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Old April 18, 2009, 09:20 AM   #1
olmontanaboy
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Electroless Nickel Plating

For a while now I have been thinking about using this process to plate a 51 Navy. http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/electroless.htm Does anyone have any feedback or experience with it?
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Old April 18, 2009, 03:38 PM   #2
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I just ordered their kit this week. From what I could find, if you do the proper preparation it works great. These kits are very popular with guys restoring old bikes. If you google it you well find a lot of info.
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Old April 18, 2009, 05:45 PM   #3
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Thanks, are you going to use it for a bike or plate some gun parts. I'm real interested in this so if you don't mind keep me posted on how it works out.
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Old April 19, 2009, 12:29 AM   #4
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Maybe both. Revolver well be the first project.
The good riding weather is just about here, I'm not taking any parts off my bike. As slow as I work I would not get out till July. I saw one guy that had nickle plated the heads on a old 80 inch flat head Harley. Looked great and was holding up to the heat. It was a satin finish with just the cooling fins polished.
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Old April 19, 2009, 03:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
I saw one guy that had nickle plated the heads on a old 80 inch flat head Harley. Looked great and was holding up to the heat. It was a satin finish with just the cooling fins polished.
Those old flatheads can run pretty hot so it must be a pretty good process, I had a Colt combat comander 45 that had electroless nickle finish from the Colt Custom shop and it held up great, had a nice semi gray look to it.
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Old April 20, 2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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We used to electroless nickel plate the thrust chambers on the Orbital maneuvering Subsystem Engines on the Shuttle. It took 6 months from the time we sent them to Reno until they came back. The nickel was about .390 deep. Cost was astronomical.
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Old April 20, 2009, 08:12 PM   #7
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We used to electroless nickel plate the thrust chambers on the Orbital maneuvering Subsystem Engines on the Shuttle. It took 6 months from the time we sent them to Reno until they came back. The nickel was about .390 deep. Cost was astronomical.
That is thick. These kits deposit .001 in about one hour. The cost is about $1 per square inch @.001.
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Old April 20, 2009, 11:08 PM   #8
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if your trying to hide that brass frame try tinning it. I have used tin solder over a 49 brass colt frame and it came out very nice looks more like a SS gun.
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Old April 21, 2009, 08:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
if your trying to hide that brass frame try tinning it. I have used tin solder over a 49 brass colt frame and it came out very nice looks more like a SS gun.
I never thought of that, good idea. You would need to be good at soldering to get a nice even layer. I assume you heat the frame and apply direct to the frame, no iron involved other than to pick up excess solder.
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Old April 21, 2009, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
if your trying to hide that brass frame try tinning it. I have used tin solder over a 49 brass colt frame and it came out very nice looks more like a SS gun
.
Not trying to hide a brass frame, got an old steel frame navy and thought the electroless nickel would look good.
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Old April 21, 2009, 06:16 PM   #11
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"Electroless" isn't a description of appearance, it's the method by which the plating process occurs. Electroless can be shiny or matte, just as can electroplating.
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Old April 21, 2009, 10:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
"Electroless" isn't a description of appearance, it's the method by which the plating process occurs. Electroless can be shiny or matte, just as can electroplating.
Yes sir. The appearance is effected by the preparation prior to the plating process.
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Old April 21, 2009, 11:26 PM   #13
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I'm interested in this. Anyone interested in making a whitepaper write up for us noobs?

I'd be interested but I have no experience doing anything like this. I'd be willing to try (and be extremely appreciative) though if someone went through the effort during the process and photographed and recorded each step.
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Old April 23, 2009, 10:46 AM   #14
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I finally got a tracking # from Caswell, so I should have my kit the middle of next week, barring floods or nuclear war.
I well take some photos and post up what I think of this 'kit'.
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Old April 23, 2009, 11:11 AM   #15
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For the benefit of others, I'll mention that it's actually quite simple to silver plate the brass backstrap and trigger guard of a reproduction revolver to give it the look of an original.
It's a liquid named Silver Brite that bonds to brass, copper and bronze without needing electricity or a plating tank.
The surface only needs to be prepared and then the liquid applied.
The plating that results is ultra thin but it's shiney and easy to touch up.
A fellow on another forum applied it to all of his revolvers to make them look like original Colts and the results were beautiful.
The cost of the liquid plating solution is only a fraction of having thick silver plating applied to all of his guns, which was priced at $50 to have just one of them done locally. The bottle easily contains enough solution to plate over a dozen revolvers.
He recommended to simply buy the refill bottle of solution and not the kit and to apply it with cotton balls or cloth.

