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Thread: Nickle Plating

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    Default Nickle Plating

    I have a couple of 100+ year old pistols. Looks to have been stored in a tackle box if appearances count. These a both rimfire BP loads, and show lack of cleaning etc.

    One is a H&A that went out of business in 1917, yet I found parts online to make it operational again.

    So I want to have both guns replated, back to shiny. Looking for a firm that doesn't throw up their hands when gun is mentioned. Don't bother telling me they are not worth it, as I DGAS what they are worth.

    Tom

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    Bear in mind that plating back to shiny requires a shiny surface to plate on. If you are up to polishing them back to the finish that you'd be happy with, then even the likes of Caswell can supply you with the means to plate them if none of the commercial ones are happy to do the work.

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    The problem is that to plate guns ,the plater needs a ATF registration......which means to replate a firearm ,you need to contact a professional gunsmith who does the work...........A home kit will cost around $200 ,so its probably line ball as to cost.....Assuming ,of course ,the home effort meets your standard.

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    There are plenty of firms willing to take your money and refinish as you want, whether or not the gun is worth it. You will spend more replating than in buying a better version of what you have and, if you're not going to disassemble and do the prep work it will cost a fortune.

    Got a budget in mind? I know good platers and mediocre platers. The good ones are backed up. Know if you want nickle or chrome.

    Jeff

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toms Wheels View Post
    I have a couple of 100+ year old pistols. Looks to have been stored in a tackle box if appearances count. These a both rimfire BP loads, and show lack of cleaning etc.
    One is a H&A that went out of business in 1917, yet I found parts online to make it operational again.
    So I want to have both guns replated, back to shiny. Looking for a firm that doesn't throw up their hands when gun is mentioned. Don't bother telling me they are not worth it, as I DGAS what they are worth.
    Tom
    Tom,

    The reason ( as someone else wrote ) is that they need to be Federally licensed to have your firearm for any length of time without you present. As well, there is paperwork above and beyond just the plating transaction.

    Decades ago, in another lifetime, we used Rebel Refinishing in Central Florida. They were a small family operation back then and did a solid job of any finishing that we sent them. They were getting larger when I left the industry, and I've not dealt with them or anyone else in it on a professional level in decades. This was the heyday of goofy refinishing, A'La pre Clinton ban, when people would gold plate AKs and Uzis. I did a fair amount of restorations as well, and we would send out for Nickel oft enough. I was always pleased with their work back then and it was priced very fairly. You might start by asking around about their current reputation. Good luck.

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    The plater needs to know about working on guns, as some surface dimensions are very critical to operating. I had a customer bring me a M1911A1 years ago that he had all the parts Black Chrome plated. Problem was that now all the parts wouldn't fit together. He wanted me to fit it all together. When I gave him a price for doing the fitting, he decided it wasn't worth it.

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    Being 100+ years old they most probably on a the curio and relic list and could be exempt from federal regulations.
    The plater would still need to be familiar with firearms disassembly and assembly to do it right.
    There are platers that specialize in doing firearms parts . If it is disassembled it will save a lot of money.
    Competition shooters would have their frame and slide hard chrome plated to reduce the wear on their match pistol.

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    Welcome to TechPlate, Inc. Firearms Page and Gun Refinishing | Case Hardening | Crystal River, FL - Ford's Custom Gun Refinishing do old style bright nickel. Many shops do electroless nickel but it does not look like the old traditional bright nickel.

    RWO

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    depends on when it was manufactured if before 1898 no need for FFL
    as far as the feds are concerned it's not a firearm not sure about NJ law
    even here no FfL need to transfer

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    NJ considers everything a firearm. Need FID or pistol permit even for a BB gun or a muzzleloader.

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    We do nickel electroplating in the shop at work for bearing journals on shafts out of electric motors when they fall below tolerance. We made the machine that we use, but the finish is not exactly what you would be looking for. From what I understand, electroless plating is the way to go if you want a more attractive finish.

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    Try Firearm Plating -Mahovsky's Metalife they have done a couple of handguns for me and were very reasonable with very good quality

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    Thanks for the info guys. Both guns are 1898 predated. But nj consideres any firearm as covered by their regulations. I have NJ FID, but I received these when a resident of PA. So only voluntary registration applies.

