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Home nickel plating with vinegar and salt




Q. I tried to make a nickel sulphate solution and failed. I used 1 qt. distilled vinegar [in bulk on eBay or Amazon affil links], added salts, put my pure nickel anode and cathode into the solution and ran a current through it until a light green color was achieved. My first two objects I plated were some iron parts for a slot machine. The were scrubbed, degreased and washed in distilled water before being put into the bath. I plated them for about 45 minutes in 400 ml of nickel acetate in a 500 ml beaker [adv: beakers on eBay or Amazon] at 10V 950 mA. They came out perfect. Bright, smooth and even.

The next three parts I plated (pretreated in the same method) the plating came out darker and darker. The last of the three resembling iron oxide (it was also very hard to polish off) Now the next batch I tried, I thought maybe I had the voltage too high so I dropped it to 5.5v 750ma and it came out even worse. The nickel plating was extremely thick, uneven, gray and peeling back in curls. Though underneath, it appeared to have a thin, bright layer.

Any help would be appreciated greatly!

Here's the final results.

55951-1

Randall Painter
- Ventura, California


A. Hi Randall. If you actually have control over the things you think you have control over, then the difference between your first run and your third is the thing you don't have control over: the deterioration of your plating solution. So the answer is simple: dispose of your solution and make it up again.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
August 2020




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