Question on electroplating

Discussion in 'Gunsmith shop' started by lklawson, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    I'm seriously considering trying my hand at home-hobbyist electroplating some firearm parts, nickel and maybe zinc.

    So, for those of you who have experience in plating firearm parts, I have a few questions.

    I'm probably going to experiment with plating steel tubular magazine bodies first. From what I've read and been told, metal prep is a key element. So far, however, the only metal prep I've seen has been simple cleaning and thorough degreasing. If I do decide to try this, should I remove bluing from blued parts?

    With nickel plating, I understand that "porous" plating is a quick way to encourage under-plating rust, as galvanic action (from sweat, for instance) turns the steel into a sacrificial anode. Is there any way to be sure that the plating job is not porous, in particular? Can I tell by looking at it? Is it just a matter of leaving it the bath long enough/enough cycles to ensure complete plating?

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  2. As a old hippie from the late sixties, and the owner of BSA chopper I am familiar with the electro plating concept. I have done it myself on small parts. Normally a steel part is brass plated before chrome plated to stop that underlying rust and pealing.

    I used small batches of chemicals, and at that time the battery re manufacturer would dispose of them for me with his chemicals. There are plating processes that use less dangerous chemicals, electroless nickle. Or you can try your hand at vinegar plating, but the results will not be as pretty. I prefer painting to plating myself.
     

  3. Moestooge

    Moestooge Member

    673
    47
    I'd like a nickel-plated H-P to go with my green one.
     
  4. Hermitt

    Hermitt Hey! Get Off My Lawn! Member

    I worked in a chrome electroplating shop when I was in my early 20s (around '77 or so) and after grinding/polishing the bare metal parts, they would be hot washed, copper plated, polished, hot washed again, copper flash then nickel, then chrome. (triple plating) A lot of parts that we stripped to replate were originally plated nickel/chrome and would have a lot of pitting.