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Fixing partial nickel plate

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  • Fixing partial nickel plate

    I have a revolver where part of the electroless nickel plate has peeled off the barrel. I have full polishing/buffing equipment, so this is not a problem. The final finish is silver plate.

    How should I proceed?

    1. Attempt to PNP nickel just the bare steel parts, copper the whole thing, then electro again?

    2. Copper PNP the whole thing, building up the steel to the old nickel level, then electro the whole thing?

    3. Copper plate, then silver plate?



  • #2

    You mentioned plating has peeled. You'll have to make sure all the loose plating is gone first. The best way to do this is to blast with aluminum oxide. You could also use the new Metalx nickel removers to clean the surface down to the base metal. hence removing all nickel.

    If you are just trying to touch up a small area and you're sure that all of the loose plating is gone, then you'll have to start by sanding or buffing away the edge where the nickel peeled. Then, pnp nickel plate followed by a light buff.

    Having said that, I recommend tank plating copper over the entire thing after nickel removal, buffing, then nickel. This will ensure an even finish.

    IF you choose the touch up approach, don't forget to use the Sulfuric Acid pickle on the nickel to assure adhesion.




    • #3

      thanks for the info!

      I have found a bunch of my old plating stuff. I have two copper solutions for the tank. One is the Cu Sulfate based (same as the pnp, it appears); the other is cyanide based. Which do you recommend? I used to do this with jewelry, so know how to handle both and have a rectifier.

      Also, I now have three Ni solutions: The Ni Sulfate used in their pnp kits, cyanide based, and some Nickel Flouroborate. Which is the best strike for "Woods Nickel?"

      Lastly, their manual says THREE parts Sulfuric to one part water for activation before using electroless over nickel. Is this a typo?

      Thanks again,



      • #4
        Hello Seth,

        Fist to address the sulfuric acid issue. The solution Caswell recommends will work fine. 50/50 would work, but the stronger formulation will do the job great.

        Second, I would stay far, far away from the cyanide formulations. It is just too easy to make a mistake resulting in cyanide gas formation. And by the time you realize it, it's too late. You've suffered serious side effects. Using an acid pickle before the cyanide bath is certain disaster. So you end up using cyanide from the beginning of the process to the end. It's too risky.

        You can't use acid copper directly over steel, so forget that. Recommendation: Caswell Flash Copper. This is the best non-cyanide copper out there. In many ways it works better than cyanide.

        Caswell's Nickel Plate with the new brightener: It's amazing stuff. It eliminates the need for a 2-step nickel process. I would buy anything to get the results I need and I'd pick the Caswell nickel any day. They are professional grade in every way and they work. Caswell's the way to go.

        Kind regards,