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machines which I have made, am making, or intend to make, and some other stuff. If you find this site interesting, please leave a comment.

Tag: electroplating

Beam Engine Column after turning, before plating

NICKEL PLATING CAST IRON

3 photos of the beam engine column
1. The casting, roughly the shape, with a very tough external layer
2 After turning, nicely shaped and shiny, but quickly develops surface rust
3. After nickel plating, not perfect, but not bad for a beginner. The nickel only plated those surfaces which had been machined. A few deep pits on the surface did not accept the nickel plating. I had conflicting advice about the adviseabilty of plating cast iron, but overall, I am quite pleased with end result. I might have overdone the electroplating brightener additive. One colleague called it engine “bling”.

Toolrest for Grinder -2

At least most of the wine ended up in the glass this time.

THE NICKEL PLATED WORKSHOP -2

A few snapshots from my iphone while I was doing the first nickel plating.

THE NICKEL PLATED WORKSHOP

The stainless steel tank was welded up using a mig welder with stainless wire ($150 for 5kg of wire… ouch).  I had some stainless steel leftovers from some benches which I made a few years ago.  The stainless was cut with an angle grinder.  That was easy with the correct blade in a 9″ grinder.  Like cutting butter with a hot knife, well sort of…

The folds in the steel were 400mm long and the steel was 1.6mm thick.  I wondered whether my 20 tonne press would manage.  I made an anvil out of redgum and the blade from a lump of 45 x 45mm steel 450mm long.  The hydraulic press managed to push the fold with some grunting from me.   The wooden anvil did its job superbly, with not a mark or a dent.  Redgum is amazing.

My MIG welding of stainless steel was very ordinary indeed.  I was using gas for ordinary mild steel.  And it is a while since i have done any welding.  The last time I welded stainless I used TIG with the correct gas, and it was OK.  But this was just a quick job and I did not want to spend on a TIG gas cylinder for this one job.  So I just MIGged it and try not to look at the end result.  I am not proud of it.  Also I had to go back a few times to reweld areas which leaked.  In the end I have a useable but not pretty tank 400x200x150mm which will hold 12 litres of electrolyte.

See the next slide show post of the electroplating setup.  

My friend Phil who had done the zinc plating came around and together we followed the Jane instructions.  Our first effort was not perfect.  The plating was nice and shiny, but it was not even. See the lathe tool in the slide show.   Reason?   Amps too high?  Temperature too high?  Electroplating too long?  Work not well enough prepared? All of the above???   Anyway, next time, I was scrupulous with the degreasing, held the temperature to 50-55c, kept the current below 2 amps, and the result was much better, although still not perfect.   More pics later.  A quick rub with Scotchbrite resulted in a lovely smooth silvery finish.

I cant wait to get back into the workshop.

 

Electroplating

A friend recently purchased a kit for electroplating small metal items with zinc.  I was a bit skeptical about the value of such a kit, but after some urging I gave him a small tool which I had de-rusted by soaking in “Evaporust”, for him to demonstrate the effect of zinc plating.

Well, was I impressed!  The tool, ( a multi pronged punch) came back gleaming silver, and the brand which previously was indecipherable, was now quite clear.  And being zinc, it will not rust again, for a very long time.

Now I was looking at many items in my workshop, with which I was/am fighting a losing battle to prevent rusting, and which I could electroplate.  Also, various steel components on my engines, which were showing early signs of rust.  Of course they could be painted, but I like the metal look.

My friend had bought the zinc plating kit, so I ordered the nickel plating kit.  Nickel plating is also rust proof, but is is very hard with anti wear properties, and can be polished to a high shine, similar to chrome.  It is also used to increase the dimensions of parts (by tiny amounts, but often that is all that is required).   

The kit has arrived,  and I am currently welding up a stainless steel tank.  To make the tank I first had to make a sheet metal folder.  I had searched the net and Ebay for a suitable tank, but could find nothing the right size.  I even went to the local tip shop, because they have a lot of dumped stainless steel sinks, but nothing in the size I wanted.  

The folder is made, the tank is almost finished, and first nickel plating to happen today.  Photos to follow.  Watch this space. 

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