Nickel Plating a gun yourself

Discussion in 'Engraving & Refinishing' started by Twpbaseball10, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. Twpbaseball10

    Twpbaseball10 New Member

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    Any one know how I can Nickel plate a gun? is it something i can do at home and for how much? what do i need to do all of this? is there like a solution or something that i put on the gun? I am really curious on how to do this because i would really like to nickle plate and old 870 bolt and maybe the whole gun itself
     
  2. 50of4064

    50of4064 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    don't know you would want to do this at home

    I have only seen the plating process on "How they do it " but the acids and metals in tubs and electrodes and special ventilation and so an and so forth....Looks very simple on the surface, simple process that is tried and true, but maybe better left to the pro's.

    I would guess, mind you, that the cost for the chemicals would out weigh the cost of having one gun done at a platting Co. Not saying it can't be done, and I would also be interested if others have done this in the back yard.
     

  3. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    The set up to do any kind of plating would be pretty dang huge. It's not liek bluing or even parkerizing a weapon. Beyond any chemicals you need a substantial amount of electricity. The cost much outweighs any benefit you get from doing it yourself.
     
  4. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/user/JimmyV2009#p/u/6/YVkFMJeotcg]YouTube - JimmyV2009's Channel[/ame]
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lcz8Py7bjzQ]YouTube - Nickel Plating Made Easy (Part 1)[/ame]
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rdsl-JHb9Tg&feature=related]YouTube - Nickel Plating Made Easy (Part 2)[/ame]
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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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.
     
  6. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    ....Which is why you should never let any type of copper cleaning solvent (Hoppe's #9, Bench Rest #9, et al.) sit on a nickel plated gun for an extended amount of time. Any scratches or worn areas in the nickel plating can provide a path for the solvent to get to, and eat away at the underlying copper layer which results in the nickel peeling away from the gun.
    Just sayin.
     
  7. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Bright nickel will not stick to steel. The gun is first copper plated and then nickel plated, true.
     
  8. GNLaFrance

    GNLaFrance New Member

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    Duplicate post - please delete
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  9. GNLaFrance

    GNLaFrance New Member

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  10. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    Bright nickel will adhere just fine to steel. No major gun manufacturer uses a copper underplate on their nickeled guns.
    Electroplating requires low voltage, generally 12 volts DC, or less.
    Electroless nickel requires no voltage.
    Plating, itself, is a very simple process. The metal prep required requires quite a bit of skill and experience.
     
  11. crazycharlie2

    crazycharlie2 New Member

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    You got that right on. Dimensions and clearances.
     
  12. Hathead9

    Hathead9 New Member

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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?
     
  13. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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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.
     
  14. Satchmo

    Satchmo New Member

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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.
     
  15. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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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.
     
  16. KG7IL

    KG7IL Active Member

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    Sure, that works for you. But many of us just want to because we can.

    You ask "Why?" . . . I ask "Why not!"
     
  17. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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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 - -
     
  18. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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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.
     
  19. KG7IL

    KG7IL Active Member

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    Yes, Yes... You read my mind. I'm in for another dangerous hobby!
     
  20. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Why not start another thread instead of bringing up one that no one else posted to after 2011?