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Help with radiator


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Help!!!!!!

We have a brass radiator with a lot of nickel plating on it. How can I get the nickel plating off without taking the radiator apart? We know one option would be to take the skin off the radiator and take the pieces to a plating shop and have our plater use his plating expertise to take off the nickel, polish the pieces and then we could

reasseble. We are trying to accomplish the same result in a shorter time and dollar cost method. What do you suggest. Email direct with suggestions hcoker7118@aol.com

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I used to know an antique dealer who used acid to remove the nickel plating from brass Brittania wear. Then he would polish the brass and sell the items where no one would buy them with worn plating.

Exactly what kind of acid he used I do not remember but I do know that his hands were stained with a dark blue gray stain that could not be removed. If you do this be sure to wear rubber gloves, apron, long sleeves and eye protection.

If I recall correctly he used muriatic acid and a mop made of rags tied to a stick and just washed the plating off.

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I think the base metals in brass are copper and zinc and as such, I would use a plater

to do this as the other responder mentioned...reverse the plating process. The cost should

be minimal. A plater did this for me for free and it only took him a couple of minutes.

While I don't remember my chemistry so well, my gut is saying to be sure to neutralize

completely as you want to protect the zinc.

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Thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I have talked to my plating guy and he plans to look at the radiator with the idea of immersing it and reverse the process. His concern and my in doing that is he says that he would have to use sulfuric acid and I am concerned that it woud dissolve the solder in the core and that would be unacceptable. I think I like the idea of muratic acid best.Any more suggestions? Thanks Harold

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You can use muriatic acid and use a current to deplate. If you got a large plastic tub at Walmart that you could put enough muriatic acid into to cover the radiator and then take that to your plater for a few minutes of current, it would strip it nicely. If you have a dc power supply of fairly low voltage and able to provide a few amps you can do this yourself. Hook the positive wire to the radiator and drop the other wire with a small piece of lead into the mixture. Probably take about ten minutes.

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Yes a car battery will work fine, except that you don't have any way to control the current. Unlimited amps like you would get from a car battery would go at lightening speed and you would start shedding the brass on the radiator. It would be best to use a power supply that you could control. There are ways that you can make resistors out of nichrome wire that you could use with a car battery, but for a single job like this, it wouldn't be practical. I would still think that the easiest way would be to use a plastic tub with 3 or 4 gallons of muriatic acid and use your platers power. This assumes you are on good terms with your plater. Using muriatic acid will not harm the radiator as long as the exposure is only the few minutes it would take to strip the nickel off.

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