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Old 08-07-2017, 04:25 PM
crsides crsides is offline
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Default nickel plated triggers/hammers - brownells kit

I would like to hear some first hand experience using the brownell's nickel removal kit. I now have 3 sets of hammers/triggers that are nickelled that need to be stripped. Not sure what to do then, but the nickel has to go.

thanks for your comments. Any suggestions other than the brownell kit is welcomed.

Charlie
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:38 PM
2152hq 2152hq is offline
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The Brownells cold soak nickel strip stuff is potassium hydroxide (potash) and ammonia in a water soln.

It works well and is safe for the steel surfaces. I've used it on brass too.
My use with the Brownells stuff was when I worked in a large restoration shop. We had some of it to strip small parts that were plated like triggers, ect on guns that being restored. Dropped into a jar of the stuff on a wire so they could be fished back out for inspection, they would usually take a couple days or so.

In my own shop,,I still have some home-made soln of the same ingredients that was mixed up probably 35yrs ago and it still works,,though much slower now than when first concocted!
Can't recall the % of each now.
It's a slow worker,,hang the part(s) from a wire in the stuff and let it do it's thing. It won't eat them up. I've left some in for a week to completely clear heavy plating from pitted parts.
Keep it capped while working,, unless you like the ammonia smell.

Mine does remove gold plating as well,,but even slower. The gold floats on the top of the surface afterwards in small dots. The nickel when removed is gone,,don't know what happens to that.

I've used it on electro plated nickle as well as electroless plating.
The plating just turns a jet black color w/my mix after some time in the jar of it. Then that black coating rubs right off with the lightest of touch with your finger,,or a brush.
Some soap and water clean up and the metal is 'in the white' for you.

If you search 'nickel plate removal with potassium hydroxide' or close to that you'll get some home brew recipes.

Some say using sodium hydroxide (lye) instead of the potassium hydroxide (potash) works the same but I never tried it. Both are strong alkali compounds.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:09 PM
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If those solutions contain either sodium or potassium hydroxide, be very careful when handling them. We use both in their pure, solid form when running water based drilling fluid (mud) and both have an extremely high pH of around 14. I don't know what strength the solution is that Brownell's sells, but it will dissolve clothing and skin pretty rapidly. If you get some on you, wash it with plenty of water to dilute it out. Do not use an acidic solution such as vinegar to try to counteract it; just dilute it with plenty of water.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:49 AM
2152hq 2152hq is offline
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The plating strip soln's are less than 10% soln of potassium hydroxide, That much I do remember. Even less ammonia.
I stick my fingers in the stuff to pull the parts out and wipe the black coating off when using it and my fingers are still all in tact.
Same with lye soln's. I use about a 5 to 10% warm water soln for degreasing parts prior to bluing. No problems. It'll sting a bit if you have an open cut though.
The weak lye soln will make your hands feel slick as the lye is turning the oil on your skin to 'soap'. That's how it degreases.
Just don't get a high concentration soln on you,, like hot bluing salts (sodium or potassium hydroxide). It will burn you for sure.

Play safe with any of this stuff wether over the counter or home brew.
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