Electroplating kits - any good?

Technical advice Q&A

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PhilBell
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#1 Electroplating kits - any good?

Post by PhilBell » Thu May 10, 2018 1:04 pm

Anyone tried DIY electroplating kits for zinc plating or blacking components and can give a view on how successful and durable the finish is, particularly after a season or three that involves occasional rainy driving.

Every time I remove parts for repair I find the not-very-old fasteners, brackets etc have started looking rusty. Being able to replate at home would avoid having to keep replacing items, or the inconvenience of having minor items professionally replated.
Phil
1962 FHC 885626

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kingzetts
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#2 Re: Electroplating kits - any good?

Post by kingzetts » Thu May 10, 2018 2:02 pm

I have a kit from Gateros plating which I have found works well if you follow the instructions carefully. I did however buy a proper adjustable power supply (laboratory type on which you can set the voltage or current exactly) which think is just about essential.

The small bucket they supply is only large enough for small items and I now have a larger 45litre rectangular container which works better with items up to about the size of a brake caliper. The plating seems reasonably robust although I’ve not used home-plated parts on a winter-driven vehicle. It’s a bit slow and long-winded but useful for bolts, brackets etc.

Items in small baths are prone to uneven plating due to differing distances from the sacrificial metal electrodes and due to shadowing - where one part of the piece being plated is blocked from a direct line of sight to an electrode by another part of the piece. So I find it works best with simple shapes like flat plate or round bolts rather than complex shapes. Definitely worth a go but don’t expect pristine results every time.
John '62 S1 OTS

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christopher storey
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#3 Re: Electroplating kits - any good?

Post by christopher storey » Thu May 10, 2018 6:12 pm

I have done nickel plating , and it does work for small parts quite well. The critical thing, however, quite apart from current control as John mentions, is that prior preparation is vital to the final result, and this can be time consuming ( thorough degreasing, scrubbing down with vim etc )

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chrisfell
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#4 Re: Electroplating kits - any good?

Post by chrisfell » Thu May 10, 2018 6:26 pm

"scrubbing down with vim"
Can you still get that stuff?
Chris '67 S1 2+2

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265bhp
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#5 Re: Electroplating kits - any good?

Post by 265bhp » Thu May 10, 2018 6:31 pm

+1 for Gateros....all my components have been nickel plated....I have used combinations of diluted hydrochloride acid but often just grit blasting to ensure everything is properly clean

Jonathan
1963 3.8 FHC in slow restoration mode

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JagWaugh
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#6 Re: Electroplating kits - any good?

Post by JagWaugh » Thu May 10, 2018 6:53 pm

I have an EN (Electroless Nickel) bath that I use for screws and such.

I kitted up in fairly big style to do Zinc, but eventually decided that although it's not that hard to do it yourself, it's a bother to get set up for a couple of small bits, and I just don't have the space to leave it ready to go in a corner of the shop.

I've also done Parkerizing.

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christopher storey
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#7 Re: Electroplating kits - any good?

Post by christopher storey » Fri May 11, 2018 7:16 am

chrisfell wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 6:26 pm
"scrubbing down with vim"
Can you still get that stuff?
I don't know, :bigrin: but you can get scouring powder, and indeed it seems to be included in the kits

I should have added to my original post that another critical thing is not touching a part with your fingers after it has been prepared so as to avoid transference of natural grease

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JimmyS
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#8 Re: Electroplating kits - any good?

Post by JimmyS » Fri May 11, 2018 1:53 pm

Hi Phil,

As you may have noticed in the 'Similar Topics' section at the foot of the page, Chris Connor wrote a dummies guide to electroplating almost 8(!) years ago. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1931 Unfortunately the accompanying pictures were hosted on Photobucket and are now missing but it's still worth a read.

regards,
Jim
1964 FHC Project
1E20078

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PhilBell
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#9 Re: Electroplating kits - any good?

Post by PhilBell » Mon May 14, 2018 11:55 am

For some reason it didn't come up when I did a search, otherwise I wouldn't have posted.

Very useful article.
Phil
1962 FHC 885626

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