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Just like my very popular copper plating instructable, the aim of this is to do high quality, low cost, and safe electroplating.  We will also be making our own electrolyte from scratch instead of buying chemicals online.

If you've looked at my copper plating instructable, note that the process here is different. The nickel will not dissolve very well if at all in the vinegar without special help and adding hydrogen peroxide will destroy your electrolyte.

Nickel plating can be used for a variety of different things.
- It creates a corrosion resistant coating that will protect the base metal from oxidizing and rusting. It is frequently used in food processing to prevent contamination with iron.
- It can increase the hardness and thus the durability of mechanical parts and tools.
- It can allow you to solder to difficult metals.
- It can create a variety of beautiful decorative finishes that range from a chrome-like gleam, to brushed stainless steel color, to a metallic black. It just so happens that black nickel plating is used frequently in aerospace applications
- In thicker platings, it can make the object magnetic.


Note that to get different finishes and properties, you may need to add other chemicals and metals to your plating solution (see the Post Prep stage).  These chemicals will change the way the atoms arrange themselves and/or add other metals to your plating.  If you are looking for corrosion-resistance, do not add any other chemicals to your electrolyte as they may cause the end plating to stain or tarnish.

For a copper plated finish, be sure to check out my copper plating instructable :)
https://www.instructables.com/id/High-Quality-Copper-Plating/ 

On another note, I LOVE your questions!  I have noticed that a few folks are asking the same questions, so I've added a "Common Questions" step/slide/section/whatchamacallit at the end of this instructable.  Take a look there to get quick answers to most of the questions you might have. If you have a new one, comment below and I'll be happy to answer it and add it to my step/slide/section/whatchamacallit :D

A quick disclaimer - nickel acetate, the chemical we will be making, is poisonous. The title "High Quality (and Safe) Nickel Plating" is referring more to the fact that you don't need to play with insanely powerful acids that will burn your skin or ask you to open batteries. In the concentrations we will be working with, the process is fairly safe.  However, do NOT drink the solution and be sure to wash your hands after plating and properly wipe down any surfaces that come near or into contact with your plating solution. Always supervise kids. That said, enjoy!

Step 1: Materials

Nearly all of the supplies can be found at your local supermarket.  Finding a pure source of nickel is a little trickier, but should not cost more than a couple dollars. To keep from draining your battery in later steps, I very highly suggest finding an AC/DC power supply around the house.

Materials you can find at your local supermarket:
>Distilled Vinegar - 5% acidity or higher  (grocery)
>Salt  (grocery)
>Mason jar (canning)
>6V Lantern Battery (camping)
>Alligator Leads (electrical)
>Nitrile gloves (pharmacy or DIY)
>Paper towels (paper products)
>Cameo Stainless Steel and Aluminum Cleaner (cleaning supplies)

Materials you will likely need to buy online, at a good hardware/welding supply store, or a music shop.
Pure Nickel - You can get this a few different ways. I bought my nickel in the form of two 4oz plates on eBay for ~$5.  A good hardware store should carry nickel welding rods. Most music shops will carry Ernie Ball "Pure Nickel" guitar strings.

You can also try to remove the nickel windings from old guitar strings if you are strapped for cash. It takes a bit of time, wire cutters, and pliers, but it can be done. Note that most nickel-wound strings contain a steel core that will pollute your electrolyte later on (Ernie Ball "Pure Nickel" strings should be pure nickel).

You can also try to use solid nickel door knobs and the like.  I would warn you to be careful when trying this because a good chunk of "nickel" decorative items are plated themselves.

Optional, but highly recommended materials (also at the supermarket or a local electronics store):
A higher voltage, DC power supply - I am using an old 13.5V laptop charger. You can use "wall warts" (the ugly black AC/DC power supplies that come with some consumer electronics) or an old ATX (computer) power supply. Just make sure that it does in fact output DC.
A fuse holder
A fuse that is rated slightly less than the max current rating on your power supply.

Step 2: Preparing Your DC Power Supply (Optional)

In the next step, we will make our electrolyte. In order to do this, we will need a significant amount of electricity.  Instead of wasting a moderately expensive batteries, it is much cheaper to use an old wall wart, laptop charger, or computer supply (assuming they aren't already being used).

My version is rather crude, but effective. You could (and probably should) make a little project box with a DC barrel jack, internal fuse, and two terminals poking out to clip the alligator leads to.

Wall Warts (the ugly black things that come with some electronics)
Cut the barrel jack off of the end of your DC power supply.  Pull the two wires apart and cut one of the wires two or three inches shorter than the other - this will help prevent you from accidentally shorting wires together later. Strip about a quarter inch from each wire.  Solder in your fuse holder and pop in the fuse! You are done! (see polarity notes below).

Laptop Charger
Cut the barrel jack off of the end of the DC power supply.  Use a razor blade with light pressure to remove the outer jacket - you do not want to cut through to the inner core. Most chargers will have one insulated wire that is wrapped in many other bare copper wires.  Twist the bare copper wires together to form a single wire.  This should be your negative. Solder your fuse holder here.  Strip about a quarter inch from the insulated wire and tie it back with a zip tie or electrical tape so it cannot short with your bare wire.  Pop in a fuse. You are done! (see polarity notes below)

ATX/Computer Power Supply
These are a tad bit more complicated to turn into a useable benchtop power supply.  Google or search here on instructables for "DIY benchtop power supply" or "ATX benchtop power supply". You should find a few different tutorials that will explain everything well :)

Lab Benchtop Power Supply
If you are super fancy and have the money, a standard adjustable power supply (which is what you would find in a lab) will work just as well.  Just make sure you set aside your banana plugs for electroplating only.

Notes on Polarity
You will need to know which wire is positive, and which side is negative.  If you are a pro with a multimeter, this should be pretty easy.  If you don't know how to use a multimeter or don't have one, you can do this:  Mix a pinch of salt into a little bit of water in your jar.  Connect one alligator lead to the fuse and drop it into the water. Connect the other alligator lead to the non-fused wire and drop that in the water.  The alligator lead that starts to bubble like mad is your negative.


Step 3: Make Your Electrolyte

It is definitely possible to buy different nickel salts online, but what is the fun in that? Here, I'll show you to make your own nickel acetate solution for a lot cheaper than buying chemicals online.

Fill your mason jar with distilled vinegar leaving about an inch from the top. Dissolve a pinch or so of salt into the vinegar.  The amount of salt is not all that important as long as you don't go crazy with it. The purpose of the salt is to increase the electrical conductivity of the vinegar. The more current that flows through it, the faster we can dissolve the nickel. However, too much current will lead to poor plating results.  Use sparingly.

Unlike in the copper plating instructable I've done, the nickel will not dissolve into the solution just by letting it sit for a while.  We need to electro-dissolve the nickel.

Place two pieces of pure nickel into the vinegar and salt solution such that part of both stick out and into the air and that they don't touch.  Clip one alligator lead to one piece of nickel and then to the positive terminal of the battery or the DC power supply we made in the last step.  Clip the other alligator lead to the other piece of nickel and to the negative lead of your battery or DC power supply. Make sure that the alligator clips don't touch the vinegar as they will dissolve as well and ruin your chemical.  

The nickel source connected to the negative lead should start to create hydrogen bubbles and the positive lead should make oxygen bubbles.  Truth be told, a very minute amount of chlorine gas (from the salt which is sodium chloride) will also form on the positive lead, but unless you put in huge amount of salt or are using a lot of voltage, the chlorine will just dissolve into the water like what you find in a swimming pool. The minute amounts excess sodium, in case you are wondering, will react with the water to create sodium hydroxide.

For this step, I very highly suggest using a DC power supply that plugs into the wall (see the previous step).  Dissolving the nickel will take a while and you don't want to drain your battery more than you need to - DC power supplies are reusable, most batteries are not.

