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DucatiMichael
04-15-2013, 10:45 PM
Ok, if Powder Coating was a 4 on the HSOI (Hawley Scale of Incompetence) meaning that he could do it without dying, electroplating falls to a 2 on the HSOI (Joes retarded offspring could do this without spilling from their sippy cup).

For those not in the know, electroplating is the method by which you put thin layers of actual metal on parts. In this example I am putting a coating of copper onto a steel bolt head for my bobber project but electroplating can be used for all sorts of metals: coppper, brass, silver, gold, chromite (chrome plating). You name it.

There are naturally a few caveats that are particular to each type of metal. In the case of copper if you are going to plate over stainless steel you need to put down a different coat first. Thankfully the bolts I am working on are just plain old 41L40 steel (not stainless).

Since the bobber project doesnt require a large volume of plating (mostly bolt heads) I decided to get a small kit sold by Caswell called the "Plug n' Plate" (http://www.caswellplating.com/plug-n-plate-brush-plating-kits.html) kit which ran a yev-friendly $35. I also wanted to start small and see how I enjoyed plating before investing further.

BTW that $35 is the entirety of the startup cost. Thats it. They make much larger kits for things the size of, say, valve covers or engine cases for around $150.

Anyway, start with your kit which contains a power supply, a wand that is particular to the type of plating you are doing, and some liquid which in the case of copper plating is copper sulfate.

The only thing else you will need is a glass and something to plate.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KPBLNfAJZzQ/UWyfnQZJJfI/AAAAAAAAJ2A/vkw_gRC1Dms/s800/20130415_170021.jpg

Start by preparing your part. It needs to be COMPLETELY clean of any contaminants. Oil, grease, fingerprints. For me since the bolts had been on a bike covered in chrome I am sure that the prior owner must have waxed them so I opted to give the bolts a quick bead blasting. You could probably just go over it with acetone or some other cleaner but I wanted to be completely sure.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-CJnxry4AbtA/UWyfoGrAODI/AAAAAAAAJ1s/q-q5_Z4zZRQ/s800/20130415_174337.jpg

Pour the liquid into the glass, connect the red (positive) clip into the copper wand, connect the black (negative) alligator clip to the part you want to plate.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-DPzQvrfmS1g/UWyfnb4nPwI/AAAAAAAAJ1c/Z5FLGI1m6FA/s800/20130415_170634.jpg

Here is the magic: Plug it into the wall. Put the part into the liquid being careful not to touch the part to the wand.

Here you can see the reaction taking place, the little bubbles coming off of the part. If you look closely you can actually see the copper coming off of the wand and moving towards the bolt.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-uUXBepDAM3Y/UWyfndCX3cI/AAAAAAAAJ1Y/dg5Yk5s9fiE/s800/20130415_170713.jpg

Wait 1 minute, pull the part out, and marvel at how awesome you are for being able to do something so cool.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-_QiEJ632JHI/UWyfoDcQk2I/AAAAAAAAJ10/FRxykRZ0P3U/s800/20130415_172704.jpg

Remember this is REAL copper which means it will tarnish just like real copper. Best bet at this point is to put a clear coat over it to protect the copper and keep it shiny. I will do this but I actually want a little bit of tarnish on it so I will be waiting a couple of days before powder coating clear onto the bolt heads.

Its hard to tell due to the damn bling from the stupid chrome but here are some of the bolts back on the bike.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WEhKg5qjKWw/UWyfoKw6vlI/AAAAAAAAJ18/RemnJGPRG1E/s800/20130415_174144.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Eo3-fEliuG4/UWyfoyxhVQI/AAAAAAAAJ14/F4p7CsIx-OE/s800/20130415_181842.jpg

Joey Lawrence
04-15-2013, 11:26 PM
Well played
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_1_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10B329 Safari/8536.25

Danny500
04-15-2013, 11:37 PM
I can't wait for the day you use all of your talents and just build an entire motorcycle from scratch.

It'd be the platedpowdercarbonglassfiberawesome-mobile.

Evil Vin
04-15-2013, 11:47 PM
Another great write up. I'd be interested in doing small chrome piece like door handles and such for restoration.

loudog
04-16-2013, 07:03 AM
That's sweet. Cool to know it can be done for short money.

Tunertype
04-16-2013, 07:31 AM
Good write up. I was looking into plating a while ago, but never really got the stuff for it. Most of the kits included a container which can also get pricey depending on how big you want to go and of course the chemicals then increase the cost too. I'll have to check out those plug n plate guys.

