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#377590 - 06/07/11 7:11 am Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Deadstiffcatt]  
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That plating system looks to lack any sort of sacrificial anode, zinc is one.


1969 TR6R
7.62 x 51 is not a maths puzzle.
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#377652 - 06/07/11 4:43 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Tiger]  
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The way I understand it, the 'plating wand' is the sacrificial anode, depositing metal from itself through the electolysis process onto the part to be plated. Mechanically, it is a true electroplating system, as the bandage wrapped around the wand is first soaked in the plating solution to provide an extremely minature 'bath'. (PART + LIQUID PLATING SOLUTION + ANODE + ELECTRICAL CURRENT)

For those wishing to study the Plug and Plate in more detail, here is a link:

http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/plugnplate.htm

The top, center photo is also a 10 minute how to video.

Although they state you can do copy chrome directly to most metal surfaces, I have chosen to always do a copper plate first, as I have found that it permits me to have a better visual as to how well the plating is going by colour contrast between the copper and the copy chrome. A highly polished bolt head with no copper plate is virtually impossible to tell if you have properly plated as there is almost no colour difference between plating and part surface.

Another reason I have chosen the copper plate is to allow an extra surface plate on the part, as I feel this will help to keep the top plate of copy chrome better intact.

I am using the wand/brush method to do this testing, at some point I will probably try the immersion method as well.

As I am providing a link to the company, I will again state that I am in no way connected with the company, and am conducting this testing independantly with the goal of providing accurate information to those who may choose to use it. My testing and work is not by a professional, I'm just some guy who doesn't have a clue really trying to figure it out! This will leave some variables as this thread progresses, for example a couple of posts back I discovered that I had to personally improve both my cleaning and plating procedures. For me, what has started as a testing thread has also turned into one with further education. (Plus, there's always the hope that I will make some boneheaded, completely unscientific move, and accidently figure out how to turn rusty Whitworth bolts into pure gold!!)

Joe

#378047 - 06/09/11 5:33 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Deadstiffcatt]  
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I wish...if the caswell kits could perform some sort of alchemy, I'd retire.

For the record, I have shown this thread to my family members on several occasions and the consensus is that we all love it! Thanks for testing, poking, asking questions etc.

While I dont directly work for Caswell, I would be happy to answer any questions or help in any way if anyone needs it.

One thing to note for sure; with regard to plating the parts ON the vehicle instead of removing them and plating them..

Invariably, the metal preperation will not be as good and therefore the results not as good. Its almost a certainty however, it looks like you're doing a good job!

J. Caswell

#378212 - 06/10/11 6:26 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Britishtools]  
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Ob1quixote: Look! The presence of Caswell, this board does inhabit! A missive has left he, and with a 'J' he has signed! Only one thing can this mean, he is a copy chrome Jedi, true!

An evil presence he warns of, and instructs to use the proper ritual to ensure the force is with a plated part.

I too, have sensed this evil presence, indeed, the week has been damp and light rain has fallen here upon the test nut outside. I fear that a Klingon wet soak encloaking device has been in play, in an attempt to further rust the project nut. I have instructed Spock to prepare my laser light shifter to enable me to remove the nut from the ground, then beam it to the Enterprise for a weekend review.

Until Spock is able to prepare the device, R2D2, the Tin Man, and myself are going to beam down to a tiny rust free planet below, inhabited by hot babes, strong drink, lions and tigers and bear, oh my, and follow the gold plated road to The Wiz Bar and Girl. Er, um, ....Grill.

Crocked, out.

P.S. J, Thanks for your visit to this thread! Cheers! Joe

#378307 - 06/11/11 12:41 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Deadstiffcatt]  
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The force is strong with this one, soon he'll be tilting at windmills with total abandon!

Another point of order on your stud plating; the bottom of the threads will be very tough to plate. This is due to how the electrical field sets up around the surface. As the atoms of plate are drawn to the stud to be deposited, they are picked off by the peaks of the threads before they can get into the valleys.


When singing "Kung Fu Fighting" is outlawed, only outlaws will sing "Kung Fu Fighting"
#379731 - 06/19/11 4:37 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Deadstiffcatt]  
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Weeks 5/6 update: Aww Nuts!!!

