APMM Community Forum : Electroplating & Anodizing
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 Subject : Electroplating: A Primer For Beginners.. 07/26/2018 10:59:55 AM 
MICHAEL SCRIBNER
Posts: 64
Location: Overland Park, KS
The point of this guide is to shed some light on and demystify a useful and powerful finishing process, and to help fellow model makers decide if this process might be right for them. The road to working knowledge of this process has been a long and somewhat difficult one for me, because there simply isn’t much information out there to be found (none that I could find, anyway). I’m hoping that I can impart some understanding to make the path easier for those who follow, from a model-maker’s perspective.

A little background on where I’m coming from. I’ve been plating in our shop for about 5 years. Prior to that, I had a small amount of experience with it during college, as part of my metalsmithing and jewelry design courses. Since setting up our first equipment in-house, and being the only one in my shop with even a shred of experience with the process, I’ve spent untold hours on the phone with various technicians and service people at equipment and chemical vendors, picking their brains for solutions to problems I ran into along the way. At this point, I’m comfortable with the process, though I won’t pretend that I’m any sort of master at it. I get good results from the variety of finishes that we commonly work with, which include Nickel, 18k and 22k Gold, and a couple of Ruthenium-based black oxide finishes. I’ll be the first to tell you that I do not understand the details of the science behind the process, but my experience has shown me that you don’t HAVE to understand the science behind the process to achieve good results.

The ability to apply real metal finishes to prototype parts is a powerful tool for a model maker. In many cases, there is no practical substitute for it, if you want to get as close to a client’s design intent as possible. The finishes are durable, and because the metal deposited is only a few microns thick, the surface geometry and finish work applied to the part are faithfully maintained. The process is fast, with any given part being submerged in baths for about 5 minutes. The longest part of the process is heating up the chemicals and cleaning up afterward. The work I do is typically no larger than 2 inches in its largest dimension, but the equipment and techniques I describe can scale up and still be practical for a small shop to utilize.

In-House vs. Outsourcing: This is probably the most important question regarding the process of electroplating. As someone who does it in-house, I’d personally recommend sticking with an outside vendor, IF YOU CAN FIND A GOOD ONE. Let them deal with the safety issues, the equipment costs, the disposal of nasty chemicals. If you don’t have any reliable plating houses in your area, look around for jewelry stores. Locally owned jewelry stores, specifically (the big name ones most likely won’t be doing plating in-house, if at all). Jewelers often have small-scale plating equipment in-house, and are going to show far more sensitivity to fine finishes on your prototype parts than larger-scale plating houses, and they’re quite used to working with small quantity jobs.

With that said, there are a lot of advantages to doing your plating yourself. For one, you don’t have to deal with NDAs or privacy issues if your models are confidential. Finding an external plating house that gives proper respect and care to one-off prototypes can be difficult. One of the reasons we stopped using external vendors was a consistent issue of receiving painstakingly finished parts back from the plater with scratches, nicks, dents or dings on the surfaces. Nobody is going to take greater care of your carefully finished parts than you do. We also found limitations on the types of finishes many platers would apply. One shop might do gold, but not silver. Another might only do chrome or brass. Doing it yourself gives you flexibility in that regard. Use the finishes YOU need, not just the ones the shop down the street offers! Finally, and perhaps most importantly, doing your plating in-house allows you to turn the parts around much faster.

Finish Options: A quick survey of Rio Grande Jewelry Supply and Legor USA will yield dozens of finish options. These include various karat weights of yellow gold, colored golds (rose gold, brown gold, etc), silver, palladium, rhodium, blue rhodium, black rhodium, black ruthenium, ultrablack ruthenium, and copper, among others. I’ll include more info on vendors in the Resources section below.

Safety Concerns: While this is a significant issue and bears some serious consideration, it’s not quite as scary as it might seem at first glance. Keep in mind, all of these metal-bearing chemicals are acid-based, and nearly every molecule in every solution is eighteen different shades of bad for you. If you read the MSDS sheets on even the most benign chemical, it’ll probably make you think twice about coming near the stuff. But we all knew already that everything causes cancer according to an MSDS, right? If you take reasonable precautions, there’s really very little you need to worry about unless you’re working with the stuff all day, every day. If you are part of a larger company as an in-house model shop, speak to your campus safety coordinator and include them in the planning process early. They can be a great resource for various safety concerns including disposal of chemicals and addition of proper safety equipment or protocols.

All of my recommendations here are based on the use of non-cyanide solutions. While cyanide-based gold solutions are still available, I’ve had great success using acid-based gold solutions that are far safer and carry less state and federal disposal concerns. In my opinion, there is no good reason to use cyanide gold solutions in a small-shop environment. Just don’t do it. The stuff is deadly! If you do, you’ll have to investigate additional safety concerns and procedures (and there are a lot of them.)

Ventilation: You MUST, MUST, MUST have good ventilation when working with plating chemicals. You want a lab-style, mostly-enclosed fume hood or snorkel-style system over or behind your plating baths, set up to pull the fumes away from you, NOT upward across your face. The vented exhaust should be exiting your workspace into the outside air, preferably on a roof or out a port isolated from human activity. You can get by with a fan at a window if you’re really working on a shoestring budget or just don’t use your plating equipment very often, just make sure the fumes from the plating baths are being pulled away from you and NOT going toward anyone else.

Personal Safety Equipment: You’ll need to wear chemical-resistant gloves (I use mid-arm-length disposable neoprene), a rubber apron, lab goggles, and a half-face style respirator (NIOSH/OSHA No. TC-23C-298 style). Your workspace should have a dry chemical fire extinguisher readily available.

Workspace: Your workspace should be well-ventilated, clean, and isolated from other shop activities and staff. Cleanliness is absolutely essential to successful plating. If parts get dirty, they won’t plate properly. If a plating bath gets stuff in it that isn’t supposed to be, it will usually contaminate and ruin the plating solution (at anywhere from $25 to $300 per liter, you really don’t want your solutions getting contaminated, because there’s typically no way to salvage them). You want your workspace isolated from coworkers both for their safety and for yours. A cramped or chaotic workspace with multiple people moving around in it can lead to distraction or mistakes. When dealing with flasks full of hot acid, it’s best not to get distracted.

Storage: Acids should be stored in a well-labelled, purpose-built acid cabinet, under lock and key. These can be bought from companies like McMaster-Carr or Grainger. Bottles should be clearly labelled and well-sealed. Acids have to be stored in bottles or containers specifically designed to safely hold such chemicals.

MSDS: You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the MSDS for any chemicals you bring into your shop, and anyone who plans to work with these chemicals must do so before using them. A copy of all chemical MSDS should be kept on file by your department safety coordinator, and in a clearly labelled place near your plating workspace. The reference station near your workspace is mostly for first-responders in the event of a fire or spill incident, so try to keep it far enough away that it wouldn’t be impacted by such incidents, but close enough to be noticed by first responders. While you’re learning about your plating chemicals, it’s also handy to have this resource station nearby so you can read over the MSDS for each chemical you’re working with until you’re familiar with them.

Disposal: This is mostly related to the destruction of old plating chemicals that have been plated out or contaminated. For our purposes, this will typically be 1-liter bottles. Depending on disposal ordinances in your region, this may also apply to rinse water, gloves, paper towels and any other solid waste that has been used in the process or come in contact with plating chemicals. Requirements vary by region, but usually involves a local government hazardous waste disposal center or private haz-mat service that has the proper credentials to dispose of such things. You really should investigate this aspect of the process before you invest in plating equipment, and determine if you’re prepared to deal with the hassles. If you are part of a larger company as an in-house model shop, speak with your campus safety coordinator as it’s very likely that the campus already has accommodations for disposal of hazardous wastes from other processes or activities around the facility.

I will say from personal experience that a liter of plating chemical can last you at least a year if it does not get contaminated and you’re only occasionally using it. If you use a chemical often and the metal content gets “plated out”, many chemicals can be replenished by contacting the supplier and acquiring the appropriate “brightener”. This will help you extend the working life of a plating bath and reduce the amount of waste you generate.

State Hazardous Waste Generator Rules: If your business generates hazardous waste of certain types, and in certain quantities, you may fall into one of the various state Hazardous Waste Generator categories, which may impose certain oversight and restrictions on your business. For our purposes, you’ll almost certainly fall under the least regulated category as your waste output is nearly trivial. Still, it’s important to be aware of the statutes for your state or region, and perform due diligence to make sure you stay out of trouble. Again, if your shop is part of a larger company or organization, your campus safety coordinator will almost certainly already be aware of these responsibilities, and can guide you through the necessary steps as long as you keep them in the loop on the hazardous materials you plan to bring on-site.

Equipment:

Personal Safety Equipment: First off, you need the safety equipment described above in the safety section.

