1982 CB750F... The resto-not

Jimbonaut

Well-Known Member
DTT SUPPORTER
Well I'll be dipped in shit. Irk, you the man. As my wife just said, I've been Irked. Totally worked. I'm stunned to be honest, just goes to show there's a right way and a whole boat load of wrong.



Now for the main event. Would the process be the same for steel? I mean I can't imagine there's much oxidization on the parts after what they've been through the last few days but what the hell do I know?

Thanks man, my plating game just levelled up.
 

Rider52

Active Member
In the old days we copper plated steel before laying down the nickel. Copper smooths out the imperfections. The steel has to be super clean to get good results. We used Hydrochloric acid to clean parts prior to plating. I've seen some small plating operations that used brake clean. Soaps leave residues that may interfere with the flow of the electrons. Make sure you wear rubber gloves. The oils in your hands will leave deposits on the steel. I worked in a custom plating shop during college. I gold plated the parts on this bike in my garage using car batteries and common chemicals. Chemicals especially the acid are very dangerous. So handle with care. The plating shop I worked at in college is now an EPA Super Fund site. Take your time, do not get discouraged and experiment. I guarantee you are going in the right direction, just keep after it. Try plating a small section of 1/2" copper plumbing pipe.
 

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Jimbonaut

Well-Known Member
DTT SUPPORTER
In the old days we copper plated steel before laying down the nickel. Copper smooths out the imperfections. The steel has to be super clean to get good results. We used Hydrochloric acid to clean parts prior to plating. I've seen some small plating operations that used brake clean. Soaps leave residues that may interfere with the flow of the electrons. Make sure you wear rubber gloves. The oils in your hands will leave deposits on the steel. I worked in a custom plating shop during college. I gold plated the parts on this bike in my garage using car batteries and common chemicals. Chemicals especially the acid are very dangerous. So handle with care. The plating shop I worked at in college is now an EPA Super Fund site. Take your time, do not get discouraged and experiment. I guarantee you are going in the right direction, just keep after it. Try plating a small section of 1/2" copper plumbing pipe.
Thanks for the encouragement man - after the win with the penny just now I'm definitely feeling this whole process more now. Question - the front and back of the penny are looking great, but the outside edge is looking a bit dark, or smutty. Does this have anything to do with the orientation of the object being plated toward the anode? It's one thing with a penny but I wonder how I'll get the nuts and bolts and springs etc all plated evenly if orientation is indeed a factor.

Good to know about the brake clean - that I got. Spritz everything down with that first, or do they need to soak?

Some nice bling on that bike mate, great work
 
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Rider52

Active Member
Yes on the orientation of the object. You need to turn the item being plated periodically to get good coverage. It takes some effort to get good nickel coverage on nuts and bolts. Have you thought about doing a high polish zinc finish? I've been playing around with parkerizing and zinc on some antique parts. Parkerizing has turn into a bit of work but the zinc is really easy. This is a great Youtube video on cleaning parts
It gives you a good idea how to determine if your part is clean. Note Step #3!
 
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Jimbonaut

Well-Known Member
DTT SUPPORTER
Good vid for sure. Hmmm, I'm definitely short a few of those items though, namely all of them hahaha

Here's what I've done -

1. Glass bead-blasted
2. Polished
3. Acetoned

I don't have an ultrasonic cleaner, or the other whatnot in stage 2. No acid either but do have brake cleaner, would a spray of that do it? Bit of a hack job I guess.

Or, can you recommend an industrial cleaner I can buy relatively easily that'll do the job?
 

Rider52

Active Member
All will do the job, you just have to avoid leaving residue. Residue will inhibit the plating process and cause spotting. A good rinse in distilled water after using a cleanser will probably do the job. The most important part (IMO) about cleaning video was how to recognize the part was not clean. Experiment a bit and see what works!
 

Rider52

Active Member
On a side note. I never had an ultrasonic cleaner until a few years ago and I have not used mine to clean any part prior to parkerizing or zinc plating. The other gizmo was also not available. My gold plating process consisted of 6 - 24 volt batteries, volt/amp meters, a reostat to adjust current flow and 4 food grade pickle buckets. I got the buckets free from Kenny Kings (the Cleveland, Ohio version of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the 80s). I used muriatic acid to clean my parts. I got the acid from a plumber friend. The distilled water was free from work. I could have skipped the muratic acid and cleaned everything with acetone, brake clean or one of the cleansers you mentioned. I would have used the same setup for nickel and chrome except Chromium was toxic and there were still plenty of relatively cheap plating companies in the area.
 

Jimbonaut

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DTT SUPPORTER
Sure thing Mike - you saw that photo of the pile of parts on my table? Once I get them plated by, oooh, mid 2028 I'll give you the heads up :D
 

Jimbonaut

Well-Known Member
DTT SUPPORTER
There's a big bike show here in MTL beginning of March and I'm helping a friend out when I can to get his bikes ready for it. One of them is a 1975 GL with 3000 miles on it, it's a beauty. I'll post up some photos here, but it's really got me on the lookout for a 70's goldwing.
 

SONICJK

Reminds me of...me No, I'm sure of it. I hate him
You can get hydrochloric at any hardware store. It's called "muriatic acid" about 30% hcl and plenty strong for the task.
Be careful not to breath the fumes, it's a very unpleasant experience.
 

Maritime

Well-Known Member
You can get hydrochloric at any hardware store. It's called "muriatic acid" about 30% hcl and plenty strong for the task.
Be careful not to breath the fumes, it's a very unpleasant experience.
In Murica, not sure if you can in Canuckistan. Sometimes we ban shit here you don't and vice versa. I like living close to the border so I can hop over in those situations. Jim if it wasn't a hazardous good and you can't get it at Rona or CT I'd ship it but the bus and Canada post refuse that stuff.
 

Maritime

Well-Known Member
There's a big bike show here in MTL beginning of March and I'm helping a friend out when I can to get his bikes ready for it. One of them is a 1975 GL with 3000 miles on it, it's a beauty. I'll post up some photos here, but it's really got me on the lookout for a 70's goldwing.
Rad, I'd like to have a full restored low miles one someday.
 

Jimbonaut

Well-Known Member
DTT SUPPORTER
Cheers Mike, muriatic acid is def an option but I've also read that TSP (trisodium phosphate) is good too and readily available. I have a few considerations when working with any chemical, namely that 1. my wife will kick my as from here till next decade if I bring any of this stuff into the house, 2. See 1. And 3 as I'l be using any of this in my sub-arctic garage with no running water things get a bit more complicated.

My plan is this -

Soak and de-grease all the parts in warm water with Dawn
Dump everything into a bucket of TSP with the shop fan pointed at it to keep things warm
Drain the TSP and give everything a rinse in distilled water
Haul everything back to the kitchen, one final rinse in distilled water then plate

I'm keeping my nickel plated penny as a good luck talisman, and will be buying you lot (another) beer if I pull this off. I was quoted $500 yesterday by a plating shop so, yeah. Hope this works.
 

Maritime

Well-Known Member
I see your point, that sounds solid, TSP is a little less nasty to work with, I actually use Chlorinated TSP to clean all my beer making stuff in the kitchen sink without pissing off the wife.
 

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