Bare metal work

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Bare metal work

Post  lynnr on Tue 14 Sep 2010, 6:06 am

Hi

Just to let you all know I have just ordered a nickel plating kit to do some of the bare metal parts like the smokebox handles and possibly the conrods and piston rods etc. Kit should arrive in the next 5 days. I will do the smokebox handles and post the results for you all to see

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plating

Post  Rickster on Tue 14 Sep 2010, 11:43 am

Hi Lyn,
I'm planning on plating also but I can't make up my mind which one to buy - frost do 3 different ones, standard, matt and Bright - which would be the closest to steel do you know?
cheers
Rick

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Re: Bare metal work

Post  greystones on Tue 14 Sep 2010, 1:06 pm

Hi Rick

I have bought the Frost Bright nickle kit but not used it yet. I will wait till I have a few more bits befor I mix all the chemicals.
Didn't realise what exactly was needed till I got it all and the instructions.

I work on the theory that if I am going to plate it , it might as well be bright.

Cheers Mike

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Nickel plating

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 14 Sep 2010, 1:59 pm

When I built my 4" SC Burrell I plated most of the motion work from a kit off ebay. It gave a satin finish which looks pretty good. I've seen engines that have been chrome plated and they can look a bit 'tarty' by being so shiney. (Whatever 'floats you boat' though) I experimented a bit with the plating and found that a low voltage and long time was best. I used to set the voltage for 3.5 volts and leave it overnight (about 8 hours) This gave a good thick covering which has lasted five years without any sign of degrading. One very important thing is cleaning the steel with the appropriate powder, wear gloves!. I forgot on one piece and my fingerprint is perfectly engraved in the plating! Still better than writing your postcode on the engine! The other thing to bear in mind is that the tolerances that STW allow on their fittings sometimes don't allow for the additional thickness of plating so some extra fettling is called for. I found that it rarely plated the inside of holes much but did affect the outside dimensions of parts so a little more clearance was needed before plating. It was very rewarding seeing a part perfectly plated and the upside is also that on the rally field rain has no effect so it's easy to keep clean.

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Plating

Post  lynnr on Wed 15 Sep 2010, 12:12 am

I have gone for the bright nickel kit from Here
So we will see what happens. Yes if you touch the metal with your unmasked paws you do get rather nice plated fingerprints.

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Re: Bare metal work

Post  sonick45 on Wed 15 Sep 2010, 12:27 am

I am thinking of plating but I am a little concerned about the thickness difference this will give to the motion parts. STW's parts are so precise that there is little room left for anything else. Its already been mentioned about extra fettling and was wondering if you could use the brush on kits rather than the dip variety. You could then mask off the area you didn't want plated and you wouldn't have the issues with thicknesses on the parts that need to be a set thickness and would otherwise be covered in oil anyway.

what are peoples thoughts...

Nick

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Partial plating

Post  lynnr on Wed 15 Sep 2010, 12:39 am

sonick45 wrote:I am thinking of plating but I am a little concerned about the thickness difference this will give to the motion parts. STW's parts are so precise that there is little room left for anything else. Its already been mentioned about extra fettling and was wondering if you could use the brush on kits rather than the dip variety. You could then mask off the area you didn't want plated and you wouldn't have the issues with thicknesses on the parts that need to be a set thickness and would otherwise be covered in oil anyway.

what are peoples thoughts...

Nick

I am going to experiment on some scrap metal by "masking" areas not to be plated with something like petroleum wax or even plain old masking tape. Will let you all know.

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Plating

Post  Steve Traill on Wed 15 Sep 2010, 8:53 am

Be carefull that you don't get an edge that peels up from masking, it's a bit of a black art really, the slightest bit of dirt, grease and it wont plate that area or you are left with a mottled effect. I just allowed a bit more clearance on the outside of the moving parts. It doesn't seem to plate inside the holes which could be down to being unable to thoroughly clean the inside of the holes or the plating molecules are claustrophobic!

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Re: Bare metal work

Post  Waterways on Wed 15 Sep 2010, 12:12 pm

Before i plated any of my parts i pickeled them in sulphuric acid until they went from shiny to dull then a quick wash in water without touching with greasy hands and then into nickel solution. tried a part with just using a acetone degreaser and you could flake the nickel off.

Keith

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First Items plated

Post  lynnr on Sat 18 Sep 2010, 1:23 am

Hi All

Got the Nickel plating kit going last night. Quite successful only got a small problem where there seams to be a change half way down a handle a "tide mark" where the nickel did not appear bright. After polishing it appeared fine. Not sure what caused that but I will be trying again later today possibly.

Well here is the result. I do not have my tripod at the moment so could not hold focus with the 100mm macro lense too easily.


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Re: Bare metal work

Post  Robfishman on Sun 02 Oct 2011, 2:36 pm

Also Nickel plating parts and also found that tide marks are left. These have been left to plate over night with a low voltage 1.5v. They do polish out fine (although if you know they are there you can see them). Is this normal, or have I not got something quite right?

Wondered if the voltage was to low, but found the same with the hub caps on the bowser at 3.5v so not sure its that.

I went for the standard finish rather than bright.


Nickel plate problem by Robert R&N, on Flickr

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Tide marks

Post  lynnr on Mon 03 Oct 2011, 12:18 am

Hi Rob

I now do my plating at 1 amp. Not sure what voltage that equates to as not checked. I found that I need to stir almost 100% of the time so now have an aquarium pump and 2 bubble rocks this gives the tank excellent agitation and I do not get the tide marks. Think it has something to do with shadows in the electrical path.


Also the "runs" from the holes appear to be contamination captured in the holes and this had oozed out and down. I did get that on 2 of the supports. I used the nickel activator salts and re-done those 2.

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Plating

Post  Steve Traill on Mon 03 Oct 2011, 1:34 am

When I did mine it was important to thoroughly degrease all parts which I did with gun wash cellulose thinners and then the kit came with a powder to scrub the parts with. It was also important to wear gloves as otherwise fingerprints are left in the plating.
Also when suspending the item in between the two electrodes don't try & do too much in one go. I found it was better to do one piece well than try & get it all done in one hit. I found that the piece in the centre of the electrodes plated the best and anything on the edge wasn't so good. Electricity always finds the easiest route so that probably accounts for that. After all this is a DIY set up.

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Re: Bare metal work

Post  Robfishman on Mon 03 Oct 2011, 4:50 am

Thanks for the information.

I used washing up liquid with a tooth brush to clean the parts before the scourer and had gloves on to avoid the finger prints as I had read this on the forum before. Will try using thinners to clean the parts, if there is any contamination causing the problem this will help. If it is something in the holes its run up hill so must have been lighter than the solution.

Will try with an air pump which may help, I also have been doing two pieces at a time, but will reduce down to one and see if this also works better. Very Happy


Last edited by Robfishman on Mon 03 Oct 2011, 5:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Parts in

Post  lynnr on Mon 03 Oct 2011, 4:59 am

Hi Rob

Interesting. I did all 6 brackets, the tank lid, and the hinge all together. my problem was a small bit of rubber in the hole on 2.

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Re: Bare metal work

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