Hot Plates: You’ll need a couple of controllable hot plates, with incremental control of at least 5-degrees Celsius increments. Most of the chemicals I regularly use have a working temperature of 65 degrees C, but a few run lower, around 32-35 degrees C, and I’ve yet to need temperatures in excess of 80 degrees C. You can get by with two hot plates as an entry point, but it’s not practical to function with less than three for most finishes, and you’ll find four hot plates is ideal if you’re attempting to apply a black oxide finish like Black or Ultrablack Ruthenium. You can use small kitchen hot plates for this kind of work. Obviously, you don’t want to use them for cooking anymore after you start getting acid on them. When working with simple hot plates like these, you’ll have to monitor the temperature of your plating baths directly, using a stainless steel thermometer that clips onto the side of the flask, with a long probe sitting in the bath. There is an art to this, as the temperature on the hot plate will never match the temperature in the bath. Overheating your solutions can ruin them (some are more sensitive to this than others), so you have to be careful and monitor your bath temperatures constantly. You’ll also want to keep your solutions moving, at least stirring them occasionally while you work with them. Keeping the solutions stirred helps prevent dissolved metal salts from coming out of solution, and also helps agitate bubbles introduced upon dipping a part into the plating bath (bubbles that remain on the surface of a part during plating can cause inconsistent plated finishes).

An excellent alternative to dealing with thermometers and using glass rods to stir the solution is to invest in magnetic stir stands with thermal probes. These all-in-one solutions provide heat, and with a built-in thermal probe taking the place of the thermometer, the system monitors and maintains exactly the temperature you set, giving you one less factor to concentrate on. These systems also have a rotating magnetic disk under the hot plate, which spins a ceramic-coated magnetic bead that you place in the plating bath, allowing you to control the speed of the stirring action as well. Rio Grande sells some entry level systems like this (item numbers 335210, 335211, 335212) from $99 to $250, with varying degrees of bells and whistles. I’ve used the 335212 models for years, and they work well enough for the price. I’ve had a few of the units wobble a few degrees over or under my set temperature, and two of them that wouldn’t securely hold the magnetic pellet in place, causing it to tumble around in the bath. This is both annoying and also very ineffective at stirring the solution. I eventually upgraded all our units to Scilogex MS-H-Pro-Plus systems, which are laboratory grade magnetic hotplate stir stations. These cost more, but I’ve never had an issue with the magnet system or the temperature control on any of them. One note on the Scilogex systems though. If you buy these, make sure to get the glass-clad thermal probes for corrosive materials. I originally tried to just use the stainless steel thermal probes that come with the unit, and had two of the probes fail completely.

Rectifier: The rectifier is an adjustable power source that supplies DC current to your plating bath. I prefer Volteq rectifiers, having used some cheaper ones in the past and found their fine-tune adjustments very lacking. A 3-amp or 5-amp model will serve most of your needs. Plating processes use very low voltage and amperage, in general. I’m typically not running over 3.5 volts for most metal finishes, and some run as low as .8v. Amperage is determined by the size of the workpiece, with large pieces drawing more amps than smaller ones.

Plating Solutions: Each plating solution contains a certain dissolved metal. When current is passed through your workpiece, immersed in the plating solution, this metal is deposited on the workpiece. Typically sold in 1-liter bottles, pre-mixed. I buy my plating solutions from Rio Grande Jewelry Supply and Legor USA. Prices vary from about $25 to the mid-$300 range, depending on the value of the metal component.

Ultrasonic Cleaner: An ultrasonic cleaner is useful for cleaning your parts before plating, particularly if you have residual polishing compounds on them. You don’t have to have this, but it makes cleaning the parts easier.

Electrocleaner and Acid Dip: Vital chemicals for the plating process. They’re fairly cheap and last quite a while. You can buy them in powdered form or pre-mixed from Rio Grande. If you plan to buy the powder and mix them yourself, do so in an extremely well ventilated area, and wear all that safety equipment I keep harping on! The dust this stuff puts off is caustic, and causes skin and eye irritation even if you’re wearing safety equipment. Breathing it in is a huge no-no.

Anodes: For every plating solution, there will be a specific anode. This is normally just a strip of metal that hangs out of the plating flask/tank that has the rectifier anode connected to it. Your workpiece is hooked to the cathode lead via a copper handling wire. Once the workpiece (cathode) is placed in the bath, it completes the circuit and plating commences. It’s important to use pure metal anodes, and to use the anodes that your supplier recommends for each solution. Some anodes can be used in more than one type of solution. It’s fine to do this, but you have to make sure to clean those anodes really well between uses to prevent contamination. For the sake of cleanliness, I keep my anodes in labelled Ziploc bags, one for each solution I run. Anodes will last you a long time. I’ve been using the same ones for a couple of years now with no problems.

