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 Post subject: Cad Plating at home
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:55 am
Posts: 17
Location: Colorado
Hi JNC Folks:

I noticed a few postings concerning the restoration of cad (cadmium) plated parts in the forum. They addressed the use of painting methods (like Eastwood’s finishes) or sending out parts to a plating specialist. Since my project is proceeding slowly, and I only need to plate a few pieces of hardware at a time, I decided to look into a home-plating set up.

First-off, the project is my 1982 Civic. I purchased this car brand new on my 18th birthday, and have owned it ever since. The picture below is after extensive welding and metal work, and represents a huge milestone for me. Of course, there’s still a long way to go.

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Back to plating: As I slowly work through the restoration, I didn’t like returning crappy-looking hardware and parts to their places. And we all know how hard it is to find matching JIS cad-plated fasteners out there. The good-looking plated surface on our parts is actually sacrificial, and meant to go away, protecting the underlying steel. After multiple decades (or sooner depending on where you live), the original finish will be gone and the steel starts to rust. Although my car and I have lived in semi-arid Colorado for the past 17 years, we spent 10 years together on the east coast. Plus, the Honda was my daily driver until two years ago. Plated stuff is looking shabby.

I purchased Caswell’s ( www.caswellplating.com ) 2-1/2 gallon Copy Cad kit, a 5 amp power supply, and a vibratory parts tumbler. The Copy Cad set-up plates the part with zinc. The finish can be very dull or very shiny silver color depending on how much Brightener is added to your solution. The gold finish comes by dipping the plated part into Yellow Chromate for about 30 seconds. The Chromate is a passivate that helps slow the zinc’s reaction to the atmosphere (at least through the warrantee period for OEM stuff). Below is my initial set-up prior to adding chemicals. iPod is optional but recommended.

Image

I begin by doing a thorough prep of the parts. I toss them in my Harbor Freight tumbler for a couple of hours, and then soak them in Eastwood’s Oxi-Solve overnight (Oxi-Solve has been replaced by their Rust Dissolver product). When removed from the soak, I work them over with the brass wire wheel on my bench grinder. Then I do the degreasing and plating process. I’ve been more than happy with the results, and have attached some photos below.

Image

This was my first try. I cleaned and plated an old fastener from my Montero (left), trying to match a factory-fresh fastener (right). The result was close enough for me.

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This photo shows the Civic’s hatch striker plates. On the left is how they looked as removed from the car. The right is after my cleaning process.

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And here are the finished parts. Zinc plated with yellow chromate. They have the familiar iridescent tint, and are ready to bolt in place.

Now, let’s see what else I need to plate…

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1982 Civic 1300FE (Original Owner)
1990 Mitsubishi Montero (Pajero / Shogun) LWB
1987 Porsche 924S
1972 Z600 (sadly missed)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:57 pm
Posts: 8523
Location: Arlington, TX, USA
Very cool! :tu: :mrgreen:

It would definitely be nice to be able to do this kind of stuff at home.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:41 pm
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Location: LA
Ditto. They turned out real nice!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:30 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:10 pm
Posts: 77
Location: salem oregon
i have been looking for something like this... how much for the setup


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:08 pm
Posts: 277
Location: Los Angeles, CA
i was a similar set up online before. its quit easy to make and do from wat i say in the video i saw on YouTube.. just search around and you'll find a similar setup that will work.. (i couldn't find the link so i couldn't post it up.. sorry)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:12 am
Posts: 74
Location: Colorado
Hey right on! Where in Colorado do you live? Im in Greeley. I was looking at getting a similar kit and ide love to see how to do it first hand.

Also, how much did you spend on the whole shebang?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:23 am
Posts: 156
Location: Carolina, PuertoRico
Totally amazing.Where did you learn all that :shock: Did you read a book or something :P How much did the setup cost? Old cars sure make their owners be handy :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:55 am
Posts: 17
Location: Colorado
I'm fianally back!

