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topic 4127

Nickel plating of motorcycle frame: process info needed


Hello my name is Rick Fisher and I am restoring a motorcycle with a nickel plated frame and here is my question:

We have two platers in town and one says he will do it for $600 and that after the frame comes out of the tank it will be a dull satin colour and in order to get the luster up their will be many hours polishing required.

The second fellow will do it for $1000 and says that he will probably have to do the frame twice (once upside down) and that the frame will come out of the tank bright and shiny and will require no polishing .

Now my question is are these two shops using different processes? and, if this is the case which one would be, in your view the best for a motorcycle type application Thanks

Rick Fisher
- Victoria British Columbia


Hi, Rick. You might like to see our "Introduction to Chrome Plating", which should give you a pretty good understanding of what is involved in this.

I don't think you heard the first fellow quite right. I believe that he might have been trying to say that he would copper plate the bike, then buff the copper to a good shine, and then do the nickel plating. If that's what he would do for $600 it sounds like a good deal.

It's also possible that you heard the second guy wrong, too. Once the bike is out of the final tank, it should be all done, as he says--but I don't think he was implying that no mechanical prep work would be required at any stage.

It's hard to guess whether the second fellow's plan to replate it upside down is because the whole thing doesn't fit in his tank or because he foresees areas that won't get good coverage. But I would not go to a shop where your frame doesn't fit in the tank.

My guess is they are planning to do pretty much the same thing.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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