Pulled the nut from the ground, and gave it a quick rinse under water to remove loose dirt. This is what we got:



I then gave it a cleaning, and removed whatever dirt was still attached, and gave it a light polish.



The nut is positioned in these photos as it sat in the ground, the upper 1/2 was covered in dirt. On one hand, it looks to me like it took quite a beating, but on the other hand, maybe not so bad! Although we see a lot of pitting and indeed a section gone bare, we ALSO see a good portion that has had no change since being plated. A explanation is in order here:

This is one of the first pieces I did as I started this test. As my plating of other parts progressed, I came to the realization that I was perhaps not cleaning well enough, and not plating as thoroughly as I should. (see references to studs, week 3.) What this tells me at this point in time is that I did not do a good enough job of either on this piece.

All of the other parts plated (including some plated while still installed on the bike) are holding up nicely. I did have to replate the front motor mount stud threads, again I feel they weren't plated well enough to begin with.

Am I disappointed? Yes, but I am disappointed in MY OWN TECHNIQUE at this point. The photos plainly show that with the bad areas, there is just as much good plating that was done, the MATERIALS themselves seem quite sound.

In the spirit of maintaining an objective view, I am going to restrip this nut, repolish, and then replate the ENTIRE unit, not just half, to give full coverage on the entire nut, and then try the ground test again.

---------------------------

In other news, both of the rocker ends that were plated in place on the bike are holding up nicely, no changes to be seen. As I also plated the top of a headbolt to see the effects of heat, after a few rides there has been no miscolouring, and no peel or flake.
All of the other plated nuts and bolts are showing no change, a quick wipe with a cloth and they look like they did day 1.

So I'll replate the axle nut, paying closer attention to cleanliness and proper levels of plating, replace it in the ground, and try the torture test once again!

#379732 - 06/19/11 4:42 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Deadstiffcatt]  
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Oops! Forgot this week's hidden subliminal message.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7knIi3LGf4M

Cheers! Joe

#379740 - 06/19/11 5:38 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Deadstiffcatt]  
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The Northwoods... Michigan
Gotta be some kind of moral to this story, about not squirreling your nuts away...

#380900 - 06/26/11 6:46 am Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Deadstiffcatt]  
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Having done an electroplating course, I'd comment that for long lasting chrome, it is usually recommended that the object be given a good coating of nickel before the chrome. Reason being is that electroplated chrome is porous, so the moisture can get through, and eventually undermine the chrome with rust. A thick-ish coating of nickel is waterproof, and largely prevents this happening.

Can this be done with the Caswell kits ?

That copy-chrome looks very authentic - what is it ??
To set up for genuine chromium plating is VERY expensive, and also needs a very heavy duty adjustable low voltage power supply.

#380965 - 06/26/11 5:03 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Rohan]  
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Originally Posted By: Rohan
Having done an electroplating course, I'd comment that for long lasting chrome, it is usually recommended that the object be given a good coating of nickel before the chrome. Reason being is that electroplated chrome is porous, so the moisture can get through, and eventually undermine the chrome with rust. A thick-ish coating of nickel is waterproof, and largely prevents this happening.

Can this be done with the Caswell kits ?

That copy-chrome looks very authentic - what is it ??
To set up for genuine chromium plating is VERY expensive, and also needs a very heavy duty adjustable low voltage power supply.


(First note: sorry, nothing new here in week 6. Injury- phucking spider- not walking much- god how I miss my motorcycle shed!!)

Having not done any classes, my knowledge is limited. I do know that over the past ten or so years I have been so pissed off at modern chrome, I have chosen to investigate doing my own at home where I can be RESPONSIBLE for full quality control. So I took to the web a few years back and got some basic learning before choosing to try the Caswell products. I am aware that traditional triple plated chrome is a 'sacrificial' coating of copper, followed by nickel, then the final coat of chrome-hence 'triple plated' (I wonder how many people think triple plated chrome is three coats of just the chrome???)

