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So far so good!

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  • So far so good!

    Hello group,

    I have so far been successful in nickel plating the practice copper pieces as described in the manual. On the first try I might add. The nickel took good and shined up brilliantly.....almost looks as good as chrome!

    Next, I tried a very whethered pot metal car fender emblem.
    Prepped it, flash coppered, acid copper and then nickel. Emblem looks great! Just difficult to buff in the small nooks and crannies. Next is chrome but I'm waiting to practice a little more before I do any chroming.

    In the meantime, I figured on trying to strip some chrome of an old set of semi rusted small block chevy valve covers. They are cheap aftermarket and really have no value. Just wanted some practice.

    Anyway, I mixed up a batch of Pickel #2 as described in the manual and used the gp plates for stripping. As I turned up the current with the 25 amp Caswell supply, I noticed the bath around the cathodes (gp plates) would bubble fairly violently. The stripping was slow but I could see the rust on the covers being etched away.

    So far so good. I'll post my results when the cover is completed.
    Also, what are the gp plates made of? They are pretty soft and maleable. Easy to cut. Are the lead?

    Thanks in advance.


  • #2
    So far not so good stripping chrome. goes. All the plating was removed no problem inside the valve cover however, on the outside surface, where rust was present, the acid bath did do considerable damage to the base metal. It's a good thing this was a "test" exercise. I'd hate to do that on good parts. Anyway, practice makes perfect.


    • #3
      I'd advise the use of Pickle 2 to remove the chrome (electrolytically or not), but then use the MetalX to remove the nickel. Don't use electrolytic methods with Pickle #2 for sustained periods. It WILL eat away the base metal!

      After the nickel is removed, you can decide. You'll probably want to remove the rust with a product like Naval Jelly. Soaking in Pickle #2 can be effective against rust as well...but if you are not careful, you might go too far. Naval Jelly is much safer. What's left at the end of all this is probably some copper plating and mild pits where the rust was. You can plate up with flash copper, use solder to fill the pits, clean well, more copper, sand, etc. till the pits are gone. Then, polish and nickel.

      Alternatively you can abrasive blast the whole thing clean to the base metal, a quick pass with the Brightex wheel, copper plate, and solder fill as before. I prefer ths abrasive blast method because it is much faster and much more effectively removes everything you don't want....and, you start at the base metal again. If there is rust starting underneath the old copper, you have to abrasive blast all they way down to the base metal.