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Old 08-27-2020, 07:00 PM
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Default Need to Remove Plating

I have this old N-Frame hammer and trigger that are both gold plated. I am wondering if anyone has ever tried to remove gold plating from something before. Tried acetone, and lacquer thinner but nothing happens. I talked to a couple of jewelry shops, and only one said that possibly it could be buffed off. Any ideas from anyone?
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Old 08-27-2020, 07:06 PM
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As I recall from school days (long ago). If you reverse the polarity of the plating progress it should migrate back to the anode or maybe the cathode??? Ask a plating company.
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Old 08-27-2020, 07:13 PM
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You can bring it to a plater and they will do it cheap or you can buy plating stripper from Brownells which works good but then you have to dispose of the stripper and pouring it into the ground is not a good idea.
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Old 08-27-2020, 07:14 PM
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My local gunsmith used Brownell's chemical stripping kit to strip a plated barrel for me. Worked great. He used cold blue a couple times to make sure all the nickel was off down to bare steel.
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Old 08-27-2020, 07:27 PM
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I've used reverse electroplating with a batter charger, some acid, and copper wire to remove nickel plating off some gun parts once, but it caused pitting to some of the parts that were made of softer metal.
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Old 08-27-2020, 08:17 PM
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I have used this a LOT for rust removal, I would bet the gold will come off the same as rust,,

It costs almost nothing to try, no acids,, just water, soap, and a battery charger ,
(NOTE: It has to be an OLD, non-automatic charger)

https://www.instructables.com/id/Ele...val-aka-Magic/
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Old 08-28-2020, 12:22 AM
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100 grit sandpaper.
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Old 08-28-2020, 11:18 AM
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Gold can be removed with light abrasives but as the most noble of metals there is only one chemical that will dissolve it. It’s name is Aqua Regia or Royal Water. However this is very serious nasty stuff and should not be handled by anybody but an experienced chemist. My wife used to work at TRW ‘s Space Div where they built spook satellites and this stuff was utilized frequently as they gold plate a lot of circuitry parts.

Be careful
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Old 08-28-2020, 05:09 PM
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I have checked the youtubes out there, and a lot of people are reclaiming the gold from printer cartridges and circuit boards and what have you. They make a solution from muratic acid (used in cleaning swimming pools and concrete) mixed with bleach. It seems to work in dissolving the gold, but I don't know what it would do to the metal underneath.
I have also thought about trying naval jelly. I am worried about hurting the hammer if I use the wrong stuff. It is a humpback from a registered magnum.
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Old 08-28-2020, 05:23 PM
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As above virtually no chemical will attack gold.
No nickel stripper as sold by Brownell's will remove gold.
The reason gold is know as "The Nobel metal" is because virtually no chemical will affect it.

If you use something like Naval Jelly it WILL etch the steel and that will require polishing to get the smooth surface back.

Even attempting to polish off gold doesn't work well because it's near impossible to get it ALL off from crevices, pores, and tight areas.
Then when you attempt to apply a chemical finish like bluing or parkerizing, the gold left will show, giving the surface a freckled look of the new finish and the remaining gold.

There's only one sure way to remove gold without screwing up the original metal and that's to have a firearms plater DE-plate it.
I strongly recommend using a GUN finisher company rather then a jeweler of bike plater.
Guns is different, they ain't bikes or rings.

Companies that can do it are.......

Ford's Custom Gun Refinishing | Crystal River, FL

Custom Gold & Silver Plating, Antique Finishing: Reliable Electroplating: Chartley, MA

Tech Plate

Possibly Ron's....
Ron's Gun Shop - New & Used Gun Sales & Service. Concealed Carry
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Old 08-28-2020, 07:21 PM
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Use a very fine grit sandpaper. I'd start with 1200 and see if that works. If not - step down to 800. After gold is gone, go higher and higher in grit and then polish with Flitz for the final finish.
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
As above virtually no chemical will attack gold.
No nickel stripper as sold by Brownell's will remove gold.
The reason gold is know as "The Nobel metal" is because virtually no chemical will affect it.

Not true as I posted above ‘Aqua Regia’ is used all the time where gold plating is done . It is a mixture of Nitric and hydrochloric acid and as I said is nasty stuff. It would also play hell with you base metal I’m sure but the fact is this stuff if used almost exclusively for gold removal. For reference only not to use

Rick
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:58 PM
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The Aqua Regia acid mix will work. It'll disolve platinum too,,maybe palladium.

I think it's a 3:1 ratio mix but I don't remember which is 3 and which is 1!
Doesn't matter, as garbler says,,it's nasty stuff and will pit the base metal if it's steel as in a gun part and very quickly.

Also, these days, it's expensive to buy (and usually hard to get) common acids in most any quantity and lab quality.

Then what do you do with the mix and the remaining unused stuff you bought after trying to strip the one part.
The A/Regia is very unstable. Mixing the two can be an adventure.

Best bet if you don't have or want to set up a de-plating outfit (I think you need sulfuric acid in that) is to send the small bits to a professional plating shop.
Let them deal with EPA side of the disposal of the chemicals from the processes.

Another good plating source that can handle de-plating as well is
Reliable ElectroPlating in Chartley, MA.

