Victorian Sweatshop Forum
Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Kitcarlson

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #1 
My next project might be bright nickel plating.  I have a few machines with rust pits, scratches or peeled plating.  Items include slide plates, presser feet, thumb screws, and hand wheel rims. The small parts are typically steel, and hand wheels are cast iron.

I have been researching plating articles and youtube videos, at this point I have more questions than answers. Many suggest copper plating on steel prior to nickel plate.  I have not found copper under plating on Singer machines.

There is tank plating and wand/brush plating. Both are similar, however one example suggested not pulling item from tank when bright plating.  The tank was being agitated using an aquarium pump, to air was introduced that way, so not sure it matters.  I think using a polypropylene bag on nickel anode helps with bright plating. Saccharine and magnesium sulfate are possible adders to enhance bright plating.

Many suggest using white vinegar (acetic acid), and table salt, to make nickel acetate, then place item an negative supply and use nickel as anode. I worry about salt, and wonder if that relates to rust pits.  The salt helps with conductivity of electrolyte, but some say work without, but slow, that may work fine.

About all I know now, even simple plating has many variables. Variables include plating solution formulation, temperature, current/voltage,  time, cleaning and pre-treatment of item. Pre-treatment may include mechanical polishing, electrolytic, and chemical cleaning.

My plan is to start small and try to work things out.  I will use a lab book, and change one thing at a time.

I have a external shop room, to keep fumes out of house. Work area will be vented, and personal safety equipment will be used.  Nickel is also considered a danger, some say it is for ornamentation, no touchy.

Please comment about any of this.



__________________
Dave in middle TN
0
stitchntime

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 324
Reply with quote  #2 
My only comment is that I look forward to seeing your future posts on this.  It's very interesting.

Greg
0
JWrobel

Junior Member
Registered:
Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #3 
I am glad to see someone is doing this and posting about it.  I have heard and seen some articles but don't know anyone who has actually attempted it.  It seems that most of the "old" machines we get to play with had their bits nickel plated, and by the time we get to touch them they have been neglected long enough that the nickel is somewhat compromised by rust.  I am eager to learn about how you go about doing this.  Thank You. John Wrobel
0
Kitcarlson

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #4 
I decided to build some electronics to control plating voltage, current, regulate temperature, and perhaps agitate solution or part. It will no take too long, perhaps a week. I an also trying to find 0.5 micron filter for anode, and pur chase nickel chloride as plating adder.

I found a good white paper on plating, see below.

Also a good youtube video on plating, doing as sewing machine slide plate.

 
Attached Files
pdf 2011-131.pdf (182.16 KB, 8 views)


__________________
Dave in middle TN

0
pgf

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,215
Reply with quote  #5 
I'll be interested to hear the results on pieces that are already partly plated -- i.e. the sewing machine pieces that are partly worn.  (I haven't watched the video -- maybe they cover that.)
__________________
My machines: http://projects.foxharp.net/sewing_machines/by-age
0
Kitcarlson

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #6 
Paul, I wonder about that too. It may be necessary to remove old plating, and polish and clean parts, prior to plating. I have been researching chrome and nickel removal. Methods for that seem outside diy, due to toxic nature and safety concerns.


__________________
Dave in middle TN
0
pgf

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,215
Reply with quote  #7 
Also important for the pieces being replated to be in good shape.  Someone on FB posted pictures of a W&G they chromed -- in its entirety!  But the machine had been dinged up a bit, and all those dings and dents show up terribly through the chrome.  Paint would have flowed over some, and you could have filled others.  (But obviously you can't paint a needle bar or presser foot lever.)

paul

__________________
My machines: http://projects.foxharp.net/sewing_machines/by-age
0
Kitcarlson

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #8 
In automotive bumper restorations pitted areas are built up with copper plate, then polished out and plated.

I ordered a replacement Singer 101 plate for a friend. It had really nice plating, but it was too tight to slide. I fit by using fine wet/dry sandpaper on edges. I found copper under nickel/chrome. It looked fine after fit, edges do not show.

If tank plating goes well, brush/wand plating may be next. It may help control thickness. Tank plating thickness varies with electric field between anode and cathode. The field varies with distance, and part geometry. An example is a back side away from anode, will plate very little.

There are electroless, chemical plating solutions without need for electricity. Those methods are more proprietary, less diy due to hazards and more complex steps. Electroless plating has even plating thickness.

__________________
Dave in middle TN
0
SteveH-VSS

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 5,178
Reply with quote  #9 
I have a plating machine that I use pretty regularly.  I currently have Nickle, Copper, and Silver plating solutions.  MANY of the machines I have with worn plating show the copper transition layer.  I have recently started using it and the plating seems to come out better when I do.  (Recently =  just before we moved 6 mos ago...)
__________________
Antioch, California
0
Kitcarlson

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #10 
Steve, Sounds like going to copper first might be best way. I will try that first.