After a little while (mine took about two hours), you'll notice the solution has turned a light green.  This is nickel acetate. If you get blues, reds, yellows, or any other color, it means that your nickel source wasn't pure. You also should also get a clear (though green) solution - if it was cloudy, your have an impure nickel source. The solution and nickel sources may become warm during this process - this is normal. If they get hot to the touch, you should disconnect your circuit, let it cool for an hour, and then reconnect it (repeat as necessary). It is possible that you added too much salt, which increases the current, which increases the power dissipated as heat.

Step 4: Preparing Your Object to Be Plated

NOTE: Some materials, such as stainless steel, will not accept direct nickel plating. You will need to copper plate them first. See my copper plating instructable to learn how to copper plate: https://www.instructables.com/id/High-Quality-Copper-Plating/

The above being said, the cleaner your conductive object, the better it will plate. You don't want any grease, oxidation (rust, tarnish, patina, ect), or general grime on your surface. Even if your surface looks good, you should clean it anyways.

Remove general grime and dirt with a little bit of dish soap and elbow grease.

Remove the oxidation and tougher grime with an acid-based abrasive such as Cameo. Don nitritle gloves and just mix the powder with a few drops of water on your glove and go to town!

You can further clean your object by reverse electroplating (ie "electrocleaning") it for a few seconds. Hook your object up to a positive voltage, a wire to the negative voltage, and drop them both in a vinegar salt solution for 10-30 seconds. This will remove any left over oxidation.

For larger surfaces, try scrubbing them with fine steel wool and vinegar.

Step 5: Time to Electroplate!

For this step, you want to use your 6V battery.  Even lower voltages (down to around 1V) will give you a better, shinier, smoother finish.  You can use a higher voltage DC power supply for electroplating, but you won't get good results.

Place a nickel source into your green nickel acetate solution and connect it to the positive lead of your battery with an alligator clip.  Clip the other alligator clip to the object to be plated and connect it to the negative lead of your battery.

Drop the object to be plated into the solution and wait for around 30 seconds.  Take it out, rotate 180 degrees, and drop it back into the solution for another 30 seconds. Repeat as necessary. You should move the alligator clip a new location after a couple dips so that the entire surface gets plated.  Unlike in copper plating, the alligator clip shouldn't leave "burn" marks.

The object being plated should bubble.  There should be enough bubbles being created that you won't need to agitate or swirl your object in the electroplating solution. For larger objects and containers, you may want to include a small aquarium pump (~$15) to circulate the solution.

Step 6: Post Prep

Now for post prep....Generally speaking, NONE!  Nickel doesn't oxidize at room temperature and shouldn't tarnish.  You can polish your end product with a light polish to get a bright gleam.

If your nickel plating is not as shiny as you'd like, polish it up with a light polish that doesn't leave waxes or oils behind, and then electroplate it again.

Adding small amounts of other metals such as tin during the initial electroplating will change the color of the plating (tin will give you a white colored metal like silver).  Many metals can be electrically dissolved into vinegar just like nickel.  The two main metals that cannot be electrically dissolved into vinegar are gold and silver (trust me, I've tried).  Since I had some copper plating solution left, I mixed in a little bit of it with my nickel plating solution.  The result is a matte, dark grey, very hard finish that feels like a chalk board (it squeaks like one too if you scratch it <evil laugh>). See the picture.

Unless you are an experienced chemist or have a friend who is, I would be very careful when adding random chemicals to your electroplating bath - you may just end up creating some toxic gas that isn't good for you, kids, or fido.

Step 7: Common Questions

Can I plate [insert your metal here] with nickel?
It depends.  Certain metals play nice together, others do not.  The ones that do not are called "dissimilar metals".  In the picture, you'll find a table I borrowed from RFI.  The table is designed to let you know when a galvanic reaction might occur causing corrosion.  For our purposes, it also tells us which metals are compatible and which are not.  The lower the magnitude of the number (aka the absolute value), the more compatible (ie similar) the metals will be.  If you are trying to plate a metal that is not compatible, you may need to plate with copper or another metal first.  You can find my copper plating instructable here: https://www.instructables.com/id/High-Quality-Copper-Plating/

How do I plate non-conductive objects?
First, you need to make them conductive.  You can do this with conductive paints, conductive glues, and even metal leaf (think gold leaf) as long as whatever you are coating your surface with is not water soluble. I haven't experimented much with this myself which means you will have to.  Send me a message with your results and I'll post them here for others to reference.

