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Zinc/nickel plating using a hobby kit
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I bought a kit through eBay (they are still being sold - see here) back in 2012 with high expectations of restoring all the nuts and bolts on my refurbs and making them look proper "factory" but the kit and instructions looked a bit complex so I kept putting off using it - until today smilenodisbeliefcrybiggrinwink

I was right in thinking it wasn't going to be a 5 minute job mixing up the chemicals and sorting out the anodes. wiring, air pump, etc Took me all afternoon and a bit of the evening to get my first results. 

Before:

Plating - before photo.jpg

The photo below shows a nut and bolt cleaned and ready for the plating process and to the right of them a couple that should be all shiny and nicely plated - I clearly have done summat wrong so it is back to reading the instructions and having another go tomorrow disbelief

Plating - first attempt.jpg

 

Brian



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It was scary Pete - bottles of chemicals and packs of strange powders all with hazard warnings on them and enough sheets of H&S guff to put a normal person off no

I said to Trish that I felt like the sorcerer's apprentice out in the workshop!

Let's hope I can introduce a bit of wizardry tomorrow and get some shiny nuts and bolts eh?

Brian



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Mistake number 1 - I didn't dilute the pre-cleaner. I wondered why the nut and bolt were bubbling so much when put in the bath disbelief

GP1 can be used at room temperature 20°C or heated to 80°C and by either soak or electrolytic operation at a range of rates from 20ml/ltr to 200ml/ltr depending on application. It will make up between 6 litres and 60 litres depending on the concentration.



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I got a fairly aggressive media in my blaster so it strips off any plating along with rust etc. Sadly this means that in our climate rust sets in very quickly if the items aren't protected. 

In the past I have cleaned in TFR, wire brushed, wiped in clutch & brake cleaner and sprayed. The drawback with this is that the paint chips off when doing the nuts and bolts up with a socket although there is usually some of the original plating left underneath.

I think plating is the answer if I can get it right!

Brian

PS I am going to put glass beads back in the blaster soon so that I can do aluminium parts again.



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Ran out of room on the bench! This is sort of what the kit looks like in action.

Plating 1.jpg

 

More potions and kit over here.

Plating 2.jpg

 

and the two pickling solutions are on the sink so that I don't drip nasty fluids everywhere when taking parts out for rinsing:

Plating 3.jpg

 

The video tutorial shows a piece of copper beautifully plated and shiny after only a small time in the system but mine is patchy and dull no

Plating 4.jpg

 

I have given in for the time being and sent a couple of photos and a plea for advice to the suppliers cry

Has anyone else tried these kits?

Brian



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Hi Brian, when I was building a kit car about 20 years ago I made a plating set up that looked very similar to yours and nickel plated a load of brackets and small pieces, and on the whole they came up very shiny indeed, I have also had parts chrome plated in the past that had a mirror finish, and the key is that they have to be polished to a shiny finish in the base metal first, I suspect that if you grit blasted the parts the surface is too rough to come up shiny, the plating is only a few microns thick. Its fairly easy to clean up flat components with emery cloth and wet and dry but bolts are a bit harder, why not try polishing up a bit of flat strip and see what it comes out like?

Mind you I never tried zinc...

Cheers

Mike



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Plated nuts and bolts.jpgHi Mike

Sorry not to have replied before but other tasks took over and I shelved the plating for a while.

I got some advice from Dan at Gateros plating who suggested adding a few capfuls of brightener and maintenance potions. I also took your advice and bead blasted the items which left a much better surface.

Anyways up, I am quite pleased with the results - just got to hone up my "passivating" skills to get a more consistent result.

 



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leigh wrote:

Brian is "Breaking Bad" - after the shop sale.


 biggrinbiggrinbiggrin - slightly safer chemicals though and, AFAIK, totally legal  - biggrinbiggrinbiggrin

It is true that I now have the chance to do some of those less pressing jobs around the workshop wink

Brian

PS Got some black and olive green "drab" passivate delivered t'other day so can try and match the finish of the original parts coz they do seem to have different finishes here and there. Most of the new parts from Yamaha seem to have a blackish finish compared to the olive green originals.