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    I've got a little turn of the century pocket pistol with 90% of the plating gone. When I looked into replating it (professionally) I found it would be cheaper to buy the same gun in better shape, so I decided to polish the bare metal surfaces and leave it oiled. It was pitted and scratched pretty good too, so plating it would have just highlighted the defects IMO.

    The little pistol is wildly in-acurate anyway. Still fun to shoot the BP loads! Like shooting fireworks.

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    Let me START by saying that I do NOT work on firearms belonging to ANYONE else. ANY conductive surface can be plated and plated well... IF one knows how it's done. I usually only do SMALL parts that can be plated with less than a quart of solution. However, A pistol would be VERY doable. Even deep pitting, as long as safety is not an issue, can be covered completely. IF I were to do something like this I would start with a complete disassembly, de-grease and cleaning. I would "fill" any pits using a strike coats of copper sanding and buffing between. Once all evidence of the pitting was gone a light strike coat of copper buffed and a final coat of nickle and it would look as good if not better than new. It is a LOT of time to do it but it is not hard to achieve. Any plater worth his salt could do it. Depending on how much restoration there is to do, the cost could get extreme. DIY could be a better option.

    If you have any questions about DIY plating just ask. It is very easy to do nickle...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MIBill View Post
    Let me START by saying that I do NOT work on firearms belonging to ANYONE else. ANY conductive surface can be plated and plated well... IF one knows how it's done. I usually only do SMALL parts that can be plated with less than a quart of solution. However, A pistol would be VERY doable. Even deep pitting, as long as safety is not an issue, can be covered completely. IF I were to do something like this I would start with a complete disassembly, de-grease and cleaning. I would "fill" any pits using a strike coats of copper sanding and buffing between. Once all evidence of the pitting was gone a light strike coat of copper buffed and a final coat of nickle and it would look as good if not better than new. It is a LOT of time to do it but it is not hard to achieve. Any plater worth his salt could do it. Depending on how much restoration there is to do, the cost could get extreme. DIY could be a better option.

    If you have any questions about DIY plating just ask. It is very easy to do nickle...
    What about when there's stamped lettering involved? I know you can fill with copper and polish the same as they do with automotive chrome jobs, but wouldn't you lose detail in fine features?

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    What about when there's stamped lettering involved? I know you can fill with copper and polish the same as they do with automotive chrome jobs, but wouldn't you lose detail in fine features?
    If you ever see one of those uber high end automotive restorations, this is one of the tricks, bodywork in copper on the chrome fixtures.

    If you do not want details to disappear, you could either mask them or sand off the areas that you don't want filled, somewhat tedious for a serial number I would think, but not impossible

    Quite the level of artwork, but some of our firearms guys are quite familiar with artwork.

    Might be a fun project on a not so valuable firearm, if one wanted to later do the same on a more valuable one

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    If you ever see one of those uber high end automotive restorations, this is one of the tricks, bodywork in copper on the chrome fixtures.

    If you do not want details to disappear, you could either mask them or sand off the areas that you don't want filled, somewhat tedious for a serial number I would think, but not impossible

    Quite the level of artwork, but some of our firearms guys are quite familiar with artwork.

    Might be a fun project on a not so valuable firearm, if one wanted to later do the same on a more valuable one
    That makes sense, We've masked off areas when we've nickle plated machinery components, but It's not a very clean transition between the 2 surfaces. I guess that's just the art of it.

    I have a 53' chevy sedan and a 54' chevy sedan. It's been hard to find shops to do my old pot-metal parts. I know the soft material is hard to fill and work with, but I've had a couple of hood emblems destroyed as the chrome shop went a little crazy with the polishing lost the definition in the details. I think the ability to polish up to a point without going too far is the issue at hand and would be my only concern with having a pitted firearm plated.

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    I think this is the trick, you have the shop strip then copper plate, no polishing

    you sand and polish, they copper plate again.

    repeat

    when it is perfect, then you nickel plate[or in the case of automotive, nickel then chrome]

    The idea being that if you have .010 deep pits it might take 3 or 4 cycles to fill the pits with copper and the whole restof the part has been sanded or masked with no copper

    Imagine the thousands of dollars in this work on a Pebble Beach car

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