Flasks: I prefer to use 1-liter Pyrex flasks. They usually fit the 1-liter bottles of plating solutions perfectly and clean up easily. There are stainless steel flasks available, and for solutions that require a stainless steel anode these are convenient because you can just hook the anode clip to the flask and turn the entire flask into the anode. I personally don’t do this, just figured I should mention that it can be done. I stick to Pyrex for all my plating needs.

Distilled Water: Your plating solutions lose water to evaporation while you are working with them at temperature. If the solution loses too much water, it can throw the chemistry off, or even ruin the solution. As you work, keep your solutions topped off with distilled water. I’ve tried fancy lab-grade distilled water, and I’ve used cheap, readily-available distilled water from the grocery store or Wal-Mart. The cheap stuff works fine, and I typically get my distilled water from Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. DO NOT USE TAP WATER FOR ANY PART OF THE PLATING PROCESS. Minerals and chemicals in tap water can play havoc with plating solutions, so save yourself some headaches and just get distilled water to begin with. Use it for everything. The only thing I use tap water for is cleaning my tools and flasks after I’m done plating.

Copper Wire, 24-gauge: This is used as a handling wire for your workpiece, to secure the piece to the cathode lead clip from the rectifier. Buy a spool of it, as you’ll be using 6 to 10 inches of it per piece you plate.

Miscellaneous: Glass stir rods are useful if you don’t have heated magnetic stir stations. Ceramic-coated magnetic stir pellets are essential if you do. If you don’t have thermal probes on your hot plates, you’ll need stainless steel thermometers to monitor your bath temperatures. Copper or stainless steel tongs are useful in case you drop a part in one of the baths. An egg timer or something similar for keeping track of time while you work. If you happen to have an Amazon Echo in your workspace, Alexa is great for this because you can set the timers hands-free so you’re not fumbling around with physical timers in gloved hands that might have acid or other chemicals on them.

Plating Journal: The most valuable piece of advice I can give you on plating is, write down EVERYTHING. Keep a journal of your plating activities. For every set of parts you plate, keep notes about what solutions you used, what temperatures you ran them at, what voltages specific pieces came out best at. If something doesn’t come out right, make a note of it. Keep track of the date that you open new bottles of solution. The date of each plating attempt. Take photos on your phone or quick sketches in your journal of how you fixtured the parts, what the parts looked like, dimensions of things. All of this is valuable, as you can look back through your notes to find out what worked and what didn’t. If your notes are thorough enough, you can even trace glitches in your process through these notes, or determine if a plating solution is going bad and why that might have happened.

Parts and Part Preparation: In order for a part to successfully plate, it has to be conductive. (Plastic parts can supposedly be made conductive by adding copper or silver conductive paint to them, but I’ve had very little luck with this myself.) All of our plated parts are machined copper, or stainless steel. I prefer copper because it’s easier on the machinists’ tooling, cuts faster, and is far faster to sand and finish. Remember that you cannot plate aluminum parts. (It’s technically possible, but not practical for a small-scale shop with a simple plating operation.)

Sand your parts and put whatever sort of finish on them you want (bead-blasting, polishing, brush-finish, whatever). Remember that the finish you apply to the parts before plating is the finish you’re going to get out after plating. The plate deposit is so thin, every single detail the part went in with will show after the fact. Unlike paint or primer, there is no gap-filling action here.

Once you’re happy with the surface finish, attach the workpiece to a length of 24-gauge copper wire. The wire should not be touching any part of the workpiece that has to be a class-A surface on the final model. Figuring out how to fixture your parts on the handling wire is a real skill, and takes a lot of trial-and-error. Take notes in your plating journal on how you fixture all the parts you attempt to plate! The handling wire should be long enough to allow your cathode lead alligator clip to hang at least a few inches above the bath while the workpiece is fully submerged into the bath. Make certain that the workpiece is securely bound to the handling wire. You don’t want the part falling off in the acid bath. If you can drill a hole in a non-essential surface of the workpiece to loop the wire through, or wrap the wire around a boss or other geometric feature so that the wire cannot come loose, that’s the best thing to do. The wire only has to make contact in one place, and it doesn’t have to be bound so tightly that it’s literally touching the workpiece the whole time. A little slop is ok, as long as the workpiece can’t fall off the handling wire.

