Platers Recipe for Making Nickel Plating Bath
(Electroplater’s Handbook of 1891 (GEBonny))
Warm: 1 Part oil of vitrol, 3 parts water & 1/3 part auqua
fortis in a stoneware vessel on a fireplace with a good flue
to carry off the nitrous fumes.
Add pure nickel cubes until the acid ceased to dissolve any
more metal. Drive off excess acid by boiling and dilute with
¼ of its bulk with boiling water. Cool. Filter through a
Dissolve sulfate of ammonia in hot water until saturated
then cool the solution.
Add the sulfate of ammonia solution to the nickel sulfate
solution until it loses all it’s color with the double
nickel salt being thrown to the bottom of the vessel. Pour
off the liquid and wash the crystals with more ammonium
Add 12 to 16 ounces of double salts to each gallon of rain
water. Allow to cool and filter through a calico cloth.
It will be found convenient to nail the calico to a frame of
wood, like a picture frame, and long enough to stretch
across the vat. The filtered solution should have density of
d1.20 at 60 degrees F. as shown on a specific gravity
Note: Distilled water is best for all solutions because it
is free from earthy salts which canonly clog plating baths,
but it is costly and therefore the best substitute is rain
water. Make slightly acid by a little sulfuric acid when
used in plating iron and steel.
NOTES ON NICKEL PLATING
(Canning 1907 Handbook)
Take the anodes out once a week and scour them to remove all
oxides, when the anodes are worn away, send the old Nickel
back it is of some value.
The vats should be cleaned out every 6 months. Syphon off
the clear solution, get out the sediment from the vat.
Stir the solution every Saturday with a stick after leaving
off work; it will settle down ready for use on Monday
Skim the solution every morning before commencing if any
dust or foreign matter of any kind is on the surface. Dust
on the surface often gives the articles a pitted appearance
when nickel plated.
Never put anything into the solution if is working will, or
trouble will ensure.
Liquid ammonia in a nickel solution is a plater’s greatest
enemy. If you do not know how to use it, leave it alone.
The most frequent cause of stripping is a want of care on
the part of the scourer & cleaner.
It is always advisable to remove old nickel from the iron or
steel by polishing. This is the only satisfactory way.
Remove nickel from brass or copper articles by dipping in a
mixture of 2 parts sulfuric acid and 1 part of nitric acid
added to a very small quantity of water. Small articles in
an earthenware dipping basket & large articles wired.
NICKEL PLATING OLD ARTICLES
Each should be well polished on a suitable mop. Then given a
coat of copper in the copper bath. Mop the article again,
clean in the usual way and place in the Nickel bath. To
ascertain if the cleaning vat requires addition of cleaning
lye, dip in the fingers, and if the same appear slimy it is
all right; if the touch is dry add some lye at once.
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