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Discussion Starter #1
I e-mailed three companies asking if they'd electroplate my aluminum saber parts - two local. No one's gotten back to me and it's been about two weeks.

Is it that small an order to do that they just ignore me?

Okay, I'll ask here: Do you know of anyplace I can send my parts to get electroplated?

Here's what I have,



I'd like it to be a dark metal like nickel or something and the yellow areas there are supposed to be gold.
 

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If possible, I would just try phoning them. Electroplating can be expensive though.

I have an old Hot Rod Magazine from the 1950's in my collection that shows how to electroplate chrome pieces and in my chemistry class, we copper plated something using a penny, a solution, and a 12 volt car battery.

It worked sort of like the part was the negative cathode and the penny was the positive. The negative ions were attracted to the positive ones, which was the part, and they floated over to the part and plated it. You need a solution between the penny and part, which I forget what that is. I also forget the direction of the polarity. You'll have to experiment or look it up on the internet. (Chem class was in 1998. sorry)

You could always copper plate the entire thing and then mask off the "Yellow" sections with tape and then nickel plate the rest using nickels (currency). Nickel bonds to copper in the electrolosys process. Just look at any American coin. You'll see that it's a sandwitch of copper and finished with nickel.

My Dad once told me of how the old Packard Car Company chrome plated their steel bumpers. First they Zinc Plated the iron, then they copper plated it, followed by nickel and then chrome. That was known as "The complete chrome job".

This was an expensive process compaired to Chrysler, Ford and GM, but the old Packard bumpers still are chrome plated to this day. The reason why Packard did this is because they knew that chrome is pourous and if you look at car bumpers of the Big 3 in the 1970's where they chrome plated right on the steel bumpers, you can see that they have rusted through the chrome.

If you want to attempt nickel plating, I suggest using the Canadian Nickel because it is pure through and through. It isn't copper filled. If you can find some, use it as a source for your nickel plating.

The only draw back to plating your light saber is that eventually the plating will tarnish. Therefore you'll have to polish this piece from time to time.

One final note - Nickel is actually a yelowish silver. Chrome is blueish. A lot of old train coaches from the 1920's-1940's used nickel plating extensively. See if you can spot some pieces in the museam and note if this is a colour you're looking for or not.
 

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Try a Powdercoater instead of an electroplater...much more reasonable. If there is any type of hunting in maine you will find a powdercoater....Also look towards Automotive restoration shops if you cant find a powdercoater. A knowledgeable Mechanic will pobably know someone.
 

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Hello Mage

I'd phone them to ask them first to know if they can do the required job. If they say yes I would set a meeting to go to the shop and show them your parts. They will see that you are serious about what you ask. I did that before and it was the best way to get results.

Gaétan

PS; Good luck with your project, it looks promising...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks guys. My wife won't let me have an electroplating kit here at home. Something about electricity, metal, possible use of cyanide and/or sulfuric acid...

I made a refined image of the saber:



I was thinking about powder coating or anodization of the gray parts and having the bight gold highlights but I think I prefer the sheen of the gunmetal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
it'll be handled a little for costume/theatric purposes and whatnot.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just got a quote back. $250 for all four pieces though they can only do the gunmetal and not the gold highlights as I'd like.

It's cool. I suppose I could go with another metal or powdercoat the rings and grip sections. If only they offered a bright gold coat.
 

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What about just polishing the aluminum with a high speed drill, some polishing compound, and a polishing head?

Polished Aluminum could look like chrome/nickel.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wanted dark metal like gunmetal.

I did, however come to the realization that anodization is the way to go.
 

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