electro plating.

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electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 17 Jun 2019, 09:06

Tried zinc plating (difficulty? easy) in the past. Works easily. But goes dull.
Tried copper plating too. Just as easy. But again looks odd, goes dull.
Both work on most metals, and do stop corrosion but dont look great.

So I have ordered a lump of Nickel. To do nickel plating. Also ordered some ready made shiny nickel plating solution. You can make your own but too much messing about. Why? Looks a lot like chrome (only better on machined parts. And bolts etc. Works on steel, brass, old plated parts, battery terminals, bus bars etc and it looks pretty.

What do you need?
Very little. Some "solution". (theres 2 types. Dull and shiny like chrome). And some electrode material (a bit of pure nickel sheet from ebay). And a container. An old phone carger, or a bench power supply.

1. Bolt the nickel sheet inside a plastic container. So that you can push on or screw on a lid. Something like a square plastic food storage box or jar. I have a square one in my kitchen that will be used. So tat you can refit the lid, and use it whenever you want. Lasts years. It will have one metal bolt protrding. This ideally should be a stainless, or titanium, bolt. So it doesent react at all.

2. Tip in the solution. I have a litre. You can buy on ebay, or just the powder and add water.

3. Clean the part, and hang it in the jar submerged in the green solution on bit of bent titanium/stainless/or even copper wire.

5. Connect the positive (3 to 5V and around an amp or so max) to the bolt sticking out the side of your container/jar. Connect the negative wire to the hanging part. Wait till it has a shiny silver coating, and then wait the same time again to be sure. The longer you wait the thicker the Nickel plating layer. Not long enough? Too thin, wears off. Too long? Uneven but thick coat, that doesent look pretty. You will soon know. Too much amps/volts? Bubbles create arks on the plating. Too slow? Takes forever but works great regardless.

And its stays looking pretty. So you can do every nut, bolt, lump of metal, coins, keys, machined wheelchair part, etc. You cant do aluminium. But you CAN use a similar system to annodise it pretty colours very easily.

Only hard part is that the parts must be clean. Totally degreased. Or the finish will not be pretty.
I will use spray can of brake cleaner. Ebay. Or amazon. And a quick dip in a container of cheap brick acid from the DIY store cheap. And a rinse in tap water. Then DONT TOUCH as your fingers are oily!

Will do pics when I start to show the easy results that you can get in your kitchen.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 17 Jun 2019, 09:30

You can also get electroless plating slution With that you heat it up, and just leave the part suspended in it.

And it works well too by all accounts.

The results are as good as the preparation. Polish the part! Clean the part. Dip the part.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Williamclark77 » 17 Jun 2019, 15:10

I look forward to this. Electro coatings are something I've done very little of. :thumbup:

I just finished building a real heat treat oven good for 2200f so I can work with more exotic metals without the $$$ and wait of having them heat treated. I have to redo the elements whenever more Kanthal wire arrives.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 17 Jun 2019, 15:46

Well some of this, a big jar or tank, and a bit of pure nickel as an anode, and you are good to plate almost all of your chair.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/352454105019
Or similar.

This stays bright and shines. But must be totally degreased with something like carbon tet. Brake cleaner. And then dipped in say brick acid. (From the building supplier) which is hydrocloric acid. Or 50% diluted sulfuric (16% ACID ish) , then rinsed in water. FIRST.

All your steel parts are cryiung out for this.

You CAN get a finish with BRIGHT plating (my link) that is as good as chrome but more yellow than blue.

Or if the surface is rough, or you use matt or satin plating electrolyte, just have a dull finish that prevents corrosion. The secret is in the finish BEFORE plating as it covers no blemishes.

As here:
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Polished steel lamp parts
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POLISHED brass...
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brass bright [plated
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CNC steel parts bright plated
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Dull on brass casting.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Williamclark77 » 17 Jun 2019, 19:19

Burgerman wrote:All your steel parts are cryiung out for this.


Oh I know. Too many other projects and lack of room to add more. My shop has to get bigger before I add anything else! banghead
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Re: electro plating.

Postby foghornleghorn » 17 Jun 2019, 19:23

If you are plating nuts and bolts make sure you don't overdo it on the thickness.

I definitely haven't got previous experience of fucking things up so they won't go together any more.... :shh:
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 17 Jun 2019, 19:50

I would be surprised if the coating was that thick. But you can always run a tap or die down it.

My keyboard will only type intermittently on letter m, comma, full stop, space bar, and enter. And its NOT the keyboard. I tried everything for a week now. And only removing the track pad dell software fixes it... And its driving me nuts. Because then the mouse doesent work!

:cussing
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Re: electro plating.

Postby woodygb » 17 Jun 2019, 20:22

Has your keyboard got "extra" Fn functions?
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 17 Jun 2019, 20:34

And its so intermittent I cannot find the cause.

