Re-plating a Bialaddin bowl fire reflector

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by presscall, Jan 24, 2023 at 4:43 PM.

  1. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Encouraged by my first attempts at nickel plating - HERE on CCS - I applied what I’d learned to a subject that could really benefit renovation, a bowl fire reflector, dull and with much of the plating gone.

    0B9B8220-7BB4-4197-B49D-8D581B13B924.jpeg

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    I used metal polish to remove surface grime and pooled citric acid solution in the interior - burner and screw holes masked of with gaffer tape on the back surface.

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    Washed and wiped, I poured in the electrolyte, connected my battery charger negative terminal to the rim of the reflector and the +-ve side to my nickel anode. 6-volt DC supply.

    The reflector sat in an upturned plastic plantpot and I moved the reglector around to expose all of the surface to electrolyte and the deposited nickel.

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    I’m happy with the result.

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    This was a smaller project, a carbide lamp reflector, during plating.



    Before …

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    … and after

    32BEBF56-059E-4F83-9FA9-2186533DD9C8.jpeg

    John
     
  2. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    That looks much better and will you be replating the guard?
     
  3. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @JEFF JOHNSON The guard’s more of a challenge, being steel so requiring a pre-plating of copper, sandblasting it before that. Additionally, the plating is only even on ‘line of sight’ and it would be tricky to get the anode around the guard’s intricate contours to achieve that.

    My primary purpose for this ‘user’ fire was to improve its reflector’s efficiency rather than smarten up the whole unit at this time.
     
  4. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Thanks for the information and the guard could be cleaned up and painted silver.
     
  5. Gary Waller

    Gary Waller Subscriber

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  6. Pancholoco1911 United States

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    or zinc plated
     
  7. Fireexit1

    Fireexit1 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    So I have a couple of questions @presscall : Did you grease/wax the back of the carbide refelctor to stop deposition all over - or was the way you kept the electrode local and close good enough ?
    The second question is how much polishing did you have to do after plating ?
    best
    Chris
     
  8. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Fireexit1 I think he said that he lacquered the reverse to help matters?

    ..swirling the solution around with the electrode in a sort of slow-motion gold panning effect, I imagine?

    : edit : actually it was the small reflector for the carbide lamp that was lacquered, so I don’t know about the Bialaddin..
    I presume that he just had electrolyte in the reflected side.. using it like bowl and carefully swirling it around..
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023 at 3:05 PM
  9. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Fireexit1 I didn’t use grease or wax, the reflector was lacquered at the factory front and back and I’d to use paint stripper on the reflecting surface before cleaning and polishing it. I think if I had to mask a component I’d use lacquer, because I’d have concern that the electrolyte and currents in it might lift grease or wax and contaminate it.

    The plating only took place on the reflecting surface of the Bialaddin reflector because that was the only side bathing in the electrolyte.

    Polishing? None on the reflectors, just a wipe over with a clean cloth. @podbros’s description of gold panning is very apt and the gentle agitation of the electrolyte and slow movement of the nickel anode evidently produces a shiny finish.

    My first efforts were on a Primus stove pump knob and cap and I had the anode fixed in the jar of electrolyte the components were suspended in.

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    I also overdid the duration necessary to plate them, half-an-hour when seconds or a few minutes (depends on the proximity of the anode) is all that’s required. The plating layer was deeper than it needed to be and the parts came out of the plating jar looking like this.

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    They polished up nicely though, but the ‘gold panning’ technique saves the bother.

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    On the stove. Stove was already nickel plated but the original plated pump knob and cap were missing.

    E9ECA1CA-84EB-4956-99EA-148D2AF91193.jpeg
     
  10. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    A good result John and your technique is improving with each challenge. :thumbup:
     
  11. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    It’s encouraging progress certainly @ROBBO55

    Snwcmpr (Ken) on CCS reckoned I must be looking intently around my home and outbuildings for things to plate. True enough! I’ve a Canadian Coleman ‘Scout’ with barely a trace of nickel plating on the tank. A prime subject for treatment!

    John
     
  12. Roy Allan New Zealand

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    I’m loving your work John, I need to master copper plating for some projects.there’s just not enough hours in the day
     
  13. Roy Allan New Zealand

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    I nickel plated straight over steel no problem.I did polish it well and acid dip
     
  14. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Roy Allan Well, you’re the inspiration Roy as I said in your post that kicked it off, so thanks again.

    Interesting what you’ve said about plating on steel without the need to copper plate first. I guess it was for stainless steel I read that was necessary.
     
  15. Roy Allan New Zealand

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    I passed the bug along,searching for my next target to nickel plate.my eye is on a scabbard for a sword but the bath size will be a challenge. Plastic spouting maybe? Maybe you could polish scrap steel,You know the process but pickle in 20% hydrochloric
     
  16. Fireexit1

    Fireexit1 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    A friend of mine used plastic gutter with end caps for degreasing a rifle barrel prior to blueing. That may work for you ?
     
  17. Roy Allan New Zealand

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    That’s what I was thinking,and a couple of bars to hang strips of nickel
     

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