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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I’ve been cleaning up some smaller parts for my CL350 wheel hubs and I’m wondering if this is as good as it gets or if there is something I can do to get them cleaner?

I soaked them in Metal Rescue for 24 hours, scrubbed off the gunk, dipped them in mineral spirits, and scrubbed them again with a brass bristle brush.

Is there a different chemical or technique to make them better or should this be satisfactory to reuse?

Also, since they’re obviously not stainless steel, I’m guessing any mechanical abrasion like sanding or using a bench grinder and wire wheel would cause them to rust, right?










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Some have sent hardware out to be replated, diy zinc electroplate is fairly easy and requires no dangerous chemicals.

It looks like you've done a great job.
 

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Plate them with nickle easy to do check out u tube video, I do it at home very simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Plate them with nickle easy to do check out u tube video, I do it at home very simple.
Cool, so other than the hardware like bolt heads that will be visible on the finished bike, the internal parts like that rear axle spacer pictured above is perfectly reusable in the condition I have it in?


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I suppose it depends if you are doing a 100 point restoration or just cleaning up parts for a bike you're going to ride. They look pretty good and If it was me, I'd use them as-is. If they rust or get crummy looking, you can always do something with them later.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I suppose it depends if you are doing a 100 point restoration or just cleaning up parts for a bike you're going to ride. They look pretty good and If it was me, I'd use them as-is. If they rust or get crummy looking, you can always do something with them later.
It would probably be cheaper to get stainless bolts and washers than to electroplate the old OEM stuff.

But what about Honda-specific stuff like axle spacers and other unique parts I can’t just pick up at the hardware store? Am I running a risk of rust or corrosion if I don’t plate?

Just want to make sure I’m doing everything I should be while I have it apart.

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Its really not cheaper to buy stainless replacements. When I got into zinc plating it took under $30 for everything, and most of that is a lifetime supply. I haven't tried nickel plating but its on my list.

Are you running risk of rust or corrosion?
Basically if you can leave them wet with tap water to dry on their own and you see no new rust tomorrow, then their original zinc plating is still protecting the steel. Paint is paint, it'll protect but plating is different. Zinc is anodic to steel and will oxidize and eventually corrode before it lets the steel beneath it oxidize. How long does it take for an old galvanized steel roof to start rusting? Decades right?

Conversely steel is anodic to chrome, we all know how poorly that relationship works....
 

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For the commonly available hardware just buy Stainless Steel (nuts, bolts, washers) and polisht them to look like chrome.
I use a belt sander and grind off the Numbers on the heads them polish with a buffer wheel and buffing compound.
You wouldn't know the difference unless you get up close with a magnet and the SS is non magnetic.

For other parts that are Honda Specific I use the Caswell Plating system and I Bead Blast off any rust sometimes and and polish but usually not.
Here are some Pic's of what things look like before and after.

NOTE: Right CLICK and OPEN in a NEW Window to ZOOM:

BEFORE: (after Bead Blasting)
Ross CB 350 012 (2).jpg

AFTER:
DSC05912.JPG

Some Polished SS:
Look at the Pegs Mounting Bolts and the Bar Mount Bolt Heads
DSC_0012.JPG

DSC_0020.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For other parts that are Honda Specific I use the Caswell Plating system and I Bead Blast off any rust sometimes and and polish but usually not.
Here are some Pic's of what things look like before and after.
Your parts look fantastic. The Caswell system looks to be about $300 to get started. Is there any way to get a good plating system for a lower setup cost? Also, I don't have access to bead blasting at home. Will that reduce the quality of the plating?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Its really not cheaper to buy stainless replacements. When I got into zinc plating it took under $30 for everything, and most of that is a lifetime supply. I haven't tried nickel plating but its on my list.
HOW on earth did you get everything for zinc plating for such a cheap cost? Can you post your setup here?
 

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I went with the Caswell only because it was a one stop shop, and I didn't feel like researching the various combinations of checmials required.
But If you know the actual chemicals required they will always be cheaper to source from an actual chemical supply house reather than someone like Caswell who is repackaging them for resale.

I use a simple Harbor Freight portable sandblaster and media from Tractor Supply

This is the portable unit:
https://www.harborfreight.com/portable-abrasive-blaster-kit-37025.html

I have a Larger Plastic Storage Container I cut some holes in as a PRETEND Blast Cabinet Used Outdoors with a GOOD QUAILITY Mask it works pretty well.
I don't do enough to warrant a real blast cabinet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I went with the Caswell only because it was a one stop shop, and I didn't feel like researching the various combinations of checmials required.
But If you know the actual chemicals required they will always be cheaper to source from an actual chemical supply house reather than someone like Caswell who is repackaging them for resale.

I use a simple Harbor Freight portable sandblaster and media from Tractor Supply

This is the portable unit:
https://www.harborfreight.com/portable-abrasive-blaster-kit-37025.html

I have a Larger Plastic Storage Container I cut some holes in as a PRETEND Blast Cabinet Used Outdoors with a GOOD QUAILITY Mask it works pretty well.
I don't do enough to warrant a real blast cabinet.
I can borrow an air compressor capable of 50 CFM @ 90 PSI. Is that strong enough for small blasting jobs like this?

Seems like blasting wouldn't be too pricey, but I'm not in a position right now to drop $300 on electroplating materials (although those Caswell kits look awesome). I unfortunately do not understand the various chemicals and ratios required for plating, but wonder if there is a cheap but effective way to do it DIY. I wonder if this Tin Zinc Plating Kit from Eastwood is any good?
 