Also chrome plating is a 3 step process that starts with copper, nickle, then chromium. So the cost is around triple for chrome vs a single metal. Some of the chemicals can be pretty hazardous. An acid bath and polishing are usually used to clean the parts for chroming.

ninja fruit
04-16-2013, 07:39 AM
Magnesium plated swing arm and wheels, rear sets. May have winter project lined up for next season:)

Tunertype
04-16-2013, 07:55 AM
Magnesium plated swing arm and wheels, rear sets. May have winter project lined up for next season:)

Sounds dangerous.... pure magnesium burns hot and bright and can't be put out with water. It's the stuff they use to make the bright white flash in flash bombs and fireworks and it burns extremely hot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95O-bQo04Ok

ninja fruit
04-16-2013, 08:02 AM
http://i.imgur.com/coGtkmO.jpg


Been done a million times but thanks anyways. I am we'll aware of what magnisium is and how it reacts. Many MVs have stock parts of magnisium, even my 73 cb has magnisium parts.

xsiliconkid
04-16-2013, 08:52 AM
nice blue lagoon cocktail!

m3sb
04-16-2013, 09:17 AM
Great write up. I have nothing valuable to add, but I clicked on this because I thought it said "how to electroporate." I thought it seemed a bit out of place on this forum. Anyway, good lesson on anodizing... now back to what I was doing :lurking:

DucatiMichael
04-16-2013, 10:44 AM
Great write up. I have nothing valuable to add, but I clicked on this because I thought it said "how to electroporate." I thought it seemed a bit out of place on this forum. Anyway, good lesson on anodizing... now back to what I was doing :lurking:

Actually anodizing is an entirely separate process and something I will be posting a how-to on soon ;)

mhenry600
04-16-2013, 10:48 AM
Actually anodizing is an entirely separate process and something I will be posting a how-to on soon ;)

That's one that I'll be interested in reading... :cool:

soofle616
04-18-2013, 09:03 AM
Ok lets focus on what's important here, what are the descriptions for each level of the HSOI?

DucatiMichael
04-18-2013, 09:32 AM
Ok lets focus on what's important here, what are the descriptions for each level of the HSOI?

I was actually thinking about that last night =)

FasYankee
04-18-2013, 10:16 AM
what's in the bottle?

The Snowman
04-18-2013, 10:38 AM
Seriously Michael, open your own shop.

DucatiMichael
04-18-2013, 10:44 AM
what's in the bottle?
Copper Sulfate


Seriously Michael, open your own shop.
I have a career already and there is a LARGE difference between people wanting something like this and people willing to PAY for something like this =).

Maybe when I am old(er) and (more) busted I will open a shop as a retirement plan =)

FasYankee
04-18-2013, 01:44 PM
So for silver you need silver sulfate? And what about this process for removing rust from the inside of a gas tank? I understand the process, just not the particulars. From what I understand if you want to remove rust from the inside of a tank, you fill it with the magic fluid, connect the + lead to the tank, put the (-)electrode in the cap submerged in the fluid and connect to a DC power supply. Correct? What's the fluid consist of and what's the electrode made of?

ilikenapalm
04-18-2013, 01:47 PM
Electrolysis.... do a quick google and you should find a bunch of how-to's.

DucatiMichael
04-18-2013, 02:06 PM
The Caswell plating forums (http://forum.caswellplating.com/forum.php) are a great spot for this info.

As for silver plating, I think it is actually done in two parts with different solutions so I am not sure what the chemical makeup of it is.

Rust removal via reverse electro-plating is also covered on their site but not something I am personally familiar with.

My friendly tip: if you ride your motorcycle, you dont get rust in the tank :twofinger: just sayin' :p

FasYankee
04-18-2013, 05:34 PM
It's a project bike. Pretty much a barn find. Probably hasn't been run in a decade!;)

Imbeek
04-18-2013, 11:56 PM
Thanks for the write up, interesting stuff...

ninja fruit
04-19-2013, 05:54 AM
That is very cool sir.

soofle616
04-19-2013, 07:42 AM
What's the fluid consist of and what's the electrode made of?

unicorn blood and leprechaun piss mixed at a ratio of 20:1.05562 exactly

The electrode is the left pinky of a red headed virgin

Tunertype
04-19-2013, 08:15 AM
Do you dilute that solution or use it straight? I noticed you did the derby cover which is pretty big for that amount of solution.

DucatiMichael
04-19-2013, 08:40 AM
Do you dilute that solution or use it straight? I noticed you did the derby cover which is pretty big for that amount of solution.

Ahh, young grasshopper. The derby cover is powder coated =) Hard to tell the difference, yes? =)

But to answer your question, you do not dilute the solution when electroplating

Tunertype
04-19-2013, 09:15 AM
Ahh, young grasshopper. The derby cover is powder coated =) Hard to tell the difference, yes? =)

But to answer your question, you do not dilute the solution when electroplating

Ah cool.

Pluto
04-19-2013, 10:14 AM
way cool mike!