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Re-nickeling & tumbler polishing

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ZippityNZ

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Is it a normal practice to have lever caps re-nickeled or re-chromed or electroplated in cases where Mr Rust has done too much damage?

By doing so, does it lower the resale value of a reconditioned plane?

Has anyone tried cleaning rusty/dirty irons, iron caps, lever caps and other metal parts in a tumbler (rock polisher) with ceramic media.

I have a tumbler which I use to clean/polish old brass and or steel slot car chassis :)
 

marcros

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in terms of resale value, unless it is something rare, the cost of re plating, and/or the labour in refurbing a plane is probably not viable. if you beg a no 5 for nothing, and put 4 hours into it, you are at about its value. it will make a great user, some people do refurb as a hobby so it may make sense.

replate if you want to, but dont do so to increase value or maximise profit.

for rare and unusual planes, collectors probably prefer good clean original condition.
 

AndyT

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Like Marcros said.
It's way beyond normal maintenance and pretty pointless.
I certainly wouldn't want to buy an old tool that had been made to look "mint condition" in such a way.
 

Sheffield Tony

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Some of my planes were from the era when the lever caps were left a plain ground steel finish, and I like them that way - they age much nicer than the flaking chrome, and look less garish. I imagine you could DIY electroplate them - I've done nickel plating with nickel ammonium sulphate, which worked OK.
 

ED65

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I'm very fond of the look of raw iron lever caps, I think they have nice 'honest' look to them. And it's far preferable to a flaking mess that's for sure!

It is a ton of work to get any amount of remaining plating off, chrome especially, so not a job to take on lightly if you don't have a belt sander of some kind or have room to set up a long run of paper. After you're down to bare metal if you're dedicated you can take the polish up to a level where you can barely tell it's not plated, which is something some tool restorers do.

ZippityNZ":1v2vma4f said:
Has anyone tried cleaning rusty/dirty irons, iron caps, lever caps and other metal parts in a tumbler (rock polisher) with ceramic media.
Not tried it but there are dozens of different wrinkles in how people clean up rusty tools and I don't see why this couldn't be another one of them, although FWIW a few of the alternatives would be much faster.

I can imagine it could work well for certain parts, anything where the potential for radiusing edges or softening detail isn't an issue (so perhaps not for cap irons which are just mild steel).
 

Doug B

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I’ve found with getting things re-nickelled the most important bit is to write down in triplicate exactly which bits you want to end up nickelled.


Just handing a complete frog & lever cap to a rather eager to please friend & simply explaining which bits you want nickelling doesn’t cut it.


It doesn’t help either when said lever cap & frog are from a rather old plane.


& yes it can devalue your pride & joy.


I’m not sure anyone is ready for this :lol:


But.......


.....


....





438B677C-2BC4-45A0-805A-972D9D4430A5.jpeg


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

& yes it is completely chromed, meticulously disassembled cleaned & plated but absolutely nothing like I asked for #-o #-o #-o
 

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ZippityNZ

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My Tumbler is currently running at the moment downstairs in my workshop with a load of blades, a cap lever and a full set of bolts and screws etc.

Just water, some Simple Green and a load of ceramic media.

Another 14 hours and I will know the result :)
 

ED65

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Doug B":3gmh7831 said:
& yes it is completely chromed, meticulously disassembled cleaned & plated but absolutely nothing like I asked for #-o #-o #-o
Oh man, I'm so sorry for your experience but still :lol: :lol: :lol:

Presumably it's small comfort that your plane would be the blinginest in the world?
 

ED65

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ZippityNZ":1d9n9obk said:
Another 14 hours and I will know the result :)
Just a thought, might it be an idea to check progress at certain points along the way? The bolts and screws are what I'm thinking of, if the threading wears too much it could well be a problem.
 

ZippityNZ

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23 hours in the Tumbler worked a treat.

The brass fittings came out shiny, the screws bright and clean and the irons will need very little sanding, if any :)

The only problem was that the orange paint surrounding the Stanley logo on the lever cap, came off. Any suggestions for what I replace it with?
 

Ttrees

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The nail polish of your choice.
I wanted to identify two identical planes and it worked well.
I found a nice green one, the missus's has a basket of 'em, and the choices are endless,
you can even get some with metallic fleck 8)
You might get some odd looks if your looking in the poundshop though :?
 
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