Have you tried plating a cast iron hand wheel rim? I was thinking about using a microwave rotation motor to spin wheel, the rest would be out solution. Connected to cathode supply.

__________________
Dave in middle TN
0
SteveH-VSS

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 5,178
Reply with quote  #11 
nope, not yet.
__________________
Antioch, California
0
pgf

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,215
Reply with quote  #12 
Steve -- did you get that plating machine for sewing machines, or for armor?
__________________
My machines: http://projects.foxharp.net/sewing_machines/by-age
0
SteveH-VSS

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 5,178
Reply with quote  #13 
LOL< Actually for Jewelry making.  I have a particular fondness for doing pierce work
__________________
Antioch, California
0
Kitcarlson

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #14 
I gathered a few things for plating bath temperature control, electrode power, and monitoring system.

Attached Images
jpeg 20200421_081116.jpg (199.76 KB, 7 views)


__________________
Dave in middle TN

0
Deb Milton

Member
Registered:
Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #15 
I’ll be following this thread closely.  MR has been telling me for months I should re-plate some of the machine parts I have.  I told him that is another hobby and I am not interested, but he is welcome to learn all about it.  I have enough hobbies, and working on machines is keeping me from my sewing as it is. 😄 
__________________
I used to sew, but now I collect sewing machines.
0
genny_rob

Junior Member
Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #16 
I went through all of this several years ago and was not pleased with my results.  I'm glad to see you walking us through your process.
__________________
Chuck and Genny in Indianapolis
0
Kitcarlson

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #17 
If things work out well, i hope to post a how-to of working process.

I may start with off the shelf metal salts of lab purity, and di or ro water. The proposed electrical system may lead to repeatable results. There are still variables in cleaning process, maintenance of plating bath with use, and handling of toxic wastes.

__________________
Dave in middle TN
0
Deb Milton

Member
Registered:
Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #18 
I’ll be following this thread closely.  MR has been telling me for months I should re-plate some of the machine parts I have.  I told him that is another hobby and I am not interested, but he is welcome to learn all about it.  I have enough hobbies, and working on machines is keeping me from my sewing as it is. 😄 
__________________
I used to sew, but now I collect sewing machines.
0
Kitcarlson

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #19 
I did some work on the plating equipment. I constructed a plexiglass shield and base to support heater, and provide shield for electronics. I tested heater and temperature controller. In testing plating power supply i discovered the constant current regulator would only go down to about 3/4 of an amp. I decided to buy a different power controller with built-in measurement and logging features. I will no longer need the micro controller board.

I purchased nickel salts in ebay, nickel chloride, and nickel sulfate. I plan to use those for making a Watts bath solution.

I have also been researching pre-plating cleaning and treatment. Plating can result in hydrogen embrittlement of steel. Post baking immediately after plating can release the hydrogen gas entrapped in electroplate process.

I am in a bit of a quandary about copper plate of steel prior to nickel. Nickel plates well on copper, but home methods of copper plate on steel, do not go well unless strong acids, or cyanide is involved. Muratic acid may work, but it can rust things in my shop. Instead, i might try to use a nickel strike, a nickel chloride short electrolytic pre-treatment.

Posting a picture of a few wild turkeys that wander around. This picture was taken a few weeks ago.

Attached Images
jpeg 20200419_090210.jpg (235.16 KB, 14 views)


__________________
Dave in middle TN

0
Chaly

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 893
Reply with quote  #20 
You're really covering a lot of details on many aspects of this process and your results will be really helpful - thanks for sharing what you are doing.

And it's kind of nice to see those wild turkeys - a welcome diversion!
0
Kitcarlson

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #21 
Chaly,
I am feeling hesitant at actually starting a process. I often have a desire to do something, then research the situation, and develop a mental work plan, with a vision of the end. I then execute, and have good results. Plating has many variables, and I lack significant direct experience. I feel like a plan is starting to take shape slowly, but very fuzzy.

Here is a deer picture. This deer is my watcher, it checks on me almost daily.

Attached Images
jpeg 20180522_062337.jpg (177.39 KB, 8 views)


__________________
Dave in middle TN

0
Mavis

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,069
Reply with quote  #22 

Dave, we had a young deer come down the gravel road, and started to turn into our driveway, stopping and looking towards the barn.  It was still early, and I hadn't turned the ponies out to the pasture yet that day, and he seemed to be missing them!  I think he was checking up on them!

__________________
Mavis
from Minnesota
0
Kitcarlson

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #23 
Deer are curious, and friendly. I have seen baby deer touch noses with my cat.
__________________
Dave in middle TN
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.