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gavinnz

Brass plating experience???

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I am confused. So situation normal really.

I have two brass era cars. One has on the original Fiat factory spec sheet for the very car saying "metal work brass plated" It's a thick plating that I THINK might have been the result of a dipping of the steel parts in molten brass process??

Now here is my confusion.

I talked to one electro plater and he said the modern brass plating is going to be no good because it's to thin and would not take repeated polishing over time.....

BUT I have been looking on the net and I have found a few vague references to "heavy brass plating" that is dull when plated and is then polished up....

Has anyone had brass plating done that can tell me of their experiences with it??

Can the thicker deposits of brass be done electrically?

Regards

Gavin

New Zealand

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I've never heard of steel part being dipped into molten brass. There would be fluxing and warpage issues that would make such a process difficult, if not impossible. Perhaps someone with plating experience will chime in, but I see no reason why an item cannot be plated with any thickness of metal that you might want.

I used to work in the funeral business. The, fiendishly expensive, National Copper Sarcophagus was made by a method that, essentially, created the casket through an electro deposition process. It weighed 600 pounds

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There is no problem with electro plating brass directly to steel so long as the steel has been adequately degreased. The thickness or how much brass would be applied is determined by time in the tank which might be limited by the size of the anodes and the tank voltage. I have found many plating companies simply do not want to plate small parts, particularly if having been exposed to fuel or in your case a carbide gas burner. Becomes a cleaning issue.

You might find this site interesting. The company did have an Australian branch with its own web site, but I couldn't get it to come up.

Brass Plating Kits - Electroplating & Anodizing - Caswell Inc

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The original was probably "close plated"... a process where very thin sheets of metal were carefully soldered to the surface. Despite being thin, the plated surface is much thicker than most electroplating and can withstand virtually unlimited polishing. This is the process used to plate the shifter and brake handles on a Silver Ghost RR. It was expensive to do even at the turn of the century and I have my doubts if anyone does it now.

I have the same problem with my brass car... there are traces of brass plating on a few protected areas but the surface of the brake and shifter handles is extensively pitted. It will be a huge job to file and polish them but I suspect the strength of the steel parts is critical so replicating them in brass is not a realistic option.

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I had a shift lever on a 12 Oakland "brass plated"It was first plated with copper then nickel then a thin brass plating was applied.In a few years of use the brass started to wear thin exposing the nickel.

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Interesting replies, thanks guys.

The brass plating on the Fiat is the "close plating" you mention I think where sheets are soldered onto the steel. It comes off in thick flakes with solder underneath.

The plating on the 12 Oakland is the modern type of brass plating that does not work for us brass car owners. Thanks for your comments on that also.

I will make some more calls on Monday to a bunch of platers and see what I can find out their.

Regards

Gavin

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