Nickel plating at home

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Roy Allan, Jan 5, 2023.

  1. Roy Allan New Zealand

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    My first attempt to re nickel plate this Optimus 930 and quite happy with the results.just need to work out the enamelling for othe lanterns.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2023
  2. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    Looks good :thumbup:
     
  3. bp4willi

    bp4willi Germany Subscriber

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    Well done.
    How??
     
  4. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Very impressive. The process you used would be interesting to hear.
    I’ve achieved tolerable results to patch afflicted hoods, using a MAPP blowtorch.

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    The best results could be expected using a kiln of course.

    Other than the kiln, the other issue is locating a source for enamel powder. Following my initial purchase of several colours, the company stopped selling small amounts directly and larger quantities could only be obtained, from a third party retailer.

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  5. X246A

    X246A United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Roy Allan

    As per @bp4willi. I would love to see or learn how you achieved this result.

    Regards, Jeremy
     
  6. Roy Allan New Zealand

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    Very helpful,I got a liquid form but not happy with the results.cost was $7 so no big deal
     
  7. Roy Allan New Zealand

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    Hny Jeremy, the process was fairly easy on YouTube.
    I made the nickel solution with strips of almost pure nickel,vinegar and a teaspoon of salt for conductivity and a low dc power supply.
    Once I had a nice green liquid it’s on to prepping the metal.
    Highly polish ,degrease and wash in soda crystals.a dip in hydrochloric acid well diluted.it seems to salt the metal the a hour hooked up to 3 volts.
    It comes out black but a buff sorts it out.
    I’m doing a scabbard for a pattern sword now and then anything else I can get my hands on
     
  8. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Roy Allan
    Inspired by your work, I nickel plated a brass pump knob and pump cap for a Primus stove.

    Stove is nickel plated but the pump knob and cap, though Primus items of the correct form for the stove, aren’t plated.

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    I used a couple of strips cut from a 50mm square of 2mm thick nickel to use as anodes to make the electrolyte.

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    Old battery charger (6 and 12 volt output options), white vinegar, pinch of salt to make the vinegar more conductive.

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    About 4 hours at 12 volts …

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    … and the solution turned green.

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    I made a wire holder to suspend the items in the electrolyte. The anode was the same two nickel strips I’d used to make the electrolyte, clamped together in the crocodile clip on the positive lead.

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    I’d read online that as low a voltage as possible results in a better finish so I used the 6 volt output of the power supply. I gave it half-an-hour to do the plating, agitating the solution with a wooden skewer and re-positioning the anode to give ‘line of sight’ around the contours of the parts to confer even metal deposition as far as possible.

    Parts came out like this.

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    After a light buffing and finishing with metal polish.

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    Reunited with the stove.

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    Making the electrolyte, only the negative (cathode) is galvanically corroded, so I swapped polarity to get the other one to share some of the loss, but the one on the left was the cathode for longest.

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    How it looks in action.

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    Thanks again Roy, it’s something I’ve fancied having a go at for a while.

    John
     
  9. Roy Allan New Zealand

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    Well done John and what an excellent story you have put to it.it’s a simple process for what we do here if done the right way.clean everything,pickle in hydrochloric acid quickly 20% to water.
     
  10. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Roy Allan Cheers Roy. For your Optimus hood (excellent job by the way) presumably it was a case of larger everything than I needed - larger container, volume of solution, anodes? How did you arrange the anode in the plating bath to ensure the component got a reasonably even plating?
     
  11. Roy Allan New Zealand

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    I had series up anodes a a bit of jiggly action.I’m thinking of using an aquarium pump next time with a larger bath and heat.
    I started this experience a few years back refining silver in nitric acid.
     
  12. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Right. Makes sense.
     
  13. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Roy Allan

    I realised that the best technique is not to keep the anode static, clamped in place, but to hold it in the hand and move it about. Nickel deposition only takes seconds and it’s the best way to get even coverage and plating density.



    Before

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    After

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    Back of reflector intentionslly kept brass finish - sprayed with clear lacquer beforehand and not in ‘line of sight’ of nickel anode.

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    Reflector side plated.

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  14. Roy Allan New Zealand

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    That’s awesome,I have 3 carbide lamps and thinking of doing the same….well done
     
  15. Sellig33

    Sellig33 France Subscriber

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  16. Tyler Lezotte United States

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    This is a great thread :thumbup:
     

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