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3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

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  • 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

    Hey, I'm new here and just wanted to say hello. We have been manufacturing musical drum hardware in the United States for 3 years now and have been dealing with the many pains that come with outsourcing our lugs to big plating companies. Our parts are very small about an inch in diameter and an inch tall. They are all made from T6061 Aluminum.

    A customer of ours in Canada told me about Caswell and after visiting the site we just purchased the 3 gallon copy chrome kit. The kit should be here tomorrow and I will make sure to post pics of the entire process as we plate our lugs in house for the first time.

    Can't wait for the kit!!!
    www.egodrumsupply.com

  • #2
    Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

    Good luck and keep us posted
    Jim Eaton

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    • #3
      Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

      The kit arrived as expected. I set everything up and gave it a go. However, like any beginner I haven't quite perfected the process. I can get a dull shine but nothing perfectly smooth like the chrome plated one on the very right of the 3 lugs pictured below.

      If I understand correctly the copper is supposed to be shiny as the copy chrome will only be as shiny as the finish underneath it. I think this is part of my problem. I can get the copper to stick and look smooth with no blisters but its not shiny. I buffed the lug to a mirror shine and then degreased it, rinsed it, put it in the zincate for 30 seconds to get an even grey color, and then shake excess zincate off and then strait into the copper bath. I get a peice that looks like the one on the very left of the picture posted below.

      I have never plated with the flash copper before nor any plating really so I'm not sure if that is what it is supposed to look like or if it should have a mirror shine on it before the copy chrome.

      The lug in the middle is a pic of the copy chrome over a lug that was plated copper like the one shown in the pic. If you look closely its not as shiny and does not reflect as much as the chrome lug on the right.

      If anybody has any suggestions please advise. We calculated the lug to be about 4 sqaure inches. The diameter of the base of the lug is 7/8". I was using .28 amps with the 3amp rectifier that caswell sells.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

        After the copper you should lightly polish then degrees rinse and then copy chrome
        The best finish you start with is the best finish you will end up with this is true in all steps of plating
        Jim Eaton

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

          Jim,

          Thanks for the info. I finnally got a perfect smooth chrome look. I was leaving the part in the copper bath for 15 minutes and then I switched to 30 minutes. I was also only leaving the part in the copy chrome bath for 15 minutes and then switched to 1 hour in the copy chrome bath. The results are a very shiny smooth chrome look. Only problem I have now is that there are dark deposits or streaks on certain areas of the parts. I haven't figured that out yet. My question is why are the dark deposits located where they are or are they just random. Now if I could only get a part to come out with out any dark deposits I would be a true plating master. If you have any advice I would greatly appreciate it!!

          I'm wondering if the zincate isn't getting all the way eaten off when I put it in the copper bath and its comming through the copper when I copy chrome it? I am stumpped.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

            You need to be sure that you are getting proper agitation. The tank should look like it?s boiling. You need to make sure that you are a minimum of three inches away from the part with the anodes. The dark spots are burns. What works for me best is if the solution is between 95-110 degrees and I only use half the amps. So instead of using 1 amp for every 16 sq. inches, I use 1 amp for every 32 sq. inches.
            Jim Eaton

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

              I hope thats the problem. I will try that today. I was wondering about anode placement and wasn't sure how close to put the part to them. I figured out how to get the copper shiny as well. We have some tumblers and we tumbled the copper plated aluminum for a few hours in walnut shells and rouge. It polishes it right up.

              Jim thanks for the help, I'll post my next results using your meathods.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

                I do have one other question. Even when i get a nice shiny chrome look, it still seems to have a sligh yellow tint to it when sitting next to chrome. i am wondering if the copy chrome is like this or if I can get it more blueish? How close can one mimick chrome with the copy chrome?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

                  Ok.... I didn't raise the bath temp, but made sure parts were moved away atleast 3 inches from the anodes. What I did was split the anodes in 2 so I had 4 instead of 2. They were placed every 90 degrees around the tank. When we did this the result was more dark spots on the part. So then we took 2 of those anodes out and so we only had one anode split in 2 180 degrees apart around the tank. This didn't seem to help either. I just don't know what to do. I guess I will have to talk to technical support.\


                  Thanks for your help!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

                    It still sounds to me like you are burning the plate move the anodes farther or better yet lower you amperage about half of what you are using and again be sure you have plenty of agitation
                    Jim Eaton

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

                      Tyler,

                      Did you try to reduce the current like Jim said as well as anode placement? If it is burns as Jim says reducing the current might help. Also I am thinking of another way to promote agitation. When I have tried copy chrome on tubes I have the dark spots too. That's with plug and plate Copy Nickel. With the regular Nickel (green solution) I did not experience this a much, more shine. Also goldish hue is fairly normal for Nickel process I think?

                      I can't go anywhere without you trailing me and vice versa, lol.

                      Robert, Allstar

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

                        Originally posted by Allstarlugs
                        Tyler,

                        Did you try to reduce the current like Jim said as well as anode placement? If it is burns as Jim says reducing the current might help. Also I am thinking of another way to promote agitation. When I have tried copy chrome on tubes I have the dark spots too. That's with plug and plate Copy Nickel. With the regular Nickel (green solution) I did not experience this a much, more shine. Also goldish hue is fairly normal for Nickel process I think?

                        I can't go anywhere without you trailing me and vice versa, lol.

                        Robert, Allstar
                        Wow... Robert is that you... just kidding. How long have you known about caswell? I just found out about them a week or so ago. Anyways, were still working on the perfect shine and it seems to be getting better over time. Just takes a lot of patience. Good luck with your kit and I would love to see some of your results.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey T

                          I have been studying plating off and on for 6 months or so. I am really fasinated by this science and needless to say it's critical to our type of products. From what I see on your post the lugs you plated look great for just starting out. There's a bit of art to this that will only come with time and experience. I have done a few jobs with Nickel over Brass only on tubes so far. I have not tried aluminum yet but I can see it's tricky. Keep working with that kit and you will have it down pat soon. I will hit your e-mail in the near future.

                          Robert, Allstar

                          www.allstarlugs.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

                            70 Degrees
                            Plenty of aggitation
                            1 amp per 32 sqaure inches

                            STILL DARK SPOTS

                            I will rasie bath temp to 95-110 degrees and keep everything the same and see what happens. Will post results soon.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 3 gallon Copy Chrome Kit

                              im digging from the grae but what was your fix. i just picked up a 3.5 kit and trying to research as much as i can
                              D.I.L.U.S.I.

                              Drive It Like You Stole It

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