Nickel Plating the Busbars

As I have some time to wait for my electrician, I thought I would have a go at nickel plating my busbars. In an earlier blog post I created my Nickel plating solution and have been storing it for when it was required.

I found a test busbar and attempted nickel plating it. I cleaned the piece with greese remover and then dunked in pool acid (in an attempt to etch the copper). I then rinsed the piece in clean water while ensuring I didn’t touch the piece with my fingers. I plated for 10 minutes and this is the result.

This is the side of the busbar facing the nickel plate.

After 10 minutes on each side,I decided to give each side another 15 minutes. The results were fantastic.

The test piece looks fantastic. The cloudy parts are easily buffed with a bit of Brasso.

I didn’t capture images or footage of the following piece, however I nickel plated my first real bus bar. My first attempt wasn’t perfect due to insufficient cleaning. I could tell after only a few minutes of plating that parts of the bar were not 100% clean as it was not plating evenly. I stopped, Sanded the bar with 1200 grit wet and dry paper and cleaned again. I then plated for 20 minutes each side. The result is a nice plate which does not rub or scratch easily.

This image is prior to polishing with Brasso.
After a bit of a polish it looks much better. I’m sure I could get it mirror finish if I wanted.

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