Anyone on here ever zinc plated bolts

Trying to zn plate some bolts for my xke. Anyone here has some experience doing stuff like this. So far I have only been successful turning my bolts black and that’s it.

I plated tons of hardware during my restoration including bolts and nuts. Check out my YouTube Channel for videos on the set up and process including some tips on how to assure best looking results.

I used an internet recipe using zinc powder, Epsom salt, vinegar, and sugar as my solution. I guess my big issue is that the transformer I’m using pushes 12v from both leads. So, which is my + and - then. + Goes to the zn plate, negative to the part, right??

Correct. To get the DC you need to connect your transformer to a rectifier. A “bridge rectifier” is best; get one good for as many amps as your transformer will push out. They are cheap! For this application you don’t require filter capacitors. You will have “pulsating DC” which is all you need. IMHO.

I’m using a step down transformer that goes from ac to DC. 120v ac to 1/2amp dc. That has the rectifier in it, right? I’m just doing a few bolts at a time first, then if it works I was going to try the fancy units that john had.

Right. Sorry, I misunderstood–the quote from your previous post (below) made me think you had AC. Unless the thingy you have is marked in some way, you’ll have to use a voltmeter to figure out + and - (or see which way works in plating).

I think @John_Walker has done them, with a Caswell kit.

Part is Negative. Plate is Positive.

Yes, using Caswell’s kit. I’ve plated brackets, nuts and bolts, screws, Cheney clamps The key, IMO, is to follow their instructions to the letter until you get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. I also use their brightener which really makes the plating shine.

The Plating Factory:

I made a power supply with bulbs as per the attached document.


Seems the plating settled down. I honestly think it was the tap water minerals. A couple passes and it was as good. I planning on getting some brightener tomorrow and see how it looks with tgat. An old laptop power supply really upped my amp game.

That reminds me…:yum:

1 Like

Didn’t find an attached document but maybe I didn’t know how to look.

My fault. I can find and open the document but can’t attach the address for you to open it. So. Google, “con trolling a power source for plating” and you should get a page like this.

You want to open the PDF document at the bottom of the snip.

Thanks. I watched the video on the Caswell site. Next step is getting my plating table set up. Did you use a tumbler or sonic cleaner?

If you’re going to use a tumbler, then you’ll want to use a sonic cleaner afterwards. Tumbling grinds the rust into a very fine powder.

I brushed the threads after tumbling, then chased them, then put them through sonic cycles until the fluid stayed clear.

1 Like

I blasted with well worn slag, it gets very fine and not overly aggressive. Followed that with a rinse then an acid bath, followed with a distilled water rinse and then into the cleaning so0lution, another distilled water rinse and then the plating solution .

Spoke to Caswell yesterday. He told me to acid bath first, rinse, blast, then bc I have an ultrasonic, use some Dawn soap in a baggie w water, rinse, then start plating. The guy in the video obviously did a different order.

1 Like