How much voltage/current do I need?
As little as possible.  The lower the voltage and current, the better results you will get.  You need a minimum of 0.5V DC to plate with copper. A C or D cell battery will give you pretty decent results.  If you don't have access to lower voltages, you can put the electrolyte into a big container and move your electrodes as far away from another as you can - the increase in distance will also increase the resistance of the circuit and decrease the current.

Can I use other acids other than acetic acid (vinegar)?
Yes.....but be careful...  This instructable was written for average Joes and Jolenes, not chemists.  Other acids can be significantly dangerous as well as release some very nasty, very toxic chemicals into the air. Unless you are an experience chemist (ie you have an actual degree, not just AP Chem in high school or Chem 111 in college), I would not recommend playing with other chemicals.

Is plating coins illegal?
The first thing I want to point out is that I'm only using coins because they are everywhere and cheap by definition. The copper and nickel content make them ideal for small experiments. This isn't a "how to plate coins" instructable, they are just handy and recognizable. For those of you who took high school chem lab, you probably used quarters, dimes, and pennies for a couple different classroom experiments.

As far as the legality of plating coins, to my understanding, it is legal as long as you 1) Aren't removing metal from the coins with intent to sell that metal, 2) Are not trying to pass them as something they are not (ie a copper plated dime is worth 10 cents, nothing more), and 3) Aren't defacing the coins for malicious intent. As a personal disclaimer, this is MY understanding - take it with a grain of salt.  If this is incorrect, I would welcome a friendly email or message from the US Treasury or other qualified persons.

