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Old type nickel plating


JAK
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I know that there are a couple of kinds of nickel but I think if what you are after is that old fashioned "soft" look that the new nickel plating will be fine as soon as it is allowed to oxidize. You could always polish nickel plate to a bright finish but most people didn't bother to polish it regularly, just every once in awhile, so it wore its "soft" look most of the time..

Somebody else familiar with the modern nickel finishes please verify.

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Thanks, having brass cars I understand polishing. Yes I refered to it also as soft nickel but was never sure if this was a propper term.

Having had some modern nickel done in the past couple years it never attained the propper look for me, and never seemed to tarnish.

Thanks again, John

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Well, anyone who does chrome plating does nickel plating as part of the process.  The shine that you see is partly the underlying nickel, the chrome is just a flash finish to preserve and heighten that shine.

 

I do know what you're looking for, the look of old, lovingly polished nickel is excellent.  By polished, I mean the chauffeur ran a soft cloth over it just about every day, and that gives a patina that's hard to duplicate out of the box.

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Yes chrome plating over nickel was created in 1924 and preserved the nickel shine. Flash chrome thichness over bright work averages about 10 to 20 microns depending which plating shop you use. Before 1924 all the automotive nickel  plating had to be polished by hand on a regular bases to look pretty.  The great fact with the high speed nickel plating processes today is chemisty, with brighters and levelers, the nickel bridges and can be applied very thick which covers small blemishes that might not be able to be removed in the grinding and polishing before plating.

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Having recently had my rad shell nickel plated (not chrome) I noticed something has attacked the surface.  The damage is only slight pitting which I have been able to mostly polish out but it got me wondering what might have caused it.  The re plating was carried out by a top firm who have done excellent work for me in the past so I don't think it is down to them; besides, it seems to have landed on the outside. It would seem to be like a spray landing around the filler neck as if the coolant in the rad had boiled, but I'm sure it hasn't.

 

Is nickel vulnerable to antifreeze mixture spilt when filling? or salt spray from lorries for example?

 

Ray. 

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It would be good to know where you live for a question like this.

 

I had some Nickel plating done by Librandi's in Middletown, PA a few years ago.  They are not cheap, but you will never be disappointed.

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Nickel will stain from anything. Especially antifreeze. If left alone it'll turn green and grow dimensionally. You can hardly undo the damage. Keep it clean, rinse with water if anything gets on it and dry it. Buff fingerprints and other marks off with a soft cloth. It's beautiful but touchy. I have a car with polished nickel under the hood. It has to be wiped every time it goes out.

Edited by sambarn (see edit history)
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Sorry for the highjack Jak :ph34r: .

 

Many thanks for the advice, guys.  Fortunately, the marks only show when I wear my reading glasses! :D

 

P.S. my plater is Derby Plating who rates as one of the best in the U.K.  Not cheap though!!

 

Ray.

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Electoless Nickel has its advantages with precsion coating thickness but doesn't meet the brightness and plating thickness applied with the sulfate chloride high speed plating process. To apply .002 to .003 thousands of nickel with the Electroless process takes about 2 1/2 hours where the sulfate process would apply .020 thickness in that time.

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Hi Curt,  Both processes will model the surface finish of your parts and the longer they are plated the brighter they will become especially the sulfate process, if your looking for a semi bright finish or a brush finish make sure your molding is preped with that finish before plating, If you have a sample of the finish and have a good plater they might have the capabiliy to creat your final finish on the nickel after the plating process.

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