Nickel Plating a gun yourself - Page 2
Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Gunsmithing & Do-It-Yourself Projects > Engraving & Refinishing > Nickel Plating a gun yourself

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Old 12-01-2010, 02:53 PM   #11
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True electro plating adds thickness to metal. Not much, but measurable. Now, think about any parts that have crtical dimensions and clearances. Will they still fit? What I can recall of older nickeled guns, the steel was copper plated, and the copper plating was then nickel plated.
You got that right on. Dimensions and clearances.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:32 AM   #12
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I would be curious as to the durability of the plated parts. Does electroplating hold up in high wear areas like triggers, mag releases, and safties?

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Old 01-24-2011, 03:51 AM   #13
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It depends on the metal you are plating with. Gold, for example, is very soft and does not wear well. Nickel is hard and very durable. Guns have been nickel plated for over 100 years. Hard chrome is the most durable of all the platings.
Most guns can be plated without upsetting tolerances.

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Old 11-03-2014, 08:15 AM   #14
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Caswell, and Rio Grande Jewelery Supply both have decent plating set ups. I just use an old DC power supply I use on guitar amplifiers, but a battery charger will suffice fairly well. There is also the boil on plating, but I am not too sure about it. I hear it works well with smaller pieces. I worked in lots of aerospace plating facilities, and they all used monster rectifiers with high current low voltage DC power. A good home plating set up usually includes an electro-cleaning bath. This strips back the metal, and then you rinse in clean distilled water prep, rinse, and go straight to plating. My set up has 6 glass beakers. 3 on heated magnetic stirrers and 3 rinse beakers. Once you are set up with the heated stirrers the rest of the stuff is fairly cheap. An old 12-30 volt variable PSU regulated power supply off eBay that allows adjustment for voltage and current, with a good 5 amps or more of current will usually do a bang up job. The heater stirrers are what set me back the most. Once you have the set up, ordering anodes, and solution will let you plate in many different metals. A metal acid brush, some wire and alligator clips will even allow you to replace lost gold plating on engraved pieces. Just mask off what you don't want plated with some lacquer, playdough or candle wax. Lacquer was pretty much the old industry standard for decades. Unfortunately, trichloroethane was the best way to strip the lacquer off, and the EPA banned Trich years ago. IF I WERE GOING ELECTROLESS with the boil on plating, I would still electro strip and clean the piece. The two hard & fast rules of plating are: (1) 99% of good plating is in the prep work. (2) Cast metal pieces are the hardest to plate. Those are the two most basic rules of plating. Practice on some pieces of scrap copper plumbing pipe to get the feel of it, then move on to harder items. Copper pipe & fittings plate super easy! Some of the plating solutions contain cyanide, so be careful. Get a Rio Grande catalog, and check out the plating section. That will give you a really good idea of what you need.

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Old 11-03-2014, 11:18 AM   #15
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Seems to me that this falls under the category of WHY? If it's a real interest, and a hobby by itself, and you do it a lot, sure. But for one gun, or even just occasionally? No point.

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Old 11-03-2014, 05:06 PM   #16
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Seems to me that this falls under the category of WHY?
Sure, that works for you. But many of us just want to because we can.

You ask "Why?" . . . I ask "Why not!"
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:34 PM   #17
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I set up a small electro-plating rig when I was in charge of the lab at work. Had to buy several chemicals, special containers for those chemicals, salts, power supply, etc. - it was quite a project. Then some genius called the EPA and they came in and shut the whole thing down due to not following their guidelines; it was cheaper to send the stuff out than to comply with the rules.

Unless you want to start a rather dangerous hobby in some area isolated from your living quarters, I would advise you to send the parts out and have a pro do it for you. And those pro's are getting fewer, thanks to that same EPA - -

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Old 11-03-2014, 05:42 PM   #18
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As I said, Texas Platers Supply sells a very nice, very convenient plating outfit that is simple to use and inexpensive.
Caswell's electroless nickel is simple to use, but is more expensive.

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Old 11-04-2014, 12:23 AM   #19
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. . . Unless you want to start a rather dangerous hobby
Yes, Yes... You read my mind. I'm in for another dangerous hobby!
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:16 AM   #20
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Why not start another thread instead of bringing up one that no one else posted to after 2011?

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