I have some antique handplane lever caps I would like to retore back to their former glory. They are made of nickel plated cast iron. The plating pin holed and flaked in areas, creating rust spots.
I am planning on stripping the nickel using hydrochloric acid and electrolysis. I've heard that nickel has a much better affinity for copper than iron. Would it be a good idea to first plate the lever caps with copper and then plate them with nickel for a more durable finish? Any other suggestions for improving the quality if the finish?