I usually have all of my stuff buffed when I take the parts to the plater.... they give me a pretty good deal because they don't have a bunch or time in prepping it. I've got some pieces I need plated that are pretty pitted and need to be built up with copper. I'd like to set something up to do this at home if possible. Anybody do this at home?
Caswell plating has a kit that I use.
I know there's two different types of copper plating. I think it's "flash plating" for the initial plate for nickle/chrome. What's the plating called for build up?
Just Copper plate and you leave it a little longer. You will STILL have to file/ sand it all off and redo it SEVERAL times! It is not just a heavy plate! Only a few thousandths at a time David. There is a fellow in New York that manufactures the really good machines, he is also in Florida in the winters, and they are NOT really high priced. They will also do Chrome. Only problem with doing chrome is that you WILL have to heat treat it to remove the hydrogen embrittlement!! Google Chrome plating machines. He further has the supplies. Use cu plumbing pipe for anodes.
Copper plating alone will not resist very long, brass plating is better but also not very strong.
Copper, nickel and chrome plating are not really possible at home. You have a lot of parameters to adjust: heat, tension, current, anodes, concentration, cleaning etc..Just have a look at industrial instalation and you will see how many steps there are in the process.
Then what will you do with the remaining bath ? The product for copper plating contains cyanide and you cannot throw it away like that.
Some time you can get a good result but it's only by chance. I have tried with industrial products and advice from the guy of the factory with not very good results.
I disagree with Philipe. I have used Caswell products for several years and my work holds up very well. I also have visited with professional platers and their processes are very similar, if not identical to what I do. Now bear in mind, everything I do is "decorative", just for show. I am not chrome plating tool and die applications for hardness on dies and molds. But I have had good, long lasting results on the types of things most folks plate.
Joseph, so you just plate longer? I know that builds a thicker surface. I've always thought there are 2 different types of plating for copper, one being for the heavier plating for filling pits. I know you have to keep grinding/sanding the "high spots" down after plating. I just want to get the parts ready to hit the nickel tank... let the final steps up to the pros.
OK, Google is your friend. I guess what I'm talking about is the "strike" plate, which is done in a cyanide solution and then use an acid solution for better transfer of copper. Looks like a little more research to do....
David, I was always under the impression that the reputable platers did copper plate and fix the pits as part of the process, maybe I am wrong. KGB
You're correct, but it's very time intensive and therefore, very expensive. David is trying to save some dollars by doing some of the filling and prep work himself.
I'm all for doing as much of the prep work yourself--I think you get a better job that way. I once had a roadster windshield chromed, and did the prep work myself (it was a repro frame, and I wanted the pull holes properly done & sunk for the oval head screws). I left a small mark in one corner, where it wouldn't be very visible--if the plater didn't polish it out.
Yep, it was still there--and the plater claimed he worked a while on that frame--HAH! I found a different plater after that (I think he's out of business now).
Maybe it's the nature of Davids???
I like to have it prepped because I know what I want the final product to look like.... too many times the guy at the plating shop got a little too aggressive when buffing and rubbed off a logo, or a MADE IN USA, not knowing it was important to have that on the piece when done. PLUS it saves quite a bit of $$. Getting the piece ready to plate is where alot of the money is in plating. I've already had things plated "while you wait" when I took the piece in ready to go.