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  • charlton
    replied
    Excellent tip!

    I may get some nitric acid and try it.

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • seanc
    replied
    Charlton:

    Man, that yellow chromate spring is NICE ! No rubbing off at all? Is it as permanent as the zinc plate itself?
    Thanks. No rub off at all, the chromate conversion is very hard and durable. I would have to say it's even MORE permanent than the zinc itself, since the chromate has a much higher corrosion resistance than raw zinc. I wish I had more pictures, but so far in my restoration project, that's the only "yellowed" piece I've needed.

    Once again...what are you using the nitric acid for ?
    A post-plate "bright dip". This is mentioned in my old manual as an "option", recommending 1% sulphuric acid.

    Early on, it became evident that I needed to do this, since my parts were coming out of solution with a brownish tint, similar to the brownish color of the electrolyte itself. Some examples are here:

    http://www.hogheaven.com/hobby/plati...lts/index.html

    and here:

    http://www.hogheaven.com/hobby/plati...tes/index.html

    I experimented w/both sulphuric and muriatic acid bright dips, and they both worked about the same. After getting hold of nitric acid, I could hardly believe the difference. The muriatic & sulphuric dips removed most of the brown tint, but left the part a dull grey color. Nitric acid leaves it a bright silver. Subsequent chromating comes out a lot better too.

    Sean

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  • charlton
    replied
    Thank you.

    Man, that yellow chromate spring is NICE ! No rubbing off at all? Is it as permanent as the zinc plate itself? My only attempt so far was with a brightener treated piece so I'll give it another shot without brightener after I get my problem with the pH resolved.

    Once again...what are you using the nitric acid for ?

    Leave a comment:


  • seanc
    replied
    Charlton:

    Are you talking about the 1 amp per 40 sq inches?
    Yep, so it's still at 25 mA/sq-in (1/40 =.025). If you get good results at this setting, then stick with it. I however, got poor results at this current density. After some experimentation, I have settled on 80-100 mA/sq-in. If you hadn't run across them yet, my test results are here:

    http://www.hogheaven.com/hobby/plati...s/cctest1.html

    And another test at very high current density here:

    http://www.hogheaven.com/hobby/plati...s/cctest5.html

    The distance varied from 1 to 4 inches. I'm telling you...if I got good results...ANYBODY can
    Don't get me wrong, the anode spacing is ONLY pertinent when you use an unregulated wall wart. With a constant current power supply, such as you have, the 3 variables I mentioned are irrelevant (within reason anyway), because the power supply itself maintains the current at whatever you "dialed in". A wall wart has no such self-regulating ability. You have to manipulate one or more of the 3 variables, while measuring total current.

    One odd thing is that the first piece too nearly an hour to plate then all of a sudden starting with the 2nd piece, they plated within the times outlined in the guide. Something in the solution must have been stabilizing itself ?
    Yes, you're supposed to use a dummy piece to "purify" the system. My manual called for a 30 minuite dummy plate. Doesn't the new manual say the same?

    Here's a piece I'm particularly proud of
    That did come out looking mighty fine, congratulations!

    On the positive side, zinc plating has excellent "throwing power". ie, it will plate around curves and get into nooks and crannies quite nicely. I also occasionally do large parts that sit in the tank at awkward angles with varying anode spacing, and they come out fine.

    Sean

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  • charlton
    replied
    Is this an attempt to see how much I actually studied (or lucked out)

    I have no idea. Are you talking about the 1 amp per 40 sq inches? it's still the same. So you see, my good results are a tribute to Caswells kits and NOT my expertise. Allthough I do agree that the plating rectifier is handy....but I moved the voltage and current around from .05 amps all the way to 3 amps and got basically similar results. ( I didn't keep the amps at 3 very long though...just wanted to see what would happen).

    Know what? I simply (and arbitrarily) cut a pice of anode (I figured 2 X 4 would do), hung it in the tank a "few" inches from the item to be plated and away I went. The distance varied from 1 to 4 inches. I'm telling you...if I got good results...ANYBODY can. I only used the ONE piece of Zinc anode, and by gosh, it even plated ALL edges and the OTHER side. I did move the anode a few times but for the most part, the entire part was plated. I even put one piece that was 8 inches long in there and it came out great. As good as any piece Yamaha sells brand new.

    One odd thing is that the first piece too nearly an hour to plate then all of a sudden starting with the 2nd piece, they plated within the times outlined in the guide. Something in the solution must have been stabilizing itself ?

    Here's a piece I'm particularly proud of because it was caked with grease, partially rusted and had remains of olive drab green chromate on it. It looked horrible! I spent 1 minute cleaning it with a wire wheel then cleaned it with Purple Stuff degreaser, rinsed it clean and into the tank it went. The top was 1/8 inch from the top of the solution and the bottom was ON the bottom of the tank. It was leaning at an angle. The Anode was only 4 inches long. it plated like a champ and the quality is excellent.



