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some examples to check out... please help!

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  • some examples to check out... please help!

    here's a handful of pics I took to show you, the viewing audience, what I'm trying to achieve... well, what I'm trying to replicate, but new-looking, not poopy.

    this is in reference to another thread on this forum called "can we identify this finish?", so please read that thread as well if you'd like background info on my situation.

    these pics show some of the plated finish, as well as the underlying material:

    On the handle of a dental drill:

    and on the head of a "slowspeed attachment"

    thanks again for your input! --Dave

  • #2
    wow. sorry about the size of the pics. forgot to change the resolution on my camera! oh well... I guess you can see the detail better this way. --Dave

    P.S.-- if the pic size is inappropriate, please let me know, and I'll resize and reupload them. Thanks!


    • #3
      Looks to me like a light blasting with 220 grit brown aluminum oxide might just do the trick. Then, plate up from there.

      It also looks like there is some light rust scale present. You'll have to see what the item looks like after blasting. If the rust scale is still present, you might have to repair it with copper first, then another VERY light glass bead blast, then plate with nickel.

      I can't find reference from your material on what the base metal is. Is this steel or brass? If brass, glass bead blasting might be the way to go.

      Kind regards,


      • #4
        so, what grit of glass bead should I be purchasing from Caswell after the first of the year? Let me know soon, so I can get this stuff ordered!

        And, will the electroless Krome be sufficient, in which case I'm going to order the bigger setup... or do I need to invest in a standard chroming kit, which looks like more work and headache, and more difficult to get into the nooks and crannies on these things.

        Thanks again! --Funk


        • #5
          It may be that you can't use glass beads. If you want to remove the old plating I'm not sure glass beads is the solution. Glass tends to be low on the metal cutting scale. Aluminum oxide is better at it.

          If you choose to go with aluminum oxide, you could try a 280 grit at the lowest but personally I would try 320. What kind of blaster do you have? It will all affect how fast you can cut the material. It may take time but the parts are small so no big deal.

          Another option is to try MetalX to remove the old nickel. If it is chrome, you'll need hydrochloric acid to strip the chrome first, then use the MetalX. Afterwards do the glass beads as a clean up. In this case use extra fine--170 to 325. This will remove the residual smut from the MetalX and give you the finish all at the same time.

          Kind regards,


          • #6
            well, my plan was to pick up one of the Cyclone pencil blaster setups from the caswell site, and order some abrasive to go with it, as well as a new, larger electroless krome kit, some more SP degreaser, etc.



            • #7
              If you are serious about this work, you would want a bench top
              blasting cabinet. A pencil blaster will make a mess out of everything around you and will consume media, but that's your call. It would work albeit slowly, but with some significant mess. A small cabinet is very affordable and can be coupled with a small shop vac to give you great results. Keep the nozzle size under 6scfm and you can even feasibly use a small oil less Sears compressor. Do you have a compressor now?

              If you don't have blasting equipment, perhaps someone in the Caswell Forum can do the blasting for you.

              I would think that either copy chrome or nickel would do the job.

              Kind regards,


              • #8
                the Cyclone pencil blaster in the Caswell store page is a benchtop unit, with an integrated pencil blaster... at least that's what the picture is of.

                so, you said the Copy Chrome would work... but, no ones ever answered my question, will the electroless Krome work as well?


                • #9
                  The Electroless process should work just fine, perhaps better. It will sometimes plate a little duller than the bright nickel/copychrome electroplate process. But that seems exactly what you're looking for. It is also great at getting inside barrels, and in places where the electroplating process doesn't have the "throw."

                  Kind regards,


                  • #10
                    the electroless krome... is too yellow.

                    any suggestions? I'm going to post some sidebyside comparison pics as soon as I get home and can get these pics off of my camera.

                    i need to get this right!!! :sigh:



                    • #11
                      new pics!

                      here's the pics I promised...

                      side by side (top by bottom?) of the original finish (top) to the Electroless Krome finish (bottom):

                      original factory finish, detail 1:

                      electroless krome on a brush-finished scrap handpiece, same detail as above:

                      top by bottom, detail 2:

                      so, what kinda finish is the original, really? or is it chrome, and I'm doing something HORRIBLY wrong? <shudder> lemme know. Thanks! --Dave


                      • #12
                        Pics are difficult when it comes to color, but if I were to judge assuming the real parts look the same, I'd guess the original is chrome. I can't explain why the electroless chrome looks so much different. Have you tried the electolytic copy chrome as an experiment?

                        Also--what kind of prep are you doing? It looks a bit like you're losing some detail in the knurl...perhaps that's just the angle of the camera or the parts were different to start with?



                        • #13
                          well, the parts, when new, were identical, but the one I was test-kroming was pretty beat up, and I was a little heavy handed with the scrubby wheels...

                          just a strange question, probably... but what kind of plating would resemble closest the color of American coinage (excluding pennies, of course)? --Funk


                          • #14
                            It looks to me like you are plating E Copy Chrome over brass. Sometimes the yellow in the brass will bring out the yellow in the nickel part of C Chrome. (which is a blend of nickel and cobalt)

                            The Standard Copy Chrome kit is a pure cobalt setup, which should eliminate this problem. Perhaps you should try that.
                            Mike Caswell
                            Caswell Inc
                            Need Support? Visit our online support section at


                            • #15
                              actually, I've been plating electroless Krome over brass. that's all.

                              and, any answer to my question about american coinage? what color plating matches that closest? cuz that's what I'm looking for.


                              should I be electroless nickeling, and then kroming over that? orr what?!?!?!