Brass Plating....

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by neothespian, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    I've got an idea stuck in my head after sitting on my rear all winter w/o work, and with only limited work comming up (part time...curse my passion for Non-Profit organizations), and I just need to get it onto the bench!

    The idea is that I want to turn my good quality M44 into a Victorian styled show weapon. What that means is that I want to remove all basic black paint on all steel parts, remove the stock, sand it down and refinish it to Steinway quality, polish the bolt and bayonete to a mirror finish, and then brass plate all metal hardware not related to stabbing or chambering a round.

    Now, my question is has anyone brass plated hardware before? I was looking into doing it myself, but that might be a bit too costly. Also, how much mass does that add to the steel. The parts that I'm thinking about plating are the stock clips, buttstock, outer receiver, triggerguard and magazine casing. Of course, if I can get the cleaning rod plated as well that would be a good score.

    Anyone with experience in this?
  2. elguapo

    elguapo Guest

    My friend used to work in a chrome shop, back in the '70s and '80s. He would know the differences.

  3. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    The mass added would be virtually nothing. Brass plating process is very similar to chroming. You just need to build a heated tank that can induct a current of about 6v-12v. There are kits out there for DIY projects.

    If we get our FFL up and running, we'll be doing several different metal plating/finishing methods, including electroplating, so I've actually been researching the subject.
  4. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Cool. Was worried that after plating the parts I'd end up fighting to get them back on the gun.

    Well, I bought the full Dremel polishing kit, tons of buffer wheels and about 10 ounces of buffing compound today, and I'm dedicated on starting it off! Project pics will be posted as things go on in the appropriate forum. First will be the polishing, second the stock refinish and lastly the plating. Let me know when you get more progress on the FFL. IF this goes well I might experiment with other vintage milsurps. Granted this isn't a "period" restoration, but there's something to be said about keeping with the style of the era while "pimping" it out a bit.

    Also, who knows of any decently priced reproduction turn of the centuryWWI/II scopes? Brass/silver finish would be a HUGE plus, and power isn't really as important.
  5. rodka

    rodka Member

    oh man ive always thought brass on wood looks awesome, cant wait to see the pics when its done.
  6. Neo, are you perchance a steampunk enthusiast? I find a lot of nice steampunk project info on Make.

    Here's a search for all their articles on keyword "brass", there's been a lot of stuff on electrolytic etching and plating lately and in the past, so that might help. If not, it's a great blog to read.

    I was only able to come up with a couple of appropriate links:

    Also, a collection of steampunk vendors/sites, mostly to do with costuming but some accessories (ie weapons) in there: and Costuming

    They might be of use for styling cues if nothing else.
  7. NCLivingBrit beat me to it: Steampunk! Go for it!

    I considered it in extremis for one of my projects, but gave up: the bolt, when in motion, sets gears spinning, and sinuous and branching copper veins crawl over the frame.

    You're a set designer and an artist. We look forward to your inspiration!
  8. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    I've been getting more and more turned onto the Steampunk style for a few years now, and this is honestly my second attempt at the style. The first one was actually a set of goggles for another show I was working on that came out rather well.

    As far as is concerned, I'm VERY familiar with it: I've contributed about 20 articles in the past for them :p
  9. Well I'm feeling terribly redundant about now :)

    It did occur to me that some of the earliest "optics" just used a narrow aperture brass tube with no glass works and sometimes a wire crosshair.

    I'll see what I can find for info, once I get home.
  10. MalcolmStone

    MalcolmStone Member

  11. Whiskey

    Whiskey Guest

    Go with the caswell plug and plate. Its perfect for small jobs without the major investment. I have a similar kit made by "lifetime gold" thats basically the same thing, but way overpriced. Results are nice provided you take the proper steps.