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Cobalt Armor of guns

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  • Cobalt Armor of guns

    Hello everyone,

    Relatively new to this site but love Caswell and their products, and get GREAT support from Jason and especially Craig. I'm a full time chemistry teacher and part time shooter and decided to try to open a business refinishing race type firearms. I would love to find others out there using copy chrome on guns or any other hard use materials subject to heat and friction of moving parts. This Cobalt finish seems almost indestructable and I've had great success in a short time and would be interested in comparing/sharing ideas out there with anyone interested. Go to to check out some pics and please be honest with any recommendations.


  • #2
    Re: Cobalt Armor of guns

    Yea, Actually thats the whole reason i went i out looking for a place to buy this stuff, and what's even better that they have cobalt. thus reducing the wear on the bolt carrier group, ect. but i have yet to buy and try it out but would really llike to know if the cobalt plating is paintable? or is it unable to be painted due to it possibly being to hard of a surface or not pourous enough. i dunno please help


    • #3
      Re: Cobalt Armor of guns

      Nice work! What I saw.
      My only comment is the photos are small but they must be large in file size (resolution). It takes forever to load the page on dialup. In fact, after five minutes, I got three and a half photos and killed it. You might want to decrease the pixel resolution. Not much benifit to pictures over 90ppi on the web. Most displays show only 70-90ppi anyway. Those pictures shouldn't need to be more than about a couple Kb each.


      • #4
        Cobalt is rocking now

        Sorry I haven't been here in a while, but I've been really busy and have the copy chrome plate working extremely well. No failures or bad plates in over a month (about 15 guns) and this stuff is incredibly durable and looks so much like chrome you can fool people. I'm a chemist and made several tweaks to solution concentration, temp, pH and the works, and would be happy to send my cheat sheets to anyone interested, just shoot me a pm at [email protected].

        Daniel Hidalgo

        P.S. Special thanks to Craige Brooks at Caswell, thanks to his help and support I've got more work than I can keep up with for now.


        • #5
          Re: Cobalt Armor of guns

          Here are the Cobalt Plating Tips:

          1. Make the cobalt bath as directed and heat to 180+ degrees (2-3 heaters)

          2. Let cool over night and add 1.5 quarts (48ozs) of brightener for the 4.5 gallon kits. (Increased from the original directions)

          3. Let sit at least 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally, or bubble with aeration, and filter all excess particulate into a clean bucket through old cloth (white cotton roll from Wal-Mart is great) I use a 3/4 inch line with gang valves for each tank from my big air compressor, with 2 filter cans on it to remove any water or oil contaminants.

          4. Adjust pH to as close to 4.0 to 4.2 with 5% sulfuric acid (lowers) or 5% household ammonia.(raises) (You probably will never need ammonia but have some ready just in case) Strongly suggest a digital meter and buffer solution kit.

          5. Do not heat the solution to plate, (heating was only to dissolve the excess CoSO4, but at 180+ degrees you passed the saturation point and have a super saturated solution anyway, and this stuff is only an electrolyte)
          and USE THE COBALT ANODES now to get a more silver color, the Ni ones can still give a little yellow tint if brighteners are too low, and the part will probably yellow a little with age anyway.

          I use an Electroscrub product after the part is clean and then use a mild acid solution to activate the part. (About 2 % sulfuric acid for 10 seconds then rinse with distilled water)

          6. Lose the bandages, they just get dirty and block current, and move the anodes to within 2-3 inches of the part if possible. If the part has a recess, point the recess at the anode and the current will flow around the part and get the sides. At least 15 minutes in NiSO4 (nickel) and then 60+ minutes in CoSO4 (cobalt), but cut the amperage on Cobalt down about 10-15%, if the parts come out with ANY dark on them the amperage was too high.

          7. Keep aeration low, just enough to break the surface of the solution, and keep an eye on brighteners. If you have small bubbles during aeration that stick to the anodes or the tank, (they will not climb much but NEVER let them or the solution hit the copper wire the anodes are suspended from) then the level of brightener is OK, if no bubbles are forming then add around 1/2 a quart or more until you see the bubbles again.

          ***** NEVER add brightener while plating, it will streak the part.

          8. Rinse and use hot water to remove any traces of the solution.

          Honorary chemist for Caswell

          Many thanks to Daniel for helping to improve the Cobalt plating.