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My first plate, and WHAT HAPPENED, HELP ME

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  • My first plate, and WHAT HAPPENED, HELP ME

    I have been preparing for this first plate for a long time. My first two pieces came out worse then I could have imagined. The first one I tried to use the copper pipe. That piece came out dark grey, and it had little spots that weren't plated. I could see little spots everywhere. I think I mis-calculated by adding the area on the inside of the pipe. So the second piece to test, I tried a piece of aluminum that I could risk loosing. This piece came out really spotty, and it looks like the zincate didn't come all the way off. You can kind of see it in the pictures. The edges have plate on them, but the flat surfaces look like they have streaks of plating, or like molten lava. I will list everything I did, and everything I used below so you can know what I am using. One thing I can tell you is I keep my area perfectly clean, to the point where I am anal about not contaminating my plating solution.
    I bought the 3 gallon copy chrome kit, with the zincate to plate aluminum. I put the distilled water, the two bags of crystals, and the two bottles of brightner in the bucket together and let it set. for 30 hours. I first put the heater in (the one with the plastic guard) so the solution can heat up. I hung my anodes by copper wire by cutting the top two corners and running the wires through the cuts, then bending the corner over the wire, and hung the wire over the side to hold the anode up. I didn't let this copper wire touch the solution. I then stuck my agitator in with the top of motor case just outside the solution and everything else submersed.(wasn't sure how to put that thing in, but it seemed to work)

    I made my copper bar from 1/2 inch copper pipe with the end beat down and bent over the sides, with two small holes drilled in the middle to run the wire through. For a power source, I used a lawnmower 6V batter, and bought ( 6V, .250 light bulbs and sockets, and ran them in parrallel to draw around 2 amps. I verified my current and voltage with a multimeter. I wired everything up (I promise I did this right) and hung my part using copper wire. The part that you see below is around 31 square inches. I waited about an hour, and out comes this **** below. It looks like the zincate is still on there. I thought the bath stripped that stuff off to plate. I left the part in the zincate solution for less then 30 seconds, and I got a uniform gray shine.

    I got the impression afterwards that I shouldn't have put both of the bottles of brighter in when I made my plating solution, not sure though. I also don't know if I should have used 12V instead of 6V. I thought I read that 6V would be better for my situation. I figured the first part was "burnt" because I used too much current by counting the area inside the tubing. It was dark grey, milky looking, and you could see spots where it did not bond. I am pretty sure I didn't contaminate my solution. I keep it sealed, and I wear non-latex gloves if my hands need to go into the solution, and I take the cleaning seriously. If you can help me, I come over and mow your lawn, wash your clothes, paint the house, whatever. I am worried I have screwed up my solution some how.

    Also, does anyone know a good way to handle your part from rinsing it to the bath. I use lint-free, non-abrasive cloth painter rags. You can send me an email, or even call me if you want to, or I can call you and save the charge. I can't let all this money invested go to waste.




  • #2
    From doing a little research, I am starting to get the feeling that I had a problem with the zincate and contamination. In the book it talks about plating out onto a dummy corrugated cathode. What is that? I am going to test the PH in the morning, and I am assuming I use the same stuff you would use in your pool to adust it.
    thanks for all the help in advance.
    Kenny

    Comment


    • #3
      kenny,

      try another piece of copper pipe with a lot less amperage and see what happens.


      bill
      http://home.comcast.net/~jhodges87/wsb/index.html

      Comment


      • #4
        kenny,

        there is no doubt you keep your tanks clean..... what are your steps for cleaning the copper pipe prior to plating it though


        bill
        http://home.comcast.net/~jhodges87/wsb/index.html

        Comment


        • #5
          For the copper pipe, I first sanded off the little numbers and any burs from cutting and drilling it. I used the Aircraft Remover laquer thinner to do the initial clean. I then rinsed this off with soap and hot water and a kitchen sponge. This removed everything very well. I had then dropped it into a kitchen pot on the stove with the SP Degreaser at 150 degrees. After around 2 minutes, I took it out with some rubber gloves and sprayed distilled water on it from a bottle. I used a lint free non abrasive wrag to rub the part down while I was spraying to make sure everything came off. I had also dipped the wrag in distilled water before rubbing. I then let it dry on top of the same type of wrag. I then wired it up with non latex gloves. This was the first piece , and I can't guarantee that I did not touch it with my hands, but I am pretty sure I was careful not to. Another thing though, the copper wire that I hung the part from was not protected from my hand.
          thanks,
          Kenny

          Comment


          • #6
            kenny,

            the cleaning steps sound right on track except dont dry the part off after spraying the part off with distilled water, go right into the bath wet and make sure the water forms a sheet of water on the part without and beading up at all.

            feel free to send me a phone number via e-mail and i can call you if you want.


            bill
            http://home.comcast.net/~jhodges87/wsb/index.html

            Comment


            • #7
              kenny

              i replated a copper pipe that i had plated before with nickel. i replated it with copper and then plated it with nickel i also added 10 pictures of the step by step process at my web site that might help you out . the last 10 pictures are the ones i did today with a description at the bottom of each one. my web space wont let me add a lot of text with each picture but im sure the pictures will make it clear anyway.

              http://home.comcast.net/~jhodges87/wsb/index.html
              http://home.comcast.net/~jhodges87/wsb/index.html

              Comment


              • #8
                even plating copper pipe is fun




                hope my tutorial in the previous post is useful to someone.


