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plating only some (unremoveable) parts off a bigger item

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  • plating only some (unremoveable) parts off a bigger item

    I'm about to invest a a nickel plating setup, basically will be making custom steering wheels (and sometimes restoring some). I only want the center spokes plated (metal) but it won't always be possible to seperate that part away from the rest of the steeering wheel. Would there be any issues if I dip the entire steering wheel (center hub, rim, resin around the rim and all) just to plate the spokes? Not sure if you're only suppose to dip the item to be plated and nothing else or..?? Thanks

    Pict below should help with what I'm talking about

  • #2
    Anyone know what will happen if you dip an entire object just to plate a certain part in the middle of it??


    • #3
      Assembled parts and plating

      In my experience, when I have plated similar items (screwdrivers with clear plastic handles) rust will occur under the plastic just beyond the metal/plastic interface. In time, I am sure that the plating will start to fail at that interface.

      These screwdrivers were new (they had un-plated shanks) so no, there was no previous rust on them or under the plastic.

      Another thing to consider is would the plating soltion stain the older plastic surfaces (did not stain the new plastic screwdriver handles however).

      Even if you could carefully seal the interface area to prevent the solutions from wicking under the plastic, you still would have a small ring of unplated area that would rust over time.

      George W.


      • #4
        Nothing much will happen with a part like that, assuming the temp doesnt start to affect the plastic (or rubber as it may be here and warp it/discolor as mentioned above) The biggest problem is leaching. Be sure to rinse exceptionally well, after cleaning a hot rinse blowing out the areas that go under the plastic with an air hose repeat. Plated for about 10 years industrially but dont quite know what setups this place is selling yet. Scrub it the best you can, limit your time in alkaline cleaners (dont know if you have a electrocleaner but a few seconds of juice should be more than enough if you do)

        A long warm rinse after will help too, however if it is electrolitic nickel it will likely discolor yellowish, I'd say electroless nickel would be best for this or electrolitic followed by the standard chrome.


        • #5
          Another thing to consider is are all the spokes connected together conductivly? If not you will have to run a lead to each individual spoke. You should be able to check cond. easily with a multimeter.