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MMD > Archives > August 2009 > 2009.08.05 > 07Prev  Next

Plating Metal Parts With Nickel
By Craig Smith

Hi,  Jim Quashnock in Texas asked about electroless nickel plating.
I don't know about your local sources, but there is a company near
me that sells plating kits.

There are basically three types of kits: electroless plating, for
electrode plating, and Plug N' Plate.  For $100 you get all the
chemicals and apparatus for electroless plating 150 square inches
of nickel.  You even get the plastic bucket in which to do it.
They have a similar kit for regular electro-plating.

Their web site is  Type in the
process you want to use.  The link to the Plug N' Plate kit is 

I haven't tried either of them but I have used their Plug N' Plate
kits.  This consists of a 6" metal wand with the end wrapped in gauze.
You connect it to one terminal of a small power supply (wall wart)
and the other terminal goes to the part.  Then you dip the gauze into
the plating solution and wipe it over the part.  The resulting current
causes the nickel suspended in the solution to be plated onto your
part.  It's very easy to use.

The only task requiring special attention is cleaning your part before
you plate it.  It has to be absolutely clean or the plating will not

I'll send Robbie a picture of a barrel organ I just finished.
Normally, these Molinari organs have brass trim but, for some reason,
this one had the trim plated with nickel (maybe so it wouldn't
tarnish).  I cleaned off any remaining nickel and polished all the
parts, including the four new trim pieces on the bottom corners.
Each part took a minute or two to plate.  Cleaning and polishing took
quite a bit longer, especially cleaning.

Notice that the hinges on top are still brass because I took this
picture before I remembered that they needed to be nickel, too.

Craig Smith

P.S.: This guy also sells radio controlled submarines and some
neat videos.

 [ Thanks, Craig, I'll place the picture at the MMD Pictures site,
 [  -- Robbie

(Message sent Wed 5 Aug 2009, 16:57:01 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Metal, Nickel, Parts, Plating

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