Jump to content

Electroplating, my newest hobby. Make it shiny


Recommended Posts

I'm seriously considering getting a nickel plating kit. Are there any other folks into electroplating around this site? If I can melt it in some sort of acid, boil it with electricity, and make it really shiny this sounds like my newest interest. If you are some sort of rogue chemist with an itch to hurt yourself playing with dangerous chemicals let me know as most of the stuff I need is available but I sure could use someone that can tell me what it all is and how much to mix up. If you do plating and are looking to get new gear, I'd be interested in your old stuff.

Any backyard platers on here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Mikey, lemme know when you're ready to plate some larger stuff :) I sent out to 4 different places to get quotes on getting the face & lip of my 16" wheels plated, and each came back with about $1200-1400 quotes. Needless to say, I passed. Sad thing is, nickel plating is one step away from chroming, and I know a chroming joint that would have only charged me $800ish if they just weren't aluminum...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sad thing is Randy, those are probably accurate quotes. Dang this stuff is expensive to play with. Fish tanks have nothing on plating. My problem with plating your wheels is that I am limited to a surface area of about 30 sq inches. If I could only dunk the outer lip, I could probably pull that off. If I have to plate any of the spokes at the same time, or if the entire rim needs to be chromed and then repainted over it, I certainly couldn't help. Also I have not yet begun to play with aluminum. I will let you know in the future how things are turning out. Right now I can only plate things that will fit in a pint glass. The solutions are outrageously priced, like $125 a quart. Keep in mind that I need copper, nickel and chrome solutions. I wanted 20g tanks, in volume I could spend about $4,000 filling all 3 tanks. So it will be awhile before I can plate large surfaces.

HOWEVER, if you'd like to attempt "brush plating" with my rectifier I'm all game for that. There is a technique that involves prepping the area to be plated and then using a small recirculating pump pushed through a brush of sorts, it will plate as you stroke. Research the technique and let me know how you feel about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, I know the process and all, and the reason the "most affordable" place won't do it is because they don't like having to zinc-plate the aluminum first, to get the copper to adhere. I tried reasoning that I'm still triple plating: zinc - copper - nickel! Shouldn't be any more work than the standard triple plating of chrome, but they said they just deny all aluminum jobs :D

I think my best bet will just work out to be powdercoat, there's certainly no reason to go another route instead, unless I just wanted to gut my bank account more for the hell of it. I can achieve a polished nickel or dark chrome looking effect with powdercoat, so I have decided to quit messing around.

Also, my wheels are 3pc rims, and WOULD actually be reasonable for plating in a shallow bath, given I only truly need the face/spokes + lip done

bbs_apart.jpg

Maybe you'd like to nickel-plate 132 bolts for me, instead? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well hmm. I'll be damned. You didn't say these were junk rims in your first post. LOL.

Let me ask around over at Caswell forums, you might want to check them out as well, lots of professionals over there. I'll check into getting some zinc. I'm still working on some anodes of different sizes. Do you think you'd be satisfied with "Copy Chrome"? It's a super bright nickel. Supposedly it looks killer over copper. Do you want these to shine like Harley parts or do you want them a vintage shiny? I don't have any buffers or mops around to polish out each job before the next round of plating. We could probably make them nice and shiny but not mirror smooth.

I got my set up because I wanted to nickel up nuts and bolts, as well as old exhausts. Wasn't sure if I wanted the chrome aspect. Not saying I wouldn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...