Can I plate Aluminum?
I would avoid it.  Aluminum is just one of those metals that don't plate well.  If you are looking for a corrosion-resistant finish, you can anodize the aluminum to create a clear oxide layer that is extremely corrosion resistant. If you are looking for a colored finish, you can get dyes that absorb into the oxide layer and stain it whatever color you want (this is actually what Apple and other companies do to make different colored iPods).
Thanks for posting,,, for those persons looking for low cost power supply's the &quot;wall wart&quot; ( love that term) transformers are readily available at virtually all second hand stores, usually in a balled up mess, the phone chargers have a pretty clean current and it's well regulated.
One note to this - the larger the voltage (to a degree), the faster you can dissolve your nickel. I would recommend somewhere between 10 and 15 volts. The output voltage should be listed on the power supply (ie wall wart). <br> <br>If you want to use your DC power supply for plating, look for lower voltages (the phone chargers would work great for this).
<p>From an experienced plater, the higher the voltage the faster it will plate yes but the adhesion will be weaker. If you are looking for a fast plating job the high voltage works but it may flake off in time. If you want something that is durable or needs wear resistance the half a volt should be used over a longer period of time. </p><p>A good way to test the adhesion is to use a strong masking tape after it is dry. Press the tape on to the plating the pull it off quickly and the look at the tape, if you see plating on the tape it didn't adhere properly. </p><p>Now you know:-D</p>
<p>Great ! @lstdrgn</p>
<p>Is the low voltage needed for optimum adhesion during the whole plating process, or could you increase the voltage to speed things up once an initial layer has been applied?</p>
<p>Is there an amperage we should shoot for? Or is that not an issue?</p>
I'm not entirely sure how this comment made its way here....I usually respond to comments using the comments tab on my &quot;You&quot; page....
ok ppeople 4 those who want thier metals try this company out. http://www.mcmaster.com/# . they should have every thing u may want / need . or dont want / need
I like the &quot;For Science!&quot; label on the vinegar :-D
<p>i there !</p><p>i&acute;m trying to copper plate some zamac parts witch is zinc and copper ,alu etc mix</p><p>with this chemicals im this project i just get the part black like some sort of soot in it but no copper...</p><p>can anybody help</p><p>thanks</p>
<p>In the end, i was fairly unable to get a decent copper plating but the nickel plating came out extremely well. My handmade soldering iron tips thank you. I'll be making an instructable of how to make them and refer this article for the final step, nickel plating :)</p><p>I think its worth adding to your article that almost every single South American country has seen their currency changed at least once in the last 50 years, so there are TONS of left over, demonetized coins that are 100% perfectly legal to use as raw metal. Its only a case of looking for a Numismatics page, if you are on a country in Latin America or even if you are in the US or Europe, those coins are stupidly cheap and readily available.</p><p>I found a lot of nickel coins as soon-to-be stainless screw washer in my neighbor's screw's &amp; nails bucket! All of them from a currency that is no longer used here.</p><p>In the specific case of Venezuela, silver started to be pulled out of the streets in exchange for pure nickel coins starting in 1965, and nickel was pulled out in exchange for nickel plated steel a bit after 1985-88, so almost every single coin printed for Venezuela between those years is most likely made out of 100% nickel!</p>
<p>Been trying for a couple days with (recently) some limited success, quite a bit of failure, which is great, i'm learning a lot from my mistakes. Pretty sure ill have some good results tomorrow.</p><p>I wonder, the copper is being plated onto the cathode from the direction of the anode, hence why you have to move the metal to get an even plating. What if the cathode was surrounded by the anode? would that make moving the cathode around not a necessity anymore? if i made a copper wire spring that fits my jar and connected that to the positive... i guess ill experiment a bit.</p>
<p>Hello, i made an account because i just had to write a comment. I'm <br>an electronics hobbyist from Venezuela and I've found both this and your<br> nickel plating tutorial extremely useful, i don't usually go beyond <br>just reading this kind of things for my entertainment but recently <br>plating copper with nickel became a bit of a necessity for me.</p><p>A<br> couple years back i made the big effort of getting a nock-off chinese <br>soldering station (Hakko 936 nock-off) even though its far cheaper than a<br> proper Hakko its still priced like a 19inch LCD monitor here, very <br>expensive. Even so, i'm glad i bought it when i did since they are just <br>completely impossible for me to buy right now with the ever <br>deteriorating economical situation of my country (my savings loose value<br> literally by the second) and its a proper temperature controlled <br>soldering station that heats up fast and maintains a determined <br>temperature, its made my life so much easier.