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I did a lot of reading in other forums and applied my own logical approach. Here's one good reference: https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showthread.php?14392-DIY-Zinc-Plating-for-Donor-Nuts-and-Bolts

First I always keep some zinc soaking in a covered glass jar of vinegar, the vinegar will eventually saturate with zinc ions, you'll know when it stops producing tiny hydrogen bubbles. In some setups a powder containing zinc (I forget the name) is dissolved in vinegar to produce the same result faster and for more money. (But I'm cheap and don't like buying chemicals online or through the mail)

I use 2 parts vinegar to 3 parts distilled water, about a handful of kosher salt per gallon, and 5 capfuls of imitation vanilla extract.

Distilled water is a no brainer, kosher salt has no other trace metals in it like Epsom salt does, and imitation vanilla extract does a better job as a "brightener" which means it inhibits the growth of large zinc crystals on your parts.

Kosher salt and imitation vanilla extract I bought at the dollar store, 5% white vinegar I but at the grocery store and its great for dissolving rust from steel parts into soluable salts that scrub off easily.

I use a big Craftsman battery charger (not the automatic type) with an old headlight bulb in series to get the current flow where I want it.

When I started out, I used zinc harvested from post 1983 1 cent pieces, I've since used that all up and will need to shell out some folding money for the roll of zinc roofing strip from a home improvement type store. I've also used (and used up) several 18" wires with alligator clips at each end, old radio shack vintage stuff I had around. The clips don't like vinegar very much and didn't survive.

I rinse plated parts in tap water and scrub with green scotchbrite (dollar store) if parts need more time in the plating bath I degrease them with acetone or denatured alcohol first.

Its really simple when you get the hang of getting rust off and zinc on before rust returns.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did a lot of reading in other forums and applied my own logical approach. Here's one good reference: https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showthread.php?14392-DIY-Zinc-Plating-for-Donor-Nuts-and-Bolts

First I always keep some zinc soaking in a covered glass jar of vinegar, the vinegar will eventually saturate with zinc ions, you'll know when it stops producing tiny hydrogen bubbles. In some setups a powder containing zinc (I forget the name) is dissolved in vinegar to produce the same result faster and for more money. (But I'm cheap and don't like buying chemicals online or through the mail)

I use 2 parts vinegar to 3 parts distilled water, about a handful of kosher salt per gallon, and 5 capfuls of imitation vanilla extract.

Distilled water is a no brainer, kosher salt has no other trace metals in it like Epsom salt does, and imitation vanilla extract does a better job as a "brightener" which means it inhibits the growth of large zinc crystals on your parts.

Kosher salt and imitation vanilla extract I bought at the dollar store, 5% white vinegar I but at the grocery store and its great for dissolving rust from steel parts into soluable salts that scrub off easily.

I use a big Craftsman battery charger (not the automatic type) with an old headlight bulb in series to get the current flow where I want it.

When I started out, I used zinc harvested from post 1983 1 cent pieces, I've since used that all up and will need to shell out some folding money for the roll of zinc roofing strip from a home improvement type store. I've also used (and used up) several 18" wires with alligator clips at each end, old radio shack vintage stuff I had around. The clips don't like vinegar very much and didn't survive.

I rinse plated parts in tap water and scrub with green scotchbrite (dollar store) if parts need more time in the plating bath I degrease them with acetone or denatured alcohol first.

Its really simple when you get the hang of getting rust off and zinc on before rust returns.
Thanks for that awesomely detailed post!

Can you explain further what you mean by using a headlight in series to dial in the voltage? I'm not following that part. Also, could you link me to your battery charger or similar?
 

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Here's another very long thread to read through: https://yamaha-enduros.com/index.php/forum/how-to-write-ups/187-do-it-yourself-zinc-plating-process

Just because I'm using a battery charger with a headlight in series with my plating circuit doesn't mean you should. Experiment with old phone chargers, flashlight batteries, 6 volt lantern batteries, and whatever else you may have handy. Many times in my reading I've found people saying that .100 amps per square inch of plating surface is more than enough. I connect my charger with a sealed beam headlight bulb high beam in series with my positive lead. This results in the measured current I'm happy with, without the bulb I would have to add a ton of salt and much more acid to my plating bath to achieve sufficient current flow flow.

Here's more for you to read: https://sciencestruck.com/zinc-electroplating-process

You must do some reading and experimentation on your own, its not difficult or expensive, watch some YouTube videos for a more rounded view. Don't work in a cold area, this isn't something you want to do in an unheated shed, don't worry too much about hydrogen production, it doesn't really produce dangerous amounts with an explosion risk. I set mine up in my landlord's basement just a few feet from gas fired boilers and water heaters, with no issues. People may notice the vinegar or vanilla smell though.

The charger I use is a 30 year old Craftsman with a 10amp range and a 2 amp range (I use it set on 2a) and it looks like this:
156107868_sears-102-amp-manual-battery-charger-20071210.jpg
 

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Here is a good video on how to do it from scratch.(cheap):D
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Alan, both those links are extremely helpful. The more I look into this the more fun it sounds haha!

One more question: how do you turn a cheap phone charger into a power supply with positive and negative leads you can use for the cathode and anode? I’m assuming the phone end is probably USB-C or something.

I don’t want to spring for a variable power supply or anything expensive like that.


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I would cut the connector off and strip back the cable jacket. There are two wires inside, one is negative and one is positive.
 

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I would cut the connector off and strip back the cable jacket. There are two wires inside, one is negative and one is positive.
Ok! I was wondering how you could tell which was positive and which was negative, but Workdog's video answered that for me. When you put 2 anodes in the solution and run the current, the direction of the bubbles tells you the polarity of your power source.

I know you're only plating a couple thousandths, but are there any parts you should NOT plate due to tight tolerances that could get messed up? Like bearing seats for example? And if so, is there a way to mask a part before plating?
 
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