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"Metal Finishing Questions from Non-Professional"


I recently had a firetruck restored and the ladders were to have been nickel plated. Only the top side of the ladders were done and some small sections of the ladders where the ladders attach look like they were not plated. These are sectional ladders that extend out. I am not sure how plating is done but I thought the item was dipped, also will nickel fill in any pitted areas. Thanks

David Collins
- Clearfield, Pa. U.S.


I was confused for a moment, but apparently you are talking about a TOY fire truck.

Nickel plating usually includes immersing the parts in nickel plating solution, but it is not a 'dipping' process in molten nickel or anything like that--it's an electrolytic process where electricity takes the shortest path; and where the electricity goes, the nickel plates out of solution. But, yes, it is possible to electroplate all surfaces of the ladder

I don't think either side is right or wrong, but there obviously was a big communications issue about what was expected and would be provided.

No, nickel plating will not fill any pits. But, again, that does not mean that it is impossible for a plating shop to fill pits. But it's several more operations, including copper plating and mush buffing.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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