Got my electroplating kit yesterday.

Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
950
Location
coastal empire
Got my Caswell electroplating kit yesterday. I tried it last night on a test part:

Here's the kit:



Here's the test part:




Here's how it turned out:




That kit worksd great. I'll post other results shortly.
 

honk

 
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,413
Location
PNW
Hope you left a strip of bare skin down her back. Otherwise she'll suffocate - Ian Fleming.

Is there a link to who sells the kit?
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
950
Location
coastal empire
First attempt. These are some air vent parts that are hidden pretty much when installed. If I goofed, I didn't feel like replating. These are plated with zinc and then I used a yellow chromate to get them "yellow".

I need to practice a little more to obtain a smoother finish (I used a wire wheel to that can take stink off sh!t) and the yellow chromate to obtain the cadium look of oem parts but am satisfied with the results. At least they are good to go for another 40 years.

Fast process but I wish I had a bead blaster. Trip to Harbor Freight tomrrow to spring for one.

Before:



After:

 
Joined
Apr 17, 2003
Messages
318
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Trekker, that looks awesome. That's one of the reasons I got my set was to coat little parts like that in my resto, so I'm glad to see how well it turned out.

1.) What are you using for power? the ones Caswell sells are $$$$. I was going to use a battery charger and try to hook it up to a rheostat (dimmer switch??) with an ammeter. The way to mention to do it with screwing/unscrewing light bulbs sounds like a pain in the arse.

2.) Is the zinc and chromate a seperate set? I got the triple chrome (also want to do some motorcycle parts...) so I guess I need a zinc set (I forget if mine came with any zinc, I know I have about 6 buckets and all kinds of stuff :eek: ) SORRY: answered my own quesiton, there is a zinc/cadmium set and the yellow chromate is a solution in addition to the zinc set.

3.) For getting it smooth you may want a bench grinder/wire wheel. You can also copper plate it and then buff down the copper for places you need to look really good (copper is soft and supposedly you can buff it out mirror smooth)

PS: Just checked the Caswell site: looks like the Chromate is applied by JUST dipping in solution and drying without any electroplating? is this correct?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
950
Location
coastal empire
Soul_Man said:
Trekker, that looks awesome. That's one of the reasons I got my set was to coat little parts like that in my resto, so I'm glad to see how well it turned out.
Thanks!

Soul_Man said:
1.) What are you using for power? the ones Caswell sells are $$$$. I was going to use a battery charger and try to hook it up to a rheostat (dimmer switch??) with an ammeter. The way to mention to do it with screwing/unscrewing light bulbs sounds like a pain in the arse.
I used an old nokia phone charger 3.5vdc 750mA. I have a pile of old transformers laying around at various voltages/amps. Using your battery charger would work but make sure you apply ohm's law to calculate the correct aperage. If I was going to do a lot of parts (and I'm gonna do most of the plated parts on the 40) go with a variable p/s. There are a pile of them on eBay and also available for electronic supply houses. I saw one at a flea market last week and I'm gonna go back and see what they want.

2.) Is the zinc and chromate a seperate set? I got the triple chrome (also want to do some motorcycle parts...) so I guess I need a zinc set (I forget if mine came with any zinc, I know I have about 6 buckets and all kinds of stuff :eek: ) SORRY: answered my own quesiton, there is a zinc/cadmium set and the yellow chromate is a solution in addition to the zinc set.
Yes it is seperate. Most of these chemicals are available for cheap. One thing the Caswell kit does not tell you what they are! :doh: There is a bunch of info available on the net for plating, but unless you plan to do some large scale plating, paying the $$$ for the Caswell kit is a time saver.

3.) For getting it smooth you may want a bench grinder/wire wheel. You can also copper plate it and then buff down the copper for places you need to look really good (copper is soft and supposedly you can buff it out mirror smooth)
I have one... the best friend a cruiser head can have but I need to get some brass and nylon wheels. The problem is getting in the nooks and crannies. Rust hides EVERYWHERE. I have been using electroplating to de-rust/de-plate parts but then you still need to get in those crannies. Good idea about striking with copper. I've heard that nickle works well too. But I'm just gonna "rough it". It's a cruiser for heavens sake. I need to learn when to stop friggin detailing s***. :)

PS: Just checked the Caswell site: looks like the Chromate is applied by JUST dipping in solution and drying without any electroplating? is this correct?
Correct.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
418
Location
PNW
The plater guy I used told me that he cleaned all of the parts prior to plating by letting them soak in muriatic acid. He said it cleans all of the old plating and crud off and etches the part nicely.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
950
Location
coastal empire
Thanks GroundUp. I just shouda soaked the whole truck in a swimming pool full of the stuff.

That'll save tons of time doing the fastners. I think I have some acid around here somewhere.

Did you have your headlight bucket/parts done too? If so, where you happy with the results?
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
418
Location
PNW
The headlight buckets were new Toyota. A part similar in size was the brake booster. I had sandblasted with fine grain sand the larger parts. I was very happy with the outcome.

All of the smaller parts I bought a vibrator style tumbler used for cleaning
ammunition.

I included a pic of the finished brake booster.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
950
Location
coastal empire
Wish I could find new. As you know happiness is a red and white toyota box with a snappy new part in it. Your booster looks ok I guess. The rest looks like hell though.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2003
Messages
318
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Ground Up, is that booster plated? Is that the zinc with Yellow chromate?

Trekker, thanks for reply. I think I'm going to look into buying a power supply. I looked around McMaster-Carr, Radio Shack etc. and just an ammeter would be around $90+ :-o I'd like to use an ammeter etc. to try and make it as idiot proof as possible so I can just dunk the stuff in and set a dial :-D
 

Gus

SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
1,216
Location
Ridgway, CO
Ground Up, how much $$$ did you drop to have the brake booster plated(if you don't mind me asking), looks very nice.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
418
Location
PNW
Gus said:
Ground Up, how much $$$ did you drop to have the brake booster plated(if you don't mind me asking), looks very nice.
I had to look back at the reciept. He has on the receipt that it is yellow zinc. The total cost to plate the brake lines, vaccum lines, brake booster, bunch of brackets, pile of bolts and chrome plate the ashtray and ashtray surround was $142.

seemed to me to be fairly reasonable. I did speak to another plater at the time up in Seatle that said they would do up to "x" pounds of stuff for their minimum which was $125.
 

Gus

SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
1,216
Location
Ridgway, CO
Thanks for the info Ground up, that sounds like a reasonable price to me for all that stuff.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
950
Location
coastal empire
Outstanding price GU. I paid about $160 for the Caswell kit alone. Not to mention all the cleaning that needs to be done. There is a learning curve that is involved when plating stuff as well. If one can gather all the parts and send them off in batches to be plated professionally, that is the way to go by far!

Rebuilding my cruiser is/was FAR from a systematic process and plating at home allows you to plate stuff when you need it. For me flexability was key. I put together truck with the correct sized fastners (8/10/12/14mm head bolts) but after seeing the job GroundUp did on his 40 (and a few others) those Toyota bolts and shiney new <looking> fastners makes a differance (to me at least).
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2005
Messages
2,547
Location
Atlanta, GA
just curious now that it has been a while, but how did your caswell kit work out for you? i have used the caswell products for some black oxid things and the results were very varried. very frustrating. sometimes they would be perfect others they would not work at all. crazy, but that is the chemicals and the reactions.
 
Top Bottom