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3jaw
03-25-2005, 11:58 AM
I just bought a nice 992 Hamilton pocket watch cased in a stainless case. It looks like someone has tried to gold plate the case and then nickel plate over the top of the gold plating and it is starting to flake off. I would like to restore the case back to original so I am wondering if there is a way to remove the plating without resorting to abrasives. i.e. Is there a way to do a "reverse plating"?

Thanks,

Greg

andy_b
03-25-2005, 01:02 PM
the only difference between the plater and the platee is the polarity of the electrodes. i would think to "reverse plate" (unplate???) the watch case, you just need to find a piece of metal to use as the new object to be plated, and the watch case will be the source of the plating material. i am not sure which would be the anode, and which the cathode, but a quick web search should find the answer.

what you'll have to watch (no pun intended) for, is that you don't remove too much material from the watch case, as i don't know if stainless is a self-limiting material (it may try to unplate itself into oblivion).

andy b.

Angus in Maine
03-25-2005, 04:06 PM
You could use eloctrolytic reduction to remove the old plating, I use it all the time in the shop for cleaning parts.

BUT! There is debate over whether or not placing stainless/chrome into electoylisis as either the cathode or anode will in fact introduce chromates into the water.

Since (if true) this would create a HIGHLY toxic water residue (federal EPA controlled kind of toxic) I personally choose to not use/clean stainless or chrome in my tanks.

A jewler might be your safer and cheaper bet IMHO.




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"But the Junkyard IS my storage area, Honey!"

John Stevenson
03-25-2005, 04:12 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Angus in Maine:

BUT! There is debate over whether or not placing stainless/chrome into electoylisis as either the cathode or anode will in fact introduce chromates into the water.

Since (if true) this would create a HIGHLY toxic water residue (federal EPA controlled kind of toxic)
</font>

One watch case in a couple of gallons of water HIGHLY toxic ??

That doesn't sound right to me.
If it is I've found a cheap weedkiller http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

John S.

Angus in Maine
03-25-2005, 04:26 PM
Dear John S.

It all depends on who you want to believe in the elctroplating industry - because they are divided.

Guys who want their electrodes to last longer swear by using stainless instead of scrap steel or rebar.

I, on the otherhand, have a well in my front yard from which my family and I drink, and an ocean a few miles from which we eat.

I simply do not wish to take the chance since chromium IS in the stainless and IS released during electrolysis. The debate is only over quantity in the waste water.

I don't care about parts per million just parts per me!

The rust water waste from using straight steel or iron electrodes is just iron rich - which some plants don't like - but is more enviromentally benign.

Again, just my opinion - but I have a 45 gallon tank brewing in the shop right now and that is alot of yuck no matter what!

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"But the Junkyard IS my storage area, Honey!"