G'day, all; It occurred to me that I hadn't mentioned another
use for deplating, which I call electro-chemical pointing. Now
I, like many amateurs buy my sterling wire in one size (2.5mm, in
my case) and draw it down to whatever sizes I need for the job in
hand, time not being so important when one isn't making a living
out of jewellery making. I hate putting the wire in a groove
in my bench and filing it to get the reasonably long point that
will go into a drawplate hole - and last for two or three
draws.So I keep a cyanide solution (in a tight-lidded, small
plastic container, boldly labelled) and a bit of stainless steel
connected to a piece of wire. I use a battery charger giving 6 -
12 volts DC and connect the stainless to the NEGATIVE terminal.
Another bit of wire is connected to the POSITIVE terminal and
has a crocodile clip fastened to the free end. This I clip to
the piece of sterling wire to be pointed, and switching on the
current, dip the end of the sterling into the cyanide bath,
jiggling it up and down, but keeping the end mostly in the bath.
Thus one has good control of the deplating or erosion process,
and can make the point as long or short as one wishes. In my
case, this process takes only about 10 seconds as I tend to use a
fairly high current, and after wiping on a bit of tissue after
rinsing quickly in water, I can do several passes before having
to repeat the process. But, you ask, what's the advantage? Well,
it is fast, it doesn't work-harden the wire and you can recover
the silver from the stainless electrode easily by peeling it off
after several pointings. Dangerous? Not really if you take
obvious precautions and keep the brain firmly engaged in gear
all the time. I've been doing it for about 15 years now.
Cheers, and have fun, eh?
/ / John Burgess,
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