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Sodium or Potassium Nitrate are available at the chemical supply stores. You can get Sodium Hydroxide there too. Ammonium Nitrate will be tougher. You may be able to get it at agriculture wholesalers, but its regulated.

Check the bio diesel plants or suppliers. They use the same stuff.

Dan
 

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That's the article I followed. Here's the way my New Services turned out.

http://www.coltforum.com/forums/colt-revolvers/20771-custom-new-services.html

This formula produces a LOT of ammonia. I use a half face respirator with ammonia filters, a full face shield, rubber chemical gloves to my elbows and a full rubber chemical apron. I keep the hose on with a spray nozzle. I use two box fans to pull the ammonia out of my garage.

If you get the salts on your skin, hose off immediately. This is extremely caustic and will dissolve your tissue instantly.

I put the water in the pot first. Then I add the lye with a big kitchen spoon, stirring until its all in and dissolved, then I add the ammonium nitrate a big spoonful at a time and wait for it to dissolve and get the ammonia out before adding the next spoonful. Only after the ammonium nitrate is in and dissolved and ammonia dissipated do I turn on the heat. This is an exothermic reaction and will get up to about 180*F on its own. Use distilled or de-ionized water for everything.

There's a lot of info at Ikonboard Message you may have to register to get to it. The link opens for me in a new tab.

I'm sure you know this, but I'm going to reinforce, surface preparation is the most important part of refinishing.

Hope this helps,

Dan
 

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Colt 1911A1, where are you located? With a little more info we may be able to help with a source.

Check that home gunsmithing site I linked to. I have a recollection (never a safe thing) that with Sodium Nitrate you may not need the lye. Just cook it in the Sodium Nitrate.

Dan
 

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For the handguns I use three enameled canning pots. #1 has TriSodiumPhosphate, #2 Distilled water, #3 the caustic salts. I rig the parts on concrete tie wire that is degreased with spray brake cleaner on a rebar "tree". The tree goes onto the Tsp to degrease the parts. Any oil at all will screw it up. Then into the distilled water to rinse the TSP off, then into the salts. 10 minutes per tank, 45 minutes in the salts.

As stated aluminum will dissolve immediately. Stainless tanks work. My long gun tanks are made from 316l stainless. A stainless turkey fryer pot will work. Water quality is more important than you think. Some are successful with RO water. I use distilled or de-ionized for all solutions.

I use a digital thermometer with an industrial 1300*f probe.

This is a controlled process. Measuring, timing and temp control are critical. If you want it to turn out right you have to pay attention ALL THE TIME!

Dan
 
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