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Removing Gold Electroplating from a 22-lb Bolt

October 24, 2008

Hello my name is Ken Heaton of North Liberty, Iowa. 30 years ago I found a huge bolt under a railroad bridge in Kansas City, Kansas. I was amazed at the weight of this bolt, it is 14 inches long and has a 3 3/4 in. hex head on it. At the time, my Father was a sales rep for a large mid-west nut and bolt manufacturing company so I thought this bolt would be a great paper weight for his desk. The weekend after I found the bolt I had a few friends over for a BBQ and one of my buddies asked if I would be interested in having it gold plated, as it turned out he worked for a small company that made instrument panels for small aircrafts and he was the electroplater. I thought wow what a great gift this would be. Anyway I give him the bolt and a few bucks and in a couple days he brought me this gold plated bolt. My Father hung on to it for about 20 years and then gave it back to me as he was tried of lugging it around. I'd love to be able to strip this gold off and see how much is on there. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Here is a photo of the bolt

Thank you, Ken

Ken Heaton
Hobbyist - North Liberty, Iowa USA

October 25, 2008

Hi, Ken. Don't DO that. It's a nice conversation piece. Give it to another friend or sell it on ebay and you, your friend, and the planet will all be better off. I'm not trying to be curt, but we have dozens of threads here about stripping gold, with hundreds upon hundreds of highly detailed comments and I can't cover them all.


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

October 30, 2008

I agree with Ted on this. Another note to consider is that there is probably not enough gold on it to warrant stripping the bolt. Because it was plated so long ago and the finish still looks great, makes the piece worth holding on to for these two reasons alone.

Mark Baker
Process Engineer - Syracuse, New York

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