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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

Removing Nickel Plating.


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  #1  
Old 06-12-2009, 09:16 PM
Keith Keith is offline
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Default Removing Nickel Plating.

Does anyone know of a simple method similar to electrolysis or plating in which one could remove nickel plating? Possibly by having some form of a liquid solution and using a battery.
Keith,
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:12 PM
Ed Radtke Ed Radtke is offline
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Default Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

electrolysis is the answer
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:33 PM
Larry Rusch Larry Rusch is offline
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Default Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

The easiest way to remove nickel plating is with a fairly strong sulfuric acid solution, say 50% with about 5% of glycerine added as a fining agent. If you want to use electrolysis, make the work the anode in a weaker sulfuric acid solution, about 10%. You will also need to add a chloride salt (called an anode corrodant) to destroy the passivation. A few percent of table salt will suffice. Pay attention to the work because you will get pitting by this method if you are not careful. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:35 PM
Frank Hoskins Frank Hoskins is offline
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Default Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

I know you have your reasons for taking it off.But to have an item nickle plated...was to prevent wear and tear and rust.And
it can be wire wheeled cleaned to renickel plate it.What is it
that needs cleaning off?
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:32 AM
Sky
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Default Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

It went on with electrolisis it'l come off with electrolisis. Dont know why your removing it though?
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:09 AM
Peter Peter is offline
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Default Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

I did this once with electrolysis. It worked about 90%, then that last little bits were hard or impossable too remove. the problem is that when they do the plating the electrode is nickel, so the deposit matterial is 100% nickel, but in the removal process both nickel and base brass are removed form the object, So the last little bit in the nooks and crannies will stay behind as the brass is slowly removed from the large exposed surface closer to the electode. At some point, I had to resort to an abrasive (sanding, filing) to get the last bit off.

all that acid was a mess to dispose of. never again for me.

I would have to ask Larry if he actually used his method with success? Ideally, you need something, chemical or electric that will eat the nickel ONLY. Get down into the knurling and deep pocket. I never found a solution to that, pun intended.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:01 PM
Larry Rusch Larry Rusch is offline
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Default Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

Yes, I have used these solutions, and others. Some substantially more aggressive. I gave a couple of relatively simple recipes that (generally) work with materials that are readily available. There are more exotic mixtures but are useless unless one can obtain the materials to formulate them. Stripping is no different than plating, it's easy to do an "average" job but a lot more art and science is needed for a "show quality" job. Stripping solutions, like plating solutions are often tailored for the specific job they are doing. One other point to keep in mind, unlike the "electrolysis" discussed frequently on this forum (which is simply electrolytic alkaline cleaning) stripping solutions are often sensitive to age and use. Their stripping characteristics change with time. Unless one knows what they are doing they can end up chasing their tail, and ruining the work. What I gave are "good" general purpose solutions. This is what the original question was for. If you want to juice these recipes up add a percent or so of hydrogen peroxide just before use. The stripping rate will increase severalfold, but the tendency to pit will also increase somewhat. Keep in mind that if you go this route the solution will not act totally predictably, it will age very quickly and probably have little shelf life. So much for a short course in electrochemistry. Hope it helps.
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:59 AM
ArtLinkloader ArtLinkloader is offline
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Default Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

I do some plating here and there. Electroless Ni. can be stripped with hydrochloric acid, thats what I use to prepair the metal to be plated. If the piece was not cleaned well and the plating is spotty I strip it with the acid. I have been doing this for a long time and it is the standard in metal plating. As for disposal of the chems, dilution is the soultion to pollution.
YMMV Art.
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Old 12-29-2014, 10:04 PM
Robecob Robecob is offline
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Default Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

Greetings. I had a heavy layer of nickel plating removed by a plating shop near Toronto from vintage motorcycle steel wheel rims and Gas-Tank panels, intending to polish them and then have them re-chromed. There were many slight rusted areas. This plating Company had done superb work for me before. Unfortunately when I received the parts back they were so badly pitted and grooved as to be unsalvageable. I understand the cause of small pits, but all 4 parts also had what is best described as snail-trail type deep grooves, often running parallel in sets of 3 to 10. I have never seen this before, and wondered if anyone here may know the cause. Much obliged. Rob Cambridge Ontario Canada
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:44 AM
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Brian Triebner Brian Triebner is offline
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Default Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

Maybe luck or unlucky depending what you wanted but I cleaned 3/4 of the nickel off an indicator valve with a hot water pressure washer. Little mistake there!
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:43 AM
John Crofoot John Crofoot is offline
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Default Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robecob View Post
Greetings. I had a heavy layer of nickel plating removed by a plating shop near Toronto from vintage motorcycle steel wheel rims and Gas-Tank panels, intending to polish them and then have them re-chromed. There were many slight rusted areas. This plating Company had done superb work for me before. Unfortunately when I received the parts back they were so badly pitted and grooved as to be unsalvageable. I understand the cause of small pits, but all 4 parts also had what is best described as snail-trail type deep grooves, often running parallel in sets of 3 to 10. I have never seen this before, and wondered if anyone here may know the cause. Much obliged. Rob Cambridge Ontario Canada
Rob the snail trail is called channeling. It comes when gas bubbles form and start a line up the side of the casting. More bubbles coming up the same line cutting a grove in the part. It helps to rotate the part. John
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:34 AM
Robecob Robecob is offline
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Unhappy Re: Removing Nickel Plating.

All the best for 2015 Everyone. Thanks for the explanation for the channels John, now I understand. Unfortunately the rims are beyond salvage, fortunately I can still buy NOS rims in the UK for 85 pounds each + shipping. Rob Ecob Canada
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