</p><p>The <br>conical tip is a pain in the behind though, for 2 years i've had to dip <br>the thing in tin in order to get any heat transfer at all, so wasteful.<br></p><p>The<br> YaXun&reg; 936 i own according to some videos on the web that talk about <br>extremely similar (literally just the color or &quot;brand&quot; are different) <br>stations, can apparently take original Hakko tips, but each those are <br>worth just as much as the station itself if not more! YaXun tips are <br>also available at the price of a cheap lunch each, actually sending them<br> here probably costs just as much as the tip (im talking about local <br>sellers that use an e-bay equivalent website that functions locally) but i can only really find more of those very fine conical tips that are so awkward to work with.</p><p>So i decided to make my own chisel tip, i used to make them for my old plug-in-the-wall soldering irons.</p><p>It was much harder than fitting an old nail to the iron like i used to with the plug-in irons, but I<br> succeeded in creating a really really good, relatively easy to make, <br>really cheap, and really good fitting (fits even better than the original!) <br>copper tip for my iron using nothing but some copper scrap. The tip could, in theory, fit an original hakko soldering iron, since my knock off can <br>take hakko tips, and could certainly fit all of them knock-off hakko <br>clones.</p><p>Unfortunately as someone that has been <br>soldering for a few years i know that as soon as a tip starts showing <br>copper that's a goner, won't last long if it isn't already unusable.</p><p>That's<br> where your instructables on plating with nickel came in to my aid, if i<br> plate my hand-made copper tip with nickel, it would certainly extend <br>its lifetime significantly and the fact that you kept your material list <br>and procedures as simple and affordable as possible make them a real <br>enough possibility that i already have some copper wire scrap melting in<br> a jar of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide sitting in the corner.</p><p>Decided<br> to start plating with copper since its readily available everywhere allowing my to learn how to plate a metal with another before i try with nickel, which is far trickier for me to find. No chance i'll find<br> those pure nickel strips like you did, so i'll have to resort to coins <br>but unfortunately i don't have any pure nickel coins (can buy some that <br>were printed in the late 70s and are out of circulation, not that <br>expensive but they cost almost as much as the Yaxun tips, defeating the <br>purpose of my hand-made tips) so there is a chance i may have to use <br>some nickel coated coins and make sure that somehow the steel doesn't <br>contaminates the solution. Anyway,<br> one problem at the time.</p><p>Once more and from the bottom of my heart, <br>thank you very much for these instructables, I'm sure they will prove <br>invaluable for what is my hobby and (a very much necessary) second <br>source of income.</p><p>Oh, and i plan to make an instructable about that hand-made tips, but not before i coat the buggers in nickel :)</p>
<p>c&ocirc;ng ty ch&uacute;ng t&ocirc;i chuy&ecirc;n cung cấp một số dịch vụ về xi mạ niken v&agrave; một số c&ocirc;ng nghệ mạ kh&aacute;c tr&ecirc;n thị trường hiện nay.với lớp mạ niken b&oacute;ng s&aacute;ng phản xạ gương &aacute;nh s&aacute;ng trong thấy gi&uacute;p cho c&aacute;c sản phẩm tăng t&iacute;nh thẩm mỹ rất cao cấp,</p><p>ngo&agrave;i ra c&ocirc;ng ty ch&uacute;ng t&ocirc;i c&ograve;n c&oacute; một số lớp mạ c&ocirc;ng nghiệp hiện đại kh&aacute;c như l&agrave; mạ crom cứng,gi&uacute;p cho sản phẩm chống m&agrave;i m&ograve;n cực cao.</p><ul><br><li><a href="https://giacongxima.com/cong-ty-xi-ma-niken" rel="nofollow">https://giacongxima.com/cong-ty-xi-ma-niken</a></ul>
<p>so I can't plate my aluminum cylinder then.it's a nikasil, electrofusion, which I assume means electroplating</p>
<p>I've been plating some caphead bolts with great results but is ther a way of getting the plating into the socket of the bolt ?</p>
<p>Yes you can.</p><p>Method 1: </p><p>This method is called Drum Plating or Barrel Plating. Its a fully perforated barrel or drum (non metal or wooden) with a rotating mechanism. It has a perforated door to put nuts &amp; bolts in side. Door is closed. The whole drum is then lowered into the plating solution. You can use any method to connect negative of DC source to the objects inside the barrel. This electrical connection is not a fixed connection. Its a simply naked wire or rod or metal strip just keeps touching the nuts &amp; bolts during the rotation. During the plating the drum will rotate and this wire will get a lot of metal plated on it along with your objects. You can search on google by writing &quot;barrel plating&quot;. And off course anode remains outside the barrel.</p><p>Method 2: Put plating solution in a small non conducting tub. arrange anode near the wall of the tub. Make some arrangement to have your nuts &amp; bolts not to touch the anode; it might be anything like a perforated plastic sheet, plastic mesh OR you can put nuts and bolts in a perforated plastic basket &amp; lower the basket into the solution tub. Now connect +ve of DC source to the anode. Take a clean PVC pipe, insert some metal at 1 end, connect this metal with -ve of DC source to complete the circuit. Now turn on the DC supply and shake nuts &amp; bolts with PVC pipe and let metal part of PVC pipe touching the nuts and bolts. Shake slowly as you shake sugar in a cup of tea or coffee. Good Luck</p><p>Imtiaz Hussain.</p>