Depending on the geometry of the part, there will be cases where you need to have the wire touching in multiple spots to ensure that current is flowing evenly throughout the workpiece. Alternatively, you may have to run the handling wire out along sharp edges or long spindly protruding parts of the workpiece in order to prevent uneven current flow that causes scorching (they call this a current thief). In such cases, the wire has to be suspended a few millimeters away from the workpiece, floating near the geometry you’re trying to strip current away from. I’ve found both of these special fixturing situations to be very rare, however, and most of the time you’ll do just fine with a simple handling wire attached to the piece in one place, assuming your parts are around 2 inches across in their largest dimension.

With your pieces attached to handling wires, clean them thoroughly with a soft-bristled brush and some tap water with dish soap. Be thorough. Now take the parts and submerge them in your ultrasonic cleaner, giving the parts a few minutes in a good ultrasonic cleaning solution. I typically leave my parts in the ultrasonic at this point, taking them out one-at-a-time as I plate them. Take one part out, and rinse in distilled water. If your parts are copper, it’s likely some of them will have taken on some oxidation by this point. If this isn’t removed, it will show through your final plate. So I keep a Pyrex beaker of Tarn-X at my workstation, specifically to dunk my parts in just before I begin plating. This strips the oxide quickly and easily. Rinse in distilled water again, and you’re ready to begin plating!

Process: Going into the specifics of each chemical is a bit too ponderous for a primer, but the general process is going to be the same in nearly all cases. The rinsed workpiece from the previous steps will go into Electrocleaner for 1 minute, then come out, get rinsed, then go into the Acid Dip solution for 20 seconds to a minute, then rinse again. At this point, the bare workpiece will be submerged in Nickel Solution for about a minute. (Nickel is the standard pre-plate for all other metal plating finishes, as it prevents copper content from the base workpiece from migrating up through the plating layers and then oxidizing, causing discolorations on your beautiful plated finishes.) After your nickel step is complete, take the workpiece out, unhook from cathode lead, rinse it in distilled water for a few seconds, move it into the Acid Dip solution for 20 seconds to a minute, then rinse again.

From here, the process varies depending on what metal finish you are building towards. In most cases, additional steps are just the same as previously described. Into solution for a few minutes, out, rinse, Acid Dip, rinse.

The electrocleaner and all metal plating solutions will require the addition of electricity, so your workpiece will have its handling wire attached to the cathode lead of the rectifier, and the rectifier will have to be set to the range specified for that chemical by the manufacturer. It’s typically best to start on the low end of the range specified, and if your parts are particularly small, you might need to go lower than the specified range. Observe how your plating came out, and take notes in your journal as you work!

Cleanup: Once your parts are Acid-Dipped and rinsed a final time, they can be dried off by hanging to air-dry, blasted with pressurized air, or dried with a cloth, as you prefer. Clip them from their handling wire and the parts should be good to go. If you’re done for the day, turn off the heat to your hotplates and let the plating solutions cool down. At this point, I get a bucket of tap water with a healthy scoop of baking soda in it. I place all my anodes and any other accessories that went into plating solutions in this bucket, so the baking soda can neutralize the few drops of acid that remain on the accessories. Once the solutions are cool, I pour them back into their storage bottles, careful to maintain as much of the solution as I can. I want no more of this stuff to end up in the bucket than I absolutely have to allow. The flasks now go in the bucket with the other accessories. At this point, I’ll clean all my accessories and flasks in a sink with soapy water (make sure this is a sink that nobody is using for dishes, utensils, or drinks), with scrub brushes dedicated to the task. While there are some trace elements of the plating solutions in this rinse water, they’re incredibly dilute and the acid should be neutralized as a result of the baking soda you placed in the bucket. Depending on hazardous waste ordinances in your state or region, this rinse water may have to be retained for hazardous waste disposal, just like plating chemicals.

Special Applications: Below are a few examples of specialized plating techniques and applications.

Electroforming: Electroforming is like standard copper plating, but you run the bath at a very low amperage for a very long time (1-12 hours or longer), and can achieve very thick (300 microns or more) deposits of metal over the base material. One practical application of this is to electroform over a wax pattern, creating a lightweight hollow copper shell. After this is done, the wax can be melted out, leaving you with a hollow object that can be used by itself or as a durable master for creating rubber molds. The process is also useful in compensating for shrinkage of a cast metal master part before creating a vulcanized rubber mold for wax injection. Electroforming can also produce interesting decorative effects, building up metal over found objects like leaves, crystals, baby shoes, whatever. You can also use electroforming to fill pits and gaps in a rough cast part or old metal part that you're attempting to restore. Think of it like using high-build primer, but the primer is copper. After building it up, you can polish it, sand it, finish it out to your heart's content, then it's ready for further plating steps because the surface is nice, fresh, conductive copper.

