Author Topic: Home zinc plating.  (Read 280 times)

Online Brian

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Home zinc plating.
« on: 23.01. 2021 02:58 »
This may (or may not) interest some. For awhile I have been thinking about buying a zinc or nickel home plating kit, but before I spend money (something I am not too keen on !) I thought I would have a go at a very basic set up and see what happened. Total outlay of $4.75, $3.50 for a zinc anode and $1.25 for 2 litres of vinegar.

I used two old 1.5v torch batteries in unison as a power supply, together they still had 2.5v in them. The zinc anode was a small one I bought at the local marine shop.

It actually seems to work quite well and I think I will go ahead and buy a better set up with a proper power supply.

The main reason for all this is convenience, not having to try and put together a decent amount of stuff to send to a commercial plater, you can do just one bolt if thats all thats needed.

I gave each bit about an hour in the plating tub. It comes out with a dull grey finish so you need to brush it up with some steel wool or a small wire brush to get a shiney finish.

Considering the small outlay and the simplicity I am very happy so far.

Online Greybeard

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Re: Home zinc plating.
« Reply #1 on: 23.01. 2021 08:57 »
I did some zinc plating when I was doing up my bike. I bought an off cut of zinc sheet to use for anodes. For the power I used an old style battery charger until it went pop. Smooth parts plated OK but if the part was pitted it didn't do very well. I think I did not get the parts clean enough.

Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: Home zinc plating.
« Reply #2 on: 24.01. 2021 11:36 »
To plate properly you really need to polish with a stitch mop.
Stuff like bolts have to be treated with several solutions and the plating bath needs levelers & brighteners in it.
Bike Beesa

Online Rex

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Re: Home zinc plating.
« Reply #3 on: 24.01. 2021 11:48 »
Which is why I give a whole machine's-worth of nuts, washers, studs and bolts (about half a small bucket-full) to my local platers and he does the lot for about twenty five quid.
Really not worth the effort to try home plating, unless it's for personal satisfaction.

Online Brian

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Re: Home zinc plating.
« Reply #4 on: 24.01. 2021 22:09 »
The comments are all correct of course, better polishing and chemicals etc would give a better result.

This was more an exercise to see what could be achieved with next to no cost at home.

Using a commercial plater is ok but for me my nearest is 400 k's away so all dealing has to be done on the phone or by mail.

I had not had any zinc done for many years as I make everything out of stainless for my British bikes but I have restored a couple of japanese bikes over the last year and did get all the nuts/bolts etc zinc plated which got me thinking about the DIY possibility.

Online muskrat

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Re: Home zinc plating.
« Reply #5 on: 25.01. 2021 21:07 »
G'day Brian.
A friend's son got a DIY home kit. He loves it. I haven't seen the work 1st hand but his dad (has a few BSA's) said the results were almost as good as original.
A kit is on my wish list.
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR,  '83 CB1100F, 88 FXST .
Muskys Plunger A7