<p>The thing that most likely bothers the US MINT is calling their 'one cent</p><p>coin' a PENNY.</p>
<p>I know a bit about limiting current with resistors. How many amps/milliamps is recommended for electroplating? If one limits the current does the voltage matter?</p>
<p>how do you dispose of such a dangerous chemical?</p>
<p>I'm curious if your dark quarter made with the copper solution added could be polished to a shine or not and how durable the coating would be.</p>
<p>I have found a way to nickel plate pennies without electricity and very easy, I will be posting this how to very soon.</p>
<p>Hi, could anyone tell me the ingredients of CAMEO or tell me about an alternative available in south america? Thanks</p>
A Steingrube, thanks a lot for this wonderful tutorial!<br><br>I tested it and it worked great!<br><br>However, some people and myself pointed out a little mistake regarding electrocleaning polarity: the part to be cleaned has to be on the positive, as it is the side were &quot;the electroboys&quot; remove material.<br><br>It could be very nice to correct it, as if people wrongly wire it, it can destroy their preparation work by plating unwanted metal depending the anode they choose.<br><br>I also have a question regarding adding tin to the bath.<br><br>The only source I have is 97% Sn solder, the other 3% being copper.<br><br>As your try with mixed copper nickel bath shown a black result instead of shiny, I am worried that the few copper contained in the solder ruin my bath.<br><br>Do you have an idea about it?
Thanks for the catch on my mistake, I fixed the mistake.<br><br>As per the tin, tin is a bit harder to do with our vinegar method. The reason being is that tin acetate (the chemical you will be trying to make) decomposes fairly quickly in water. What I've heard of folks doing is using hydrochloric acid to eat away the tin and make tin chloride. If you do this, it is VERY important to keep a low pH (ie &quot;extra&quot; HCl). If you consume your hydrochloric acid and are left with a tin chloride solution in water and your water gets too warm, the tin chloride will decompose into chlorine gas (yikes!) and tin precipitate.<br><br>Conversely, if you have extra HCl in your solution and the solution gets too hot, the tin precipitate will react with the surrounding HCl to make more tin chloride and the hydrogen atom released from that reaction can rebond to the chlorine to form another HCl molecule. Granted, this doesn't hold as true if you are plating with super high currents or in a very warm bath (gases don't dissolve easily into warm liquids), but it can alleviate things.<br><br>
thanks a lot ! I will try this next time !
So, after a little bit of experimentation, here are my results: by trying to dissolve tin in an already working nickel solution, I saw that the giving part seems to oxidizer, as it turn black and flakes off. I then try to plate a copper sample, but forgot to change the giver, letting the tin one.<br><br>the result was a non adhesive layer of this &quot;oxyde&quot; (pic 1)<br><br>I then replaced the giver by a titanium electrode. this time it plated the sample, but the result is rather grayish and not so shiny as pure nickel (pic2)<br><br>So I prefer to let my 38l of nickel sulfate solution alone ;-)<br><br>Of course this is a very crude experience, without any control regarding the quantity of tin injected in the solution, neither the ratio between it and the nickel, the salt, and the acid.<br><br>But definitely enough to dissuade me to try it on a +200 h of work copper piece!
mmmmmhhh.. Regarding cleaning polarity, after looking everywhere, all derusting tutorial ask to wire the piece to clean to the negative, which sounds not logical... witch means that I probably did not understood what's going on in this reaction... I will investigate on the theory, and if I was wrong, all my apologies to the author
<p>What if you need to plate a handful or really tine parts that cannot be clipped to a alligator clip?</p>
<p>maybe a stainless steel basket will work. recommend you shake it up from time to time to be sure all sides are plated and the parts don't stick together </p>
Looks like some people already went this route, and found out the hard way that yes, stainless steel WILL dissolve in the bath, giving dull results. To avoid any contamination I would try a conductive, yet non metallic media. Graphite?
<p>Many types of stainless steel contain a large percentage of nickel.</p>
<p>yeah, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it would take a gold, silver or palladium wire basket. </p>
Yes, and for that a muscled wallet! :-D<br><br>I thinked about it and here is my El cheapo solution: make a receiver out of wood or a &quot;basketry&quot;, and cook it (no direct flame) in order to have your own &quot;charcoal basket&quot;.<br><br>However, that is pure theory, and you will maybe check the conductivity of a piece of charcoal first to avoid useless work :-)
