Hi All,

I plan on nickel electroplating several Lionel prewar parts.  The last several days, Ive been working on making a batch of nickel plating solution (please see picture).

Reading online, they say to calculate the surface area of the part that you want to plate, which will help determine the voltage.  Because of the odd shape of these latch couplers, I'm not even going to try and attempt to figure out what the surface area is, lol.  My question to the group, for small parts such as these, what approx. DC voltage should I use?

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Last edited by Lionel16
Original Post

I would start with 3-4 volts and see how fast its plating? Watch the bubbles. They should be small. Large ones that float to surface like boiling water mean too much current.

If you can control both current and voltage with your power supply I would just leave the current above a few amps and let the voltage and your part determine current draw.

Pete

You can only control the voltage or the current. The resistance determines the other. E=IR.

Thank you for the responses.  Also, how long should I leave the part submerged?  They do say it's a good idea to routinely rotate the part so that it's receives even plating on all sides

You should be able to observe the change. Maybe a few minutes. Take it out and and see if you can rub it off. You understand the negative lead is attached to the part being plated?? Suspending it in the solution without current passing through it won’t attract the nickel to it.

Pete

@Lionel16 posted:

Thank you for the responses.  Also, how long should I leave the part submerged?  They do say it's a good idea to routinely rotate the part so that it's receives even plating on all sides

You should only have to agitate it once. The idea is to move the nickel towards the workpiece. As the plating begins, the area around the workpiece becomes less saturated with Nickel. Probably not as bad as doing large parts like car parts where those large tanks have a built in agitator …..Like Pete said and the song goes..” tiny bubbles” ….maybe after 20 seconds or so just swish the part around lightly and call it good…

Pat