Kliar E-Coating: This process allows you to add bright colors to metal parts, while retaining the shine, texture, and feel of the metal beneath. It’s sort of like powder coating but with a very low-build, translucent paint. The color of the metal plate beneath affects the tone of the Kliar finish, so dark plates will yield darker hues of the color you use. This process requires a high-voltage rectifier, so if you only plan to purchase one rectifier for plating and think you might be interested in adding this capability, make sure you buy a 50 or 60 volt rectifier. You can use it for all your standard plating purposes at lower voltages, and you’ll be able to crank it up when needed for Kliar work.

Pen Plating: Pen plating isn’t exactly the same as standard bath plating, but the principles are similar enough that I felt it was worth mentioning. Most suppliers of plating equipment also offer pen plating systems, which are basically the same idea, just miniaturized to use a stylus and a small amount of solution concentrated around the tip of the stylus to allow you to “draw” a metal plate on specific portions of a conductive object.

Masking: You can use lacquer-based paint as a resist for electroplating. Rio Grande sells a specific formula that is engineered for this purpose (item number 335009). After you have finished plating, lacquer thinner will strip the stuff right off, and won’t harm the plated finish.

If you are working with Kliar E-Coating, you can use enamel-based nail polish in the same way. After you are done applying the E-Coating, you can use NON-ACETONE nail polish remover to remove the mask. As a useful aside, acetone will strip Kliar off a workpiece or your flasks and accessories very quickly and easily, whether the Kliar is cured or not. This is very useful if your workpiece didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, or just for cleaning your equipment after you’re done.

Resources:

Rio Grande Jewelry Supply: I’ve mentioned Rio Grande Jewelry Supply several times throughout this primer. So many times that some might wonder if I’m a plant of some sort, shilling for their company. While I’m certainly not employed by Rio or taking any kickbacks from them, I will happily shill for them any time. For one thing, they sell a huge variety of useful tools for a model maker. If you aren’t familiar with them, check out the tools section of their website, and prepare to spend a few hours doing it. More to our point here, however, they sell a good variety of electroplating supplies and chemicals. Go to their website and enter “electroplating” in the search bar. You’ll pretty much see everything you need to get started electroplating, and see the wide range of finishes you can achieve

Perhaps most importantly, and one of the reasons I advocate for this particular supplier, their technical support staff actually know and use the equipment, so if you are having problems with anything you purchased from them, give them a call and ask to speak with one of their plating technicians. I cannot tell you how many hours I’ve spent speaking to these good folks, who patiently helped me solve many plating problems. If it wasn’t for Thomas Flores, I’d have probably thrown all my electroplating equipment off the roof years ago.

Legor USA: This company produces a dizzying array of plating products, from plating solutions to powered plating tanks with heat and agitation built-in. A lot of the products my favorite supplier above sell come directly from these folks, and Legor is going to offer better quality (and of course more expensive) equipment.

Gesswein: Another jewelry supply house, similar to Rio Grande. I don’t personally buy much from them, but their catalog has enough unique equipment and plating supplies that you might want to check them out when shopping around.

Questions?
If you have any questions or comments, I’ll be happy to give any advice that I can regarding electroplating. As I stated above, I’m far from a master of this process, but I feel I’m far enough along that I might be able to help people who are new to plating or considering getting into plating. It was always challenging for me to simply find answers to very basic questions, so I’m hoping I might be able to provide help with those basics to anyone who wants to learn more. I’m not going to be able to answer much related to the science, chemistry, or electricity side of things (you know, all the technical stuff), but as stated above, you can achieve good results with a small-scale plating system without knowing all the science behind it. Feel free to drop a reply here with any questions you have, and I’ll do my best to answer them for you. Also, if you have experience with plating and think I explained something poorly, chime in! I posted this article in the spirit of learning, and believe me, I know I still have a lot to learn with this technology. Let's have a discussion, and hopefully we'll all come out of it smarter than we went in.
Last Edited On: 08/09/2018 11:58:42 AM By MICHAEL SCRIBNER
 
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