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Nickel Plating can give an attractive finish to your parts. However, sometimes it can be an expensive pursuit when using industrial finishers to electroplate just a few small items. When restoring machinery, it is often difficult to replace small parts - so why take the risk? We at youplate.co.uk offer industrial grade products which give top quality finishes at home.
Nickel Plating
How to Nickel Plate
Preparation is the key! Ensure that all work is stripped of paint, pre-existing electrodeposited metals and importantly all oils, greases and soils.

Use appropriate stripping products for coating removal.

Use a formulated, industrial grade cleaning product for removal of oils, greases and shop soils.

You must ensure that all residues of cleaners or stripping products are thoroughly
washed off. At this point you’ll see water “spotting” on unclean work, if this happens
– clean again!


You may wish to connect your components to wires before cleaning so that direct
contact will not be necessary. These connecting wires will act as both a conductor for
your electroplating process as well as a method of moving the components from
process to process.

What you need for your plating bath:

A vessel to contain the solution (plastic tub or bucket should do – ensuring that the solution is deep enough to submerge all of the components).

A power supply.

Conducting cables / wires. (Do not allow copper wire from positive (anode) power supply to be immersed in solution)

A solution heater (a tropical fish heater is often enough).

A method of agitating the solution (a fish tank air pump works great!).

Nickel Anodes. (Remember not to dip copper wires into solution!).

A method of hanging your anodes and your components into solution – a small piece of copper tube should do – bend the ends to stop it rolling around!

Some useful information:

Temperature: 50 – 70 °C
Voltage: 5 – 7V (Current should generally take care of itself)
Time: up to 30 minutes

The required current for effective plating should work out at 40amp / ft² of work in
solution – if you want to do some arithmetic!

The time it will take to plate will depend upon what you are plating, temperature,
current passing through solution and solution electrolyte levels.

As your solution is used, electrolyte constituents will be consumed. You may wish to
maintain your solution or you may on the other hand simply wish to start again. If
you are proposing to dispose of spent plating solutions, please observe all
regulations and care with regard disposal of such products.

Once you have plated your work, turn off the power! Remove the components from
solution, swill and allow to dry.
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