Caswell's 2-1/2 gallon kit is $159. You'll also need to acquire a constant voltage/constant current power supply. These run about $80 - $100 for a 5A unit. The yellow chromate concentrate is $32. Here is the link to the product page: http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/zinc.htm

As for learning the process; it's out of necessity. Just keep reading and dig-in. The same way we all learn how to weld, paint, and powdercoat. Also, Caswell has a great forum that helps eliminate a lot of trial and error.

cid - I'm in Littleton (Ken Caryl).

Cheers, Neil

_________________
1982 Civic 1300FE (Original Owner)
1990 Mitsubishi Montero (Pajero / Shogun) LWB
1987 Porsche 924S
1972 Z600 (sadly missed)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:23 am
Posts: 156
Location: Carolina, PuertoRico
Yor car is surely an inspiration, Have i seen it in 1stgencivic? The price seems great :D , even more if one considers doing it for some profit; even if one did not, it makes the cars look like factory brand new :shock:

Thanks for sharing :tu:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:07 am
Posts: 563
Location: Malaysia
nice project.. :tu:

Mugen wheel is look good on that car.. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 783
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I give this a :tu:

another forum member and I are looking into doing our tie rods, I'd also like to do the cover on my alternator regulator.

Q: how long does the plating last (ie as long as the factory or just a couple of years?)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:55 am
Posts: 17
Location: Colorado
Thanks Ewok:

I haven't installed any finished parts yet to put them to the test. My thinking is that this should be more durable than the originally supplied plating. Mainly because I can apply a heavier plating than original (where tolerances aren't a consideration).

Caswell says this about the durability:

"The Yellow Chromate is a yellow/bronze iridescent finish on plated cadmium and zinc. Liquid concentrate is used at 0.5% to 3% by volume in water at 65° to 90°F. The finish has outstanding resistance to salt spray, greatly surpasses the normal 96 hour salt spray resistance specified for yellow chromates on zinc. It will withstand up to 200 hours salt spray."

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1982 Civic 1300FE (Original Owner)
1990 Mitsubishi Montero (Pajero / Shogun) LWB
1987 Porsche 924S
1972 Z600 (sadly missed)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 783
Location: Melbourne, Australia
hmmmmm.

we don't get salt sprayed on our roads here in oz, because in some parts, it barely ever rains, let alone snows, so I'd say the same coating might last a bit longer here.

I can't get over how bang on that coating colour is to some Mazda nuts and bolts. I've spent hours removing and installing cad plated bolts from under my dashboard and it looks like the same coating that they have.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:55 am
Posts: 17
Location: Colorado
Fair dinkum! I'm plenty happy with the results.

Below are some more parts that have been done. Rear suspension bolts, bumper bolts, and brake line clips. Some of these (especially the bumper bolts) were really ratty to begin with.

Image

_________________
1982 Civic 1300FE (Original Owner)
1990 Mitsubishi Montero (Pajero / Shogun) LWB
1987 Porsche 924S
1972 Z600 (sadly missed)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 783
Location: Melbourne, Australia
:tu: I had forgotten the brake hose clips. I'll have to add them to the list of stuff to get plated.

:lol: @ fair dinkum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:12 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:23 am
Posts: 167
Location: bolsa
great job!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:37 am
Posts: 12
Location: Lakewood, Co.
Interested in any side work? :lol:

I'm in Lakewood, but I work at a restoration shop in Littleton.

Very nice work. I'd love to see your honda someday. I've been seeing a lot of very low mile survivor compacts from the late '70's to early '80's around Denver lately. Some of them are quite stunning, usually being driven by someone who enherited grandmas daily/once a week in good weather driver.

I told myself that if I ever went nuts and started collecting cars, Jay Leno style, I would collect the ones that have little to no mutual value, in mint condition.

I like seeing cars like yours, because they are a representation of what was on the road. Not all old cars were hotrods!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:58 am
Posts: 979
Location: Lake Worth, TX
WOW, I love this. I would definatley see this as something to get in the future.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:12 pm
Posts: 5
Location: So-Cal
Dang those turned out great.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:59 am
Posts: 37
Location: Trinidad and Tobago
Nice work. At those prices I'll have to get a kit for my three project cars.
Thanks for the info.

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