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another plating issue

Posted by twigworker 
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twigworker Avatar
Jack Austin
Blowing Rock, NC, USA   usa

I originally composed this as a comment post to the thread below concerning re-plating of the door strikers and locks, but on second thought I will start a new thread in order to not disrupt that one.smiling smiley

I have had mixed results with plating and need some words of wisdom.

I have for along time wanted to plate SU bodies and vacuum chambers. Specifically I think that being plated with either copper or bronze would look especially cool. But after buying one of the Eastwood kit and experimenting a whole bunch I still have not gotten anything near to what I want, in fact most results have been really bad.

In doing these experiments and talking to several folks, I have come to the conclusion that the SU parts are not made of your usual run of the mill zinc or tin or aluminum or even pot metal. They seem to be made of Kryptonite or something that will resist plating until the end of time.

Does anyone here have any first hand experience or other constructive comments?

Jack



--------------------------------------- Services to Interesting British Automobiles-----------------------------------
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-------------I like to think that I don't service automobiles so much as I provide entertainment, fulfill dreams and revive wonderful memories --------------

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-03-06 05:13 PM by twigworker.

sws615 Avatar
Stephen Struck
Grand Haven, MI, USA   usa
1967 MG MGB GT
1975 MG MGB "Commission # G23N124120"
2007 Acura TL Type-S

That's an interesting question Jack. I would have guessd they were Al. But what do I know? Know anyone with an SEM?

More seriously, I'm trying to torture my brain into giving up some of the plating methods that my plant used to do. Clearly, I was a spectator, not a plating guy. But I do know that copper was frequently used under more noble plating materials, and that Al is a tough material because of the Al oxides that are typically on its surface. Don't know anything about the Eastwood process, but Ni is a good substrate for many other plating elements. Maybe try a nickel strike before whatever you want as the top layer? Good luck.

And remember plating is more of an art than science. devil smiley

Steve

twigworker Avatar
Jack Austin
Blowing Rock, NC, USA   usa

Yep, I've "cleaned" the carb material six way from Sunday, wire brushing, dipping in "soak type" carb cleaner, scrubbing with all kinds of cleanser, vinegar solutions, if I haven't tried it I want to know what else to do.

The answer is illusive but some way, some time I intend o find out how to do it.winking smiley

Jack



--------------------------------------- Services to Interesting British Automobiles-----------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------www.jackscars.net ----------------------------------------------------

-------------I like to think that I don't service automobiles so much as I provide entertainment, fulfill dreams and revive wonderful memories --------------

I am in the northwestern North Carolina mountains, right up against the Blue Ridge Parkway. Lawn chairs are in the shop and always time to talk. Drop in any time.

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Restoman Avatar
Dana R
amston, connecticut, USA   usa

Jack, I don't know what "mystery" metal alloy they used for SU's, and I'm sure they can be plated, because I've seen chromed domes. But for home brewed solutions, you might want to see what Caswell offers in their line of anodizing kits for non-ferous metals. just a thought.

pinkyponk Avatar
Adrian Page
Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada   can

I have not tried plating an SU with zinc but I did plate my oil filter adapter and it's aluminum as far as I know. I will check it out for you tomorrow. I don't think you can do copper over aluminum but I'm pretty sure copper will stick to zinc. You may need a 2 step process.

Anodizing would do it... but I haven't tried that... yet. I've got some GT trim that needs doing...

The Eastwood kit is an inferior setup to what we are using in the door latch thread BTW.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-03-07 09:26 AM by pinkyponk.

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melbaver Avatar
Chris Howells
Broadwater NSW, Australia   aus
1968 MG MGB "Moneypit"
1996 Jeep Cherokee "Shopping Trolley"

Red & White rouge sticks on a normal buffing wheel & a Dremel for the tight corners will bring them up a treat. The SU Chambers come out as bright as a pin.

Got my tip from here:

http://www.teglerizer.com/mgstuff/polishedcarbs.htm



Chris Howells

1968 MGB Purchased already dis-assembled which is why I'm often ignorant about what some parts are, and even more ignorant of where they go.


twigworker Avatar
Jack Austin
Blowing Rock, NC, USA   usa

Yep, thanks guys. I have my polishing down pretty well, not quite as brilliant as what a media tumbler can do or as insanely clean as what comes out of Jeff Schlemmer's place, but close to a mirror anyway for me.

