Re: [CR]chrome resource - how about small etched parts?

(Example: History:Norris Lockley)

Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 09:59:04 -0700
From: "Steve Maas" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]chrome resource - how about small etched parts?
References: <>

I've been using the Caswell brush plating kit for some time, and I've found it useful, as long as you prepare the work properly and don't expect too much. A couple of points:

1. First, it is something they call a "copy chrome" process, which is really nickel plating with some cobalt added, to give it a more of a blue color. Nickel, by itself, tends to have either a dull, steel-like color or somewhat yellow. So, it's not really chrome, and looks distinctly different. A good chrome plating job actually is three layers--copper, which is easy to smooth and fills up the pits, nickel, then a thin chrome layer. There are variations of this process of course, but that's the most common, high-quality approach.

2. As in all plating, you must do a good preparation job. Smooth and polish the base metal, make sure it is very clean.

3. For a shiny surface, you must buff the part on a wheel after plating.

4. It's hard to see the change in the plated part as you are plating it, especially if the base metal is steel. If you stop too early, the plated layer is too thin. Then, when you buff it, much of the plating is removed, so it rusts quickly. Really annoying when that happens!

5. The system is good for about a square inch, at most. It's great for things like screw heads and nuts. That's what I use it for, almost exclusively.

6. It doesn't work well for plating pitted, rusty parts, because it is hard to remove the rust from the pits. I have used naval jelly to take off the rust, but this leaves scuzz (pardon the technical terminology) in the pits, which is almost impossible to remove if you can't sand out the pits completely. If anyone has a method to take off rust, without leaving residue in the pits, I'd love to hear of it.

For an example of what you can do with the brush plating, see, and look at the quick-releases on the hubs near the bottom of the page.

Recently I bought Caswell's copy-chrome tank plating stuff, but haven't had a chance to set it up yet. I'll post some comments on it when I've had a chance to experiment with it a bit.

Steve Maas Long Beach, California

Steve Birmingham wrote:
> Sorry, Forgot to change the subject line.
> Steve Birmingham
> Lowell, Ma
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Birmingham []
> Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 10:52 AM
> To:
> Subject: RE: Classicrendezvous Digest, Vol 6, Issue 78
> You might try They offer kits, including an
> inexpensive brush plating kit. I haven't tried one yet, so I'm not sure how
> good the results would be.
> Steve Birmingham
> Lowell, Ma