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Pinned DIY Nickel Plating

Discussion in 'Tech Tips' started by my67xr, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. my67xr

    my67xr Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    I have bought everything i need to try out some home/DIY Nickel Plating.
    I plan to plate my new Keyster needle's and Emulsion tube's to help them to last a bit longer, the Nickel Plating give's the copper needle's/emulsion tube's a harder and give them a corrosion resistant finish
    I'll most likely replate a lot more part's for my FZR250 and other bike's in the future too
    Here's a pic of a Factory Pro Nickel coated emulsion tube on the right compared to a standard Emulsion tube on the left, i am copying their Nickel coating

    EmulsionTubes_OEM_FP_side.jpg


    The Nickel Sulphate cost me $30 for 1kg, and the Nickel/silver welding rod i got from Bunning's for $8.50 for a pack of 4
    A pure Nickel Anode would be better for the job, but they are slightly harder to get so this will do for the moment.
    You need a glass container to hold the Nickel Sulphate/Distilled water mixture
    A small low amperage battery charger (mine is a 1A 6V/12V, using it on 12v)
    Some copper wire's, terminal's and a fuse

    This is a very basic setup and is very easy to make,
    The nickel/silver welding rod was flux coated so first i stripped the flux off, i used my wire stripper's and ran them along the rod, i cleaned it up with some fine wet and dry paper to get the last of the flux off.
    Next i crimped a spade terminal onto the end of the Nickel/Silver welding rod to connect it to the charger positive lead
    And made another lead from copper wire with a fuse placed about halfway along the lead, on the other end of the lead i have used an alligator clip to hold the item i am plating
    I mixed about 50 gram's ( guesstimate ) of Nickel Sulphate with the distilled water and stirred it to disolve the Nickel

    6942aa13-7bb5-4862-bfe5-db2a75335fbc.jpg


    20160930_190331.jpg
    20160930_190207.jpg
    20160930_182957.jpg
    20160930_183017.jpg


    Here is my first test piece, a Mikuni VM28 pilot jet

    20160930_182847.jpg


    I clipped the alligator clamp onto it and put it into the Nickel solution and turned the charger on for 1 minute
    Took the jet out and washed it in clean water
    It has started to plate

    20160930_181200.jpg



    The solution bubbles on the item you are plating, i tapped the wire a few time's over the minute to dissipate the air bubble's

    20160930_180851.jpg


    After another 2 minute's in the solution it has a thin coating of Nickel

    20160930_181658.jpg


    And after another 2 minute's to fully coat it

    20160930_182457.jpg


    After a quick wash off i polished it up with some 0000 steel wool, here is the finished Nickel plated Jet

    20160930_182729.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  2. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Hey, nice work! :thumb_ups:
     
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  3. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Good work :thumb_ups:
    Do you have an accurate micrometer to guesstimate the coating thickness?
     
  4. my67xr

    my67xr Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    It's not very thick, i read on one page it take's 25 mins to build up 5 µm (micron) running a 1A power supply with a perfect solution ratio

    I think my solution look's a bit thin compared to other's i've seen
    I'll need to play around with ratio's and time's till i get it right
     
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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  5. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    Good work.
    With my zinc plating, if the item being coated is bubbling then I have too much power and the resulting finish is rough and fluffy and needs to be polished with the steel wool.
    A suggestion for you to lower the power or use more/bigger items with larger surface area to get a better finish.
     
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  6. my67xr

    my67xr Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Thank's.
    I plated one of the upper tripple clamp bolt's this morning, it came out good
    I had the charger on 6v instead of 12v
    The fine bubble's are normal, it's where the Hydrogen gas is escaping, i can minimise it by stirring the mixture of i might even run a small aquarium air pump in it to keep the solution moving

    Before

    20161001_090826.jpg


    Plated with a light polish, it's hard to see but it is very close to a chrome finish

    20161001_092023.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  7. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    There is the potential to be able to build up enough thickness to recondition worn needle jet orifices with this, whether it be reaming out to round then plating back sufficient material to ream to original size or just plating wear then reaming.