Being aware of this when I purchased this Copy Chrome kit, I chose to add copper plating to the mix as my base coat, both for the ease of verifying a part was fully plated by using the difference in colour- copper vs. 'chrome'; and as the sacrificial base coat. So, to answer your first question, yes, different coatings can be applied in layers, however one must be aware of what can be plated on what, and which surfaces need to be specially treated ie. certain potmetals will need further treatment before plating.

The Copy Chrome kit appears to me to be a Stainless plate, as that is what the anode used is. Caswell states that it can be plated directly to many surfaces without a sub-plating, I have only tried it on an old English half penny, and it has been holding up just fine. (Seen in earlier photos of primary cover-week 1 or 2). As previously mentioned, I use a coat of copper once I have polished things to help me visually insure that I have plated the entire surface, as plating Copy Chrome onto a highly polished steel bolthead leaves almost no difference in colour, and you are unable to see missed spots.

The kit being used for this test is the Plug and Plate, I have added copper plating as well.
http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/plugnplate.htm (click on pic in top center of page to get short tutorial)

For those who are interested in home plating-Caswell offers a full line of MANY plating types- gold, silver, chrome, copy chrome, anodizing, and more in both minature and shop sized systems.

http://www.caswellplating.com/

I have spent a few hours perusing all of their website, they have some very valuable info available for the home plater, much like this forum provides for Brit bikers and their bikes. Although I have not contacted them directly, they offer very good customer support; they have info from basic cleaning up to what will work in a full scale shop; they offer little itty bitty kits up to shop size and nice steps or levels in between. All prices are clearly listed, they have a small forum to discuss plating, and all things point to a quality minded business. So far, I am pleased with their sales services, and each week am getting happier with the long term quality of their product. I highly recommend anyone who wants to further their knowledge of plating to visit their site. For me, I still have a good year to go of this test to ensure an unbiased and factual set of results in the real world, on the road and in the storage shed.
(Side note: some of the tutorials are in a nice, mellow, English accent: I often like to play them out in the shop for the Triumph before plating a part or removing a part to plate. She likes that voice, trusts it because of the accent, and it puts her at ease so the job is so much smoother to facilitate. I don't know about you, but I've seen first hand what an angry Triumph can do in a small shop, and after having to put a Beemer down because of a wild tussle with a jealous Triumph, (It was horrible, let me tell you,) I don't want to take any chances....)

No photos this week, unless you want to see what a stupid spider can do to a knee is three days..... Boris, YOU WILL PAY mad !!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP3PrZR8Lxw

#380976 - 06/26/11 6:17 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Deadstiffcatt]  
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The CopyChrome plating takes place in the solution, and the stainless wand only supplies the voltage through the solution to cause the plating materials in the solution to be deposited.

The plating is an alloy of nickel and cobalt.


DSC, you have a run-in with a Brown Recluse? Nasty bite those things have!

Last edited by Ob1quixote; 06/26/11 6:18 pm.

When singing "Kung Fu Fighting" is outlawed, only outlaws will sing "Kung Fu Fighting"
#380989 - 06/26/11 7:16 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Ob1quixote]  
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Originally Posted By: Ob1quixote
The CopyChrome plating takes place in the solution, and the stainless wand only supplies the voltage through the solution to cause the plating materials in the solution to be deposited.

The plating is an alloy of nickel and cobalt.


DSC, you have a run-in with a Brown Recluse? Nasty bite those things have!


Ob1quixote, I believe you are correct on both counts.

Re Copy chrome:
This taken from their website:
"Copy Chrome is a nickel based product, with additives that make it look like a chrome plate. It's not real chrome. It's much safer to use and applies in one step."

So I believe I stand to be corrected on my supposition of stainless.

It is interesting to note that on one attempted plating, I had both copper and copy chrome plate and solutions laid out, ready to do base coat of copper then a final coat of copy chrome. So naturally, I used the wrong wand with the wrong solution and got- no plating!
So it is not just the solution-but a proper anode as well to create the right mix to properly plate, which does make sense. It is interesting to note that the following plug and plate kits ALL use a stainless wand- nickel, black krome, copy chrome, gold, silver, and bronze, also confirming your statement that the solution contains many of the plating elements, and will determine the final coating.

