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Copper on silver doublee


#1

Has any one got tips for producing a small sheet of sterling with a
thin layer of copper on top? I know it’s possible, but I’m not
getting it right. My goal is to get a two-color design after etching
through the copper layer to the sterling. Can I plate copper onto the
silver (how?), Should I try fusing ? I have read Charles
Lewton-Brain’s doublee article and know that I can buymaterial from
Reactive Metals. It’s driving me nuts that I can’t get this to work.
Allyson Morrison @iamorrison


#2

I used an electroforming set up to plate copper onto sterling. I
used PnP Blue as a resist and etched a rather intricate design
(etching away the copper). It seemed to work well until the copper
began to peel off. I don’t know if I roughed up the surface of the
sterling enough or what. There is an artist, Carol Webb, who’s work
has been featured in Lapidary Journal, who fuses thin copper onto fine
silver. I’m not sure of the process she uses, but obviously it can be
done successfully. --Vicki Embrey


#3

I used an electroforming set up to plate copper onto sterling. I
used PnP Blue as a resist and etched a rather intricate design
(etching away the copper). It seemed to work well until the copper
began to peel off. I don’t know if I roughed up the surface of the
sterling enough or what. There is an artist, Carol Webb, who’s work
has been featured in Lapidary Journal, who fuses thin copper onto fine
silver. I’m not sure of the process she uses, but obviously it can be
done successfully.
–Vicki Embrey


#4
    I used an electroforming set up to plate copper onto sterling. 
I used PnP Blue as a resist and etched a rather intricate design
(etching away the copper).  It seemed to work well until the copper
began to peel off. 

G’day. I believe that the main reason for any kind of plating to
peel off the base is that the base was not scrupulously, chemically
clean. Things often look really clean, but at the molecular level,
they may not be. A good pre-plating regime is to scrub the work with
hot water and a good detergent - NOT soap as this could contain fatty
material. This could be followed by a bath in warm to hot washing
soda solution (sodium carbonate) with the work connected to the
negative wire and the positive wire to a bit of clean stainless steel
(old knife blade?) A current such as would produce bubbling around
the workpiece will produce pure caustic soda and powerfully active
nascent hydrogen right on the face of the work. A really good rinse
under a running tap, followed by a rinse in distilled water or even
freshly caught rain water should result in this 'chemically clean’
business. When plating anything, the current (amps; milliamps) should
be kept as low as will result in a good plate in a reasonable time.
The plating bath should be constantly stirred. (magnetic stirrer and
follower?) A final rinse under a tap and careful drying with tissue
will finish the job to the point where polishing and/or other
techniques begin…

    I don't know if I roughed up the surface of the sterling enough
or what. 

A very slight roughening of the workpiece might help to give a key to
the plating, and this is best done with a quick dip in warm, about 10

  • 15% nitric acid solution after the pre-plate cleaning, again
    followed by a good rinse. Cheers, – John Burgess; @John_Burgess2
    of Mapua Nelson NZ