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Old 14th Aug 2018, 8:03 pm   #1
GW4FRX
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Default Matt nickel plating?

About a year ago I asked on here whether anyone could suggest an individual or organisation which could matt-nickel-plate a Radford amplifier chassis. Unfortunately I've subsequently got absolutely nowhere. It seems that companies are only interested if you want a large production run and no-one's remotely interested in a one-off. So at the risk of being thought tiresome, I thought I'd ask again.

The "chassis" is a piece of mild steel about 280 x 260mm and about 1mm thick. It's been zinc-plated at some stage but this was damaged by a leaky reservoir capacitor. Happily a colleague managed to strip the plating off it, leaving a steel plate in good visual condition.

If anyone can suggest a route to getting it plated, I'd be enormously appreciative.
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Old 14th Aug 2018, 9:33 pm   #2
Bazz4CQJ
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Default Re: Matt nickel plating?

I recall talking to you when you first posted this. One question to begin with; is it essential that it is nickel plated rather than zinc? I think I'm right in saying that both from a health and safety standpoint, and from an environmental standpoint, zinc would be slightly (?) preferred over nickel.

I think it is the case that these days, that you can buy chemicals for less money than you may have to pay to have the waste and any surplus disposed of legally. I used to do occasional nickel plating of some small components at work many years ago, and none of us thought anything about the waste solution going straight down the sink. I wouldn't do that now, even if I thought I could get away with it. All this makes DIY plating in my/your garage or garden shed slightly more of an issue than it was in the past, but maybe not a 'show stopper'.

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Old 15th Aug 2018, 8:41 am   #3
Argus25
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Default Re: Matt nickel plating?

For this, I would suggest joining a vintage motorcycle restoration group and asking them. They often know of electroplaters set up for one off relatively small sized jobs and they take care of the parts when they have custody of them. Also they normally would do zinc, nickel, copper & chrome.
I was lucky in AU to find a plater that did electro less nickel, it has a matt finish and it plates down holes and into corners because it does not rely on an electric field. There might be someone in the UK who does this for components in the aviation industry.
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 4:35 pm   #4
GW4FRX
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Default Re: Matt nickel plating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argus25 View Post
I was lucky in AU to find a plater that did electro less nickel, it has a matt finish and it plates down holes and into corners because it does not rely on an electric field. There might be someone in the UK who does this for components in the aviation industry.
I've just found a company (Silchrome Plating Ltd of Leeds) who are able to do this at a cost of 60 plus VAT. I've sent the chasiss to them today and look forward to seeing the result.

Now to sort out the amplifier power supply. Quite what Mr Radford was smoking when he designed it is open to conjecture ;-)
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 9:10 pm   #5
Don Henschel
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Default Re: Matt nickel plating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GW4FRX View Post
About a year ago I asked on here whether anyone could suggest an individual or organisation which could matt-nickel-plate a Radford amplifier chassis. Unfortunately I've subsequently got absolutely nowhere. It seems that companies are only interested if you want a large production run and no-one's remotely interested in a one-off. So at the risk of being thought tiresome, I thought I'd ask again.

The "chassis" is a piece of mild steel about 280 x 260mm and about 1mm thick. It's been zinc-plated at some stage but this was damaged by a leaky reservoir capacitor. Happily a colleague managed to strip the plating off it, leaving a steel plate in good visual condition.

If anyone can suggest a route to getting it plated, I'd be enormously appreciative.
In my honest opinion your question most certainly is not tiresome! This is also a question and idea I'm also thinking about as my chassis is dull and has a thin film of surface rust as the flash plating of cadmium on my Philco 444 has deteriorated. Pretty much all of the plating companies have been shut down in my area and I have seen YouTube videos of people performing nickel and copper plating at home by purchasing Nickel and Copper Sulfates or even creating their own electrolytes by using a simple solution of white vinegar with a dash of salt, using a piece of nickel or copper and applying a small voltage to the nickel or copper in the solution until the solution turns blue or green. Cadmium is becoming undesirable due to environmental regs in my area and due to the red tape and conditions these companies shut down or were shut down by the government. Under my tuning condenser it is bright silver and grey everywhere else with a film of rust in some places. Has anybody attempted to do any nickel plating and if so how did it turn out? I don't need a bright polished finish, just a bright silver finish like it is under the variable capacitor. Presently I'm looking for the proper sized eyelets to reattach the valve sockets and when found I can strip the chassis down completely as there really isn't much under the chassis for goodies, not very busy under there.
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 10:19 pm   #6
Argus25
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Default Re: Matt nickel plating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GW4FRX View Post
I've just found a company (Silchrome Plating Ltd of Leeds) who are able to do this at a cost of 60 plus VAT. I've sent the chassis to them today and look forward to seeing the result.
Can you attach a photo of what they were able to achieve with is ? Was it satisfactory ? I'd be interested to compare this with the ones done here in AU.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:58 pm   #7
Uncle Bulgaria
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Default Re: Matt nickel plating?

I'm considering the nickel/vinegar plating method for the head mounting plate for the Ferrograph I have a thread on in the 'tape' section.

I have some nickel pieces for providing the metal, an ancient DC supply and a mask, so I'm just wondering about the scratches left from some dodgy head positioning, and whether I should copper-plate and polish them out first. I understand the plating will not fill any scratches, and actually make them more obvious.

The remnant for the process I'm considering is nickel acetate, which is not very nice and I was concerned about disposal. However, after a few calls to Cornwall Council and a long chat with the top brass at waste disposal, they said it was fine to dispose of it in a sealed, labelled container at the household waste recycling centre's chemical shed. I checked, as in this case it will be a jam jar or similar, rather than a pre-bought bottle of chemical, and was told that as long as it's sealed and labelled they don't require a certain type of container.

Whether I can be bothered to do the plating as the next task, or would prefer to get the machine back together to see if it works first, remains to be seen.
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