Been around about 90yrs. They have an FFL and do firearms for quite a few engravers and gunsmiths.
Lots of other specialized plating as well.
I've used them for the last 30yrs and have had zero complaints.
Custom Gold & Silver Plating, Antique Finishing: Reliable Electroplating: Chartley, MA

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Old 08-30-2020, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbler View Post
Not true as I posted above ‘Aqua Regia’ is used all the time where gold plating is done . It is a mixture of Nitric and hydrochloric acid and as I said is nasty stuff. It would also play hell with you base metal I’m sure but the fact is this stuff if used almost exclusively for gold removal. For reference only not to use

Rick
I said VIRTUALLY no chemical will affect Gold.
Also as you said, Aqua Regia is NASTY dangerous and will quickly attack steel.
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:49 PM
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Back in the day when Gibson changed from nickel to chrome hardware on their electric guitars (and we all liked nickel because it looked more vintage) I used to buy their gold-plated parts, which still had nickel underneath. Then I'd buff off the gold with just a rag and automotive rubbing compound.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
I said VIRTUALLY no chemical will affect Gold.
Also as you said, Aqua Regia is NASTY dangerous and will quickly attack steel.
Okay if that is how you play the game so be it but pretty shallow buddy. Luckily this thread wasn’t revolver critical
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:14 PM
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I thought I would follow up on this thread.

First, I emailed some of the companies mentioned here, but got no replies from any of them.

Second, I took the parts to a local plating company. They said they could remove the gold, then the nickel under it. They did remove the gold plating, but the head chemist there said the mixture for removing the nickel was a lot stronger and might etch the steel and they wouldn't do it. No charge, but now I have nickel plated parts.

found a youtube showing a guy using something by Caswell called B-929 so I ordered some. It was a bag of salts that you mix with water and heat then immerse the parts to be de-plated. I mixed it as per the instructions, and used a small crockpot to heat it. After 3-4 hours in the mix, no difference in the nickel plating. So I tried again the next day with a new batch and still no results. No more Caswell products for me.

I guess my next step is to try a DIY reverse current in some muratic acid. I have done this before on 1911 magazines and it works. I just don't like to have to use an acid for anything.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:23 PM
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Brownell's does sell a nickle stripper that works cold.
It's sort of expensive but it's reusable.....

BROWNELLS ROOM TEMPERATURE NICKEL STRIPPER | Brownells

Note that there's a video on how to use it under the "Learn" tab.

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Old 09-16-2020, 12:26 AM
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Midway USA has video for stripping nickel using a 12 volt car battery and some type of acid
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:40 PM
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Default New Discovery

I have just found out that my shiny parts are really just polished and that the nickel plating was actually removed. Someone suggested that I put a drop of cold blue on one of the parts and see if it "Takes". Well it did get blued, and I understand that if it was nickel plated then it would have just repelled the cold blue. So I guess the parts are just highly polished. Now to figure out how to make them look 'natural' again. I am thinking possibly some kind of sand paper or crocus cloth, but what grit?
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Old 09-22-2020, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
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I have just found out that my shiny parts are really just polished and that the nickel plating was actually removed. Someone suggested that I put a drop of cold blue on one of the parts and see if it "Takes". Well it did get blued, and I understand that if it was nickel plated then it would have just repelled the cold blue. So I guess the parts are just highly polished. Now to figure out how to make them look 'natural' again. I am thinking possibly some kind of sand paper or crocus cloth, but what grit?
I am not real fond of sandpaper and metal, but if I were going to sand, I would start with 1500 grit, and work up to 3000. I believe Walmart has this and any auto paint store will have it. You will get a polished finish

There is always a buffing wheel and jewelers rouge
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Old 09-22-2020, 12:35 PM
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Thanks, Pete, but I am wanting to go the other way. Right now it is highly polished, which is not the way it left the factory. I am looking to find someone with a small, fine grit sand bead blaster and hope that might work. If not then I guess I will look into the metal sandpaper options.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:37 PM
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Thanks, Pete, but I am wanting to go the other way. Right now it is highly polished, which is not the way it left the factory. I am looking to find someone with a small, fine grit sand bead blaster and hope that might work. If not then I guess I will look into the metal sandpaper options.
Well bead or sandblasting may be your answer, but I do not think sandpaper is.. Maybe something in the 600 range?
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:23 AM
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I don't know what 'look' you want,,but a matted soft look on bare steel is easy to get with scotchbrite.
The maroon or grey colored scotchbrite are about the right grades and leaves a nice finish. Grey is the finer IIRC.
There is a White color and finer yet but I've never had much luck & use for it in metal polishing.

Use it dry and it will leave you with one finish. Use it with a little oil and you will get a slightly different effect with a bit more gloss and burnished effect..

If you polish with the stuff in non-directional motion you won't have any grit/grain lines to speak of. That'll especially be true if you are starting out on a surface that has an extremely high machine polished surface like you probably have from a nickle plating job.

The other thing that can get you there is a fine wire wheel at med speed used to polish & burnish the surface. Use it with the part surface covered with a thin layer of oil. That allows the wires to slide on the surface and not bite into it.
Leaves a nice smooth burnished finish and again non direction with no grit lines. Don't use a lot of pressure, just let the wire wheel swipe over the surface.
Most any oil will do from 3n'1 to motor oil to WD40.
I use this alot in rust blue prep before the actual bluing.


Probably not much response from the plating shops as they might still be closed up due to Covid rules.
I hadn't thought of that when I posted originally.
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