[ROVERNET - UK] Nickel plating

Vern Klukas vern at inkspotco.com
Thu Aug 12 00:23:53 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)

Ken, in as much as 99% of the quality you get from plating come from 
the prep work (i.e. the polishing) I doubt very much you would 
appreciate the job the home kits do.

As for removing the old plating, a plater uses a reverse bath to 
strip all the old plating away, so it is not really extra work for 
them, but part of the process.

Ass for the assembly, if the parts were plated and then assembled, 
you would have to disassemble to get a decent job. If, on the other 
hand, the brass was assembled and then plated, that's the way to go 
this time.

The best thing you could do is take the frame top a plater and ask 
their expert advice.


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Vern Klukas                             I'm a little . . .
Inkspot Type & Design
vern at inkspotco.com

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