BTW: I made a mistake in my first post when I referred to Eastwood when I should have said Caswell.

I have tried several finishes from one of their kit outfits and, as I say, I was completely under-impressed.

Someone, some where, out there MUST know the trick to this, I just have to find him.confused smiley

Jack



--------------------------------------- Services to Interesting British Automobiles-----------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------www.jackscars.net ----------------------------------------------------

-------------I like to think that I don't service automobiles so much as I provide entertainment, fulfill dreams and revive wonderful memories --------------

I am in the northwestern North Carolina mountains, right up against the Blue Ridge Parkway. Lawn chairs are in the shop and always time to talk. Drop in any time.

. You can hide this ad & support the site by upgrading to a Gold Membership ~ click here for more info
British Classics Avatar
Brad Pace
Deep Creek, Wa., USA   usa

Jack, Have you considered chromate finishes like Alodine? It's easy to use and not very expensive. Here is a link that may give you food for thought. http://anodizingservice.com/chemfilm.htm This website will give yo a visual of what it does and this one will sell it to you. http://shop.trimite.com/Alodine-600x1 It comes by other names and you should be able to source it in your neck of the woods.

Rod H. Avatar
Amity, Oregon, USA   usa
1964 MG MGB
1968 MG MGB GT

I think you are 100% correct, Jack. I've never, ever seen Superman driving an MG. smiling smiley



I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. John Cage

'63 MGB
'68 MGBGT
'80 VW Vanagon Kombi
'09 Mazda 3 with 5 speed manual

B-racer Avatar
Jeff Schlemmer
Minnesota, USA   usa
1950 Willys Jeep Pickup "Ratrod"
1955 Chevrolet Thriftmaster
1958 MG magnette
1971 MG MGB "POS"
1973 MG Midget MkII   → more

If I'm not mistaken, the only way to plate aluminum (alloys) is to use a vacuum process where they literally spray metal in the air and the vacuum sticks it to the surface of the alloy, similar to how you chrome plate plastics. Expensive, and it doesn't always hold up well.

I use a cheap Eastwood plating kit occasionally, and if I have a part that's part alloy, I can plate the whole thing and wipe the plating right off the aluminum, while it holds on the steel.

BTW, I do offer polishing for carb bodies if you're interested...



jeff@advanceddistributors.com

twigworker Avatar
Jack Austin
Blowing Rock, NC, USA   usa

Thanks guys! And thanks for the thought Jeff. Somehow I didn't consider the possibility of the metal NOT receiving a plating. ???

FWIW Dana, most likely you saw those extremely thin covers for the vacuum bells. They are chromed, but they have their drawbacks. I think that I prefer just the polished original metal.

I suppose I'll just stick with my old rouge and buffing wheel, but...Brad may be on to something.. I;ll check out his links.

Jack



--------------------------------------- Services to Interesting British Automobiles-----------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------www.jackscars.net ----------------------------------------------------

-------------I like to think that I don't service automobiles so much as I provide entertainment, fulfill dreams and revive wonderful memories --------------

I am in the northwestern North Carolina mountains, right up against the Blue Ridge Parkway. Lawn chairs are in the shop and always time to talk. Drop in any time.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-03-07 08:01 AM by twigworker.

pinkyponk Avatar
Adrian Page
Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada   can

This SU bell seemed to plate fine. I did not clean the part with any solvent or soap. I blasted it with aluminum oxide and then wire wheeled it. 30 minutes in the plating tank at 3 amps 4.5 volts. Dipped it in blue chromate for 30 seconds. It's not very pretty as I didn't polish or sand out any defects. The wire wheel kind of beats the aluminum up more than it buffs it. Seems to be as scratch resistant as any plating I've done though. Perfectly durable for a dashpot.

An interesting side note... it didn't plate inside the bell any more than a 1/2 inch. May not need to worry about messing up the inner bore size.

Have you had success plating steel?


Attachments:
ZincSU.jpg    39.7 KB
ZincSU.jpg

pinkyponk Avatar
Adrian Page
Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada   can

A little research indicates that pure aluminum would be zincated before plating. Zincating would involve dipping the prepared part in a solution similar to the chromating procedure we are familiar with. Zincate solution is available from Caswell.

The SU parts must have a high zinc content as they seem to plate fine without zincate.

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