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My "Ah-Ha!" Moments

I don't have the intestinal fortitude to try plating but I am looking at benchtop polishing machines. My little Dremel is a bit difficult to use so I'm thinking about this one:

Thoughts? There are several less expensive ones... but not much less. If you have a bench polisher you like, I'm open to any and all suggestions.

I'm using this one from Harbor Freight, considerably cheaper if you live near a store..looks like probably the same Chinese OEM as the Amazon one

6 in. Buffer - https://www.harborfreight.com/6-in-buffer-61557.html

BTW why do you not have the intestinal fortitude to try plating? Afraid of messing something up? To be honest I've messed up some things by polishing the plating right off them, even with my dremel and using Flitz. I'm just playing around with cheap common razors, I would be more careful with something of real value. But I actually feel better knowing that I can re-plate something if I mess it up, so all hope is not lost.
So I fired everything up and did some plating yesterday, mixed results. I was working on two black tip superspeeds so venturing a little into unknown territory. The t-bars and the doors came out cloudy, I have not yet had a chance to try to buff them out again. I did do a little reading, and it sounds like I may have a couple things going on there. One potential issue is not letting the part reach the temperature of the plating solution, that may be my fatal flaw here. I had them out sitting on a paper towel waiting to go into the plating solution and the air temp was maybe 50 degrees, I put them in and within a few seconds had the power flowing. Another potential issue is that they may not be submerged deep enough into the solution, I've been hanging them from the top t-bar and the doors end up being only just barely submerged. So, I have two things to try differently next time around.

The real fun begins with the SS black tip handles, both of these I got for super cheap and one was 'frozen' solid when I got it. Turns out both of mine have the steel handles, and guess what, steel can and does rust. After a lot of soaking in evaporust over 2 nights and a lot of q-tips and eventually small files in them I got them to a state where I thought I'd give plating a shot. Both handles have some staining that I have been unable to fully remove with barkeepers friend and all of the usual suspects and also some brassing under the baseplate where I may have used a dremel wire wheel and made worse. Interesting thing, the brassing on these is way more orange and copper-like.

Everything I've read says steel should take nickel plating, but my attempt on one of these handles came out really really bad. I tried upping the current to 1A, and I ended up leaving one in too long where nickel deposits just crusted all over the smooth edges. After I took it out, the plating flaked off like glitter. My only thought here is that I just barely stuck them in my pickling solution (50% muriatic acid, 50% distilled water) for a few seconds as at the time I wasn't sure if the plastic tips would get messed up. It sounds like steel needs to be pickled for a decent amount of time, longer than the standard 1 minute and from what I've read, the plastic tips should be totally fine in the acid solution....so I have another experiment to try next time I get things going.
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