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review: Caswell zinc plating kit


hiebertm

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Just successfully used my new toy, a Caswell zinc plating kit:

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

I have the smallest size, 1.5 gallon tanks. Large enough for my purposes. Looks like a meth lab in the corner of my garage. Available for under $200 Canadian w/o a power supply. I'm using a portable jumper battery and light bulbs to control the current flow, better to buy a constant current power supply but I didn't want to spend the $$..

Lessons learned:

1) cleanliness is critical

2) polarity matters when you are electroplating. If you get it wrong, you are electro-deplating.

3) best to get a proper buffing wheel for polishing. Zinc plating protects against rust but its not as shiny and nice to look at as cad plating.

Caswell sells this w/ a yellow additive that requires additional steps and gives a cad look. But it seems to just be cosmetic, I'll be leaving all my plated parts as lightly polished zinc for bigger pieces, and unpolished for stuff like nuts and bolts.

Pics below show a unplated rusty part and a alternator bracket that I got wet on purpose at the same time, they started out both rust free before I wetted them. I was curious to see if I had polished off all the zinc on the alternator bracket so this was a test. Also shown is a zinc plated tii linkage bracket, before and after a light polish.

This is a fun little toy. It won't save you money vs. pulling all the hardware and sending to a plater. It seems like it won't kill you w/ toxic fumes, at least I feel fine and that manual also promises that nothing but moderate ventilation is needed. It will let you plate micro-batches so that you can put things back together piece by piece, which is the central reason I choce to go this route.

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Mark

Rusty 74 verona

WTB a roundie!

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3) best to get a proper buffing wheel for polishing. Zinc plating protects against rust but its not as shiny and nice to look at as cad plating.

Caswell sells this w/ a yellow additive that requires additional steps and gives a cad look. But it seems to just be cosmetic, I'll be leaving all my plated parts as lightly polished zinc for bigger pieces, and unpolished for stuff like nuts and bolts.

Cadmium is a little more poisonous than Zinc if I'm not mistaken, those extra good looks come with a price!

Curious to see how this works out for you.

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Caswell has some really cool stuff. Their 2 stage gas tank lining kit is far and away the best on the market, and that creme crap isn't worth the look

Nick

-'65 Riviera

-'66 Chevelle

-'72 '02 project

-'90 GTR missile

-'90 Corrado-422HP @ 22lb.

-'92 Duke 851

-'75 Z-1 Kawi

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pat,

Yes, I have the yellow additive. I should have read the full instructions on how its used before I bought it, there are a couple extra steps and I don't have the time or patience for it.

I may give it a try tonight just to see how it goes, will post a picture if I do. The chemical is all ready to use, I tried it a couple of days ago and then realized that my polarity had been wrong when I was trying to plate that part. My results might be crap because of my reverse plating activity might have fouled up the solution a bit.

Other news today, someone I work with bought some nice surplus power supply boxes a while ago from our employer, an electronics/IC company... and they are willing to lend me one. That's going to make this process way easier to control compared to the light bulb setup I had been using to control plating currents.

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

Mark

Rusty 74 verona

WTB a roundie!

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