Re: Boris- Not sure, occurred Monday after market close, when I went to the shed to wrench. Knee started itching like a mosquito bite, and knew I was scr--d. Assuming spider, could also be evil and wicked market maker trying to extract revenge. laugh

Threshold exceeded- sleep nappies time!

P.S. Kick the guy with the 65 running on one cylinder in the rear for me, and make him get it running!!!! The world doesn't need two Triumphs out of commission for another week......... Cheers til later! Joe

#382877 - 07/07/11 2:06 am Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Deadstiffcatt]  
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Caswell test update- July 6, somewhere around week 8.

Well that was a fun two weeks! Survived the bloomin' spider, can finally walk like a real human again, and it's nice to be able to be playing back in the shop!

Checking in on the testing of installed parts, I was mortified to see that my plated shifter clevis had developed a layer of rusty fuzz!! This left me a bit puzzled, as other pieces plated and installed at the same time show virtually no change, let alone this severe.



So it was removed, taken back down to base metal, replated and reinstalled. As this is one of the first pieces I plated, I am inclined to go with 'operator error' on this failure, and followed a tighter regimen of better cleaning, and a thicker layer of plating-as it's the plug and plate, this translates into a longer plating time for each piece, and naturally, as the clevis has much more surface area than another plated part, the tach drive bolt, there will indeed be the need for a longer plate time to create a thicker coat. Both the clevis and the tach drive bolt were originally plated at just about the same time, yet the tach drive bolt has held up quite well.







Another piece holding out just fine is the plated half penny mounted to the pizza pan primary cover plate.




Another interesting point I found was that the parts plated while still on the bike are doing just fine- the ends of the rocker spindles, and a cylinder bolt- top plated only.





I also ran into the lone cylinder base nut that I had plated starting to show a bit of rust as well, but the top of the stud that was plated while on the bike is holding out!



So the test is turning out with mixed results at this point, I am under the impression that failures that have occurred are due to my skill level at this point, as certain pieces plated at the same time as others are still holding out just fine with no rusting.

With the newly replated clevis installed, we'll be able to see if my technique for cleaning and plating has indeed improved!

I'll probably back off on this thread to every couple of weeks or monthly, I'd like to focus on this group of test pieces. The biggest factors now for testing are everyday use and weather; unlike the big drug companies, I feel that it takes real world time to verify whether something works or not.

(Whaddya mean, we tested it on guinea pigs for 3 months, and now it's killing people by the thousands??????????? Not our drug, and besides the FDA APPROVED it!!!!)

Special note to Ob1quixote: One neighbor swears there aren't any brown recluse in California. Another thinks it was probably a black widow. Me, well I think that it sure sounds like a bunch of WHITE guys are the ones that chose the names for poisonous 8 legged demons! I mean, it sure is beginning to look like a pattern...............

For my special lil' 8 legged friend......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg0dkJfrPYM

But wait, that not all! Special bonus link! Click and close your eyes, focus your ears on the kitty, and you will hear a real talking cat!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMRaSXh9-n4&feature=related

Cheers! Joe

#396857 - 09/30/11 4:29 pm Re: Caswell Copy Chrome Plating Test [Re: Deadstiffcatt]  
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Caswell test update using the Plug and Plate system, 9-30-2011, somewhere around week 19:

Hi all! It's been a good summer, with a few changes thrown into the test.....

First of all, I got a job which means I have been faithfully taking the bike out daily for the short jaunt out to the coast. It's important to note that this changes the test a bit for slightly harsher conditions-not based on mileage but time in the weather. That leads us to another factor that has changed. See, while almost all of you were dealing with sweltering heat- I was still throwing on my leather because I am just north of San Francisco, and had to deal with 60 to 70 degree daytime temps, as well as 55 or so and fog on the way home at night! Yep, while a lot of you were bitching about the moisture caused by sweat, I was bitching about the moisure caused by the fog!!!! As Mark Twain once put it, "The coldest winter I have spent was SUMMER in San Francisco." He wasn't kidding!!!

