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Nickle "Plug-N-Plate" question HELP!!

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  • Nickle "Plug-N-Plate" question HELP!!

    I have the small plug and plate system in both nickle and gold. My question is that I am trying to re do a firearm frame (1911 style 45) I have polished the base, electro plated it and re polished to a nice shine, the problem I am having is that there is still surface rust appearing and now I am not sure if I am doing it correctly. The frame is definately not stainless but I have no idea what type of metal is used in the manufacture of a firearm frame. The nickle appear to go onto the part, but I am wondering if when I am buffing the part for final finish if I am removing the initial nickle that was put on by the electro plate system? When I put the nickle on I get some areas that turn somewhat black, I am using a cloth polishing wheel and the red bars of compound on a 8" bench grinder. (the kit you buy from Sears to put on your bench grinder and it has 3 bars of compound red,black and white)

    I suppose I am doing something wrong, so please just let me know...... dont worry.... I wont be offended by any suggestions or anyone telling me I did it wrong.

  • #2
    Nickel plating

    My best advice is that with nickel plating, you should ALWAYS polish the base metal before plating. You can actually buff the steel used in most firearms. I have done it. If you sand out all blemishes with 400 and then 600 sandpaper, then buff with white compound, you can get a fairly impressive shine on the steel. If the steel is in bad condition, then apply several coats of copper flash as follows--1 hour in the tank at 60mA per square inch-then sand with 400, then another hour in the tank. You will be able to buff the copper so applied to a brilliant polish once you've removed all the blemishes.

    Then, once you have the polish you want, clean THOROUGHLY to remove every trace of buffing compound--preferably in an ultrasonic cleaner--then plate with nickel for 1 hour in the tank at about 60mA per square inch. Avoid doing any more with the nickel than a light hand polishing with metal polish. It is thin and can be buffed off easily.

    The other advantage to the copper plating is it will provide more corrosion protection.

    Generally nickel plating with a wand over steel is a tough way to get any nickel build on a firearm component. They are full of little turns and corners. If you buff nickel so applied, I can practically GUARANTEE you will remove the nickel and the firearm component will definitely rust.

    Get some small tanks going. You'll be much better off in the end. :P