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Nickel plating with Nickel Acetate, Nickel Chloride, Sulfur, Saccharin and Coumarin

Question asked by Daniel Kantor on Nov 17, 2016

Hello all.  I am a hobbyist trying to learn/apply a Nickel electroplating process that I can safely do at my home shop.  My substrate is a machinable non-stainless steel with unknown carbon content, and I'm looking to do a close variation of the "Watts Bright Nickel" formula.  I have a 99.9% pure Nickel Anode, Nickel Acetate powder, Nickel Chloride, Boric Acid, Sulfur powder, Saccharin and Coumarin.  The formula calls for Nickel Sulfate; is it possible to simply add the powdered Sulfur to the solution, or do I have to use a different process to synthesize the Nickel sulfate from the materials that I have? 

Also, the Watts formula does not include the Saccharin or Coumarin, but I know that these chemical additives will increase the odds of a smooth mirror like finish.  Is there a recommended quantity range, or at least a starting point, for these two chemicals for this application?  I've included two different versions of the Watts Nickel formula that I've found thus far.  Any insights here from an experienced chemist/electroplater would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.