                bill
                http://home.comcast.net/~jhodges87/wsb/index.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am working to set everything up right now. I must have had a fatal flaw of some kind. I am going rewire, and try this over again. Ill let you know how it goes in a little bit.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bill,
                    Man your piece looks nice. There has to be some fatal flaw in what I am doing for it to come out so bad. I just dropped it in the bath, and I think I did it right but we will find out. I have a question about preparing the anodes before you put them in, and when you take them out. Before I put them in the first time, I put them in the degreaser and cleaned them. When I took them out after plating, I rinsed them off with distilled water and wrapped them in the little bandages that came. When I went to put them back in just now, I put them in the degreaser again (just in case there was **** on there from last night) and rinsed them with distilled water again before dropping them in. Let me know if that is correct, and what is the purpose of the bandages. Also, if there is contaminate in the solution, can I used one of the plates as an anode, and the other plate as a cathode, then turn it on for a few minutes. I figured after that I would take the cathode plate out and clean it thoroughly. Let me know if that makes a difference.
                    thanks again,
                    Kenny

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      the bandages help keep particle contamination out of the plating solution, there is really no need to remove the anodes if you plate on a daily basis only if your gonna say plate this weekend and maybe not again for a while, when i first started out i would remove mine each time i plated and then replace them the next day.

                      when you plated the first part did you have the positive connected to the anode and the part connected to the negative , i know this sounds silly but i have reversed my connections more than once

                      i really dont think with 2 parts done you have contamination in your bath


                      bill
                      http://home.comcast.net/~jhodges87/wsb/index.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Your never going to believe it, but IT WORKED. You should see it in the picture below. The picture doesn't really do it justice, and you cannot see any copper on that piece, and it does have a nice bright shine. This time on the copper pipe, I only used the area on the ouside, plus I also sanded the outside of it just in case there was any coating on it, or any other garbage. Instead of relying on what values my lightbulbs say, I used the multimeter at the beggining and adjusted the current accordingly. I also polished one end of the bar to see what it looked like on both sides, to see how the prep affected it. But the one thing I thing made a difference was the agitator. I tried it out on an empty bucket, and from that, figured out the right way to stick the pump in the solution to get some agitation. Whatever it was, it worked.

                        One thing did happen. I took it out and it looked a little dull. I started to rinse it off and I touched it with my finger. At this point, there seemed to be a discoloration on the outside. So I took it to polisher for a few seconds, and really used the polisher to just remove the coating that was on there. What is that coat? The picture above that you put up, did that come straight from the bucket, or did you have to rinse it off or do anything else? My coat looks good, but it does not look as smooth as yours does up there. And also doesn't look as good as the previous shine I put on it before putting it in..
                        Man I really appreciate the help,
                        Kenny

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          kenny,

                          great, great, great, man that piece really looks fine to me. one thing to remember copper pipe has a lot of imperfections in it, so if you only lightly sand it you will see imperfictions after you nickel plate it. remember from my post the pipe i did today was nickel plated then today i copper plated over the nickel and then nickel plated it again that is why its much smoother looking.

                          did you buff the copper pipe before you nickel plated/copy chromed it? if you didnt ---sand it with 600 grit paper then buff it with a soft wheel and white or brown compound and then go thru the steps again and you will see an even brighter finish.


                          no i didnt buff my piece or anything, the look is right out of the nickel tank.

                          now write down the exact steps you did so you can reference back to them, and do another run with another piece of pipe . when i first started out less than a year ago i wrote down exactly what i did and when , and the most important thing is do it the same way everytime .


                          im glad everything came together for you so keep up the good work , im headed down to fl. for a while but will have my laptop if you need anything else.


                          bill
                          http://home.comcast.net/~jhodges87/wsb/index.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The more I read, and do some parts, the more I think I have contaminated my solution by plating aluminum. It talks about zinc and a zinc plated surface contaminates the solution. But that is the only way I can plate the aluminum. My aluminum pieces look horrible, they come out dark, discolored, and have the orange peal effect. I don't know what to do, I can't imagine constantly needing to strain my solution and put brightner in again.

                            That is one thing I can't figure out with the Nickel and the Copy chrome instructions put together. It doesn't tell me whether I should put all of the brightner in the bucket at once, or not use it until I need it. When I took my plated copper pipe out, it also came with alot of little pits, and was discolored until I buffed it out.

                            I think I jacked it up from the get go with the first aluminum piece I did. Everything was fine until that. Its not my agitation because I went and bought an air pump, and it works really well. If I can't plate aluminum, all of this is useless to me. Somebody let me know if you have any suggestions on plating aluminum.
                            thanks,
                            Kenny

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by krsimulis
                              The more I read, and do some parts, the more I think I have contaminated my solution by plating aluminum. It talks about zinc and a zinc plated surface contaminates the solution.

                              <<<<snip>>>>

                              Kenny
                              I saw that too, so I asked Caswel about it. This is the excerpt from that PRS report.

                              Comment/Problem: So your saying that I can plate Aluminum Zincated parts with the Nickel I recieved in my Tripple Chrome kit, and subsequently the Chrome with-out trashing my solutions? (as indicated by the web site) I appologize, but I'm totally new in this field, and I am attempting to absorb as much information as possible. But these appear to be conflicting statements in the manual.

                              Solution:
                              Yes, thats what I'm saying. The amount of zinc that is deposited by zincate is not worth considering in this situation.



                              Hope this puts your mind at ease....

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