As you may have already discovered, there's more than one way to
skin a cat. This is how I skin:
* I might have missed it, but what anode is used to plate directly
onto karat gold?
Some folks use platinum. But they make an anode that's a little
I bought mine from Stuller in '05 and use it constantly and it's
still going strong. I've heard they go bad, but I've never seen it
* does ALL the old rhodium plating have to me removed? Is there
any other way of removing other than sanding it off? How do I
remove it out of all the nooks and cranies like around setting
Well you know, whatever you plate over shows in the end, so I always
remove the old plating first.
I don't sand it off though. I use a bobbing compound meant for
polishing steel instead of tripoli in all my polishing tasks, and it
works great for removing rhodium plating.
(If you decide to try bobbing compound for your every-day polishing
be aware that it cuts extremely fast!) I want the surface I'm plating
to be highly polished with no scratches, so I take it all off first.
I use a soft mounted brush to get in crevices and other tight
places. Use a lighter touch to get down deep.
* Is it best to pre-plate karat gold with 24K gold?
I've never heard of such a thing. But all gold plating is 24k and
they add chemicals to mimic lower karats, FYI.
* is plating safe to use on stones?
Yes. Except on iron pyrite which will plate. (Well, it will gold
plate. I've never seen anyone rhodium plate pyrite.)
* can the used rhodium solution be stored and re-used?
I've been using the same batch since '05 but see below.
* lastly, I am considering buying a pen plating system, does it
HAVE to be used with pen plating solutions or can the bath type
solutions be used? I understand the difference in concentrations,
but am curious if anyone has done it successfully this way.
I have a home-made pen plater. I just take a hypodermic needle, jam
a pen plating felt tip on the end, and dip that into the concentrated
rhodium plating solution made for making up regular rhodium plating
baths. (Clip the wires where they should be clipped!) Any left over
in the beaker gets rinsed with a couple drops of distilled water &
dumped into my regular bath.
(I just *know* all the anal chemists on the list are cringing at the
I think this is the most I've ever written on Orchid! woot