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I Forge Iron

Removing chrome plate from copper


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3 minutes ago, Pr3ssure said:

Would forging it remove it?

Yes, but:

4 minutes ago, Pr3ssure said:

Would forging with the chrome on it be a bad idea? I'm not sure.

A HORRIBLE idea. Hexavalent chrome vapor is highly toxic and will make you very, very sick. DON’T DO IT. 

The only completely safe way to remove chrome plating is to have it done professionally, which will probably be prohibitively expensive.

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What JHCC said. Don't forge anything chromed. Don't try to burn it off either. 

I have a bunch of chromed wrenches that id love to use in scrap art but I just toss them in a pile until I find a good ( affordable) way to get the chrome removed ( if ever). So far the only safe way I have heard is taking them somewhere that does chrome plating to remove it. Like he said, cost prohibited. 

What type of stock is it? 

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I.F.I. citizens,

Acids will not attack the surface of chrome (Cr.). This is because the outer surface is passivated. That is,  the Cr, on the surface is oxidized (i.e. passivated). Chrome oxide is highly resistant to acids and many other chemicals. But that passivated layer is very thin. About four atoms thick. ( if my memory serves me).

So the Cr oxide must be attacked by a strong reducing agent. For example potassium permanganate. Once the layer is trashed, the underlying Cr metal will be attacked by even dilute acid.

Muriatic acid, (HCl), will work.

Please note that HCl gas will attack the metal surfaces of tools in your smithy.

'Sooo'    do the procedure outside, away from children, adults and pets. Use a chemical respirator while doing the process, and stand upwind.

Dissolved chrome-acid residue can be disposed of according to local restrictions. Or,  if necessary, you can let the acid evaporate and the chrome salts, that are left behind, can be mixed into the water of curing cement, or as an additive in discarding paint which will dry. 

The cement brick would make a charming Christmas president for your brother in law or ex. Warn them NOT to suck on it, in times of stress.

I hope this information is of some use to some members of I.F.I.





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Gosh I LOVE you Slag! We used a similar technique to get gold out of mercury back in the day. My question for the chrome removal process is this. Is there a way to precipitate the chrome out of solution? 

We dissolved gold bearing mercury in acid then recovered the mercury from the acid with zinc. The zinc replaced the mercury in the acid and we reused it in the separators. I don't know what was done with the zinc nitrate, or how dangerous it is. This was the '60s when folk didn't think anything of dumping motor oil in the ally, heck the gvt sprayed waste oil on dirt roads for dust control. Often PCB oils from transformers and such. 

ANY time I see or hear about metal acid solution I think about precipitating it out. Maybe just plate it onto something instead?

I like encapsulating the salts in concrete idea, maybe a cast troll bridge abutment?

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Your zinc plus hydrochloric acid analogy will, also, work to reduce chrome chloride. But please be careful trying that reaction. Finely divided chrome metal powder can get into all manner of places. Including our lungs.

So using a chemical respirator is almost mandatory. (and NOT the useless paper masks, which are illegal on job sites, in many jurisdictions).

The resultant chrome would be of the safer trivalent form, but the poisonous hexavalent salts usually are present in lesser amounts.

The paint in cement trick is an old idea that works a charm. I bumped into that concept many years ago. (So I cannot take credit for the idea, sigh).

Herr Frost your bridge abutment idea is an excellent one, (he said, supra "I like encapsulating the salts in concrete idea, maybe a cast troll bridge abutment?")

SLAG Industries Inc. is looking into the concept as we speak.

Regards to all the IFI hot metal bangers, and have  a happy prosperous black Friday.


p,s, The use of zinc dust comes to mind because of its use in the MacArthur-Dinggus (& Merrill-Crowe improvement) gold cyanide extraction process where zinc dust reacts with the gold cyanide to free that gold.

p. p.s. the use of acids can be very helpful, but can cause grievous injuries. So please read up on the required methods of use and mandatory safety procedures.

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44 minutes ago, JHCC said:

Use your clinker as aggregate: kill two disposal birds with one stone. 

If you do any investment casting you can add the busted up molds to the mix and call the troll Grog. Put a motion sensor on the bridge and a recording saying something like, "This Grog troll bridge, pay the troll." Ooh, the background music could be someone thumping a slow heart beat on a log with a club. B BUM b BUM b BUM.

I'll get back when I've thought about how much detail to go into Slag. We used to do things routinely that'd get you thrown in jail in a heart beat or at least on a watch list. I was mixing anfo when I was 11. Dad or Wally wouldn't let me push the button, they wanted the fun. Count downs seemed silly when there wasn't another soul within 20 miles of table top flat desert. Oh well, we all have our rituals.

Frosty The Lucky.

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This reminds me of a classic story:

An explorer and his guide are going through the jungle. Suddenly, they start hearing faint but steady drumbeats. The explorer says, “I say, old chap, should we be worried about those drumbeats?”

The guide replies, “Drums no problem. Drums stop: big problem.”

They go on for a while, and the drumbeats gradually get louder and louder. The explorer is getting rather nervous and says, “Look here, old bean, you say that we shouldn’t be worried about those drumbeats, but they are growing in intensity. Are you certain that this is truly a matter of no concern?“

The guide replies, “Drums no problem. Drums stop: big problem.”

They continue on, and the drumbeats get louder, faster, and more intense. The explorer is now quite agitated and says, “Look here, old mangle-wurzle, these drumbeats are really most disturbing. Are you — beyond the merest shadow of a doubt — utterly convinced of their innocuousness?”

The guide replies, “Drums no problem. Drums stop: big problem.”

The explorer says, “So you keep saying, my dear old gumboot, but you have neglected one vital piece of information: when the drums stop, WHAT HAPPENS?!?”

The guide stops in the middle of the path, turns to the explorer, and with a look mingling profound sadness and utter despair, replies, “Drums stop: guitar solo.”

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