    The reamers are stepped in 1/100th mm increments, so that's 10 micron between steps if they need to be reamed out then plated, depending on the level of wear
    food for thought...
     
  8. my67xr

    my67xr Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Yeah i mentioned plating and honing the emulsion tube's in the BDST28 Needle's and Emulsion tube thread
    I think copper plating them would be better for building it up, then hone to size, and to finish it of Nickel plate to help it last longer

    All depend's on how much wear there is, might be better off by boring it out a bit more than the wear then pressing in some new copper and drilling then honing it to size.
    Could even use some Nickel to do the same ^
     
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  9. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Hmm nice idea, bore out, copper sleeve, ream 10 micron oversize -> then nickel plate, and ream to the correct size
    The nickel plate would then also provide a good visual wear indicator if it's say only 5 micron thick

    BTW has anyone encountered 1/8" (3.2mm) wide flange pop rivets in stainless steel?
    I found some aluminium ones which are OK, however stainless might likely be better for what I am envisaging
     
  10. my67xr

    my67xr Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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  11. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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  12. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    My Zincing is in a 20 litre bucket and uses a fish tank pump to circulate the acid.
    Re the rivets, try someplace that builds boats. They may sell you a few.
     
  13. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    Yeah I've checked the Whitworths website, Bunnings in person, went to a place called Bomond trading which is usually awesome then managed to find some in Aluminium 1/8" wide flange aluminium at a place called Hardware and General.
    When I asked there they reckoned they don't exist in stainless...
    So found then online, but I certainly don't need 1000 - http://www.toolfix.com.au/Series-4-1-8-3.2mm111.html

    Good call on asking with boat builders, I'll get to that Monday
     
  14. my67xr

    my67xr Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    I've started a bit more plating this morning, doing the Keyster Needle's and Needle Jet's
    The needle jet's got a total of 6 min's in the Nickel solution, the Needle's were plated for 3 min's
    The reason i plated the needle's for less time is they are cheap enough to replace and i'd rather they wear before the Needle jet's do
    http://www.yoycart.com/Product/15216980726/
    I'm thinking about plating the Mixture screw's too

    New Keyster Needle and Needle Jet's before plating

    View attachment 28966

    After 2 min's

    View attachment 28974

    After light polish

    View attachment 28975

    After 6 min's total

    View attachment 28976

    After a quick polish (coated with Inox MX5)

    View attachment 28977

    (I cleaned up inside the top of the jet after taking this pic)

    View attachment 28978


    Needle after 2 min's (washed and light polish)

    View attachment 28979

    After 4 min's (washed and polished)

    View attachment 28967 View attachment 28968 View attachment 28969 View attachment 28970 View attachment 28971 View attachment 28972
     
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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  15. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    good work, you now have both components with a harder coating and colour differentiation will give a quick visual indicator of wear

    Now if I succeed in finding Stainless large flange rivets in lots less than 1000 - that may also become a thing of the past with a simple fix available to everyone
     
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  16. my67xr

    my67xr Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    So where/how would the rivet's be used ?
     
  17. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    think pin removed, you've got a top hat, centre drilled then reamed to precise fit, cut to length and inserted down into the slide.

    Closest sized reamer to 2.515mm needle diameter is 2.520mm, now with nickel coating on the upper retention portion of the needle that clearance can be taken down to 1/100th of a millimetre clearance - really snug :)

    Corrected needle diameters...

    You've not got something with a flat 9.5mm flush surface which gets both the shim then spring to push down to keep flat.

    The same can be done for the upper end of the needle over the E-Clip and the insert going into the spring retainer if necessary.

    As a testing procedure I'd prefer to do the lower portion first as I think it's possible that with slide motion and spring compression the upper section may induce wobbling when the spring meanders - this part is speculation
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  18. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    BTW a press fit sleeve could also be made to go into the shim to make that a very secure old on the needle also, removing the slop for all aspects of the needle retention system could/should make the needle jet and jet needle wear a thing of the past
     
  19. my67xr

    my67xr Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    The Needle diameter is close to 2.5mm ?
     
  20. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    yeah sorry typo - the needle diameter is 2.515mm
     

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