Making parts in brass + Plating - RC Groups
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Nov 10, 2012, 10:42 PM
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RussellTate's Avatar

Making parts in brass + Plating

I tried to polish some Dumas parts recently and plate them myself.
TO be honest Stevie Wonder could have done a better job.
I thought i'd start from scratch and get more advice first on what I was trying to do.

I looked online, collected all the info I could, followed the advice of experts (woodybob, Oldtribefan, Ed Crowell, GPR, Hatchet Jack, Mike-A ) and ended up with something that I think looks pretty neat. I Thought i'd condense everything I learnt and throw it back at the forum so some other newbie like me might find it of some use...

So, I was trying to make a Jack staff.
I'd already had one attempt, the finish was pitted grooved, smeared with cutting compound and inconsistently shiny, then whilst I was figuring how to fix it, I dropped it someplace and lost the damn completely.

This here mini tutorial is how I made a new one from scraps of brass I found in the shed and shaped it like the round Jack staff's not the triangular one Dumas supply.

I'll add all comments in the photo's

Hope it is of some help

Last edited by RussellTate; Nov 11, 2012 at 01:33 AM.
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Nov 10, 2012, 10:52 PM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
Nice job!
I expect that is nickel not chrome on the last coat... "chromed" parts actually have just a tiny flash of chrome over a good nickel base.
You can skip the copper when starting with brass. It's used to give a polishable coat on top of steel prior to the nickel... but brass can be polished up nicely without the copper.

Copper plating has also been used on things like zinc/pot metal parts, to provide a surface that can be soldered to.
Nov 10, 2012, 11:36 PM
oldtribefan's Avatar
Excellent work (as usual!) RT, and great tutorial. It's not easy to get that kind of shine on the brass parts. I am impressed.

Nov 11, 2012, 12:15 AM
Just Limin'
laser110's Avatar

Looks good. I fell some behind on my build with Hurricane Sandy and then a Nor'easter blowing through here. A few days prior I had to put away my build stuff so we could put things away in the garage, including a car. The afterwards we lost power for a week and then it was off again and on again etc. Finally warmed up today enough for me to start resanding again. I found a few spots I wanted to touch up with varnish and will continue sanding again tomorrow. I was going to do my own plating, but you give me new hope

Nov 11, 2012, 04:37 AM
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RussellTate's Avatar
Originally Posted by patmat2350
Nice job!
I expect that is nickel not chrome on the last coat... "chromed" parts actually have just a tiny flash of chrome over a good nickel base.
You can skip the copper when starting with brass..
Hey Pat, it is called copy chrome, which I think is the closest thing to chrome.
I think I might order some nickel solution and coat the brass parts with it first then chrome over the top of that
- it's only 25 bucks, worth a shot if it might improve brightness
Nov 11, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Jerome Morris's Avatar
Nice looking part. Might have to try this one of these day's
Nov 11, 2012, 11:41 AM
woodybob's Avatar
Great job Russ. Very resourceful assembling of the jack staff. Makes you look at brass objects differently.
Nov 11, 2012, 01:59 PM
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Ed Crowell's Avatar
Nice job Russell.

The Copy Chrome is actually Kobalt. And looks exactly like chrome. I don't think you would gain anything by nickle plating it first.

Nov 11, 2012, 02:46 PM
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Mike-A's Avatar
Very Nice RT! How did the other parts come out? (The ones with the burn marks)... Also I layed down the graphics you sent a few days ago... MUCH better results... I got a bit scared on the 3rd layer of lack. (it soaked through and started to bubble)! when it dried all went back to normal... I will sand down and polish and post a pic... Not sure when... I am 1/2 way through building a new kitchen!
Nov 11, 2012, 08:23 PM
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Tim B.'s Avatar
Ooooh Man I wish I had just a Little Bit of these skills ~

Great work !
Nov 12, 2012, 12:37 AM
Taking care of the pond.
Nice metal work.

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