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Plated a pair of footpegs for the 325 project bike today. I have a couple of original wide OE pegs and have pretty much matched their colour.

I first electroplated them with the zinc/nickel and then put them in the clear/blue passivate which gives the plating a strong protective coating. 

I tried the black passivate for the first time on the sidestand spring as paint just doesn't last on them. 

Looks a bit "sooty" but all the parts need to be left a day or so before being handled so maybe it'll look different then! 

Overall very pleased. I should have taken a "before" shot - sorry about that.

They do actually look a lot better in real life than in the photos wink

Footpegs and stand spring 2.jpeg

Footpegs and stand spring 1.jpeg



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Hello,

It seems to me that your doing a good job. Matching plating on old used materials is difficult.

The material has been through rain, mud , heat and cold and the material has aged through the years.

I worked in a place where we had a lot of plating done for us by plating companies, the finish could vary for several reasons.

The water that they cleaned the components after the plating process is allowed a certain amount of chemicals in - when fresh you can get a certain colour, when near the allowed limit you can get a different colour.

The drying process also can affect colour - some companies use ovens and if I remember correctly, some blow them dry.

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It is still a bit hit and miss Bill - I don't show you the failures disbelief

They tend to be when I try to be greedy and plate too many items at once.......



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After a bit of a break I have dug out the plating kit and am having another go.

I have replaced the power control supplied with the kit with a more precise unit that allows me to set both voltage and amperage.

So this is what I was using:

Power supply.jpg

 

and this is the new unit:

Variable power supply.JPG

 

With a bit of experimentation I am getting much better results biggrin

Carb parts.JPG

 

The carb top on the left was originally very rusty and the plating hasn't hidden the pitting left after bead blasting but it is still a very usable part.

I only included the float bowl as an experiment and, although it worked, I don't think a carb would look good with this finish i.e. zinc plated and yellow passivated.

This is what a few of those parts looked like before plating.

Carb parts - before.JPG

Brian

 



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Blimey!!!!...Brian..that looks excellent! 

Have you seen this guys attempt?

....the comments are the best!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy6u2kikAA4



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I confess that I watched a few of his videos before I twigged disbelief



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Some more plating porn. The three parts in the middle of the photo will, hopefully, be blasted and plated this morning.

BrianBefore and after.JPG



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I am aware that not everyone has access to a shot or bead blaster to clean their parts.

I have seen quite a few suggestions on the old interweb to use brick acid (actually diluted muriatic acid) to de-rust parts so gave it a try.

The photo below shows the before and after although the sprocket nut I de-rusted was in much worse condition than the one on the right in the photo!

Works well but don't leave the part in the acid too long as it will start to eat the metal evileye

It's a powerful liquid so take all the recommended precautions regarding wearing gloves, not breathing the fumes, etc.!

Cleaning with brick acid.JPG



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that's awesome!!




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TTRfan wrote:

I am aware that not everyone has access to a shot or bead blaster to clean their parts.

I have seen quite a few suggestions on the old interweb to use brick acid (actually diluted muriatic acid) to de-rust parts so gave it a try.

The photo below shows the before and after although the sprocket nut I de-rusted was in much worse condition than the one on the right in the photo!

Works well but don't leave the part in the acid too long as it will start to eat the metal evileye

It's a powerful liquid so take all the recommended precautions regarding wearing gloves, not breathing the fumes, etc.!

Cleaning with brick acid.JPG


 I had a chat with a dairy farmer some time ago.  They would dip the stainless steel posts in acid before cementing it in the dairy runs.  Normally the stainless would corrode in a short while due to the urine and cement combination effect on the stainless.  He assured me that the acid was almost a permanent rust inhibitor.



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