We are process experts
Providing specialty, commodity and laboratory chemistries
View Product Line

Over 88 years of providing products and services to the metal finishing industry

W.D Forbes is a full line chemical distributor and formulator of products that are used in the general metal finishing, anodizing and painting industries. We offer specialty, commodity and laboratory chemistries with equipment, metals and ancillary products that provide our clients the best possible value and efficiency in their purchases.

After 80+ years in business, we continue to represent and distribute the products for these companies. As the requirements of metal finishing grew, our company continued to expand and attract other leading chemical and equipment manufacturers. Today W.D. Forbes represents over 40 chemical and equipment manufacturers and has expanded their products and services into over 35 different industries within the upper Midwest.

A Tradition of Excellence Since 1928. With over 88 years of providing products and services to the metal finishing industry, W.D. Forbes, under the leadership of Douglas Forbes, is well positioned to meet our clients needs. With a sales and service department holding over 128 years of experience in functional, decorative, anodizing and commodity chemicals, our companys know-how will ensure that your metal finishing needs will be met both today and into the future.


Your full-service provider locally, regionally and nationally

With over 40,000 square feet of hazardous chemical and temperature sensitive storage, company-owned and operated fleets, and FIFO inventory control — we provide best in class lot and location services.


With two fully staffed in-house labs, experienced technicians, and specialized equipment, you can be reassured that you are getting the highest quality product and the service to support it any application.


We offer on-staff personnel to assist in engineering new plating lines and update outdated processes. With a complete line of equipment manufacturers, we can support large and small projects


Our 80+ years of metal finishing experience enable us to offer a full line of diverse, vetted products with in-house intellectual property for custom blended products that are second to none.


At W.D. Forbes, we pride ourselves on quality. With a rigorous quality process led by the Forbes founder, you can be assured our custom formulations and vetted industry partners and products will meet your needs. Explore a sampling of our products below and see how W.D. Forbes can help your company.

Anionic Flocculants
Flocculants to assist in finishing the settling process when time is limited. Designed for operational efficiency in water treatment.
Anode Bags & Baskets
Complete line of Anode Bags (cotton to poly-pro) and baskets (spiral steel to titanium) for your plating tank requirements.
Complete line of chemistries and dyes for your anodizing requirements.
Anti-Foaming Agents
Achieve quality waste effluent.
Blackening Compounds
Blackening compounds for copper, steel (room temperature, mid temperature, and high temperature), stainless steel, and electroplated zinc (hex and trivalent RoHS compliant).
Buff & Polish
Complete line of buffing wheels and polishing compounds to finish metals, precious metals, plastic, acrylic, wood, and fiberglass.
Cationic Polymers
Complete line of cationic polymers for the easy and thorough removal of suspended solids.
Full array of cleaners for all metals, plastics, electronics materials, and semiconductor production.
Full range of nationally-known brands of commodity chemistries to the metal finishing industry. Products include acids, alkalis, laboratory reagents/ semiconductor grade, cyanides, metal anodes, and metal salts. Packaging is available ranging from 500 gram bottles to full truckloads.
Conversion Coatings
Offering a complete line of chemical conversion coatings. To include chromate conversion, phosphate conversion, bluing, black oxide, and aluminum conversion coating for your enhanced corrosion protection, increased surface hardness, and decorative color.
Corrosion Inhibitors
Custom Chemistry
With unique and demanding challenges to your product line, we provide effective customized chemistries to meet your specific requirements.
Cutting Oils
We carry oils, emulsions, pastes, gels and aerosols to keep your work stable and enhance tool life.
Drawing Compunds
Synthetics, straight, soluble and varnishing oils; high strength steel lubricants.
Filtration Systems
Full line of industrial air and liquid filtration systems.
Heaters, Coils, and Controls
Exhaustive variety of products designed specifically for heating and cooling of chemistries in wet process manufacturing. This includes metal finishing, electroplating, anodizing, and printed circuit board production.
Inorganic Coagulants
Complete line of coagulants for the easy and thorough removal of suspended solids.
Inorganic Coagulant and Cationic Polymer Blends
Inorganic coagulant cationic polymer blends for the easy and thorough removal of suspended solids.
Mass Finishing
Liquid and powdered solutions for deburring, burnishing, cutting, cleaning, and descaling.
Mechanical Plating
Products for mechanical plating and mechanical galvanizing.
Plating Processes
Products for all metal plating processes (decorative to functional).
Plating Lines
We build plating lines for your specific requirements; from a small hand line to a fully automated turn-key system.
Precious Metals
Precious metal plating additives including gold, silver, and rhodium.
Pre-Paint Process
Phosphate or environmentally safe non-phosphate alternatives for metal surface preparation for spray or immersion applications. These lines include iron, zinc, and manganese phosphates or environmentally safe Zirconium chemistry.
Pumps for nearly every application where critical filtration and purification of process solutions is required.





Bolts, Nuts, Rivets

Children's Play Equipment


Construction Machinery

Decorative Hardware

Dental Equipment

Electronic Connectors


Fabricated Metal Products

Farm Garden Machinery


Food and Beverage Processing

Gear Manufacturers

Gun Manufacturers

Hard Surface Cleaning

Hand and Edge Tools


Industrial Valves



Machine Tool Accessories

Medical Devices

Metal Heat Treating

Metal Stampings


Office Equipment

Paints and Coatings

Pipe Fittings


Plumbing Fixtures, Fittings and Trim

Precision Cleaning

Relays and Switches


Small Arms


Water Treatment

Wire Drawing


Contact us

We bring a personal and effective solution to every customer we work with


Headquarters Mailing Address

P.O. Box 14828
129 6th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Warehouse Locations


129 6th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414


Rockford, IL