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Since you asked....Lab Metal vs. PitStop ??

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  • Since you asked....Lab Metal vs. PitStop ??

    I have a few pieces of pitted steel base parts that I want to plate. When I get the rust out, there are still pits and grooves left that I fear will be too hard to sand out without changing the intended shape of the item. I was wondering if i can use something like Lab Metal (wasn't sure because it said it had aluminum in it, and didn't know if flash copper would adhere to it) or PitStop (again wasn't sure, because it was only mentioned in repairing Pot metal, which the part is not) any help would be appreciated as always.


  • #2
    Re: Since you asked....Lab Metal vs. PitStop ??

    The manufacturer of the Lab Metal states that it can be plated - but in their trials, their platers used cyanide copper. We've tried zincating, then Flash Copper plating, but it didn't work very well at all.
    Mike Caswell
    Caswell Inc
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    • #3
      Re: Since you asked....Lab Metal vs. PitStop ??

      ok, cool. so what about the PitStop...can i use that on steel, then flash right over it? Because it kinda says that it's for Potmetal, just want to be sure. Thanks.


      • #4
        Re: Since you asked....Lab Metal vs. PitStop ??

        instructions for plating over lab metal
        Instructions for plating parts repaired with Lab-metal:
        1. Follow directions for Lab-metal
        2. Alkaline cleaner
        3. Aluminum etch
        4. Deoxidation
        5. Zincate
        6. Deoxidation
        7. Zincate
        8. Acid and copper plate
        9. Nickel
        10. Chrome


        • #5
          Re: Since you asked....Lab Metal vs. PitStop ??

          Could this fellow use tin or tin/lead solder (as was used in the old days as a filler before Bondo came along) to fill his rust pits? I would think that you could clean up the metal with sand/media blasting to get 99% of the rust out (or maybe just a wire brush on a drill). Using tin or tin/lead solder you normally use a hydrochloric acid solution as a flux which should take care of any additional rust. You could then file or sand (if you are using pure tin only) back to the original surface then plate as normal (I'd probably start with a copper base coat of some sort). Tin or Tin/Lead solder takes electroplating just fine. If you want to sand the solder smooth you really should use the pure tin solder as you don't have to worry about getting airborne lead particles in your lungs. You lay it in with a normal propane or MAP gas torch and it works fairly easily. It bonds well and it takes plating well. To me this is the best way to repair rust pitted steel as it adds back a little structural integrity (not as strong as the original steel before it corroded but about as good as it is going to get).

          Don't know if Caswell sells tin or tin/lead body filler but it can be found through other vendors on the internet. If you can't find it PM me and I can point you towards a source.


          • #6
            Re: Since you asked....Lab Metal vs. PitStop ??

            Try first plating with flash copper after blasting and rust removal. Then use traditional solder paste (Caswell sells this); heat till it flows evenly. You'll have to sand off the excess and this is time consuming. Do not leave a film of solder anywhere. Leave only what is needed to fill the pits. Then flash over it 1 hour at a time, sanding between coats. After about 3 coats you can buff and nickel plate. The piece will be beautiful.



            • #7
              Re: Since you asked....Lab Metal vs. PitStop ??

              One last comment. I have tried everything I can find to fill pits, including silver epoxy, Lab Metal, etc. Nothing works as well as the above-mentioned method. And it works very well.