Removal of chrome plating to reveal nickel plating?

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Removal of chrome plating to reveal nickel plating?

Postby barkmadly » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:58 pm

As the topic suggest, can anyone suggest the best way to do this?
I have a pair of Kelly bars circa 1900 that have been chrome plated in more recent times. To be period correct they should be nickel plated. I understand that nickel plating is first applied underneath chrome plating so I figure if I can remove the chrome then I will be where I need to be.
Any thoughts on chrome removal to reveal nickel would be appreciated.
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by BNA » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:15 pm

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Re: Removal of chrome plating to reveal nickel plating?

Postby Mustang » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:15 pm

I think you should talk to a plater? I have never heard of a process to remove chrome, but I'm sure they could help with re -nickel
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Re: Removal of chrome plating to reveal nickel plating?

Postby WyvernRH » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:36 pm

Don't be too sure there is nickel under the chrome, a lot of modern plating companies don't use it.
As Mustang said, best to talk to a chroming company. To the best of my knowledge there is no way to remove just the chrome. They will probably want to completely strip and them re-plate the item.
It will not be cheap I fear as a lot of chromers are not set up for full nickel plating and yours will be a one off. Try one that does work for vintage or veteran cars or motorcycles as a lot of parts were nickel plated on these in the old days.
Cheers
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Re: Removal of chrome plating to reveal nickel plating?

Postby Jesmol » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:42 pm

A class platers in adelaide should be able to help out
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Re: Removal of chrome plating to reveal nickel plating?

Postby cycles gitane » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:39 pm

Some ideas here........... http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-Chrome-Plating

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Re: Removal of chrome plating to reveal nickel plating?

Postby barkmadly » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:49 am

Hi Adrian,
Thanks for the link. I will work through the tips starting with the least toxic and cancer forming and see how the chrome removal goes.
The long term health of blokes who used to operate Prahran Platers must have been compromised after years of exposure to highly toxic chemicals!
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Re: Removal of chrome plating to reveal nickel plating?

Postby GraemeK » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:29 am

Assuming there was Nickel under the chrome it would not be possible to remove one without the other. When you remove chrome you actually unplate it by placing it in the plating tank so the item you want un plated is the anode and the coating is removed rather than deposited. When you do this the rate of removal is not completely even so you would get some bits with all the chrome and some of the Nickel removed. This will happen even if you etch the surface with acid compounds.
Bottom line is you need to get a plater to strip the bars and replate them but you will need to find a specialist plater to do nickel because it is an environmental hazard due to the fact that it is water soluble and creates real problems for water disposal in plating shops so most platers will not handle it. Also Nickel on old bike parts was plated then wheel polished because the plating techniques did not give out of the tank shiny finishes. These days anyone doing nickel would probably be doing what is called Bright Nickel which does not require polishing after plating but does not look the same as the older finish so best to ask to see what it will look like before you commit to a plater.
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Re: Removal of chrome plating to reveal nickel plating?

Postby Torana68 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:15 am

GraemeK has it nailed , wouldnt waste your time, go to a plater (EPT in Queanbeyan does it) but if you want the look of c1900 Nickel you wont get it, the process has changed . It will be brighter and Im not sure if its as long lasting as the original (chrome was invented to increase the life of the Nickel plate). Museums might look for nickel but the average guy with a bike thats to be ridden - go chrome.
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