View Full Version : DIY metal plating

April 3, 2010, 08:33 PM
Has anyone here been brave enough to try one of the do-it-yourself plating kits for any of your guns? I see a company called Caswell Inc. offers several different kits. Everything from electroless nickel, to gold, to chrome, black chrome, and hard chrome.

April 4, 2010, 07:01 PM
You can do a decent job even with these home kits, but it's not as easy as they make it sound.

The secret to good plating is good polishing of the metal and cleanliness.

Polishing of steel is a skill you have to learn then develop.
Most of the gun companies that still offer blued guns only allow highly experienced polishers to do the polishing, and they spend years learning the skill and developing the "feel" of how to do it. That's ALL they do, so they can keep the skills up.

Next, you have to go to extremes to get the metal cleaned properly, and you have to run the plating process very carefully.

While I've seen some fairly good looking home plating jobs, usually they look pretty bad due to poor polishing and prep and poor operation of the process.
Plating of small parts usually looks better than attempts at plating larger parts where the defects show up more.

Bill DeShivs
April 4, 2010, 10:03 PM
I use Caswell products, and they are very good.
Buying good products does not make you a plater, though. As Dfariswheel said, metal prep is of the utmost importance- but there are quite a few other things that can go wrong. Plating incompatible metals, depth of plating, polishing after plating are areas that confound many home platers.
The best home plating kit I have used was the old "Texas Elecroplaters" kit that was sold in Shotgun News. They are still in business, I believe, but they have no Internet presence.