The refill kit with 4 oz. of the solution is $19.95:

http://www.metalbrite.net/page/848836

Last edited by arcticap; April 23, 2009 at 12:56 PM.
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Old April 23, 2009, 02:07 PM   #16
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The original Silver Brite is no longer made. I have tried the new formula and it does not work at all. I have bought a lot of metalbrite products and all have been first class. When I e-mailed about the poor performance of the silver brite they responded that the new formula does not work and offered a full refund (good customer service). Apparently they have used three different manufacturers for this product and only the first manufacturer got it right, and that manufacture is no longer producing the product.
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Old April 23, 2009, 02:14 PM   #17
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That's too bad.
IIRC, the other fellow reported about doing his approx. 6 - 9 months ago.
Maybe he used old stock.
Hopefully they'll eventually be able to make it right again.
Thanks for the update.
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Old April 24, 2009, 08:00 AM   #18
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I bought a bottle of it based upon recs here. It works, but it's a LOT of effort - it has to be buffed on, you can't just wipe on/wipe off. There's no way you can get to the nooks and crannies inside a triggerguard with it.

It would probably be fine on silver serving ware, etc....flat surfaces.

EDIT...

...this thread got me thinking, maybe I should give another try.

So I got out my 1860, and tried a little on the triggerguard - went on really easy, looked great. I took the guard off and went after the visible surfaces, and...hey presto!





Didn't take any real pressure or force, I did the tight spots with Q-tips. I suspect it won't stand a lot of handling - probably best for display pieces - but I do like it.

My problem in the past seems to be...this stuff doesn't like highly polished surfaces. The piece I tried it on before (Remington TG) had been cleaned and polished prior; the Colt was clean but the brass had lots of stains, etc. Go figure.

Last edited by AdmiralB; April 24, 2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old April 24, 2009, 01:27 PM   #19
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Wow! That looks grrrrreat!
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Old April 24, 2009, 01:37 PM   #20
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Thanks. This episode is proof that 'operator error' affects us all...


BTW, my bottle is only a couple weeks old, so the stuff they're selling now appears to do the job.
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Old April 25, 2009, 06:45 AM   #21
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You may want to e-mail metalbrite before you order any of the new product. It does not work like to original. Here is what they sent to me.

Quote:
I am not sure if I answered this or not, I will do it again just in case. Medallion Is no longer in business so we switched to the Miracle Silver which we were told did the same. We did not find it to be as good either so we switched to Silver Brite. Nither product is as good as the medallion. Please send me a letter asking for a refund with as much infor such as your name, shipping address, and date of the order so I can find you in the computer and issue a refund. You do not have to send the item back, I just need more information to get the refund started.
The new product works great on existing silver plate but does not do much for brass. I gives brass a very light silver hue that does not last.
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Old April 25, 2009, 09:32 AM   #22
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That may be, but for $20, I'm happy with what I got. If I have to touch it up every time I clean...that's OK.
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Old April 25, 2009, 09:48 AM   #23
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That may be, but for $20, I'm happy with what I got. If I have to touch it up every time I clean...that's OK.
You would have really like to old product then. It was a far, far superior product. Unfortunately my wife used up my old bottle
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Old April 25, 2009, 09:52 AM   #24
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I reckon so.

I've considered nickelplating...my employer does plating and PVD (physical vapor deposition) finishes, I could probably get some 'skunkworks' jobs done. But that'd be rather more difficult to undo, if I decided I didn't like it.

This is, if nothing else, a quick and inexpensive way to decide if I like the look.
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Old April 25, 2009, 08:54 PM   #25
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that looks really really good
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