Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29

Thread: How to: Electroplate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    rocky hill, ct USA
    Posts
    8,954

    Default How to: Electroplate

    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" 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    Wait 1 minute, pull the part out, and marvel at how awesome you are for being able to do something so cool.


    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.


    Last edited by DucatiMichael; 04-15-2013 at 10:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hamden
    Posts
    11,427

    Default

    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

  3. #3
    Danny500 Guest

    Default

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Meriden, CT
    Posts
    4,665

    Default

    Another great write up. I'd be interested in doing small chrome piece like door handles and such for restoration.
    R.I.P Matt V - 9/19/10

    R.I.P. Reed - 3/23/08

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Warmth and Sunshine
    Posts
    1,683

    Default

    That's sweet. Cool to know it can be done for short money.
    Retired! LRRS/CCS EX #212 | Woodcraft| Armour Bodies | Dainese USA |


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Holyoke, MA
    Posts
    918

    Default

    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.
    Last edited by Tunertype; 04-16-2013 at 07:34 AM.
    Signature.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Trump Tower
    Posts
    5,393

    Default

    Magnesium plated swing arm and wheels, rear sets. May have winter project lined up for next season
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Kurtz View Post
    he's a social liability
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamite196 View Post
    Print this out and send it to the social security office as proof of a mental disability.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Holyoke, MA
    Posts
    918

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ninja fruit View Post
    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
    Signature.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Trump Tower
    Posts
    5,393

    Default




    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.
    Last edited by ninja fruit; 04-16-2013 at 08:06 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Kurtz View Post
    he's a social liability
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamite196 View Post
    Print this out and send it to the social security office as proof of a mental disability.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    wrentham
    Posts
    796

    Default

    nice blue lagoon cocktail!
    Graham
    X Expert #58 more haste ......less speed.


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •