[ROVERNET - UK] Nickel plating

Gundry, Kenneth KG at dolby.com
Wed Aug 11 23:55:20 BST 2004

A restoration question.

There are many nickel-plated bits and pieces on my Rover.  Some are in good order (door handles), others not.  In particular the large number of brass pieces making up the frame of the windshield have lost most of their plating; it remains immaculate only underneath the bracket for the mirror, showing what it was like.  I found when I tried to clean them up that what little plating remained came off.  I would like to have them (and probably various little brackets and fancy nuts) replated, but cleaning down to smooth brass would/will be a major task.  It is complicated by the fact that not all the pieces can be separated, so there are lots of little corners; they are held together by metal (steel, I imagine) tapered pins that were then filed smooth before the plating.  At least, that's how I interpret what I see.  I know of a company specializing in replating (they did the resilvering of the lights), but hate to think what they would charge to prepare and plate the windshield surround.

Has anyone experience of the home "electro-less nickel plating" kits that you can buy?  Do they work satisfactorily?  If so, what is the best way to prepare the brass pieces?  I think a wire brush in a drill press might do the job given enough time, but I am afraid of damaging the brass with deep scratches in teasing off the remains of the nickel, since nickel is so much harder than brass. I also suspect that sand-blasting would erode the brass before it removed the old nickel ... and in any case I haven't got a sand-blasting chamber.  Any ideas?

Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)

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