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General Discussion

Nickel Plating Kits

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by John Staddon » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:28 pm

There are numerous small parts on the early Interceptor that could do with finishing in some way, clevis pins and yokes at the end of brake rods, small levers in the ventilation system, that sort of thing, and painting probably won't work (they can be a tight fit with other parts and the paint rubs off). I was thinking about nickel plating. Hard core DIYers reckon you can do this entirely under your own steam by buying things from DIY stores and supermarkets (and scavenging bits from their sheds, but I haven't got a shed) but there are kits on the market with everything needed in them, for example ... ating-kit/ , but does anyone have any experience of these, do they do what the makers say they will do?

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by DPP » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:29 pm

I bought a kit and it can be done but is a lot of messing about with some nasty chemicals, after doing a few parts I found it much easier to send them for plating.

Its also quite cheap compared with chroming.
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by Grant » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:58 pm

That gold colour you see on new bolts on cars John.. it is gold or silver passivate, it is quite a cheap process to have done,.. as Dave says though it's not worth all the grief of trying to do it yourself with the chemicals, you can get a bucket of stuff done quite cheaply at the platers... but it doesn't really last that long either obviously all-depending on the weather conditions it is put through. I guess not that's not really an answer.. but it is another option :wink:
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by Fishyboy » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:21 pm

I used the zinc plating kit from theses guys ( ... uct_id=231). They were very helpful with advice and provide all the gear (with instructions) at a decent price. As with everything preparation and cleanliness is the key. I even made a small basket out of titanium wire to put the nuts and bolts in. There is also a nice article in Practical Classics on "electroplating at home" from July 2016. PM me if you want a pdf copy.
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by VFK44 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:39 am

I love the basket you created. In the 1950s there was a British sculptor called Reg Butler, who owned a Jensen. This is his most famous work:
Model for the Unknown Political Prisoner
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Do you think he was aiming to plate some nuts and bolts?

Seriously, there is a big difference between nickel and zinc plating, due to their postions in the reactivity scale. Place nickel and steel together in a wet environment and the steel will corrode to prevent the nickel from being damaged. With zinc and steel, the zinc is the sacrificial metal and it will protect the steel. So, with nickel you must ensure that the steel is completely plated - no pinpricks uncoated - and that it is never damaged, as a small scratch will cause the steel to rapidly rust and break through the rest of the nickel. It is thus best suited to areas where the condition of the part is easily and regularly assessed, where it can be a stunningly attractive and longlasting finish that can be cheaply applied in a home workshop. If you are hoping for a "fit and forget" that will protect the steel, best go for zinc.
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