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Three Generations
of Service
Picture of PHPaul
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Seems like a fairly simple process and I have some small parts from the antique popcorn machine that are pretty scruffy.

Prepared a batch of electrolyte and have a part cooking now.

Happy to provide pictures/details if anyone is interested.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 14528 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Please do provide details.
 
Posts: 2123 | Registered: October 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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______________________________________________
I believe in the 25th amendment.
 
Posts: 15126 | Location: Gilbert, AZ | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
of Service
Picture of PHPaul
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Since you asked so nicely Big Grin and I'm such an attention whore...



I have these corner pieces from the popcorn machine that were seriously nasty with baked on grease, verdigris and flaking nickel. Wirebrushed and sandblasted them to clean them up which exposed most of the copper substrate. Decided to see if electroplating with nickel was as easy as Dr. Ewe Toob claims.



All you need are some pure nickel strips (these are from Amazon, used for battery rebuilders, about $12) some white vinegar, some salt and a source of DC power.



The solution is prepped by adding salt to the vinegar for conductivity, then suspending two of the nickel strips with one to positive, one to negative. Current flow transfers nickel from the postive strip through the electrolyte to the negative strip. As I understand it, some nickel ions remain in the solution which is what facilitates the process.



Once the solution is pickled the sacrificial strips are hooked to positive, the part to be plated is hooked to negative and the magic begins. I have four strips daisy-chained together to provide plenty of material for plating and to allow plating from both sides.

I'll give it an hour or so and see how it's progressing.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 14528 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
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Ya, I'd like some pix/progress reports/procedure on this.



"I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice."

Captain William Mattingly at the Battle of Bulltown, West Virginia 1863
 
Posts: 12078 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
7.62mm Crusader
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Waiting for the little Frakenstein to begin rising up out of the liquid. Is that Mrs. PHPauls good measuring cup?
 
Posts: 17189 | Location: The Bluegrass State! | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am so subscribed.
 
Posts: 2860 | Location: Cave Creek, AZ | Registered: October 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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quote:
Originally posted by David Lee:
Waiting for the little Frakenstein to begin rising up out of the liquid. Is that Mrs. PHPauls good measuring cup?


I've been married for 48 years, I know better. I have several old ones that the markings have worn off after many trips through the dishwasher.

I did ask about that nice glass bowl and promised to replace it next time I went to town.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 14528 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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First piece after an hour in the soup. Doesn't look a lot different than it did before, but if you look closely, there's less bare copper showing.

Expect each piece will take several hours due to relative surface area and extensive pitting.

Using this homebrew electrolyte means A) there will not be a shiny finish and B) there will not be a lot of thickness.

Achieving those two goals requires a much more complex process and highly toxic materials.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 14528 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My hypocrisy goes only so far
Picture of GrumpyBiker
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Going to attempt this as well on a couple parts on the 1969 double V-Line candy machine I picked up.








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Posts: 6778 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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After some experimenting, I'm getting satisfactory-ish results.

Lessons learned:

1. Surface prep is important. Get it as smooth as possible.

2. Cleanliness is important. Clean it thoroughly.

3. Orientation of the part in relation to the sacrificial anodes is important. Line of sight!

4. The more you use the electrolyte the better it works.

5. Fresh anodes help. Once they're about half used, replace them.

6. Up to a point, more current is better. I started out using about 200ma, 750ma works better/faster.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 14528 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Optimistic Cynic
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I imagine zinc plating would be accomplished in a similar fashion. and might result in a smoother/shinier finish.

Just thinking about all the old timey parts out there that are zinc plated.
 
Posts: 5419 | Location: NoVA | Registered: July 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
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What size power supply is used ... assume the plating is DC?
 
Posts: 20950 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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quote:
Originally posted by smschulz:
What size power supply is used ... assume the plating is DC?


Yes, DC. Positive to anodes, negative to object being plated.

I have a variable DC supply I bought for bread boading projects. 0-30Vdc @ 0-10 amps.

About $80 off Amazon IIRC.

Also works great for electrolytic rust removal.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 14528 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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Final result. When I buffed up the first two in preparation for re-plating, 90% of the discoloration buffed out and they shined up much better than I expected. I figured the plating was so thin that buffing would take it back down to base metal (which in retrospect is probably brass rather than copper as previously stated) but it didn't.

Plenty good enough for the girls I go with.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 14528 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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