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Old April 25, 2009, 09:40 PM   #26
Bill DeShivs
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Electroless nickel plating is simple to do. Prepping the metal to be plated is not. Polishing and cleaning are very important to a decent plating job. Electrolytic plating is more trouble, but again, it's all in the prep.
Covering a brass frame with solder will look terrible in very short order!
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Old April 26, 2009, 10:00 AM   #27
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Quote:
Covering a brass frame with solder will look terrible in very short order!
Solder does get a gray/black tarnish on it. Some of the originals had Tin coating. that would be different to try. I have not seen any DIY for tin.

Caswell has a forum for users that has a lot of good info from people actually using the product.

Bill, what would you recommend for a final cleaning solution? TSP? I have the frame sanded to 2k grit. I have not polished it because I'm concerned about embedding compound in the metal and not getting it completely clean.
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Old April 26, 2009, 01:12 PM   #28
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Ivory soap (not liquid) and a soft brush. When cold water no longer beads on the surface, it is clean.
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Old April 26, 2009, 01:20 PM   #29
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3rd Dragoon:



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Old April 26, 2009, 02:55 PM   #30
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I think it looks very "classy" in the style of the original Colts, and even when it does start wearing off from not touching it up, it will still have a worn classic look to it like the original Colts.
Plain brass can turn such nasty colors sometimes that I can't help but to think that the silver coating makes for a very handsome improvement to the brass.
Sort of like when a person dresses up for a special occassion, and even if it's just for the sake of revolver display!
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Old May 21, 2009, 08:54 AM   #31
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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'.
Have you used this yet? I'm thinking of ordering soon and would appreciate any feedback.
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Old May 21, 2009, 09:56 PM   #32
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Have you used this yet? I'm thinking of ordering soon and would appreciate any feedback.
I've had it a few weeks now. It took a few reads of the manual before everything was clear. Mixing the solution and 're-charging' the solution, keeping a stable temp of 195*. You need to calculate the number of square inches so you mix the proper amount and for proper recharge time intervals.

My in-home, part time biz is double time and a half right now, well stay busy for the next five or six weeks I'm afraid. I may get a slow day after the middle of June.

Cadwell had the kits on sale, you should check, if they still are I would get one. I have been reading their on-line forum and there is a lot of positive feedback on this process.
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Old May 21, 2009, 10:01 PM   #33
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Dang nice job there AdmialB...ya made my day.
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Old May 21, 2009, 11:45 PM   #34
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Figure I will take this opportunity

to ask if anyone thinks they have a way to measure or at least estimate the sq. in./area of parts?-pistol frame for instance- to use with the Casewell unit?

I doubt I would do but 4 guns ever and sure they might have to be touched up over time -
But in that thought if one could get a frame silver plated would that last longer than this process or would it amount to the same darn thing?

It seems it would matter most how thick you managed to get it regardless of whether it be silver plated or nickel-I think nickel is harder though.

Mark
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:04 AM   #35
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Quote:
to ask if anyone thinks they have a way to measure or at least estimate the sq. in./area of parts?-pistol frame for instance- to use with the Casewell unit?
One way to estimate the number of square inches of 3 dimensional parts is to make a piece of paper that has a grid of 1 inch squares drawn on it, or use target paper with 1 inch squares already printed on it.
Then see how many of the 1 inch squares can fold around the surface of the part or parts. You may need to cut the grid paper into rectangular shapes roughly matching the outline of the grid to the approximate outline of the frame or parts, or lay them out on top of the grid paper and start to fold up some of the connected squares of paper around the largest parts to begin to compile the aggregrate of square inches. It will be safer to err on the side of a few extra square inches than to err on too few.

Last edited by arcticap; May 23, 2009 at 01:27 AM.
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Old May 22, 2009, 01:31 AM   #36
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Electroless nickel (any nickel plating) is much harder than silver.
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Old May 22, 2009, 07:24 AM   #37
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Quote:
to ask if anyone thinks they have a way to measure or at least estimate the sq. in./area of parts?-pistol frame for instance- to use with the Casewell unit?
Cadwell gives you a math formula to figure it. I eyeball the outside of the frame then double it for the inside .

Quote:
I doubt I would do but 4 guns ever and sure they might have to be touched up over time -
You can not use this for touch up. You could strip and re-plate.

