This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Nickeling may be performed on all metals cold, by means of nickelene by the Mitressey process, without employing electrical apparatus, and any desired thickness deposited. It is said to be more solid than nickel.
Clean the objects and take 5 parts, by weight, of American potash per 25 parts, by weight, of water. If the pieces are quite rusted, take 2 parts, by weight, of chlorhydric acid per 1 part, by weight, of water. The bath is employed cold.
Put 250 parts, by weight, of sulphate of copper in 25,000 parts, by weight, of water. After dissolution add a few drops of sulphuric acid, drop by drop, stirring the liquid with a wooden stick until it becomes as clear as spring water.
Take out the pieces thus cleaned and place them in what is called the copper bath, attaching to them leaves of zinc; they will assume a red tint. Then pass them into the nickeling bath, which is thus composed:
Cream of tartar...... 20 parts
Sal ammoniac, in powder.......... 10 parts
Kitchen salt......... 5 parts
Oxychlorhydrate of tin............... 20 parts
Sulphate of nickel, single................. 30 parts
Sulphate of nickel, ouble........... 50 parts
Remove the pieces from the bath in a few minutes and rub them with fine sand on a moist rag. Brilliancy will thus be obtained. To improve the appearance, apply a brass wire brush. The nickeling is said to be more solid and beautiful than that obtained by the electrical method.
Brilliancy may be also imparted by means of a piece of buff glued on a wooden wheel and smeared with English red stuff. This will give a glazed appearance.
Prepare a bath of neutral zinc chloride and a neutral solution of a nickel salt. The objects are immersed in the bath with small pieces of zinc and kept boiling for some time. This process has given satisfactory results. It is easy to prepare the zinc chloride by dissolving it in hydrochloric acid, as well as a saturated solution of ammoniacal nickel sulphate in the proportion of two volumes of the latter to one of the zinc chloride. The objects should be boiled for 15 minutes in the bath. Nickel salt may also be employed, preferably in the state of chloride.