Getting started in anodizing: Mesh?

Here is a typical question that I get asked:

I would like your advice: Besides the plastic container, what else do I need to anodize titanium grade 23 or grade 5. I called Reactive Metals to buy the machine for $206 , they told me to buy a mesh but I do not know what or where to buy it. I am a little scared of getting hurt if I do not know how it really works.

Any help will be really appreciated.


The question seems to be, what is needed to get started. Peter has already bought an anodizer, a 0-150vdc voltage supply.

The “mesh” might be one of three things.

  • A large-area cathode (negative pole immersed contact) could be a mesh of titanium or even stainless steel. I use a coil of wire for this, but a plate of metal does fine. Ideally, you want to have a non-conductive porous material ( maybe a plastic mesh) between the cathode and the work piece, in case of contact. Rubber non-skid shelf liner mesh/screen is cheap and good for this.
  • A mesh basket made of niobium wire makes a good anode connection for loose parts. A titanium wire basket will work, too. Just not quite as reliable at higher voltages.
    Note: I haven’t tried this myself. I use a homemade titanium clip and the niobium clips that ReactiveMetals sells.
  • A plastic mesh basket such as a salvaged automotive windshield washer fluid filter can also be used on the anode side by running a niobium or titanium wire into the basket full of little parts.
    Note: I haven’t tried this myself, but have heard of it being used by others.

One can easily weave your own basket from titanium or niobium wire.

One important final note: If you are afraid of getting hurt, please do some more reading about electricity and safety precautions. Wear rubber gloves, and always double check where all the live contacts are when you are working. Read my old anodizing page over until you understand everything in it. It may not be complete, so do ask questions to help me fill it out.


2 Responses to Getting started in anodizing: Mesh?

  1. Bill says:

    I have to say first read the instructions. If you follow them you will be safe. I have taught people how to do this for 28 years. It will be alright. If you have a question talk to me, I am the source [of the anodizer], I wrote the instructions.
    The mesh is plastic, can be purchased at WalMart crafts and is used to keep the novice from touching the cathode and anode together. Purely optional.
    I will be teaching a workshop in Massachusetts April 18- 20, 2008 Look here:


  2. Jack says:

    If you wanted to buy a pre made Titanium Wire Mesh Basket, contact these guys and they will likely be able to make it for you:

    Belleville Wire Cloth

    I bought a basket made of this material from them in the past and it really turned out to work for me very nicely. Making a mesh basket is not the easiest thing, so I decided to spend a little money, and save lots of time by leaving that work to the experts. Good Luck with all of this guy, and most importantly, stay safe avoid risks at all times.

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