it's first oiled with WD-40.

Click photos for larger image.

Click picture for the larger image.

Magazine parts after they have been WD-40 inside and out to prevent rusting. I then wipe the excessive WD-40 off and use BreakFree CLP for protection/ lubrication. After about a day or so the parts will sometimes darken and the color will be more uniform.

Click photos for larger image.

Click picture for the larger image.

Magazines re-assembled with cleaned up springs. The magazines were wiped down with Breakfree CLP.

(There is some lint on them from when I oiled them with a new shop rags.)


Parkerizing Links


Brownells - Manganese & Zinc Parkerizing chemicals, instruction booklet, atomized steel, etc...


Doubleought - Stainless steel tanks


Harbor Freight - Blasting cabinet, blasting media (sand, beads, aluminum oxide), stove, gas regulator


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This site was last updated 01/11/09