<p>check conductivity yes, as well as structural integrity. you wouldn't want the bottom to drop out. really tiny parts as originally targeted here might not weigh enough to be a problem but they would also only require a very tiny basket. one might try a basket formed of silver foil. 25 3-3/8&quot; square sheets from amazon, under $16. hang it from nickel guitar strings. can't find a thickness specified though. probably would need multiple sheets for strength.</p>
As I am currently experimenting to try to solve my own question (adding tin), I am using this titanium anode. <br><br>It may also be a solution.<br><br><br>...And the more I think the more I doubt about my first assumption. <br><br>Actually the commenter that has problems with stainless steel suspended both anode and cathode with stainless steel. <br><br>So maybe if only the receiving side (negative) has stainless steel or any other metal, it should in the worse case be itself also plated, maybe badly with as a consequence nickel flakes in the bath, and in the best case be completely incompatible with nickel, so not be plated at all.<br><br>if this statement verifies, the solution will be much simpler!
forgot the pic ;-)
<p>I bought an old erector set that has rusty parts. Do you think this would work on this type of steel without copper plating first? Im not sure what it's made of specifically.</p>
<p>I really love this instructable. But, I think there's a typo in step 4: <br></p><p>&quot;You can further clean your object by reverse electroplating (ie <br>&quot;electrocleaning&quot;) it for a few seconds. Hook your object up to a <br>negative voltage, a wire to the positive voltage, and drop them both in a<br> vinegar salt solution for 10-30 seconds.&quot;</p><p>Shouldn't the object to be cleaned be connected to positive voltage? The object you want to <br>clean becomes the anode and the wire becomes the cathode.</p>
correct!
mmmmmhhh.. after looking everywhere, all derusting tutorial ask to wire the piece to clean to the negative, which sounds not logical... witch means that I probably did not understood what's going on in this reaction... I will investigate on the theory, and if I was wrong, all my apologies to the author
<p><a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221870151008" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221870151008</a></p><p>While this do with 19 V laptop power supply and a normal 1.2 V AA battery for the plating process?</p>
the nickel source should be OK, despite that some nickel coins will be more pure and cheaper by weight. Try searching &quot;1 franc la semeuse&quot; or &quot;pure nickel coin&quot;<br><br>As for the power supply, the (very little) experience I have shown me that the voltage give a big difference in the adhesion and texture of the plating, and I was never as high as 19v!<br><br>if you want to use it, you maybe can add to your shopping list a 7805 ic, that will limit the output to 5v, or other voltage limited ic, or a Big resistor (wasteful but at least efficient)
<p>I'm going to be doing a bunch of carburator linkages, they are mild steel.<br>Does the nickel bond better if I copper plate first?</p>
If you read the chart at the end of the instructable, you will see that both the bond between iron and copper and between copper and nickel are stronger than the bond between iron and nickel. So theorically copper plating first is the way to go. <br><br>However, if you dig in the numerous and very interesting comments down there, you will find that an other guy just directly plated steel without problem.<br><br>So now it's your turn to experiment :-)
<p>Do you use vinegar because it's easily accessible and relitively safe, or for chemical reasons? Would any %5 acid solution (such as HLC) work for your method?</p>
I had good results with water and sulfuric acid to a 2 or 3 Ph.
<p>You want to make nickel acetate, for that you need acetic acid - vinegar.</p>
Can plate it with nickel sulfate , which one will have better coating. We are doing a mini project on electroplating of nickel on mild steel. What can do for high quality coating(pre treatment procedures)<br>Waiting for your answer , thanks in advance
​I don't know if nickel sulfate will work or not. You'll have to try it and find out. The main requirement is simply that it dissolves in water. Unfortunately, I am an electrical engineer and not a chemist. I figured this instructable out by a lot of trial and error and a bit of research.<br><br>As far as the quality of the finish, I would think they would be the same. All you are doing is stripping the metal ion from the chemical salt and attaching it to a metal object. Where that ion comes from shouldn't matter unless the byproducts of stripping off that metal ion are highly corrosive.<br><br>As far as pretreatment, I cover that in my instructable.

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Bio: I'm an Electrical Engineer who dabbles in just about everything. By trade, I'm a controls engineer and design machines for the largest manufacturing ... More »
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