    Anyway, if not for the low pH, I'd be plating now.

    Leave a comment:


  • seanc
    replied
    Charlton:

    Also, this whole concept of plating my own parts is fun....if it works.
    Yes it is. It's also quite gratifying when parts come out looking as good as or better than new!

    pardon me for saying this but, I find it hard to believe that anyone would have trouble getting good results
    Ahh, but you had a self-admited "advantage" right off the bat. You started with a CC power supply, which, IMO, is a requirement for getting good results.

    My first attempts were with the little "wall wart" supplied in the kit. Being a completely unregulated device, it is nigh on impossible to get predictable and repeatable current flow out of it. The amount of current it puts out is entirely dependent on 3 variables: 1) electrolyte temperature, 2) anode-cathode spacing, and 3) total sq-inches of parts being plated. Change any one of these variables, and your current changes (and thus the current density). Trying to keep these parameters consistent from batch-to-batch with the wall-wart is very nearly impossible, and quite impractical.

    Since switching to a CC power supply, and experimentally determining the optimum current density range, all my problems went away.

    I'm also curious, since you have the rev. 8 manual, what current density range does it call for?

    Sean

    Leave a comment:


  • charlton
    replied
    sean...time to get the latest manual

    I'm mostly plating motorcycle parts. Many from 1975. If the parts are even available, they're often olive drab green instead of chrome as was original.

    So, availability is a big factor. But if I can plate 1000 sq in for the cost of 1 tank of solution and maybe 10 pints of brightener, then that would STILL be far less expensive since one specialty bolt from a 1975 motorcycle can be very expensive.

    Also, this whole concept of plating my own parts is fun....if it works.

    I was successful in my first plating. I have 7 pieces that now look chrome. After this first experience, pardon me for saying this but, I find it hard to believe that anyone would have trouble getting good results. The Copy Cad kit works. Maybe my success is contributable to reasonably good cleaning and the 3A plating rectifier I bought with the kit. Allthough to be honest, after calculating the sq inches of parts, I found that considerably different voltage and amperage settings seemed to give best results AND the process seemed VERY tolerant of large variations in settings.

    Unless you got a bad solution mix, had a vastly improper power situation or were quite negligent in cleaning, good results seem to be a given. I have to commend Caswell. My ONLY gripe is a bad thermostat that "may" have killed my solution prematurely by heating it to 165 F.

    As far as the cost of specialty chemicals...if it turns out that the excessive heat does not affect the solution, then I'll have to pay the $50 and get the ammonium hydroxide.

    Leave a comment:


  • seanc
    replied
    Charleton:

    Cost for 1 pint of Ammonium Hydroxide TOTAL $50.00
    The cost of excessive government. I had the same thing happen, but it has made a big difference in my zinc plating.

    Nitric acid: $20, hazmat fee: $25, shipping: $17 = $63.

    Your best bet might be to find a friend/acquaintance/whomever, that works for a University and can get small quantities out of the chem dept. lab supply.

    I am plating motorcycle parts and the whole idea was to save money over what seemed to be outrageous dealer per part prices
    Unless your parts are irreplaceable, or you want to plate something that wasn't originally plated, it's not cost effective.

    I'm doing it because my parts can't be found anymore, and I am plating parts which were not originally, and had rusted.

    Sean

    Leave a comment:


  • charlton
    started a topic Ordering Ammonium Hydroxide from Daigger.com

    Ordering Ammonium Hydroxide from Daigger.com

    I just went to order a pint of Ammonium Hydroxide from Daigger.com and just thought I'd pass this along....

    Cost for 1 pint of Ammonium Hydroxide
    $15.89

    "HAZ MAT FEE"
    $20.00

    Shipping
    $13.00

    TOTAL
    $50.00

    I am plating motorcycle parts and the whole idea was to save money over what seemed to be outrageous dealer per part prices.
    Little by little, the cost per part for plating is becoming greater than expected.

    $129.00 Copy Cad kit
    $95.00 Plating rectifier
    $129.00 (a few chromates. pH meter, Air Bubbler)
    $50.00 Ammonium Hydroxide
    $30.00 shipping totals

    $433.00 (approximately)

    7 parts plated so far.
    Dealer cost for these parts $45.00

    The economic "feasibility" of all this is going to hinge on the longevity of the solution and replacement costs of Zinc Brightner ($11.00 per pint + shipping ($10.00).

    Granted the Plating rectifier is a one time cost as is the pH meter...that would back $150 out of the cost.
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