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Nickel plating brass on instruments

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Nickel plating brass on instruments

Unread postby mewstone » Sat Dec 3, 2016 3:40 pm

As a part of the thread "GWR Cow Bell or sheep dome bell?" JRB posted the following:

Post by JRB » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:59 pm

"I don't know if any block bells suffered, but it was common for any brass item reaching the telegraph shop for overhaul to be put through the dull nickel plater."

A friend of mine has recently purchase a White & Co manufactured ex GWR turned stem block "Church" bell. On polishing the turned stem he has been surprised that the metal coating has rubbed off and that it has exposed solid brass underneath. I was wondering was it just a Reading Signal Works policy to nickel plate brass items upon overhaul, or was this done by other companies/regions and does anyone know dates for when this policy occurred and why it was done. Surely if brass is not polished it would go dull anyway. I was just wondering what the benefit of doing this was?
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Re: Nickel plating brass on instruments

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Sat Dec 3, 2016 5:20 pm

Probably to put the signalman off polishing it and so saving on brass polish!
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Re: Nickel plating brass on instruments

Unread postby John Hinson » Sun Dec 4, 2016 1:32 am

mewstone wrote:I was wondering was it just a Reading Signal Works policy to nickel plate brass items upon overhaul, or was this done by other companies/regions and does anyone know dates for when this policy occurred and why it was done. Surely if brass is not polished it would go dull anyway. I was just wondering what the benefit of doing this was?

Some Midland blocks were so-treated too, so the practice was not limited to Reading works.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_electroplating :
Nickel electroplating is a technique of electroplating a thin layer of nickel onto a metal object. The nickel layer can be decorative, provide corrosion resistance, wear resistance, or used to build up worn or undersized parts for salvage purposes

It was often classed as a challenge to rub it away to the brass so it certainly didn't save the brasso!

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