Quote:
But in that thought if one could get a frame silver plated would that last longer than this process or would it amount to the same darn thing?
As Bill said silver is softer and well tarnish, looks great. I have a electroless nickle 1860 3rd gen, that's what got me started on this Cadwell kit.

Quote:
It seems it would matter most how thick you managed to get it regardless of whether it be silver plated or nickel-I think nickel is harder though.
Assuming you have the solution mixed correct the nickle builds up at the rate of .001 per hour. You must leave it in the solution until you are have the thickness you want. If you pull it, then decide to add more it well cause it to flake.



Quote:
Electroless nickel (any nickel plating) is much harder than silver.
Bill, you do a lot of plating, have you used a Cadwell product?
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Old May 22, 2009, 04:53 PM   #38
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Would it be possible to use the Caswell kit to plate a cylinder? Or would the plating make it impossible to install the nipples?
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Old May 22, 2009, 09:30 PM   #39
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Yes, I use the Caswell E/N solution. Works great, as long as the metal prep is done correctly. DON'T try to plate zinc with it!
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Old May 23, 2009, 08:13 AM   #40
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Would it be possible to use the Caswell kit to plate a cylinder? Or would the plating make it impossible to install the nipples?
Sure, the plate builds at the rate of .001 per hour. .001 is a adequate thickness for most applications. That would reduce your nipple thread diameter by .002, that would not be a problem. If your only going to do one item you should PM Bill, he is set up for doing that type of custom work. The kit is kind of spendy for just one small job.
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Old May 23, 2009, 08:55 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madcratebuilder
Sure, the plate builds at the rate of .001 per hour. .001 is a adequate thickness for most applications. That would reduce your nipple thread diameter by .002, that would not be a problem. If your only going to do one item you should PM Bill, he is set up for doing that type of custom work. The kit is kind of spendy for just one small job.
I'll have to shoot him a PM after I get my Dragoon in a couple of weeks.

Question on the electroless nickel plating: Does this have protective properties? I'm wondering if plating the barrel and cylinder would make clean up easier and help keep the salts and acids in the BP from damaging the steel. Or is it really just a cosmetic thing?

I'm thinking a Dragoon with the color case hardened frame and loading ram would look really cool with the silver grip frame, cylinder and barrel.

Oh, and I assume any blueing would need to be removed before plating, correct?
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Old May 23, 2009, 10:19 PM   #42
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Question on the electroless nickel plating: Does this have protective properties? I'm wondering if plating the barrel and cylinder would make clean up easier and help keep the salts and acids in the BP from damaging the steel. Or is it really just a cosmetic thing?
Nickle is a better finish, or I should say more protective than standard bluing. How it well hold up to black powder I don't know. Many old revolver are nickle plated and fired cartridges loaded with bp.


Quote:
I'm thinking a Dragoon with the color case hardened frame and loading ram would look really cool with the silver grip frame, cylinder and barrel.

Oh, and I assume any blueing would need to be removed before plating, correct?
Yes, the metal needs preparation. Any imperfections well show through the nickle, the nickle well even enhance them.
I plan on plating several grip frames. I have one brass frame and steel cylinder to plate, then I'll see how it holds up to BP.
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:33 PM   #43
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Traditons applies "matte" nickel both externally and inside the bore of some of their long guns. It's noticiably slicker, easier to clean and very durable.
But that's not the same finish as the glossy nickel plating that's applied to their C&B revolvers over a brass frame and steel parts. While the nickel finish on the good ones may hold up, I have seen one of their factory second pistols where pieces of the plating had flaked off like just like when paint cracks, chips off and is missing.
I've also wondered if they compensate for any dimensional difference within the bore of their long guns during manufacturing before they factory plate them.
Other companies like Investarms have applied a chrome lining inside their barrels and I would guess that they would have compensated for that application of plating before it was applied.

Last edited by arcticap; May 24, 2009 at 04:42 PM.
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Old May 25, 2009, 10:52 PM   #44
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Caswell electroless nickel over T-6 aluminum.
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Old May 26, 2009, 07:51 AM   #45
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That's a nice looking knife. I have done a couple from blanks, just small patch knifes. Building a folder has to be a lot more work. I was surprised at all the raw parts suppliers for building knives.
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Old May 26, 2009, 12:51 PM   #46
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Thank you.
Building a folder with all those buttons is even harder!
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