Availability: nickel is available in many forms includ
Nearing Zero cartoon included by kind permission of Nick Kim.
Here is a brief summary of the isolation of nickel.
It is not normally necessary to make nickel in the laboratory as it is available readily commercially. Small amounts of pure nickel can be islated in the laborotory through the purification of crude nickel with carbon monoxide. The intermediate in this process is the highly toxic nickel tetracarbonyl, Ni(CO)4. The carbonyl decomposes on heating to about 250°C to form pure nickel powder.
Ni + 4CO (50°C) Ni(CO)4 (230°C) Ni + 4CO
The Ni(CO)4 is a volatile complex which is easily flushed from the reaction vessel as a gas leaving the impurities behind. Industrially, the Mond process uses the same chemistry. Nickel oxides are reacted with "water gas", a mixture of CO + H2). Reduction of the oxide with the hydrogen results in impure nickel. This reacts with the CO component of the water gas to make Ni(CO)4 as above. Thermal decomposition leaves pure nickel metal.