Copyright WWW.DBBP.COM | updated 27 February-2007

My BMW Bobber, part 48
CAD version here


A while ago I bought a nickle plating kit, and I thought the hubcovers of the BMW would be the perfect parts to try it out. The covers were machined from steel and Aad polished them for me. The nickle plating kit came with a rather flimsy bucket to plate the parts in, but I decided to use a "curver" container instead so there would be more room.

First step was to mount the Anode (+) and Cathode (-) bars over the container. The Anode is covered with red plastic to avoid accidental short circuits I guess. Sheets of nickel were suspended on the Anode bar, and the plating controller box was attached to both bars. The kit also came with a 50 Watt heater, (the kind they use in aquariums) and this was attached to the bottom of the container.


The plating is supposed to be done in a solution with a temperature between 20 and 50 degrees Centigrade, the maximum temperature of the heater was only 32 degrees, so I set it at full power. The power supply of the controller box could be set at different voltages, depending on the surface area of the part that was being plated. My part was about 40 square inches ( easy to calculate when you have the part in CAD), and according to the instructions that meant I needed to use 7,5 volts.


The next step was to wash and degrease the part (I used ordinary dishwasher liquid), and then the part had to be rubbed with scourer/surface preparer (also included in kit). I I filled the container with 10 liters of warm water and mixed in 2 kilograms of nickle salts while wearing rubber gloves and a facemask because this is pretty nasty stuff. The mixture turned a weird green colour, I plugged in the controller and the heater and suspended the part with a piece of wire from the cathode bar. Tune in next week to see if it worked.....