Nickel plating bike parts - FORKS

Discussion in 'HOW TO' started by Indyjps, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Green Dragon

    Green Dragon

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    watching intently for results. Simple Green plating sounds interesting, will have to try that.
    I actually have the Caswell chrome kit and have yet to try it out , need to spend a day tinkering and see how it works.
     
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  2. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    The plating looks good, especially considering the parts werent prepped for plating, and it still bonded well. If those were polished before hand this plating would be very smooth and shiny.
     
  3. us56456712

    us56456712

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    Everthing turned bleck when I added an old electronic device charger to the electrodes
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  4. RustySprockets

    RustySprockets

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    Do be aware that many brands if copper scrubbies are not really copper anymore--they are plated. I think Libman, and maybe Chore-Boy, might still be pure. Just be forewarned and avoid disappointment.
     
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  5. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    I tripled the anode in each test and refreshed the solution, brought it inside. Traveled for a few days so it sat. The temp and increased surface area of anode made the difference.

    Copper had a nice even coat, BUT, it came off with when washed with soap and a towel.

    Zinc had a nice even coat, that bonded well and quickly buffed to a shine. This would be great for bike part hardware. Get all the corrosion off with oxalic or muratic acid, dump it in solution with zinc anode. Most AAA batteries have a zinc jacket in the case if you just want to do a small set up(youtube videos on how to disassemble a battery)

    Copper plating in any form continues to skunk me.

    This method still gives me a pre plate to allow for nickel, and this method prevents the line of sight issue with electroplating.

    I'll pick up simple green and dawn in the next few days and retest using the original method to see if I can get better results.

    Now that I know other metals work, I'll throw a brass plumbing ball valve in and test that as well. I'm also going to try US nickels, I keep coming back to them for an easy anode source, even though they are 75% copper 25% nickel. I want to see what happens.

    I'm guessing the brake pad in the original test was more of an alloy and not straight copper. Not doubting the results in any way, trying to find a way to make it work in my shop and share the process.
     
  6. Falstaff

    Falstaff

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    I saw a copper plating video where the guy used the copper sulfate stuff you use to clear roots from the drain lines, and a motorcycle battery.
     
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  7. us56456712

    us56456712

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    I think the brake shoes were bronze or brass.
     
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  8. us56456712

    us56456712

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    I used copper sulfate to kill the algae on my asphalt roof shingles. Dump a bottle of the crystals into a 5 gal pail of warm water and broom it on. Kept my camp roof free of the mold and algae for 15 years after it had a big build up. In 2013 I burned the old camp down and built another one. No dump fees that way and I salvaged and recycled all the copper from the wire and the aluminum melted and pooled into ingots that I recycled. I did it in the winter when no one was around to bust me. We cut around the base of the camp with an old chainsaw and pulled it off the foundation with a giant come-along attached to a tree. We busted it up and put it on the beach and made very large bonfires out of it. Only took about a month to get rid of it. A magnet in the spring got the nails. The grass an the shore and some of the tress in the yard were toast.
     
  9. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    Give it a whirl, its fun to mess with this stuff, lower you can get your voltage, better the results. I was using a battery charger on 6v before I found this power supply.
    Root killer is copper sulfate. The copper vinegar, salt electroplate you make your own solution of copper acetate.

    Any of the electrolysis methods are line of sight to your anode, you have to turn the object and it's not easy to get internal surfaces. It requires a pure anode source, alloys will generally just give a blackened plating. The simple green plating method should get internal surfaces, and has better potential to work with alloys.

    My main concern with copper is to use as a preplate for nickel. Zinc is working fine for that.
    But now that I can't get copper to work well, it's pissing me off.:21:
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
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  10. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    Another round of testing on simple green plating.
    Using real simple green and dawn brand dishsoap.
    Cap screws that were rusty, wire wheeled, I had some muratic acid handy so I etched them quickly and neutralized to eliminate variables.
    20161227_202929.jpg
    Clockwise from top left. Zinc, copper, brass, US nickels as anode. Temp 68 degrees. All anodes were wire wheeled to remove any protective coatings.
    20161227_203240.jpg
     
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  11. LukeTheJoker

    LukeTheJoker Moderator

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    Looking forward to seeing the results!
     
  12. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    12 hours later.
    20161228_083858.jpg
    Zinc, no noticeable plating, which is odd because it worked with the other solution
    Copper, light plating
    Brass, light plating, more than copper, it's heavier on the side that was sitting on the bottom of the bowl, so the solution needs to be agitated occasionally.
    US nickels, light plating comparable to the copper, coming out a copper color, it's considered cupronickel 75%copper, 25%nickel.

    I refreshed the solution and will let it sit, stirring occasionally thru the day. Wondering if it reached max plating, or if it will continue to work.
     
  13. us56456712

    us56456712

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    I found this whole thing weird, no battery needed. I let my stuff sit for many days, didn't refresh. The Bendix 2 speed sat for about 5-7 days as I was trying to remove grease in the winter without solvents inside the house. I had it in the furnace room where it is about 75F. No prep, I just dumped the greasy parts into the solution. Quite a surprise when I finally looked at it. I did move the rivet around to get an even coat. This seems to work well if you aren't in a hurry. Probably better for small pieces?
     
  14. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    Very interesting to me too. I'm thinking the brake that transferred material was much softer alloy than brass fitting, or copper wire. I can't think of a soft brass, bronze, copper anode that's readily available for everyone to use. Documenting the steps so others can replicate.
     
  15. us56456712

    us56456712

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    I don't know about the nickel but there is not enough copper in a penny to set off my metal detector when it is set for copper when I am prospecting on a copper mine poor rock dump. It finds very small pieces of native copper though. Never tried a penny for this plating as it didn't set off the detector so I figured there was a minuscule amount in it.
     
  16. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    20161229_100613.jpg
    36 hours.

    These have only been rinsed with water and pics taken. Looks like we still have plating build going on. I'm gonna let these go longer then see if the plating holds up to scotchbrite. See if I can get enough plating to buff.

    As far as plating build - Brass is doing the best, US nickels second, copper third, Zinc is last. Still find it odd that the last test with different degreaser, zinc did well.
     
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  17. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    Modern pennies are 97%zinc core with a very thin copper alloy outer. If you try them for plating, once the copper is worn thru, you'll just get zinc. It'll work fine for corrosion resistance but may mess up the results if you want copper appearance.
     
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  18. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    64 hours, coatings started to turn black, think we've reached maximum result.

    Water rinse.
    20161230_123022.jpg

    After polishing on buffer wheel with finest compound
    20161230_123827.jpg
    20161230_123806.jpg

    Copper failed during buffing, majority came off.

    US nickel did well, very dark brown. Adhered well, ploished OK.

    Zinc, did OK, the bolt is dull grey but can't tell how well it plated.

    Brass is the winner here, nice bright finish after buffing, plating adhered well.

    I think this can be used for some nice accent effects. The simple green process definately works. Pics don't show it, but it plated down into the cap screw recess very well, electrolysis does not get into cavities well.

    I'm calling the Zep and generic laundry soap a success as well, since straight copper failed during both tests, zinc worked better with Zep. Zep worked faster and I saw bubbling on the steel during the test that was not present with simple green. Maybe Zep is a more aggressive mix of whatever allows this to work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  19. us56456712

    us56456712

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    Thanks for taking my accidental discovery to the next level. Now, can someone explains how/why this works? Good experiment, you got more patience than me.
     
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  20. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    Tried to nickel plate the brass out of curiosity. Didn't plate well.
     

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