Woodinville Shops

Discuss park gauge trains and large scale miniature railways having track gauges from 8" to 24" gauge and designed at scales of 2" to the foot or greater - whether modeled for personal use, or purpose built for amusement park operation or private railroading.

Moderators: Glenn Brooks, Harold_V

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Topics may include: antique park gauge train restoration, preservation, and history; building new grand scale equipment from scratch; large scale miniature railway construction, maintenance, and safe operation; fallen flags; track, gauge, and equipment standards; grand scale vendor offerings; and, compiling an on-line motive power roster.
rkcarguy
Posts: 640
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:33 am

Re: Woodinville Shops

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:21 pm

I've only copper plated a few things in the pickling tank at a place I used to work that made heat exchangers. I didn't really know what was going to happen, but just popped the lid on the forklift, connected the jumper cables + to the part and minus to a scrap strip of copper, and dunked them in the salt and vinegar solution(which was well used and had a lot of copper in it already). It turned the steel part copper colored pretty quick and it lasted for a long time.
I'm not sure what kind of solution is used to gold plate something, but it's only a google search away.
Glenn, for some reason I'm seeing your wife a week from now wondering where he gold jewelry went :D

Glenn Brooks
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Woodinville, Washington

Re: Woodinville Shops

Post by Glenn Brooks » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:38 pm

OK. Golden Spike Time!
A51B54D0-297D-499B-B374-A17C40123D7A.jpeg
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

Harold_V
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Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Woodinville Shops

Post by Harold_V » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:39 am

Glenn Brooks wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:55 pm
Harold, Nice! Is it feasible to try to gold plate something here in my shop?
It is, but it's not simple due to the difficulty of obtaining cyanide, which I used. I had some on hand (used for extracting gold from a high grade gold/silver ore I processed for a customer), which is the electrolyte I chose because it's simple (assuming you can acquire cyanide). Gold chloride is dissolved in cyanide, making the required electrolyte. A rather generous amount of gold is required. Current regulations make buying the stuff (cyanide) virtually impossible for the common man. However, a guy can buy a small container of electrolyte, already prepared, from a jewelry supply store. With it, you don't have to have a gold anode, but its life is rather limited, as the gold you plate on the object is already charged to the electrolyte and is depleted with use. By using a gold anode of the proper size, you can plate a lot more, unless you contaminate the electrolyte. You likely understand the electrolyte so purchased is not cheap. You may well pay more than twice the value of the gold contained within.

One of my customers offered to nickel plate the spike, so I didn't have to prepare the bath for that operation. It's critical to success, however, and should not be overlooked.
I’ve got a bit of gold lying around, and plenty of 3 1/2” spikes, but never attempted such a thing, other than electrolysis.
The gold you have lying around isn't likely to work unless you have some that is pure. That's assuming you hope to apply a pure layer of gold (which mine is). If not, alloy will likely work, so long as it's yellow gold. In a cyanide bath, copper and silver will deposit along with the gold (both of which make up yellow gold jewelry), so you'd be effectively plating with the karat gold you used as an anode. The only issue, then, is that you don't really get a true gold color, but the level of protection would likely be quite good. You should also know that a base layer of nickel is generally applied before the gold is plated, as I mentioned, above. Nickel provides a needed barrier, as gold (and silver) readily migrate, especially on copper. Given enough time, plated objects will appear to have lost all their plating.

I am aware that there are other electrolytes that are used for plating gold, but the chemistry of them evades me. I fully expect they would be just as difficult for the home type to pursue.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

rkcarguy
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Re: Woodinville Shops

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:59 pm

Wow that got done quick Glenn!
I too read up on the gold plating, I think the $20 spike you found sounds like a bargain after reading about the different nasty acids and highly poisonous cyanide used.

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NP317
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Location: Northern Oregon

Re: Woodinville Shops

Post by NP317 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:21 am

Glenn:
Just get a can of gold spray paint for the spike,
and spend the rest on a nice bottle of single-malt Scotch to celebrate!
With Family & Friends.
~RN

Glenn Brooks
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Woodinville, Washington

Re: Woodinville Shops

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:50 am

Russ, I thought about a can of gold paint- actually I just now remembered one in my paint locker - from 20 years ago. Have to go see if it still works. I did order a plated spike from the guy in Calif. it’s 6” long, so I plan to lop off the bottom 3” and grind the end to a bevel, so,it drives into my “Commemorative Golden Spike Tie” my boy and I laid under the rail.

After some roadbed testing, we plan on throwing a Golden Spike Celebration and BBQ for the neighborhood and any Chaski fans who can make it.


Ryan, yep highly motivated to finished this beast and send the extra gang on to other things. Like pulling weeds and mowing the grass.

Gpb
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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