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Question about nickel finish


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11 replies to this topic

#1 swim615

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:10 PM

I am no expert on gun finishes so I need all the help I can get on this one. What can I do about this spot? It was on the pistol when I bought it and is about the size of the average pinky nail. Also any thoughts on what caused it. The rest of the pistol finish is good condition.

 

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Thanks



#2 Garufa

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:14 PM

Can you show us a more detailed picture?  :lol:



#3 TrickyNicky

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:51 PM

Also far from an expert but it almost looks like the nickle was damaged and then cleaned with a solvent. Only reason I suggest that is because it looks like the edge of the mark has almost a burned look to it. I've seen similar damage on nuckle plated guitar parts but have only speculation as to the cause.

My understanding is that a nickle finish is extremely hard to touch up, if it can be done at all, of course I am no expert and no, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn express last night so YMMV.

Hopefully someone with some real knowledge will chime in and school is both.

#4 leroy

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:54 PM

swim:  I believe that the finish has rubbed thru... See the coppery color that is fanned out between the bare spot and the nickle plating... What you are seein is a spot worn thru to the bare steel, a ring of copper plating, and the worn area of the nickle plating--- three distinct rings...

 

My guess is that the pistol originally wuz carried a lot in a holster (...think sheriff deputy, policeman, or other everyday carry over a goodly period of time here....) and the movement between the gun and the leather holster over time has worn the finish off... I would just keep the worn spot clean and rub a bit of hard finish paste wax on it from time to time... I've seen several older nickle guns that have been carried a lot in a holster with wear spots on them similar to what ya get with a holster worn blue gun... When they plated the gun, they plated the copper on first to hold and smooth the nickle plating on...

 

Ya cant fix this sort of thing easily, and it hurts the collector value a bunch... The only way is to fix the spot is to strip the plating and re-plate, and you never get a good job with re-plating... I kinda like the "well used, lovingly cared for" look on these older  nickle pistols... I would just watch the spot and keep a coat of wax on it... It adds character to these old guns... We've got several nickle plated colts and smiths that show similar wear... Nickle (...believe it or not...) is soft and will scratch a bit... I think that contributes to the surface wear on the nickle guns...

 

 

leroy


Edited by leroy, 19 October 2013 - 11:59 PM.

  • Garufa and gregintenn like this

#5 peejman

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:21 AM

What Leroy said... It's a worn spot and isn't easily fixed. You'd have to replate the whole thing. There are kits for electro-less nickel plating at home that work pretty well, but I'd leave it be.

Edited by peejman, 20 October 2013 - 12:22 AM.


#6 swim615

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:36 AM

I had not thought about the finish wearing through because the rest is in good shape. It feels smooth to the touch (I am not sure how thick nickel plating is though). The color of the center circle is almost exactly the same as the rest of the nickel. Would the unfinished metal under the nickel be this close in color?

 

Also on the topic of repair I plan to keep it as a shooter and that is what I bought it for. Just thinking about a few years down the road if I decide to part with it on the repair or not to repair part. I think if the only way to repair it is to refinish the whole gun it wouldn't help its value. Just hoping for a way to repair the one spot.



#7 swim615

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:55 AM

What Leroy said... It's a worn spot and isn't easily fixed. You'd have to replate the whole thing. There are kits for electro-less nickel plating at home that work pretty well, but I'd leave it be.

Do you have any experience with the kits? I wonder how hard it is to do and what the end results look like? I sure don't want to make it worse or bigger.



#8 Lester Weevils

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:23 AM

On youtube midwayusa has at least one video on electroless nickel plating. Maybe other sources have videos as well. Dunno how well it works or whether the spot would be just as or more obvious afterward.

#9 leroy

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:24 AM

Swim:  RE:

 

....Would the unfinished metal under the nickel be this close in color? ...

Yep... The bare carbon steel is close to the color of the nickle plating, especially when the bare steel has been rubbed a bit... When i wuz a boy (....55 or so years ago...); it wasnt unusual to see these older firearms with the blue worn off down to the bare steel... It will take on a silvery finish where it has been rubbed... It also wasn't unusual to see nickle plated handguns that were re-plated; some at the factory... There used to be a lot of re-plating done; but lots of it wuz pretty poor...

 

leroy



#10 swim615

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:40 AM

On youtube midwayusa has at least one video on electroless nickel plating. Maybe other sources have videos as well. Dunno how well it works or whether the spot would be just as or more obvious afterward.

Found this http://www.youtube.c...h?v=CMZNVApYz1U Larry makes it simple.

 

And this http://www.midwayusa...kel-plating-kit

 

Anyone have any experience with it?


Edited by swim615, 20 October 2013 - 11:47 AM.


#11 peejman

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:46 PM

Found this http://www.youtube.c...h?v=CMZNVApYz1U Larry makes it simple.

And this http://www.midwayusa...kel-plating-kit

Anyone have any experience with it?



Decorative nickel plating is probably 0.003" or less thick.

A friend of mine has a home plating kit and has done a handful of small car parts. According to him, just follow the directions and it's pretty easy.

#12 RichardR

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 07:08 AM

Unfortunately this sort of thing (especially when the plating starts to peel & flake off) is why I refuse to ever buy a nickle-plated firearm, they look great right from the factory but the plating just doesn't hold up very well under any sort of regular use.

That spot will continue to worsen with time (iffin it's doing more than just sitting in a safe) once it starts getting real bad sand-blasting it & either replating or blueing it is really the only thing you can do.