Back to plating. Everyone says that to get a shiny finish, you must heat the elecrtolyte to 95 to 115F which isnt that hot. Many use electric hotpates or aquarium heaters. But I want to use my large plastic square Jar! Its got a secure top so no spills or leaks when not in use. I dont want wires comming out of the top. So after a little thinking I will drill a hole in the side at the bottom and fit a heater plug from eBay for a diesel engine. They are around 10A at 9V. Thats 90 watts of heat. Since its going to be below the electroyte, its water cooled. So it will draw a few more Amps. So if run at say 12V it will be around 150W heater. It will not overheat as the liquid will cool it.

I ordered 2x titanium M12 nuts. Because you can really only put titanium, or copper or brass, or in the tank.
Since I have at least 3 power supplies on my bench, I will use one to heat the electrolyte. Once up to temp, I will use my temp laser gun, to monitor it, as I turn down the power At the point it begins to stop getting hotter (about 2 volts?) then I can make a note. So in future I will know the right setting for the approx correct temperature. And leave it of for a few hours before plating anything.

For those that dont know what a ceramic glow plug as fitted to diesel engines looks like, heres the one I ordered. These come in many lengths, and in 8, 10, 12 mm threads. With 1, 1.25, 1.5mm pitch so be careful. This one in M10 1.25mm pitch. Its 10A at 9V in air. But will be more in a fluid. So plenty of heat.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby woodygb » 17 Jun 2019, 20:38

I think it's called "Special function mode" and it caused me no end of grief on a Toshiba laptop...a range of keys in a diagonal would not work , but an external keyboard had no problems.

Faffing around with various "solutions" often restored the "missing" keys , but only temporarily as it always returned.

Eventually I tried turning OFF the Function Keys "Special function mode" and reverting to the "Standard F1-F12 mode" ...the keyboard problem is now solved.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 17 Jun 2019, 20:44

It will go in the bottom / side of a jar very like this. It is smallish to begin with. While I experiment. Holds 2 litres.

Then I will have a heated jar.

It will have 2 bits of FLAT 80mm x 50mm nickel sheet, 2mm thick, bolted to the insides. These will use plastic bolts to bolt them through the bottle. It will all be watertight and neat. I used to work as a plumber!

In use, the green electrolyte already has enough nickel in it, to plate perfectly. The extra nickel will replace that lost from the electrolyte in use so that it never "wears out" so to speak.

If it all works as intended, I will build a 10 litre version.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 18 Jun 2019, 00:49

Thanks. Will check that out next!

I think it's called "Special function mode" and it caused me no end of grief on a Toshiba laptop...a range of keys in a diagonal would not work , but an external keyboard had no problems.

Faffing around with various "solutions" often restored the "missing" keys , but only temporarily as it always returned.

Eventually I tried turning OFF the Function Keys "Special function mode" and reverting to the "Standard F1-F12 mode" ...the keyboard problem is now solved.


How do I turn them off? :cussing
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 18 Jun 2019, 04:23

Did as you suggested. Good plan. But no T shirt this time. Disabled and swapped every possible keyboard option, and the prob kept returning.

Strange as they are all function keys, other than enter. I expected that to do the trick.
So I uninstalled and deleted the dell Alps mouse driver. Which means the mouse works, but you lose all the tapping/guesture settings. And I hate tapping with a vengence! But the keyboard is behaving pefect.

So I searched the registry for TAPPING. And changed 12 instances of tapping from 1 to 0 and thats fixed the tapping... And also same for guestures. So its fixed. But no user trackpad adjustment interface... But I dont care as I can fix that in the registry. Just so you now have another fix in case this comes back again!

Obviously I tried 4 different drivers first, same crap... :ak47
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 20 Jun 2019, 15:12

And its back... :cussing

In the meantime my small test tank now has a heater (110f best temp).
This is a M12 heater, shortish, out of some random diesel car. It is locked in place by 2x M12 Titanium nuts to prevent any chemical reaction.

It takes 8.5A at 6V = 50 Watts heat. It doesent need that much. It takes 4A at 3V which is 4x less and 12 watts. It also takes 16A at 12V and 200W if you are in a hurry. Obviously it doesent glow when submerged in water. As when tested.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Scooterman » 20 Jun 2019, 16:31

I've rejuvenated silver jewellery by putting item in shallow bowl with water, silver foil (aluminium foil), and washing powder. It makes jewellery all silvery again.

Is it a form of electroplating???

Hmm but perhaps not as no electrics? :problem:
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 20 Jun 2019, 17:59

Its some kind of cleaning. But no idea how that works.

I will use my fluke to measure temperature. Apparently nickel needs 55 to 65C to get a perfect shiny leveled surface. And agitation. Might fit a water pump to take out water, and put it back into a different place to keep it moving.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby LROBBINS » 20 Jun 2019, 18:26

It is a relatively simple chemical reaction. Tarnish comes from sulfur binding to the silver, but it binds more strongly to aluminum than silver so silver sulfate becomes elemental silver and aluminum becomes aluminum sulfate. You can polish a whole drawer-full of silverware by putting it in an aluminum pot with some baking soda. Heating will speed the process, but a warning - many knifes have hollow handles and the air (or sometimes a filler) can leak out while heating and then the handle can collapse when it cools. Except for knives, it sure beats rubbing with silver polish.

Of course, stainless steel tableware doesn't need such treatment, and who can afford real silverware these days?
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 20 Jun 2019, 18:31

Well stainless is a better solution. Maybe it can be nickel plated... :argument
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 21 Jun 2019, 05:32

I just looked. You can nickel plate stainless. But since it looks the same, no point!
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Re: electro plating.

Postby biscuit » 21 Jun 2019, 11:21

When I was a kid I lived on a yacht with a steel hull, sailing on the Atlantic. In the bilges we had to have a few sacrificial anodes, lumps of zinc iirc. When new, they are approximately fist-sized. They didn't make the hull noticeably thicker or less prone to rust, unfortunately. :P But they did get eaten away. I don't know how quickly.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 21 Jun 2019, 12:33

Sacrificial anodes. They do prevent some corrosion if they are placed in the right places. The fact that they got smaller means that some galvanic corrosion of the hull didnt happen. But some still does. They also fit those to outboard motors, and there was a craze for fitting them to cars in the 60s and 70s when they were prone to tinworm. Also fitted inside copper hot water cylinders. To make than last longer.

May be a good idea on a wheelchair, a flat plate bolted to the bottom about 2 inches square by 1/4 thick maybe. Stop all the bolts and wheel bearings etc corroding. Might try it in fact. You can buy the metal in pure form on ebay as plating electrodes.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 21 Jun 2019, 17:12

A little research later, and we need magnesium for a car or powerchair. Magnesium sacrificial anodes are about $8 a pair on ebay
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Re: electro plating.

Postby flagman1776 » 21 Jun 2019, 17:30

I will confirm that when I was in the boat business, zinc anodes were routinely attached to underwater machinery to prevent galvanic corrosion... assuming the vessel was wired correctly...
Image
Leaving a hot lead in the bilge was a bad idea!
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 21 Jun 2019, 17:32

How they find out?
Not as fast as before? :clap
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Re: electro plating.

Postby flagman1776 » 21 Jun 2019, 19:27

Yes, boat doesn't go but prop shaft is turning. When we saw the prop, we (the Marina) went looking for the cause & found the hot wire in the bilge that the owner had dropped. The propeller was perfect in the Spring when we launched him and this was just mid summer. The zinc collars on the shaft were all gone.
Then there was this guy
Image
Kindly notice the zinc collar is still in place on the shaft.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 21 Jun 2019, 20:42

Strange way to pull up his anchor. It will stop the boat going. :o
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Re: electro plating.

Postby flagman1776 » 21 Jun 2019, 22:47

It is.
Image
Lots of fun.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 22 Jun 2019, 01:45

This is why its called messing about in boats. At least when they are that small like the sunk one its not so costly, or hard to get out of the water or fix.

But people messing about in boats extends to some REALLY big ones... And really big problems! Last year or two ago, I watched them trying to get a very large expensive cruiser with 2x V8 inboard motors, very fancy woodwork on the bedrooms and lounge etc, out of the marina here. It was kind of full of water.

It had been lowered into the water with a massive crane or two before I happened across the fun. At least one end was... Unfortunately I missed the best bit. There was lots of pointing and blaming and swearing going on. That thing must have been worth a couple of houses.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby flagman1776 » 22 Jun 2019, 03:41

We raised that one in one day. The exhaust combines exhaust with cooling water in what is termed a wet exhaust. The owner had taken the wet exhaust apart to repair something... accidentally disabled the bilge pump. It rained hard. The cockpit was not self draining. Without the pump, the boat settled enough to flood back through the exhaust with results as pictured.

Then there was a co-worker... he left his wife and baby at the rented beach front cottage in a storm...
Image
Image
The storm washed out the pilings and it fell into the sea. At high tide, the waves broke out the picture windows and a stream exited through the door washing most of their belongings out with it. A couple of guys helped save their washing machine from a back room through a window. In the second picture, the landlord has arrived with heavy equipment and managed to pull it up into a parking lot & eventually set it on a new foundation... The from wall & porch was lost.
Oh, yeah, the wife was furious that he wasn't there to save their things in the few hours before it fell. She had her hands full with a new-born.
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Re: electro plating.

Postby Burgerman » 22 Jun 2019, 06:46

Lovely. You cant beat nature. But a wooden shack propped up on sticks next to the sea? Would seem unwise!
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