To be duly noted, one of the changes in this testing turns out to be more time in inclement weather, most nights I'd come out to the bike that was parked out of doors, the fog had made good and sure that things were coated with enough moisture to be WET! Along the same lines, the bike now spends several hours a day parked outside, slowly getting wetter (and a bit more grumpy with her owner for doing so.) These were not variables I expected to introduce this early on in the testing, but for the sake of testing I was happy to see; I wanted to see results in wet weather as well, and thanks to that darn fog, I sure do get to! Another point worth noting is that these plated parts were NOT waxed or polished through out the testing- they were lucky if I took the time to dry them off when I got home at night.

An unthought of factor that may have come into play is the quality of the base metal, most notably that of the shifter clevis's. More on that, though, as we hit them in the photos that follow.

To see the progression of the wear and aging, you may want to refer back to the original photos at the begining of this thread for comparision to today's photos. Ready? Here we go.....

Let's get started with looking at the tach cover bolt. This has held up quite nicely,as the first photo shows.



Heading to the front motor mount stud and nut, this piece was originally plated off the bike, and some possible rust was noted early on in the threads; these were cleaned and replated on the bike. The nut has taken a bit of rust on which wiped of easily with fine steel wool. However the very end of the stud which was also polished and plated showed no sign of deterioration.



Moving on to the clevis's used for the shifter, these took a bad hit! The rear clevis intially started to show surface rust quickly and was removed, stripped, and replated, yet STILL developed a high amount of surface rust. (1st photo) When polished with steel wool, the rust came off but showed an underlying of darkness and in some places the coppercoated first layer showed through. (2nd photo- this was of the forward clevis after polishing with steel wool, rear clevis similar results) It is interesting to note that the two clevis's are made in Taiwan metal, and although polished to a high luster prior to plating, they show the most damage of all pieces, leading me to wonder if indeed the quality of the base metal may have a reaction with the chemicals in these plating kits....





As we are looking at the rear clevis from a top view, we can also see the top of the foot shifter where the 'tib' was cut off and polished and plated. Again, very minimal rust that cleaned off easily with steel wool.






The medallion on the timing cover which is an old English half penny also shows no deterioration, much like the tach bolt. Again, interesting to note is the base metal of the medallion, a much older (and perhaps more 'pure') metal.
Likewise we see the same results with the shifter knob- an old brass knob that was plated in the same manner and sytem as all other pieces, just leaving that center line unplated to let a brass ring show through.





A final pair worth noting is the ends of the rocker spindles that were plated in place on the bike. No signs of deterioration, also impressive because of the fact that this is an oily part to begin with, so the pre plating cleaning process must have been good!



----------------------------------------------------------------------

During this test period I also visited the Caswell site to read up on exterior or out of doors resistance. A couple other people had noted the surface rust problem- these mere notations led me to understand that others had indeed experienced weathering problems, it was recommended to coat plated parts with wax or clearcoat. It was also noted that a longer plating time (thicker coat) could also help rust resistance. Also, reference was made in a couple of posts to a preferred usage for interiors-such as auto dash knobs, etc.

Of my own experience, again I would like to mention the base metal used. Starting with the old brass shifter/ doorknob, the old English half penny, and finally the rocker spindles and tach bolt -each of these a fairly high quality metal base that I have had little problems with. Compared with the Taiwan made shifter clevis's, I really do suspect that a possibly less pure metal base does indeed have an effect on the entire plating process and it's longetivity. Also worth mention is that any rusting appears to be on the surface, rather than coming through from the base. It is generally a light fuzz, on most pieces wipes off easily with the very fine steel wool. (This fact alone is enough to get me to try a wax coating on the plated parts to see what happens over the next few rainy months.)

At this point in the testing I am having mixed feelings. I am happy that certain pieces are holding up well, and disappointed that others did not. I would like to replate certain pieces, perhaps trying the Plug and Plate kit using the dip method rather than the brush method I have used. (Specifically, those damned clevis's)

I really like the ease of use, and overall feel that Caswell offers good products and exceptional resources for the home plater, and look forward to perhaps trying the nickel plating kit to see if it may have a bit better durability.
I definitely will try and wax or clearcoat a few pieces once they are cleaned up, and will do another follow up as we progress into the rainy season here. Best to all! Joe

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