View Full Version : Removing black oxide?

Doc Nickel
07-31-2004, 06:13 PM
I have a couple of small bolts I want to nickel plate (desktop DIY electroless kit) but I'm having poor results if I just leave the stock black-oxide on them.

I don't want to sand or beadblast them, because I'm looking for a shiner finish, not a matte. Wire brushing is out since they're pretty small and no brush can get inside the allen-key recess anyway.

Is there a dip or chemical I can dunk these in that'll take most, if not all of the black oxide off?


07-31-2004, 06:49 PM
Not sure... i always thought it was a chemical reaction and assumed you can't take it off without scratching/removing some material? I'd like to know if ther'es another way though!

07-31-2004, 06:53 PM
Acid dip.

Don't know how small your pieces are but I often beadblast items then brush them to restore the shine. A fine wirewheel does the trick most of the time then SS brush in the corners. This works with cast iron parts too. They come out looking factory-fresh.

07-31-2004, 10:58 PM
High quality electroless nickel has a near matte finish and is not shiny. Bright shiny electroless nickel is usually highly stressed and cracks easily, pretty lousy stuff.
Acid such as nitric will take off the black oxide on steel. I assume the pieces you have are steel. Electroless nickel will polish to a very smooth surface. BTW the plating will increase the dimensions of the parts which cause them not to fit in the case of holes and pins etc.

07-31-2004, 11:32 PM
I am a sucker for stainless bolts.

One year I broke my leg, I spent part of the winter pulling the stainless bolts one at a time out of the panhead, drilling lock-wire holes and polishing them till they shined like new money.

Using a metal socket will cause the corners to rust. Shucks..

NYlocks don't come in stainless, that is the best nuts I have used on harleys. They are a one time use nut though. They don't vibrate loose.


Dave Opincarne
07-31-2004, 11:40 PM

I know for a fact that stainless nylock nuts are available. I use them to hold on the canopy on my truck.

07-31-2004, 11:53 PM
www.mcmaster.com (http://www.mcmaster.com)

part no 90715A125

1/4-20 nylon insert lock nut, 316 SS, $4.95/50

Also sold in 18-8 SS

08-01-2004, 03:06 AM
Not sure what you are using the bolts on but if you use acid to prepare them for electro coating watch out for hydrogen embrittlement especiallyi if there is any saftey involved if they fail.

08-01-2004, 07:46 AM
Wht not use an electrolisis setup to etch the surface?A weak acid soultion and some current should have them mat grey in no time.Plus you need to take a little metal off because the screws will grow after plating them by .0005" or so.

08-01-2004, 08:31 AM
Whoo Hoo..

Thanks guys..

I have looked several places and been told they didn't make them. Shame on me believing a salesman anyways. I have used the Star'ed pinched nuts and ruined the threads more than once.

I stand corrected.