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Plating Hardware......... Anyone Done It ?????

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  • Plating Hardware......... Anyone Done It ?????

    I have some specialty hardware that was once plaated, I guess it's cad plating?? the same silver plating you find on nuts and bolts.
    I need to replate it for a restoration job. The stuff just wears off after time. Has anyone done this before??? if so what chemicals do I need and where might I find them.


  • #2
    Cadmium plating is extremely toxic and mostly banned. Are you sure it isn't just zinc plating? Nickel is an attractive long lasting option.

    Check Caswell's web site - they have what you need.

    Here's their cadmium replacement :
    Last edited by lakeside53; 07-25-2012, 11:12 PM.


    • #3
      Cadmium plating is not the same as you find on hardware store fasteners... Hardware store fasteners are typically zinc. I was told the true purpose of zinc plating was for shelf life..but I cant back that story up..

      Cad plating will last significantly longer than zinc. Cad is falling out of favor due to supposed environmental issues. You shouldnt have much issue finding a plater to do either plating, but cad is slowly being dropped by platers.

      EDIT to add: Just read Lakesides post...I have not seen any instances of cad being banned (maybe except for Europe). I sell ALOT of fasteners that are cad plated, typically water work projects...
      Last edited by cuemaker; 07-25-2012, 11:09 PM.


      • #4
        I think it's mainly the process that was bad, then post consumer recycling. Someone with more time will no doubt goggle this

        I've seen a change in fasteners of the past few years - moving from cadmium to other protective coatings.
        Last edited by lakeside53; 07-25-2012, 11:24 PM.


        • #5

          I've done some copper and nickel at home, but a couple of years ago, I took up zinc plating to do the hardware on an old Triumph motorcycle I was restoring. Though it's not the route I took, the simplest way to get started is to buy a kit from Caswell or the like. There is also quite a bit of info on the web about it.

          Others are correct--true Cad plating is disappearing due to issues with toxicity of the chemicals. I believe cadmium is one of the elements being phased out under European RoHS rules. Since so many product markets are global, it affects us in the States, too. The zinc process I use is not particularly toxic.

          Here is a link to my little writeup on zinc plating--

          For just a little more, you can do it yourself!


          • #6
            As others have said there are toxicity issues with plating in general, cadmium especially. Unless your just dead set on doing this yourself you'd probably be money ahead by sending it to a plating company.


            • #7
              OK, thanks for the feed back guys. I know that hardware fasteners used to be cad plated but paying little attention I'm not sure what is used today, perhaps it's zinc. I know there are enviornmental issues with cad. I think these parts were originally zinc. As cuemaker mentioned the plating was intended for shelf life protection, I think I would agree as in most cases it doesn't last much longer than that depending on the enviornment it exposed to. That is what has happened to my parts..... just plain wore off. I will look into the posted links.




              • #8
                Cad plating is still available, for hardware but very expensive when compared to zinc plating.
                The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

                Southwestern Ontario. Canada


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                  ...the plating was intended for shelf life protection, ...

                  I really think the plating is normally intended for more than just shelf life protection. Most of the hardware on my 40-year old Triumph project still has its plating intact. Where the plating is breached, it is usually because of mechanical wear or mis-use of tools. Certainly the life of the plating would depend partly on the thickness of the coating.

                  By plating hardware yourself, you have some control over this. I shoot for a plating thickness of at least 0.001", which is considered fairly thick.
                  For just a little more, you can do it yourself!


                  • #10
                    I have plated extensively with silver but it needs cyanidefluid. These days you would not be allowed to do it with health and safety as you need to be registered for transport buying ,and paying to dispose of it, you can't simply pour it down the toilet pan.Best easiest way to plate in my opinion is copper plating which is relatively safe whereby you need copper sulphate as amedium easy to get use and dispose of. Good luck the hardware is very easy to set up and cheap too.Alistair
                    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease