Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Draftetdan, Sep 16, 2018.
forgot to add... post #6 I said that I finally found pure nickel at Amazon.
If you aren't familiar with Custom Titles (CT's), notice the three letters and punctuation mark under my name. They are bestowed for particularly conspicuous behavior here on the boards of TSD.
I sure hope you properly dispose of the waste. You better contact your local environmental agency, no joke dude.
OK. here's where the fun begins. I'll be plating the TTO knob first, because it's small and handy for "test subject" and it's got no moving jingly bits. As you saw from the pictures, it had almost zero plating left on it and was pretty tarnish. The male portion that inserts into the handle was copper plated at some point. Its curious that the knurled part of the knob was nickel plate on brass but the insert portion was nickel on copper on brass... go figure. Maybe the copper plate gave it a little more hardness due to it being a "friction surface"... just a thought. Well I cleaned and cleaned and polished. Started with 409, then dish soap (for degreasing). Next I used a small wire wheel attachment on the Dremel tool. That worked really well for cleaning out the fine depressions in knurling as well as the tight inside corner at the narrowing of neck. There was a bit of pitting and corrosion on the copper part and the wire wheel really ate that up. Then I attacked the narrow portion with a small felt buffing wheel and some polishing compound. Then... back to soap and water... a lot. As the internet says... you cannot clean enough. I also made a special effort to clean the interior of the knob with q-tips and an old tooth brush. Nitrile gloves or something similar for the final cleaning(s) is recommended. ANY oil from your hands will impair the plating. Of course, after so many washes, you probably won't have any oil in your skin for days.
Now it's off to the green-crystal Superman juice. The hooks-ups are simple, positive connects to the nickel source (your coin, plate, guitar string... what ever you used earlier). The part to be plated (the TTO knob) gets connected to the negative. The way I situated things was to use the rubber band (that we used earlier) to secure the positive lead to the side of the jar. Leave the negative loose so that you can swish it around in the solution and easily remove it. This is important because leaving it in one spot will cause the plating to attach to mostly one side. So, moving it around slowly and rotating it helps with an even application. Additionally, you'll need to move your clip to a new spot occasionally so you don't wind up with a bald spot with no plating. With that said, turn on the voltage and dip your part. This is where you have to be careful. Not because it is dangerous but, because the finish can be affected. This is why I like the variable power supply. The internet says that the 5 volts from a phone charger does fine. I noticed, while practicing, that the higher the voltage, the faster the plating but, the "grainier" the new surface. This was echoed by some web commentary. By "grainy" I mean exactly that: at 9 to 12 volts my test subject acquired a texture like 220 grit sand paper. The lower the voltage, the smoother the finish but, it takes longer. All of my "playing" landed me at 3 volts for about 10 minutes for a smooth shiny appearance. The first subject was a new shiny penny. Apparently, there is something juvenile and rewarding about nickel plating a penny. I grinned like a monkey and ran and showed my wife, who also giggled. If you check google, it seems to be a universal response. I seem to remember the same thing in chemistry class 35 years ago... a herd of 15-year-olds laughing at pennies... curiously fun. I was unsure if the same technique used for plating of the copper would yield the same results on the brass as with the penny. Luckily, it worked great. I doubled my time (about 20 minutes of swishing) to ensure that I had a thorough layering. BTW, I mention in a previous post, don't let the leads or parts (positive and negative) touch each other. There won't be any explosions or burns on the material but, it could damage your power supply. I've read that it's more serious with copper plating but, not here. A bit of cleaning and rinsing and I had a pretty silvery TTO knob. There were some imperfections on the part that inserts into the handle, probably caused by texture, or inadequate cleaning. Because, once this razor is assembled and crimped, no one EVER see it again. I can live with that.
See the pics below. Its a good comparison to the original color and finish.
I understand the "theory of operation" with this process but I have no background in the specific chemistry or physics involved. What I've put forth so far has been entirely gleaned from the web and experimentation. If you have any questions about WHAT I physically did, I can surely answer them. If you want to know WHY I did something... well, I don't have any idea and I'm going straight to google to find you an answer. Hopefully, I'll come up with something sciencey that sound right.
Also, I notice that my writing style goes from "I" to "you" a lot. I'm not going to go back and "edit for continuity". I'm OK with it... please don't judge.
Next I'm planning to sand and polish the doors on the DE and start the "cleaning. I'm really excited to see this part.
I've done some replating on some razors in the past. The best source for Nickel is from welding rods. I went to a welding supply shop and they gave me 4 at a cost that was just a dollar or two.
I'm thinking maybe you just stuck the knob in for comparison, but shouldn't it be pushed in further? Looking good though.
you are correct, Jayaruh, I have not fully assembled it yet.
Excellent thread, thank you for sharing. Congrats on the great results!
BTW, Jayaruh, your SS looks terrific.
My father is a retired research chemist / Registered Nurse / Army Reserve Aid Station boss. Much of his education entered my brain through osmosis. I'm thinking when you finish with the plating solution, you can precipitate out the dissolved nickle on a piece of scrap metal, or replate it to your donor plate. Then the mild acid can be neutralized with an alkaline to neutral 7 pH. Hint - shave soap is mildly alkaline!
Thanks. It's a 53. I have a 46-47, too. It is my birth era razor.
Man, that is super cool. These things still amaze me. They were designed and "engineered" to do one thing only and do it well. And still, Gillette took the time and effort to incorporate a handsomeness in to the look and feel so they didn't have just a knife on a stick. The WHOLE package was considered. Not like today's plastic disposable trinkets. Your's in in great shape, you should be proud.
Very well said! I agree completely.
I just think that generation in general cared more about making a quality product. No offense to anyone, I just feel we lost our sense of pride manufacturing quality goods in this country. Granted there are small companies, but they seem to be few and far between.
Yes, for a few reasons, one of which was that they well knew the vital concept of want, or what it was to make do with the less than desirable, or just do without. Most of them had lived it but all of them knew what it meant. That concept is now unthinkable and completely lost on most people in the West. So when the collapse comes...and it must, in some form...hoo boy.
Planned obsolescence is the current marketing and manufacturing paradigm. Light bulbs could last ten times as long, but The Light Bulb Consortium forbids it.
Same for just about all "durable" products. Washing machine and vehicles used to be built for decades of use. These vintage and modern razors we enjoy have become a niche market instead of the norm.
Which light bulb? The incandescent, or the toxic fluorescent? One is still burning but last I checked, the gov't said we can't have them anymore, for our own good. The other requires hazmat gear if you drop it. I guess that's for our own good, too.
] Because I can't keep a secret... I'm going to race to the end of the story. I'll come back and fill in the blanks, don't worry, I promise .
Plating is a lot faster than writing about plating. I finished the job tonight and couldn't be more pleased. Have a look.
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