Plating parts

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Frank R, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    I have some old view cameras that are missing some metal parts, like corner braces. Most of the remaining parts have some surface corrosion. I will probably need to fabricate the replacements. It looks like most of the parts were made from brass and then nickel plated or chromed; is that correct?

    Can old parts be re-plated?

    Has anyone had parts plated? If so, where?

    I was thinking about contacting some of the speed shops locally that customize cars. I have heard of people who pay to have tail pipes and other car parts chromed. Maybe I can have mine done at the same time as a larger project.
     
  2. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    You can do electroless nickel at home, maybe chrome too but I'm not certain.

    http://www.caswellplating.com/

    Check and see what kits they offer. Also you could google the process you want and probably find material lists and direction for most of these processes that are not entirely too hazardous to do at home.

    If they were brass, why not just polish the brass and be done? And yes you should be able to have the old parts ground, polished, and plated. The old plating would need to come off before the new stuff could go on.
     
  3. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I restored a Linhof Technika, and had several parts re-plated to match the original satin chrome. I used Plating Specialties in Grand Junction, CO. The cost was under $100.

    If possible, you would be better off sending ALL the metal parts off to be plated, so they will all match. There are hundreds of small plating firms, just Google and call around.
     
  4. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    The Chromic Acid used for chrome plating is an extremely dangerous chemical and IIRC the solution is used hot with toxic vapour which must be controlled with venting and covering the surface to minimize air contact.
     
  5. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    Why do you need to fabricate? Just because of the corrosion? To get a nice finish you have to sand/buff the piece anyway
    Why not just sand the corrosion off, buff and be done? Unless they're mangled they should be fine?

    The simple Caswell kits for chrome are nickel with cobalt added to cool the color from yellow to blue ..like that of chrome.
    It's cheap and very simple to do. You can brush on or dunk
    Looks nice ..quite a close match to chrome. You won't really know any better.
    Preparation takes time.
    Not as durable as chrome. You will likely flake it off if you wrench on it but other than that it should be perfectly fine. You can do a copper then "chrome" for improved durability
    You will have to keep it polished as you would brass. It does not stay perfect-looking.

    If you can get this stuff done for less than $100 that sounds like a great deal. ..if you can get a LOT of little pieces done for that. Is that decorative chrome?
     
  6. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    Thanks for the link.

    The rest of the parts are plated; I would want the new parts to match the old plated parts.

    Okay, that is way too much work.
     
  7. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    I have an 11x14 camera that is missing a corner bracket on the rear frame. The corner bracket also incorporates the spring clip that secures the back to the frame. I also have a 5x7 camera that is missing some front standard parts.

    I can fabricate the missing parts, but I would like them to match the nickel or chrome plating of the old parts. I thought that I would have all the camera parts plated at once (including re-plating the old parts) so that they would match. I mean, if I was going to spend $100, why not do the whole pile of parts? But, grinding off the old plating is not feasible.

    I might still look into custom automotive plating. I might get a price break if I could include my tiny parts with another customer's job.
     
  8. lee

    lee Member

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    just a note:

    Nickel back around WWI used to be called German Silver. They changed the name for reasons like they changed the name of French Fries to Freedom Fries.

    lee\c
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    This is what National used to call the finish on their metal (brass) body resonator guitars. I believe that it was copper plated first - an easy process to do at home.


    Steve.
     
  10. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    You don't need to grind off the old plating or prepare the parts. The plater will dunk them in his solutions and removed the old coatings and prepare them for the new coatings. Call a plater and talk about your project.

    On my Technika, the frame was aluminum with corrosion under the chrome plating. The chrome was flaking off in places, etc. It looks like new now. I hated to spend the money, but in retrospect, it was well worth it.
     
  11. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    This is very encouraging, thanks.

    I have an email in to someone, who knows someone, who will know who to contact locally about places that do plating.
     
  12. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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  13. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    Oh, I was looking at a more expensive kit. The electroless kits are far less expensive. These may do the trick, thanks!