banjaxxed wrote:One of those home nickel plating kits huh? [THUMBS UP SIGN]
LOL. A completely artisanal home kit...
HERE'S MY KITCHEN RECIPY FOR THE NICKEL PLATING OF BUSSBARS (Note : Please wear gloves, as the nickel acetate we will make is a known carcinogenic).
Canadian nickel coins dating between certains years are 99.99 % nickel metal (information on purity by years available on wikipedia) and can be used (while less pure coins would be unsuited).
I didn't even had to buy nickel metal since I had some that was pure enough in a coin pot at my house.
Then I concentrated some white distilled vinagar (5% acetic acid) by slowly heating it on the stove with the Bain Marie technique... Since water boils at 100°C and vinegar will not evaporate as easily as water (pure acetic acid boils at 118°C).
I let the water slowly evaporate over hours until I got half of the initial volume in liquid (twice more concentrater) : So I ended up with 10% acetic acid (chemistry goes faster is you use more concentrated reagents). So in a way, I sorta made acetic acid moonshine... (but you throw away the water that evaporates and keep what's left in the still intread of throwing it away).
Then, I took 2 nicklel coins and 2 cables, and solder one coin to one wire (this part is tricky... wou want the less solder as possible to not contaminate the solution once you place the electrode in it). Repeat for many electrodes
So there you go 2 electrodes made (The nickel coin electrodes)..
To make nickel acetate, I just dipped 2 nickel coin electrodes in the vinegar moonshine and let current run through for 2 days or so (solution gets quite hot... which speeds up the chemical reaction even more). Once judging by the color which don't get stronger, I decide that the solution is saturated enough in nickel acetate.... I stop the current throught the electrodes. Then I filtered the solution on a coffee filter (Do Not drink it !!!)
Pour in a safe (air tight.... oxidation will cause sublte precipitate with time) airtight container until your ready to plate some copper. See the numerous you tube tutorials.
To plate, one eletrode is a nickel coin and the other one is the copper piece.
You will have to experiment to find the sweet spot.
In general, the longer the plating takes (ex : lower current, bigger surface area of piece, bigger diatance between copper and nickel coin eletrodes, temperature of Ni(OAc)2 solution, volume of solution used for plating), the better the plating result. Plate too quick and the nickel layer will flake off. MY plating is awesome... I've use my plated copper bussbars a few times now, overtightening brass bolts and nuts on them many times. NO FLAKING.... Plating just doenst move.
For making the solution, you can use a powersupply (get some good amps), but for plating your copper piece, use DC current WITH NO RIPPLE... The best is to use a battery as the electric source for plating. I used some 18650 (4 or 5 in parallel if I recall well). Voltage ripple gives bad plating results). I think IIRC I had added a very very very small amount of salt (NaCl) to speed up making the Ni(OAc)2 solution but you want the least possible amount as a less purity means not as good plating rewsults afterwards. I think I also added a small bit of hydrogen peroxide (aside from diluting the solution a bit.... H2O2 in not an impurity as it's basically water and oxygen... it justs redilutes you precious Ni(OAc)2 solution).
On think, I did use Silvo Polish to reveal the nice nickel plating mirror finish... Felt like I was a swordsmaster, polishing a katana blade I made
Read my other post where I show picture of nickel plating process : https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 5#p1235640
Time consuming, but oh so worth it. It's been a while now... I got NO tarnish. Bare copper would be dark brown way before that time.