Author Topic: Power source for zinc plating kit  (Read 481 times)

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Offline nysz1b

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Power source for zinc plating kit
« on: July 08, 2018, 03:08:17 PM »
I have a well-known zinc plating kit that uses four"D" cell batteries as the power source. Wondering if anyone has used a one-amp power source (like a battery trickle charge) instead to not have to be replacing the "D" cells frequently? Thanks in advance!

Offline BS Mechanic

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2018, 10:37:26 PM »
What I found is that to get consistent zinc plating you need to control the current based on the square inches of what your are plating. 

A power supply with adjustable current control is worth the investment, at least I think so.  Casswell has a selection of them.

Offline nysz1b

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2018, 04:49:23 PM »
Thanks BS Mechanic!

Offline OldSwartout

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2018, 05:40:00 PM »
BS Mechanic, do you have a target amp/sq. in. that I could shoot for?  I haven't had much luck with the zinc plating kit.  I get what looks like a good plating job, but it will discolor with rust in a short time.  I tried a couple time to get a good job on my GTR's exhaust flanges, gave up and powder coated them and the nuts.
Karl Swartout
Mooresville, IN
BS175 Roadracer
BS350 GTR

Offline BS Mechanic

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2018, 07:08:48 PM »
Yes, I do...………..…...but I can't find it!!!!! :-[

I've always used the plating guide I got from Caswell.  Unfortunately I can't seem to put my hands on it at the moment!  I'll do some more serious looking and let you know.

The Caswell booklet is an excellent guide, and I've had very good long term success when I follow the directions carefully.  If I don't follow all the directions, it doessn't work nearly as well!  Current too high or low, temperature off, pre-treatment, etc. are all important.

Offline BS Mechanic

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2018, 07:42:41 PM »
Found it!

Looks like about .14 amps per square inch of surface area.  Haven't done any plating just recently, but as I remember, you make as good of an estimate as you can, use that for a starting point, then raise the current to where you just start to see bubbles forming on your parts, which will be too much current.  Turn the current back down just below where you can see bubbles and that will be about as high as you can go and still get a good surface finish. 

I see the Caswell manual is available in downloadable format for $24, which is well worth it if you intend to do any plating.  On the down side, it is aimed specifically at their kits and materials, so it isn't always adaptable to other methods.


With all the zinc plating on Bridgestones, I found it was a good investment, plus I really enjoyed being able to do good zinc plating myself!

Offline moonpup

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2018, 02:07:40 PM »
Here's a good adjustable power source that was recommended on my old 240Z website....

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PWNQMYI?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00
Confucius say... "Better to have Bridgestone than Kidneystone"

Offline OldSwartout

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 02:25:50 PM »
Thanks for the info, BS Mechanic.  I think I've been using too much current. That power supply also sounds like a good thing, moonpup.
Karl Swartout
Mooresville, IN
BS175 Roadracer
BS350 GTR

Offline nysz1b

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2018, 03:04:43 PM »
Thanks for the tip, moonpup!

Offline moonpup

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2018, 03:18:47 PM »
Thanks for the tip, moonpup!

You're welcome.  Here's a link to the thread itself. It's a rather long one, but there's lots of discussion on what works and what doesn't that might help you avoid mistakes.

Also, there's a lot of discussion about getting the perfect yellow chromate color on their pieces which is common on the 70's Japanese cars. I haven't read the entire thread in some time, but it think they get into the zinc plating as well.... it's a loooooog thread.

https://www.classiczcars.com/forums/topic/51280-caswell-plating/?tab=comments&_fromLogout=1
Confucius say... "Better to have Bridgestone than Kidneystone"

Offline coxy

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2018, 04:04:07 PM »
1 amp will plate around 160 cm2 
I would look for a 15 amp switch mode laboratory type power supply ,that's a maximum current output of 18 ampere ,15 continuous
you could use this up to 10 litres
I have given up on my plating as the preparation takes to long and its very cheap to get things zinked at the platers
its good fun though
unfortunately I bought a smart battery charger that doesn't recognise a totally dead battery and use my plating power source to put a bit of current in the battery so it then recognises the battery for charging     

Offline OldSwartout

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 04:52:13 PM »

unfortunately I bought a smart battery charger that doesn't recognise a totally dead battery and use my plating power source to put a bit of current in the battery so it then recognises the battery for charging   

Isn't that a pain?  I also have jumpstart battery unit, it won't jumpstart a vehicle if the battery is totally dead. Useless!
Karl Swartout
Mooresville, IN
BS175 Roadracer
BS350 GTR

Offline nysz1b

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Re: Power source for zinc plating kit
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2018, 05:03:29 PM »
Thanks for all  the imput!

 


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