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Copper plate tools

Was: Rust on tools


Quite a good way to protect steel tools from rust is to copper
plate them. It wears off in the areas of most use, which can still
be lightly oiled, but avoids rust attaching the majority of the
tool. No-one here really needs to be told how to copper-plate
steel, right?. 

yes please tell me how you will copperplate steel I always want to
hear in case i can learn something new


HI Frank:

Just dunk the tool in spent pickle. It’ll copper plate quite nicely.
I’ve never tried to do this deliberately, so part of me wonders if
the reaction won’t shut down once the surface is totally covered in

(Or, I’ve never tried to get a thick copper coat this way, so I’ve
never really cared how long the reaction lasts, or how thick the
deposition layer was.)


The Other Brian (Who doesn’t do the cool eyeglasses that Kiwi Brian

When I have left forged mild steel pieces in old pickle (grad school
had a large plastic garbage can of it) for a long time, some a week
or so, it etched the steel. The copper and etched steel residue
stayed on the surface of the steel as long as the pickle liquid was
not disturbed. When the pieces of steel were taken out of the pickle
all the copper and etched away steel residue came off the steel
piece. I used asphaltum as a resist to pattern the etched steel.