A few months ago I had one of those "A - HA" moments when I needed to learn about anodizing. In the past, we (I'm using the collective "we" referring to my place of employment) would make parts and send them to a plating service that did some magic and returned a nice shiny aluminum part that, depending on color choice, could look like candy. Whatever that magic was, I had no clue and was pretty happy in that regard...........I just heard it was nasty and performed by folks which had some exposure issues.
In any event, one day the plating vendors with the proper certifications disappeared and some hoity-toity engineers needed to learn how their parts had been coated for a few decades. After a few weeks of flailing about, we found this website from a telescope maker in Danville, PA which is ~11-miles from the 2012 Rally site in Bloomsburg, PA. Basically, the weeks we spent worrying and reading academic texts on chemistry and electroplating, were summed up in a process that could be performed in clean drywall compound buckets and powered by a good 15A battery charger. The biggest hurdle is making sure the local NAPA store has enough battery acid on hand when you need it and you have whatever dye color you need. If clear will do, you only have to worry about the battery acid.
In any event, I found it an enlightening, if not humbling, experience.
Next up is wood steaming/bending. My local violin maker says it's easy.