I have Gold plated the pans of flintlocks using the brush plating system sold by SPA Plating (www.goldn.co.uk) with great success. Steel makes a perfectly good substrate on which to plate gold directly without a barrier layer, the only caveat is that rust must be avoided by keeping surfaces very lightly protected by oil or a coating like Metalguard. Spa plating used to have a very good handbook on plating but I couldn’t find it on the latest website, and the new instructions are less clear so I will put the .pdf at the end of this blog. I have told them that the new website isn’t as informative!
Here are my hints for plating gold onto steel parts using the SPA plating brush method;-