Nickel plating outsourcing

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by DouginVa posted 07-11-2020 08:20 PM 345 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DouginVa's profile


503 posts in 3078 days

07-11-2020 08:20 PM

Quite a few years ago I started a forum discussion on restoring a Stanley 55 the I acquired.

Other than sharpening the irons that needed sharpening and learning how to use the tool a little bit I really haven’t done much with it. But now I’m ready to get off my butt and do something with this nice tool. I don’t trust my own ability to nickel plate it myself and from what I’ve read you have to concern yourself with proper disposal of the solution when you’re done…..and I don’t want to go to the trouble with that.

Can anyone recommend a good service in Northern Virginia that I can take my tool to for removal and re-applicaiton of the nickel finish on my tool?

Thanks in advance!

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

9 replies so far

View SMP's profile


2250 posts in 711 days

#1 posted 07-11-2020 09:38 PM

Oh not sure about there. Search for somewhere that does plating. Chrome plating is more popular in most places. The places near me do whatever kind of plating you want. And the price is dependent on how soon you want it. If they have to set it all up for just yours it costs a small fortune. But if you can wait until they have a larger batch of other stuff they can throw in together it gets much cheaper. I have done this chrome plating old bicycle parts, ie wait until someone is chroming car wheels etc.

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

2511 posts in 968 days

#2 posted 07-12-2020 12:04 AM

all chrome is is a tough clear finish over nickel.
so if you wanted something done really right, it will be copper plated first,
then the nickel (skipping the last chrome step) and it’s done.
just google Metal Plating in your area.
(there is probably more than half a dozen near me in Orlando, less than a 45 min. drive).


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Scap's profile


123 posts in 732 days

#3 posted 07-12-2020 01:40 AM

Maybe check out some of the local gunsmiths that work on revolvers and/or 1911’s.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3352 posts in 2299 days

#4 posted 07-12-2020 03:49 AM

When need to find a company in unfamiliar business area, ask Thomas:

For Virginia:

Small 1 person operations are not usually listed, unless they contract for government and need a registered profile. Thanks to Hazmat disposal regulations, only larger companies survive today in the plating area IME.

Most metal finishing companies tend to support many chemistries, once they get waste disposal permits and install the equipment to keep neighborhood safe. Might find a local aluminum anodizer that does small lot/part bright nickel as well.

+1 Ask your local gunsmith who does restoration work who they use.

+1 Always ask about discount for no-rush plating. Smaller folks only run certain chemistries a couple times a month.

Another common source is automotive restoration and custom build shop. They usually have a local plating house they use.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View sansoo22's profile


1017 posts in 459 days

#5 posted 07-12-2020 04:04 AM

Another common source is automotive restoration and custom build shop. They usually have a local plating house they use.

- CaptainKlutz

This was going to be my suggestions for plating and in regards to any sand blasting. Last time I need something blasted I asked a local automotive restorer about it. They did it cheap but I had to wait until they had a bunch of engine parts ready for the soda blast cabinet.

There are a few full fabrication shops around here that will do blasting and plating but its cheaper to have something plated if its already prepped for them and you can wait until they are doing a batch.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5653 posts in 1387 days

#6 posted 07-12-2020 12:39 PM

+1 Always ask about discount for no-rush plating. Smaller folks only run certain chemistries a couple times a month.

Strongly second that. I got quite a bit of powder-coating done on the cheap that way, including one batch of custom color where I bought the color and let the powder-coater have all that wasn’t needed on my project as part of the payment (I’d bought the minimum order of the color, which was about 4x what I actually needed).

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View AMZ's profile


135 posts in 194 days

#7 posted 07-12-2020 01:10 PM

First chrome and nickel plating are different, with different processing steps, though the end results may look similar. Bright zinc plating, with a clear dichromate top coat can also look similar. The end results of all three are depebdebt upon the polishing of the surfaces getting plated.

I regularly (several times per week), send parts I manufacture out for zinc plating. Zinc plating sources are common with the other two far less. I would suggest phoning a local zinc p,ating source and asking them if they also do nickel plating and if not, can they suggest a source.

View AMZ's profile


135 posts in 194 days

#8 posted 07-12-2020 03:53 PM

One other comment, be careful of how you remove some plating, wearing face/breathing protection and gloves, as some plating has cadmium in it. Also most platers can remove plating for you (safer for you and better for them as surfaces may not need your scratches polished out).

This begs the question why plate? You will lessen collector value and the cost may easily exceed he value of the tool!

View typing's profile


26 posts in 390 days

#9 posted 07-27-2020 08:53 PM

But why ? Just leave it as is. When an iron tool starts rusting some call it patina and it gives a character to the tool as long as its work surfaces are functional. Besides it is easy to deal with.
But few things are uglier than rust appearing under nickel plating (and it inevitably will) and there is no remedy short of stripping the plating and reapplying a new one.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics