(Topic ID: 151462)

Home Plating Kits are not Toys


By SteveinTexas

3 years ago



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  • 13 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by HighVoltage
  • Topic is favorited by 21 Pinsiders

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    #1 3 years ago

    I saw a thread where someone asked about the home plating kits and whether they were usable. The answer was no they are more of a toy. The impression that I got was there was only an option to send it out to a plating company, and that’s fine. However, to dismiss the Eastwood plating kit for example is bad advice for people that want to plate things on a budget and do it straight away. There has to be another solution and there is, it’s the kit. The devil to making the kit work is in the prep just the same as at the platers except you are paying him to do it not you.

    The kit is not a toy and is a boon to those that take the time to find out how to use it. It takes 4-5 minutes to plate and the same to polish. It’s a tin zinc plate and will last years. It looks excellent and is a lot cheaper (free actually) after your 3rd or fourth piece than sending to a plating company, that’s if he will accept your small job.

    Here is a link how to do it safely. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-1963-major-league-restoration . Scroll down to thread 33 or you may get bored and fall asleep.

    Here is the link to the starter kit. http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-s-tin-zinc-electroplating-system.html

    How thick is the plate? I can’t tell with my calipers but how thick was your original plate and why did it come off in the first place.

    I have used the home kit it in my last 3 restore projects. You get the results depending on how much prep you do. I use it mostly under the playfield so corrosion protection is my first priority. However an excellent finish is just a few additional minutes away. Take the time to get scratches and smooth the finish with your dremel and the brown 120 grit brushes and it is gets close to perfect.

    See for yourself. A few examples.

    The relay covers were in a sad way. So used 120 grit sand paper and red scotch pad red to remove most of what was left of the original; plating.
    1_Before_Nags_relay_covers_(resized).JPG
    They came out well. I should have rubbed more with scotch pad as this is the secret to a good shiny finish.
    2_After_Nags_Relay_covers_(resized).JPG
    The plating came off the coil stop in the tumbler. Never saw that before. I wonder if I soaked in something by mistake? Anyway it needs a new plating.
    3_Before_coil_stop_(resized).JPG
    4_After_Coil_stop_(resized).JPG
    The ball guides at the bottom of the playfield were in a sorry way. They were pitted and had a ball grove worn into the face, see the lower guide in the picture before repairs like the three above.

    I used a dremel with 120 grit brown sandpaper bit and it soon smoothed out the wear. I finished with the red scotch pad and they were ready for the dip.
    5_Before_ML_Ball_guides_(resized).JPG
    Not too bad finish.
    6_After_ML_Ball_guides_(resized).JPG
    Miscellaneous

    As these coin acceptors are to be seen I needed to clean the rust off with Evaporust and paint remover.
    Before_Pic_1_(resized).JPG
    Before_Pic_2_(resized).JPG
    I found the brass rivet repair on one after the paint removal. Buying off eBay gets you that. However, it is well repaired and I think I like it. Key to a good finish was a good wire brush etc after the initial preparation to get most of the scratches and pitting out. I have removed most of the original plating by this stage.
    7_Before_dipping_coin_acceptors_(resized).JPG
    Here is the repaired one, I pulled out from the electrolyte after 5 mins.
    8_After_dipping_coin_acceptor_(resized).JPG
    They polished up with Autosol quite quickly because I has smoothed them well during the prep stage.
    9_After_polishing_coin_acceptors_(resized).JPG

    #2 3 years ago

    very nice! Will send you some stuff, Ive got some coin chutes that need this

    #3 3 years ago

    Ken,

    It's a home kit. Your home not my home.

    #4 3 years ago

    Is the Eastwood kit similar to the Caswell Plating kit?

    alan

    #5 3 years ago
    Quoted from P2K:

    Is the Eastwood kit similar to the Caswell Plating kit?
    alan

    Alan,

    Caswell offers a lot of plating options. For zinc plating it seems to offer a kit for &180.00.

    I like this (novelty for pinball) starting kit for $36.00 http://www.caswellplating.com/electroplating-anodizing/brush-plating-products/plug-n-plate-kits/plug-n-plater-zinc-plating-kit.html

    I am looking at a Caswell Nickel plating kit but I need to understand some more. 'Vid' pointed us to a Australian blog where they used a similar Kit to the Caswell kit I think, but the chemicals to remove the old Nickel plate were too serious and I don't want a chem lab in my garage.

    The Eastwood kit uses a tin/zinc anode, this is why pieces shine up so well I believe. Its about $70.00 to start. I would still in addition buy fast etch prep to get finger prints off etc and prepare for the dip. You need to have a container larger than the kit offers and I use an auto oil catch pan from Home depot. I use multiple electrode solutions at about $40 each (2 usually) and fresh 'D' size batteries. Other than that the tin/zinc anode seems to last a long time and can plate a bunch of parts. I will move on to a better kit one day. Read the product reviews as they can tell you a lot.

    Steve J.

    #7 3 years ago

    Steve - it's like you're reading my mind today.

    I asked about those in the other thread as I had been reading up on restoration projects for other hobbies that used them - my interest is strictly pinball, though - and I wanted to teach my daughter about electroplating with a fun, relatively safe way for her Turf King restoration.

    It doesn't have to be perfect, but it would be nice to do the tiny amount of plating that I need at home rather than to send it out. I've never sent anything out and likely never will. Too cheap. But I'll try something myself, learn something in the process, and hopefully come out ahead.

    The fact that I can use this to teach my daughter about chemistry (bonding) and electricity (more than the schematic reading she has done), is a big plus to me.

    That plug and plate kit is exactly what I was reading about. Apparently many of the negative reviews (from what I read the other day) are from folks who either did not do enough prep or did not change the bandage as they went.

    I was still going to attempt it and post the results, despite the negative comment about the kits in the thread.

    #8 3 years ago

    Nick,

    Yeh, I read that post and although I understand the comments made and respect the people that made them I think the kits deserve a fair hearing as they have a place in pinball restores. Games that are 50 years old especially Williams need some plating help.

    I removed some grease on stepper parts yesterday and on examination where the grease had hardened the plating had vanished. Was this the ultrasonic chemical and the grease I am unsure.

    I like the reasons you are doing it. It is straight forward process so she will get it. I was disappointed during my son and daughters high school time they did next to no lab work to support physics or chemistry.

    Steve J.

    #9 3 years ago

    Perhaps I should have been more specific with my comment in that other thread since referenced here several times. If one has the facilities and time-and patience to use one of these kits, zinc plating can be done as aptly demonstrated by Steve. I don't have the proper equipment to really perfect the process. I will leave it up to those that wish to experiment with this to form their own opinions, but I found it not a very productive use of my time. I only send parts out that will be show pieces on the topside of games and polish up as best I can those discolored/corroded parts underneath. Professional equipment and experience such as Mike Chestnut has are worth a few extra dollars to me.

    #10 3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. Eastwood sells some ok stuff provided you do the prep as you say. Fortunately they're a few miles away so I may have to give this a shot.

    #11 3 years ago

    http://www.noonco.com/nickel/

    If you want shiny nickel finish, here is simple way with $25 worth of stuff.

    #12 3 years ago

    Thanks Vid. Going to assemble the stuff and have a go. Let you all know in a few weeks.

    Steve J.

    3 years later
    #13 8 months ago

    Has anyone done their own brass / gold plating? I'd like to match the color of those brass / gold legs that come with WCS. It looks like caswellplating has some kits, also some on Ebay too.

    Curiously, all the pinball places that do plating, the gold shade looks much more pale like a white-gold than the WCS yellow-gold legs.

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