I used a ton of nickel when I was in grad school and also when I was
finally going on my own. Nickel is tough, durable, fabricates
easily, but oxides badly after brazing, so a lot of pickling, or
using preoxide pickle will efficiently clean off the nasty copper
staining. As for finishing, it takes a high polish very nice, but a
brush finish works good.
You need to wax it or lacquer it afterwards to retard the tarnish.
Nickel tarnishs quickly and it tends to look awful. I usually use
mass tumble finishing to finish my nickel flatware, but will polish
as needed. Renaissance Wax, or Butcher Floor wax works well after
doing a brush finish. Here’s an image of my Intermezzo purse that
was made out of nickel, with silverplated wire, nickel and bronze
woven detailing. I had to use Butcher floor wax to keep the nickel